February 26, 2000 – Saturday – 10:14 a.m.

Life has recently been spent in rehearsal, class, work, and with Marie.  We had our most favorite special “friend day” yesterday on a little peer out at Munden Point Park.  It is a perfect place of reflecting light, green trees, and blue sky.  We were barefoot little kids playing in life-giving water and spitting on mosquitoes.  A perfect day, an eternal instant, we wanted to spend our entire lives there.

Sarah emailed me this past week.  I emailed her back and let her know that I did not want to continue to keep in touch, that it was not fair to Marie.

I spoke with Tracey this morning.  Charlie was punched in the face and knocked out cold by a resident.  He felt the school didn’t support him, so he quit his Residence Life job and left Lees-McRae.  He’s staying with his parents, but they don’t want him there.  Kate moved down to Franklin, NC with her parents who recently moved there.

Dan is back in Colorado.

Tracey and Abigail’s Seven Strangers band is making a demo tape.  Everything is supposedly going really well for that little band.

Vince and Natalie have spent the past two weeks in New York with Vince’s dad.

And Lindy is trying to get certified in aerobics.

The Regent community, or rather our small group of Communication School acquaintances, are beginning to put two and two together when it comes to Marie and I.  Many guys have asked Marie if she is seeing someone because she has this “certain glow.”

She tells them yes.

I think it is funny.

I applied for an office manager job for a children’s theater company in Norfolk.  I pray God blesses me with it.

Children are playing outside my window now.  It’s very clear that March begins in four days.  The sounds are in the air.

I apologized to Marie last night for kissing Jeni and Sarah.  I told her I wished I had waited for her alone.  I regret the words and phrases I have written in past journals about other girls, thinking and believing I wanted to spend my life with them, thinking and believing I loved them so deeply.

Forgive me God.  I wish I could erase those pages from my journal.

I love you Jesus.  Thank you for this redemption.  I place my past and my sin before you.  You are holy and beautiful.

November 27, 1999 – Saturday – 5:38 p.m.

Sometimes I wait for my life to begin

Sometimes our hearts should begin in the end

Sometimes my life is just paper and pen

But then sometimes I think of you

. . .

Tracey and I watched old Lees-McRae dance videos last night.  They were from four or five years ago.  I have forgotten that I am 23.  Those two numbers next to each other look very old to me.  But it is all relative.  I’m sure to others I’m a little punk who doesn’t know anything about life yet.  And they are probably right.

This month is ending and I have two screenplays and a huge paper to finish.

But this is not about me.

I am beginning to see that I will never do really huge things in my career.  Sure, I may make some movies, and I may have a few good roles on the stage and screen, but these things will never be greater than making a girl smile.  What am I if I do not love?

I am nothing.

. . .

Vince is coming, but I have so much work and a show to do.  I know not what Christmas brings, but I hope to see Marie and meet her family.  I know not what will happen for New Year’s either, but I do know that the following week I will be directing Dang!.

Oh God, you have much to do through me.

Hold the clock.  Stop the sun.

Speed me up.  Slow me down.

 

December 26, 1994 – Monday – 7:40 a.m.

It is the 26th of December in the year 1994.

Did you hear me?

December 26, 1994.

I have been alive on this earth for 18 years, four months, nine days, two hours, and 40 minutes.

That’s a long time.

But then again…what is time?

I feel empty.

Arms.  My arms.  They hurt.  They ache.

And I know why.  They are not holding the one I love.

Jeni.

Just writing her name gives me the chills.

She called last night around 11 o’clock.  We talked four hours.

She is in Cincinnati, Ohio.

I am in Lanexa, Virginia.

For the summer of 1995 it looks like I will be where she is now.  She wants me to go home with her and find a job in Cincinnati. Then maybe just visit my family in North Carolina around the 4th of July.

Do you remember when Jenna and I bought Grey Poupon on the 4th of July?

So many smiles, so many moments of laughter, not just from Jenna, but from every person I’ve encountered; every person I’ve spent at least a few fleeting moments with these past 18 years.  Yet I’m sure there are some I have forgotten.

Is my past truly behind me?

Will I allow myself to spend a summer in Cincinnati?  Will my heart?  Will my arms?  Will my eyes?

What is there in Sanford?

What is there to hold in Sanford?

What is there to look upon in Sanford?

Today, Dad and I went to see two movies:  Star Trek: Generations and Forrest Gump.  Star Trek was cool, but will there ever be another movie as amazing as Forrest Gump?

As I left the theater I looked at the different human beings around me.  Some had tears in their eyes.  Some were holding the hand of a loved one.  That certain individual had found that other person they were created to love.

What an adventure!

What a discovery!

What a miracle!

The miracle of another human being.  How Jeni and I ever came to know each other is beyond me.

Beyond me.

There is much beyond me.

But my savior, very close to me, has taught me to love and value another one of his beautiful creations.

Time does not exist.  Days may pass.  Years may pass.  But my past will grow.  My collections will grow.  My love for Jeni will grow.

