June 17, 1998 – Wednesday – 4:30 p.m.

I turn 22 in two months.

The final pages of this Book of Days seem to be falling out.  I hope this journal stands the test of time and still has all it’s pages whenever I or someone else reads it.

I haven’t written since Saturday.  The weekend didn’t turn out that great, but all is well. Everyone seemed to understand while the visit was difficult for me.  I did get to see Sarah a little bit, but not much.  Nevertheless, I am home.  This place is home for ten more days.

When Lindy dropped me off on Sunday there was a strange car in the driveway.  I walked into the house and there stood a beautiful and curvy dark-haired girl.  She was looking at me.  I had never seen her before.

It turns out, she and her mom were looking at buying our house, or possibly renting it.  The girl is only 15, but she looks 18 or 20.  Her name is Shana and we talked the whole afternoon.  She’s pretty neat; she said she would call me.

Emily have talked an average of twice a week recently and I’ve been hanging out with Marcus and Peter quite a bit.  These days have been nice.

I bought Sarah a small Bible and had her name engraved on it.  I wrote a special goodbye in it and will give it to her on the last night I see her before I leave: June 26, 1998.  What a night that will be!  Will that be the end or just the beginning?

“Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”

“Soon it will be time to go out to the places I will be from.”

I’ve learned a hard lesson these past few weeks:  all these people and places that I’ve loved for so long….none of them are really mine.

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June 13, 1998 – Saturday – 11:07 a.m.

Things aren’t good.  I don’t feel happy.  I came to visit this place and it’s people.  They tell me they love me, but in reality my time here is over.  I am a “has been.”  This place is different now, for it seems Allen and Vince drink way too often, and even once Sarah returned to this land I felt a distance from her that I felt during the semester.

We talked a little last night, and I don’t think I’ll see her much this weekend.  This land is still new to her, she wants to visit with her friends who have stayed up here for Summer Theater, and I don’t want to compete for her time or attention.

I’m pretty miserable, for I no longer have my own room or place to go.  Lindy wants to stay up here longer and doesn’t want to take me back home now.  I’m not sure if Sarah or Jessi do either.  I feel like a burden, like extra baggage.

I’m staying over at Charlie’s.  The guys know I’m here, but they already made plans for the weekend and aren’t changing them.

I simply shouldn’t have come.

May 10, 1998 was a wonderful ending.  Now I fear this weekend will be all I see when I remember this place.  If this is how it will be from here on out, I don’t want to visit this place again.

I’d rather it live in on my memory…in my dreams.

June 9, 1998 – Tuesday – 2:00 p.m.

After church on Sunday I went to visit Jenna and Tenielle.  Jenna was at home, but Tenielle was at work.  Jenna was still beautiful and very nice to me.  Tenielle was rude and kept saying I never called or wrote to her.

“I’m here now,” I said, but she didn’t care.  I’ll try to see them again at least once before I leave.

I talked to Cheryl for a decent amount of time at church on Sunday night.  She is doing really well, and I’m super glad to see that.  However she said that Ryan and Amy weren’t doing really well spiritually.

Peter came over yesterday.  We played Nintendo, just like the good old days.  Sarah called that even saying that Jessi was going to come see her and they were driving up to the mountains to visit, which is exactly what I am doing with Lindy (as far as I know).

Marcus came to visit last night and stayed until midnight.  Right after he left, Emily called and we talked for exactly four hours straight.  Both of us laughed, and both of us cried.  We complemented each other.  She was so good to me.  I talked to her about Sarah and she talked to me about Brandon and how much she was hurting.  I tried to explain to her how I was trying to handle Sarah and I since I was leaving.  I told her how honest I was with her.

Emily said I was doing everything right.  She said she could just go on with her life, just knowing that I was alive.  She says I do so much for her, but all I do is exist.  I just exist, but that is all that she wants.  She only wants me to alive, healthy, and happy.  Is that the truest kind of love?

As I was talking to Emily, I accidentally called her Sarah.  Oops.  It seems Emily and I have a perfect relationship.  We stand in awe of how amazing it is.

Thank you God.

Why did you give me so many amazing relationships?

June 7, 1998 – Sunday – 12:40 a.m.

