June 29, 1995 – Thursday – 9:25 p.m.

I worked over 10 hours today.

I came home and laid in my bed and did nothing.  I finally got up and fixed myself something to eat.  I got on the phone and dialed Michelle’s number.

She wasn’t there.

I talked to her brother.

It was very strange.  My voice was in her house.  I found in joy in that.

Stranger Unaware is a play on the words of Hebrews 13:2.  I am writing this screenplay, because I desperately want it to be a reality.  I need a special friend.

June 21, 1995 – Wednesday – 10:35 p.m.

I was about an hour late to work today, but it turned out okay.

I have mapped out the rest of my summer.  I’ll write it in here.  Let’s see if it goes as planned:

I will work the next couple of weeks every day except for Tuesdays and Sundays.  Then on July 12th, I’ll leave for Fishnet ’95.  I will return on the 16th, leaving for Deep Creek on the 17th.  We will come back on the 22nd, a Saturday, in time for church on the following day.  From the 24th of July until the 3rd of August, I’ll work every day except for Sunday.  And on the weekend of August 4th, I plan to visit Emily in Florida.  I’m not sure when I’ll return, but I spend the remainder of that time getting ready for my sophomore year at Lees-McRae College.

Fifty-four days remain until I return to my world.  I pray that this is the last summer I spend here.  The Lord is preparing my heart to return to Banner Elk.  I learned so much at church tonight.

Philippians 3:13 says, “…forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before.”

The past needs to be forgotten.

Only now and the future exist.

I went for a walk on the railroad tracks after church tonight.  There was lightening in the air, lightning bugs all around, and light in my heart.

You are changing me Lord!

June 30, 1994 – Thursday – 11:47 a.m.

I don’t know how to begin.  I’m so happy!

About six hours ago I woke up to take Kevin to work.  I stayed there and ate and then I went down to the gas station.  It was around 7:30 a.m. then.  I used the pay phone and dialed my most favorite number in the world.

Jenna answered.

“What did you call for?” she asked.

“I called because I’ve been thinking about what you said last night.”

“I wrote you a letter.”

“Well, are you busy today, ’cause I need to talk to you.”

She tells me about some doctor’s appointment at 10:30 a.m.  Her mom says it is okay if I come now.

So I put $4 of gas in the car and head down U.S. 1 towards Cameron.

When I get there we go outside and talk.  Just the three of us: Jenna, Tenielle, and Jacob.

This is what I told them:

“I know this might sound stupid, but the reason I’ve sort of been away is because I was selfish.  I figured that if I stray away and forget about you guys then when I leave it wouldn’t hurt as much.  But now I realize how stupid I was.  I was throwing away all of the times we spent together.  I’m so sorry.  I was wrong and I see that now.”

They forgave me.  I had my camera with me and we took a bunch of pictures of ourselves together.  We were all so happy; we jumped on the trampoline.

“Do you feel it guys?  It’s warm!”  I said.  “The last time jus the three of us were on this trampoline, the world was cold.”

We went in and went into their room.  I don’t even remember what was said, but we had a blast.  Ginger came in and said, “Jacob you should have heard them talking.  They missed you and you weren’t even gone yet.  And at least now they seem happy.  When it was just Kevin and Marcus over here Sunday night, they seemed gloomy.  You know how to have a much better time.”

Then she goes on to tell me that if I was with them Sunday night in Fayetteville that Kevin and Marcus would not have gotten in much trouble because it would have looked like a group and not two couples.

Jenna and Tenielle agreed.

“Well,” I said.  “Kevin and Marcus don’t like it when I’m there and they want to hang out with you.”

Tenielle said, “Well they’ll have to get over it!”

Then they all asked me to come over more often just on my own.  They asked me to come over tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday.

I told them that if it was Saturday or Sunday that Kevin or Marcus would be with me.

Tenielle rolled her eyes and snarled her nose when I said that.  I couldn’t believe it.

We joked around some more and I took more pictures.  They were going to some woman’s house at 9:30 a.m., then leaving from there to go to the Doctor’s.  Their mom went on ahead and I drove them later.  We stopped on the way and took another picture.

We got to the woman’s house.  Her name is Sally, one of Ginger’s friends.  Tenielle threw her arm my neck and said, “See my buddy, Sally!”

When we said our goodbyes, I hugged them.  They wanted me to come over later today around 1:30 p.m., but Marcus was here at the house alone.

Jenna gave me her letter while I was at their house.  She said I could read it, but that I couldn’t say anything to her after I read it.

Here’s the letter:

Jacob,

I’m sorry, but you make me upset!  I really miss you as a friend.  I know you just want to leave and live a new life, but I don’t want to lose you.  You probably don’t even care or don’t even want to worry about it, but I feel like I don’t know you anymore.  I want to know what’s going on in your life.  Jacob, I love you and I don’t want our friendship to end.  This means a lot to me, even if you don’t care.  Please tell me how you feel about all this.  Sorry for telling you my problems.

Love ya,

Jenna

P.S. You’re someone I can really trust, but you’re just not there for me.  Please look up these verses:

Proverbs 17:17

Proverbs 18:24

John 15: 13-15

I Love U

After reading that, I laid my head on her shoulder, “That was sweet Jenna.”

A minute later she got up and left the room.

I matter to them.  They care.  Oh God…why did I move away from their precious lives?  Bring us closer together Lord in these last 59 days.

Very close.

So close that 170 miles couldn’t keep us apart.

Someone here still needs me.

I told them today:

“I don’t think I’ve ever been happier.”