August 23, 1996 – Friday – 7:45 p.m.

After classes and a lunch eaten alone, I borrowed Dan’s walkman and took a stroll into the afternoon forest.  I went to the treehouse.  The forest was thick, but I made it through.  The moment I reached the top of the treehouse, a rain drop landed on my leg.  I sat down and it began to pour.  This was not a shower, but a downpour, a waterfall.  I was instantly drenched.  I decided to leave and it rained even harder.  My bones began to ache.  I grew cold.

I made it back to the dorm and knocked on Vince’s door.  A smile filled his face.  I couldn’t tell if the smile was for me being soaking wet, or for something else.  As it turns out, he and Allen were getting ready to leave for Myrtle Beach with Velvet and Claudette, two girls they met at convocation last night and then watched Goonies with afterwards.

I grew a little jealous.  I knew the weekend would be slow and lonely since I was on duty.

I’m having complications with my schedule.  Auditions are tomorrow and I have tons of reading and writing to do.  I felt really crummy.  Just now I felt really crummy.  I began to think of Laura.  I began to wonder if she was happy or sad.  If she had someone to talk to when she was in need.  I wondered what she thought about, and on and on it went.  I couldn’t get her out of my mind.

I had this wild idea to call her.  I played with the idea for about 15 minutes.  Then finally, I picked up the phone and dialed her number.  It rang three times and Sharon answered.  I asked her how her day went and she said it had been pretty crummy.  We talked about each other’s days and the she said, “Wow, Jacob, you sound just like Laura.”

As I continued to tell her about different problems and perspectives about loneliness and solitude, she continued to say, “Jacob, I can’t believe this, you are just like Laura, except in male form.”

Sharon continued to bless me.  She read scripture to me and everything just made so much sense.  She said that Laura needs a friend and that it should be me.  I began to cry.  I do need a friend and I want it to be Laura.  She went to the fair tonight with Melissa’s boyfriend Mitchell.  She wasn’t there to talk to.  I told Sharon I would try to call tomorrow after my auditions.

We said our goodbyes and once I hung up tears rolled down my face.

Can this happen Lord?  Can Laura be my best friend?  Can she be the closest person to me after you?

Can she God?

Please…

August 17, 1996 – Saturday – 1:10 a.m.

My birthday.

I got my hair cut this morning.  Then went to some RA training workshops.  I put the name tags up on my hall.  There was a picnic for the RAs that evening.  And then that night Debbie and I went to see Courage Under Fire.  Actually, I guess it’s still tonight.  We’ve been talking a lot.  She seems cool.  She likes movies a lot, so we get along great.

We went to Wildcat Lake and talked for close to an hour on the swings.

We just got back.

And I am now twenty.

I never thought I would actually make it this far, but here I am.

I looked ahead in Rebecca St. James devotional book today and found a letter she had written to her future husband.  She told him, not knowing really who he is, that she loves him already and is saving herself for him.

This blessed my soul, for I too am a virgin.  Sure, there were moments where Jeni and I went a little too far, so I can’t say I’m completely innocent, but Jesus was there, protecting us from going any further.  I learned from those moments and I am moving on.

A new decade of my life begins.

I asked for someone who would simply like to watch a movie with me.  Debbie is here and I am thankful.

But to my future wife I write:  “I will stay faithful to you, even before we meet.  I love you already.”

April 21, 1996 – Sunday – 8:10 p.m.

A hard day, but I learned so much.  My lip hasn’t gotten much better.  I felt really light headed this morning.  During the service, Molly and her friend Autumn sang a beautiful song.  The pastor gave a great sermon.  In Sunday School we learned about the last days and this afternoon I read the play Shadowlands.  All of this came together in my mind to form one central truth about life:

Real life hasn’t yet begun.

As I slept last night in my most wonderful bed with my teddy in my arms, I dreamt.

I dreamt of a girl.  She is 16, she has long black hair, she attends my church and goes by the name of Laura.  In this dream, just her and I were free, in a very nice car, driving out west.

We were in Arizona.  All we did was drive and talk.  We were a couple; the most perfect couple that ever existed.  By the end of the dream I dropped her off at a campsite.  A sign was posted at the entrance saying, “Laura Loves Someone.”

She walked up the trail and looked back and smiled.

I knew that someone was me.  My lip was even healed.  Life was perfect.  But my dream ended.  Sunday morning had arrived.  I was in North Carolina.

It took me a while to clean my lip of all the dry, crusted, saliva.  I finally made it to church, feeling very weak.  I discovered another odd something growing in my mouth.  I didn’t know what it was and I still don’t.