The end will draw close, but it will not be over.

And in the meantime, I will enjoy my time here on earth.

I will enjoy my time with Jeni.

I will enjoy Lees-McRae College.

I will enjoy the summer of 1995.

I will enjoy the future.

For surely the best days of my life are not the ones you’ve already read about, but the ones I have yet to write.

September 5, 1994 – Monday – 9:25 p.m.

My mom just called me.  She was bored.  They are going to come see me next Monday.  Actually they are doing some sort of romantic trip and decided to kill two birds with one stone and see me as well.

She says Marcus seems lonely now that everyone is gone.

I’m going to try and call Jonathan, then I’ll write some more.

He wasn’t in.  I guess I’ll write him.

Mom tells me that Tenielle made me a bald eagle sculpture.  She will give it to me when they come up a week from today.

Rehearsals begin tomorrow.

I’ve been practicing with my keyboard since I’m in a piano class.  It’s coming along.

Here’s my schedule:

World Civilization – MWF – 8:00 a.m.

Acting I – MWF – 9:00 a.m.

Intro. to the Bible – MWF – 10:00 a.m.

Intermediate Algebra – MWF – 1:00 p.m.

Alpha Class – W – 2:00 p.m.

Intermediate Spanish – TT – 8:00 a.m.

Piano I – TT – 9:30 a.m.

Intermediate Spanish Lab – TT – 10:30 a.m.

Expository Writing – TT – 11:00 a.m.

And rehearsals are every night except for Friday and Saturday for all of September.  So that’s my schedule.  That is life for a while.

I love it!!

I miss Nate.  I miss him making me laugh.

I miss Mr. Benton and Mrs. Gray.

My God!  I can’t go back.

Jenna!  Touch my cheek once more.

May 13th?

That was so long ago.  It’s September!!

I know I’ve asked this before, but what was it all for?

Perhaps it all happened just to be an inspiration.  Whatever the reason, I won’t let it go to waste.  My Books of Days will keep it alive.

June 17, 1994 – Friday – 9:03 p.m.

I’ve got a headache now because of all the rides I went on today.

I had fun, but not as much fun as I had at Carowinds, but obviously that is thanks to the people I was with.

April 30th!

It seems like yesterday, but I know it is much further away.  A perfect day that I experienced in my youth, but it is gone now.  They say “Life is like a highway.”  I guess that means the soul is a car.

And objects in the rearview mirror may appear closer than they are.

I asked Joel if he thought of the past when he was in Arizona.  I told him Brandon only thought of the present.

He said that it was true, you do think of the present and the future, but he also said, “You don’t have to worry Jacob, no matter what, you will always remember the good times…always.”

It was great to hear that.

I will be okay.

Get ready Banner Elk.  I’m on my way.

May 3, 1994 – Tuesday – 9:30 p.m.

Tenielle called me earlier in the afternoon.  She told me that she and Jenna were going skating tonight and she wanted me to come.  She begged but I told her that I wouldn’t be able to make it.  She was disappointed.  I hope she thought of me, while I was there.

Well, this section of the notebook is about over and so is My 5th Book of Days.  Time to find another little green notebook.

So, what was this one about?  Easy, it was about Jenna and Tenielle.  The happiness, the sorrow, the need, the impossible.  It was about me realizing that time was flying by and the days were counting down.  It was about hope, and alive grass, and milk.  It was about the world and how I saved it in time.  It was about hurt, and how I long for something so close, yet so far away.  It was about U and I.  It was about leaving the past, living the present, and looking into the future.

My 5th Book of Days!  From the beginning of 1994 to May 3rd.  A little over four months.

A year ago, Ryan wore sandals at Kiwanis park.

Hmm.

My next Book of Days will contain my graduation, and most, if not all, of the summer of 1994.  That includes Deep Creek!

Also my farewell and departure from this lifetime as I venture into another world, another place, another life.

What will it be like to read my journal when I’m eighty?  Will I cry?  Will I know Jenna and Tenielle then?

Christi and Ryan were once important to me and I hardly know them now.

Why do I still mention their names?

Why does Veronica suddenly pop into my head sometimes whenever I’m driving down the road?

Is this going to happen for the rest of my life?  Or will I forget?

Nevertheless, I write.

No matter what happens, I write.

I write my life.  This wonderful life; all the joys given by God.

These are the best days of my life.

One more book of this life here and then I’ll move on.

I have been here simple to love, 

To witness and experience joy and fun.

Soon, I’ll leave calmly, like a dove;

The way night comes, when day is done.

February 3, 1994 – Thursday – 9:31 p.m.

Marcus and I had a talk tonight.  Something has happened; something that is not good at all.

Some strange things happened at church yesterday.  Now, in hindsight, I can see why.  I will try to explain to you what I can tell no one else, but by the way things look, all might be revealed Saturday by our own youth pastor, Shurby.

It is strange how the words of one man can pollute the air and kill the ones who breathe it.

