September 19, 1994 – Monday – 12:50 a.m.

I went to church with Charlie this morning (Sunday).  Jeni, Tracey, and Rachel came too.  Jeni and I sat together.  We both went to the Sunday School lunch thing in the school’s cafeteria afterwards.  And tonight she came with me to Sharon’s house (you know, the family with the three daughters from church).  We got back after visitation hours were over and Jeni and I were going to study in her room, but we both got written up since it was past eleven o’clock.  We thought visitation was over at one o’clock.

So, we just went outside and studied (or so-called studied).  We really just talked about a bunch of different things that had nothing to do with Religion class.  I was cold, so she rubbed my back.  She sat so close to me.  I love the way she looks at me.  Those eyes of hers.

Dear God, I really like this girl and she really likes me.  And she is my age.  This has never happened before.

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.

August 2, 1993 – Monday – 1:22 p.m.

Let’s start from the very beginning, shall we?

Saturday morning, I got up and Mom told me that if I mowed the grass she would give me some money to go to the movies.  So, I did.  That’s what I practically did all day.  Then later on Jonathan, Danny, Peter, Marcus, Kevin, and myself went to Asheboro.

Only Danny and I went to see a movie.  We saw Robin Hood: Men in Tights.  It was so stupid that you couldn’t help but laugh.  Then afterwards we went to eat at Burger King.

I rode with Jonathan and he lost his hat out the window, but he got it back.  Kevin and Marcus were mooning us from Danny’s car on the way home.  They call Marcus “THE BLACK HOLE,” and Kevin “THE FULL MOON.”

I would never moon anybody.  That’s just disgusting.

We stayed at Danny and Peter’s until about midnight.  Jonathan left early.  We basically just talked about funny stuff from our past.  Then I went out to the lobby and read some magazines.

At work there’s a teenage girl with short blonde hair and a pretty smile.  She just graduated from high school.  Her name is Tina.  She works mostly when I do and I talked to her a little bit.

She has a little girl named Ashley.  She just learned how to walk.  Tina’s not married.

She asked me the other night if I was at the motor lodge the other day.  The motor lodge is where Danny and Peter live.  Their father owns and runs it.

I said, “no, but Kevin probably was.”

She said that she saw the white car there.  She has told me stuff before about the motor lodge.  I just figured she lived across the street.

While I was looking through some magazines I saw a girl with blonde hair walk into the lobby.  She had on a McDonald’s uniform and held a wad of cash in her hand.  With the other hand she was supporting a mixed little girl on her skinny waist.

The little girl was Ashley, her daughter.

I was shocked to see her, especially that late at night.  I greeted her and asked if I could hold Ashley.  She let me.

I asked, “What are you doing here?”

She said, “I live here.”

Those words were like a dagger in me.

“How long?”

“Since December.”  She had come into the lobby to pay her month rent.  I can’t remember how much.

I talked to her a little bit.  She said she would be leaving for college soon and that she was just working weekends now.  She just bought a car.  She “sort of” lives with her boyfriend, but she is making it.

I don’t know her past, but she’s okay now.  My heart goes out to her.  Living in a motel room with her daughter and living off of a McDonald’s paycheck.

How did she end up there?  I probably will never know.

Sunday comes after a few hours of sleep.  Amy calls and tells me she is sick, so I had to cover for her in children’s church.  Ryan was sick too.  They weren’t at church.

But Christi was.

I asked her to come into children’s church because I would need her help.  She said she would.  I talked to her some more and while we were on stage, right before singing started, she told me she recorded CATS for me and while in Rocky Mount last weekend she met a guy.

Stunned and heartbroken as I was, I said, “Really?”

Then she said, “No, I’m just kidding.”

Strange thing to say.  A woman thing, I guess.

I don’t understand.

In children’s church I did an object lesson and part of it was I had to squirt Christi with a water gun.  I did and she got all wet.  Then one of the leaders made me get in the chair and I got squirted and Gloria poured a cup of water on my head.

Christi laughed.

I walked by her and patted her on the head.  Then I went to sit in the back of the room.

Shirley was in there and I told her I got a letter from Tammy.  They are going to visit her on Friday.  In the letter Tammy told me she wanted to come back.  I asked Shirley if she would accept her.

She doubted it.

Then Christi came and thumped me on my hand.  I reached over to pinch her, but she moved.  I tried two more times, but failed.  Then I got her on her leg, but her jeans were too tight.

Children’s church was over and after church  I stopped by her house to pick up my CATS tapes.  She wasn’t there, only Andy.

Ryan wasn’t there in the morning, and shocking to myself, I didn’t really miss her.  Ryan was at the evening service yesterday, but Christi wasn’t.  I missed Christi, but it was nice to talk to Ryan.

Christi’s dad, Hank, is the pastor at a church in Rocky Mount.  They are moving up there during Christi’s junior year.  She will be a sophomore in high school this year.

I’ll be in college somewhere then.