I grew very stressed.  I went to the bathroom and prayed.  During the service I was unable to sing.  Everyone kept asking me how I was doing.  I simply said, “Not too good.”

Jim’s sermon was on the third chapter of Ecclesiastes.  There’s a time for everything.  Good times.  Bad times.  It all equals out to be even.  Therefore my problems with my lip will be evened out with something good later.  Just like the terrible week I had before Spring Break was awarded with Arizona.  It helped me to handle my health problems better.

I saw Laura, but she did not speak to me.  She even came to Lees-McRae today to play tennis; Molly and others came as well.  I didn’t see them much though.  I had to read Shadowlands and go to the PA year end work call.

Which reminds me of last night.  Don had a party with a live band and all.  Don is our Technical Director.  He’s really cool.  I worked for three hours then went to the RA banquet.  When that was over, I went to the library, then came back here.

Earlier today though, as I read Shadowlands, was so special.  That play has so much truth.  This world is only the shadowlands of what is to come.  Shadows exist because of light.

April 17, 1996 – Wednesday – 1:30 p.m.

Four months from today, I will no longer be considered a teenager.

This afternoon after lunch, myself, Dan, Allen, Vince, and Charlie and took a small adventure into the past that I, nor Dan, Allen, and Vince were a part of.  The five of us snuck into the Old Tennessee Dorm.  It’s been shut up for the past two years.  Charlie lived there during his Sophomore year, the last time it was in use.  His roommate was Steven.  We all went to his old room on the third floor and their two names were still on the door.

It was a haunting sight.

In less than three weeks, Charlie’s time at Lees-McRae will be finished.  I am staying for his graduation.  I wouldn’t miss it for the world.  He was the first person I met here.  He immediately took me in, welcomed me, mentored me, and inspired me.  He has taught me and he has made me laugh.  He’s also made me cry.  If it were not for him, I would not be where I am today.  It’s because of him that I attend Heaton Christian Church.  It’s because of him that I’m an RA.  It’s because of him that I know Sharon and her loving family.  Through Charlie, the Lord welcomed me into a new family, the same exact minute I walked into this very Residence Hall.

That is the goodness of God.  He makes those transitions in life and should be insanely difficult, as simple as walking through a door and saying hello.

If you ever read this Charlie, I love you man!

April 10, 1996 – Wednesday – 2:35 p.m.

Last night around 9:00 p.m. I studied my lines with Ray and Kelly.  They are in my Acting II class.  Then Kelly began talking about how she wished she could only act in Christian drama because that is what she loves to do.  I couldn’t believe it.  We talked about tons of Christian music and different things.  I invited her to church, she told me to call her.

I talked to Craig last night.  He wanted to tell me that the only reason I didn’t get the Assistant RD position was because of my class rank.  Both Casey and I were highly qualified, but he was going to be a senior and I will only be a junior.  He says if I re-apply next year he can almost guarantee that I’ll get the job!

So, here I am, already looking at things that deal with my senior year.  So close.  That means graduation is close.  That means…that means…a whole new world, a whole new lifetime, a whole new and different storm has begun to brew outside my window.

February 17, 1996 – Saturday – 8:17 p.m.

In six months I will leave my teenage years.  I will have been alive for two decades.

There was a lot of snow on the ground today.  Dan had a ski race and he won as usual.

Lindy and I have a presentation due tomorrow in our Creative Process class.  So she came over today and we worked on it together.  I wish she would notice me more.  But we had a great talk and she’s a good friend.

I took my break from being on Duty at 4:00 p.m. and Curtis and Dan and I took a drive into parts of the country that we haven’t seen before.  All of it was white.  That simple drive made my day so wonderful.  I find an insane amount of peace just staring out a car window.  The hum of the road and the beauty outside.  Good friends right next to you.  Is there anything better?

I often feel alone when I stuck on duty and everyone is out, but I also guess I like it that way.  I like myself and I’m comfortable with myself.

I watched Forrest Gump this evening.  That movie teaches so much.

I wonder where my life will take me.

In 20 days it will take me to Arizona.  But after that, who knows.  I just want to do my best for the Lord.  I often forget about the simple joys.  I want to be free.

I can do my best in Bearclaw.  I can do my best in my school work.   I can do my best in loving people.

Thank you Lord for giving me everything I need to be the best I can be.

February 16, 1996 – Friday – 11:35 p.m.

So much to say, but hard to write.

There was a “great legs” contest here at school.  A member of the student government was allowed to nominate someone from each gender, they took a pictures of your legs and then put it on a jar and had all the jars on display in the cafeteria.  The way you voted for your favorite pair of legs was to put money in the jar.