To me it is still Saturday.  Today was supposed to be the day Sarah and I went to Carowinds to see Rebecca St. James and Cindy Morgan in concert, but Sarah got really sick with Strep Throat on Thursday.  I went to see her on Friday and spent nearly every second with her all weekend until just now.  We snuggled most of Friday; she would fall in and out of sleep and I would just be next to her and tickle her back.

We went to see The Truman Show today after she started feeling a bit better.  What a brilliant movie!

Mason was in Greensboro today, so he stopped to visit us at Sarah’s house.  It was nice to see him.  He had a girl with him; someone he has been seeing from Tweetsie Railroad.  The four of us went out to eat together.

Sarah and I had a difficult time when it came time for me to leave.  We have only 20 days left.  Then I will leave and neither of us knows what will happen.

June 3, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:00 p.m.

I just got back from church.  You know, I’m really beginning to miss Lees-McRae.  It can never again be like it was.  Vince, Dan, Allen, Curtis, Charlie, Justin, Josh, etc.; I don’t think I’ve ever had better friends.  Lindy, Tracey, Jeni, Abigail, Ann-Marie, Jessica, Ashley, Ellen, Jessi, Sherlive; I don’t think I’ve ever known sweeter girls.

Except for Sarah, of course.

And I know the God who designed their souls, who drew out the patterns in their eyes, who knew those very eyes would one day shoot daggers through my own soul.

A week from tomorrow I will be leaving to visit them all again with Lindy.

I feel Sarah has changed since she has returned home and taken her job at YMCA.  She seems more mature.  I like it.  I think about her constantly.  I want her forever; to grow old with her.  To simply experience everything by her side.

I will soon go a long time without seeing her, but I will never go a long time without loving her.

I’ve been thinking and I believe that my life has stages.  God plans on using me in different places, different areas, and in each area, in each place, he just wants to watch me interact with and love the other people he has made.  He wants me to experience his creation.  He made me to show me off, and he made others to show them off.

But each stage will eventually come to an end, and the love between us will be all that will live on.

Nothing truly dies.

The Emmanuel Players skit group was a time.

Chatham Central High School was a time.

Lees-McRae College was a time.

Heaton Christian Church was a time.

South Africa will be a time.

Regent University will be a time.

And possibly, some day, I will satisfy these desires in me to make movies, to make theater, to write, and I will move on to what’s next.

It’s funny though, because through all of these stages, I feel they came to a peak when God showed me Sarah.  Or perhaps it feels that way because I’m currently in this moment.  Perhaps she is just here to aid in the transition to the next stage.

If I never see Sarah again after South Africa, all will still be well for the rest of my life, for I know I at least had seven great months by her side.

And even an hour is way more than I deserve.

May 31, 1998 – Sunday – 5:30 p.m.

On Friday I needed another $700 to meet a payment for South Africa.  I prayed and prayed, but only $75 came in the mail yesterday.  But they took a love offering for me at church today and I received $1,575.25.

That is well over $700!

Thank you God.

I spent half of yesterday with Sarah.  We ate at her dad’s house and watched some old home videos.  I laughed for hours.  We then went to see The Horse Whisperer, it was a beautiful movie.

I didn’t leave Sarah’s house until 3:00 a.m.  We just spent our time constantly affirming each other.  I am in love with her.  It blows my mind.

I am in love with God.

I am in love with Jesus.

He is the only way to go.

May 27, 1998 – Wednesday – 11:30 a.m.

I received a letter from Emily yesterday.  It was very sad.  Her break up with Brandon has destroyed her.  She has been with him for as long as she has known me.  I talked with her over the phone for an hour and a half.  She cried the entire time.

She is such a beautiful girl with a very tender heart.  She doesn’t like the world and refuses to let her harden her.

I talked to Sarah yesterday too, and she isn’t enjoying her job.  She was down as well.

I’ve been praying for both of them.

I can’t believe this month is over.

Lees-McRae is over.

I feel my life drastically changing under my own feet.  What lies behind me was unbelievable, but I still feel there is more for me.

Oh God, you are doing this…not me.

I miss Sarah.  I miss the guys.  I miss me when I’m with them.