I don’t know exactly when everything began, but it took a strange turn on January 18, 1994.  That is the night that Scott and I went to Fayetteville and saw Cool Runnings.  That was shortly after Marcus had talked to Cheryl and she told him that she just wanted to be friends.  You can reread the entries if you wish to.

By the way, as far as I know, all of this junk has nothing to do with my relationship with Jenna and Tenielle.  And I pray that is doesn’t.

The tongue is a fire.

So when Scott came to pick me up on that night, he saw Marcus.  And on that night, Marcus was sort of down about what happened a few days earlier.  On the way to Fayetteville, Scott questioned me.  Although I wish I hadn’t, I told him.  His response was, “So, Marcus likes Cheryl?”

In other words, he was speechless.

As I have said earlier, Scott wants a girlfriend.  I didn’t realize it then, but Scott has never stopped liking Cheryl.

Cheryl did not give Marcus the cold shoulder.  She did exactly what she said she’d do, she became a better friend to Marcus than she was before, but she was sort of confused.  So she asked Scott, or Scott brought the subject up to her and Cheryl asked for her ex-boyfriend’s opinion.

Scott, still liking Cheryl, gave her his opinion.  Neither Marcus, nor myself, know what it is, but with the circumstances being what they are, I believe it is self-explanatory.  

Before I go any farther, I must first tell you what Scott asked me on Thursday, January 18, 1994.  When I write down this statement, I believe it opens a door to the past that has never been opened before.  A door to the dark past.

“Jacob, do you remember what happened with Marcus at youth camp a while back?”

“Yes, yes I do.”  I knew what he was going to say and it scared me.

The youth camp we had the summer after my sophomore year.  The summer of 1992.  Nineteen months ago this week.  Four months and one week before I began my Book of Days.

It was during this wonderful week of ministry in which Marcus was delivered from the demon of lust.  Pastor Steve did the delivering and near the end he told some demons to go back down and that he would deal with it later.  The week ended, but Pastor Steve never dealt with it and never finished the deliverance.  But although Pastor Steve didn’t, Marcus did on his own, that same night, and he was completely set free.  Marcus told Shurby, and Shurby prayed with him and agreed that he had been completely set free.  I was there; I saw and heard the conversation, but Scott did not.

Nineteen months later whenever Scott discovers that Marcus like “his girl” he brings all this up, accusing Marcus of being filled with demons of lust.

Do you see something wrong here?

There is a lot more to come, but I will finish it later.  All of this has made me very tired.

December 1, 1993 – Wednesday – 10:25 p.m.

Dude!

Everything has been normal since my last entry.

It’s December.  Wow!

Tonight I saw Cheryl and Ryan; they are back from Ohio.  It snowed while they were up there.  It was so good to see them.  If things go as planned, I’ll be able to see The Sound of Music with Ryan and her family tomorrow.  Christi is in it.  Please God, may everything go as planned.

Things have changed in the past year.  Much has happened.  All of it wonderful.

Next year at this time I’m sure things will be even more different.

I don’t want to leave.

I can’t believe how close we are to 1994.

What?  1994?  Impossible!

September 2, 1993 – Thursday – 9:45 p.m

September 2nd.

September 2nd.

That’s impossible!

It can’t be September already.

But it is.  I guess that means I was having fun.

This year in Spanish II, I sit in the same seat I did last year in Spanish I.  The same people who sat around me last year sit around me this year.  Today, Mr. Benton said something funny that reminded me of something funny he said last year.  It seemed like time didn’t pass and I was still in 1992.

But time has passed.

Last year about this time, the skit group was on a roll.  We were getting new skits together and I was so much infatuated with Ryan.  Skit group practice has been some of the best times of my life.  We still have it, but it is not the same.  Brandon is gone.  Anne is gone.  Jason our leader is gone.  Kevin is gone.

Those days are gone.

I want them back so bad, but life doesn’t work that way.  They were here for a season and now they are gone.

Forever.

Even if I could live one of those days over again it would be so painful.  Just knowing that it was in the past and that it would never return would be too much to bear.

Where are they?

Silence.

Only my memories?

I want more.

September 2nd?

1993?

Please NO!

Why is life like this?  Even the most joyful times of my life end up causing a little pain.  I don’t want to grow up.  Not yet!

A senior in high school?  It’s too soon!

Retrospect hurts.

I want to stay a child just a little bit longer.  What’s the rush?

I want to go to skit group practice again.

I want to talk to Ryan in the balcony of her high school theater on September 12, 1992 again.

I want to have a lock-in at church during Halloween again, fasting all night for the lost, breaking that fast at the crack of dawn with day old pizza, and watching a sleepy Ryan and a sleepy Christi as they laid their heads on each other’s shoulders.

But it is only a Winter Dream.  No matter how much I wish, tomorrow will come.  And then September 4th, and 5th, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and then the 12th.

September 12, 1993 is going to be a painful day for me.  Help me God.

Brandon called me yesterday.  He wants me to come see him during Christmas.  I want to, but flying to Arizona costs a lot of money.

I miss him.

My best friend moved away!