Well, Lisa nominated me and it ended today.  I won for the guys.  So, I guess when I’m old I can tell my grandchildren that when I was a sophomore in college I was voted for having the greatest legs on campus.

I’m on duty again.  And everyone is gone.  I’m here looking after an empty dorm with literally no one to talk to; no one to share my amazing legs with.

Oh, the irony.

Bearclaw opens next weekend.

When will true love come?

December 12, 1995 – Tuesday – 9:00 p.m.

I just got finished with my Make-up exam.  I made vince an old Chinese guy.  It was really fun.  He looked really different.

I am on duty tonight.  I have a hunch that my PA and RA situations are causing a problem.  My duty nights are Tuesday and I have one weekend a month.  But Performing Arts interferes with that, and there are times when I have to put Residence Life to the side.  Charlie told me tonight that they are going to talk to me about it.  I hope I can still do both.

Sharon called me tonight and invited Vince and I over tomorrow.  That will be fun.

My brother and my mom called me up today.  Kevin is home.  They are going to come up Sunday to see the show and take me home.  A week later I will visit Virginia for a day and then stay in Siler City until January 4th.

A very short vacation.  A new semester will begin, perhaps new stories.

I am all alone.

I have a monologue I need to write out phonetically so I will sit here and do that in my perfect solitude.

Praise you Jesus.

Thank you for making me strong.

And thank you for the beautiful snow today.

September 26, 1995 – Tuesday – 12:35 p.m.

Antigone opens tonight.  I am excited!

Sunday was really great for me.  I went over to Crystal and Clifton’s house.  Jason and Sean were there.  We watched Houseguest.  Crystal sat next to me.  We were close.  That girl is beautiful.  We all came over here to my dorm room.  The five of us joked around.  They are the greatest!

Yesterday, I got a chance to talk to two different people about Jesus.  It was awesome!  Also, Rachel asked me if I was going to apply for the Assistant Resident Director position next year.  That’s Charlie’s job now.  I told her yes, but then I asked why she asked.  She said that Craig and Allison say that I am the best male RA and Rachel is the best female RA.

The next day, as I rested quietly on my bed, I realized the prayers that I prayed all summer were being answered.  Prayers of being the best RA and the best actor that I could possibly be.  When I realized the Lord had heard my prayer, I cried.

My God loves me and he takes care of me.  He gave me a role in Antigone.  He gave me all these wonderful guys in my Residence Hall.  He gave me everything.

Syndi and I went to Boone last night to get some coffee and hot chocolate from Beanstalk.  We also went to see Dana, from the  High Falls youth group, who goes to App. State.  What was funny was right when we got there, a lot of her friends were arriving and they were throwing her a surprise birthday party.  Bradley was there too.  Syndi and I stayed for a little while.

I got a voice-mail message from my brother this morning.  He said he wanted to come up here and see me this weekend.  I called him back and told him to come on up.  I love my brother.

I love my family.

I got a letter from Barbie yesterday.  She is doing great.  I hope I get a letter from Emily soon.  Lisa sat with me at lunch today.

The leaves are beginning to change.

Autumn is here.

September 15, 1995 – Friday – 10:17 a.m.

Last night Craig and I had to write up a guy on my wall named Joey for having a bottle of whiskey in his room.  It was interesting and sort of fun.

Wednesday night after rehearsal and FCA I went with Jeff, Vince, and Allen to Beech Mountain.  We ran up a ski slope to a fountain and gazebo and then found the Land of Oz.  It’s like a different world up there.

436_Oz-Road

They are pretty cool guys.  Vince and Allen are from New York.  Jeff is from Richmond, Virginia.  And Dan is from West Virginia.  I might go home with Dan for fall break.  I haven’t decided yet.

On Wednesday I went up to Syndi’s room to give her my calculator.  She said she doesn’t see me anymore.  I said, “Well, the other day you said you didn’t like people assuming we were a couple and you wanted to put up a sign saying so, so by staying away I just put up the sign for you.”

She laughed and shook her head.  Which were two opposing messages.  Will I ever understand women?

I’m looking forward to the weekend so I can catch up on some homework.  I believe tomorrow I’m going to go to Boone to audition for being extras in some movies being shot in the region.

This 9th Book of Days here has covered two months already and I’m just halfway through.  I thought everything in this little green notebook would be about Emily, but I was wrong.  Syndi came along, but perhaps she has already left.

And now…

Well, I just take it a day at a time, making new friends, striving to be a better actor, and loving the Lord.

Please be with me Father.  Please stay close.