November 17, 1994 – Sunday – 10:55 a.m.

I’m in the passenger’s seat of Jeni’s car.  We’re headed back to Lees-McRae.  It’s raining.

I’ve enjoyed my stay here.  It was a good Thanksgiving.

Last night Jeni and I were talking; she was telling me how sometimes she gets impatient when thinking about us.  She said she knows she still has to wait four years until she can be my wife.  The comment made me feel a little uncomfortable so I asked her if she would ever let me propose to her.  She said, “Of course, Jacob, the final decision will be yours.”

Then as we talked some more I told her I was scared.  I was scared because although I would like to spend the rest of my life with her, I’m still not sure if it will happen since I am so young.  I just wanted to play it safe.

That made her doubt.  “I just realized who I am to you Jacob.  And who you are,” she said.

“Who are we?”

“You have hardly dated people before.  How am I supposed to know that the feelings you have for me are as strong as the feelings I have for you?!”

I immediately turned over (we were lying on my bed in the sewing room) and faced the wall.  My heart had been stabbed.

“Don’t cry Jacob.”

I began to cry.

“Jacob…”

“Just hold me.”

She held me.

“What does that mean, ‘I never dated anybody?'” I asked.  “I’ve been hurt many times in my life Jeni.  There are many other girls I’ve had affections for.”

“I know Jacob.”

“Jeni, when I said what I said about playing it safe I didn’t mean it to be bad.  We’re young.  Just let it be love.  Let’s be free.  All I want is to go through each day and love you.  That’s all I ask.  That’s all I want.  And if this continues and years pass then I would very much like to be your husband.  But we have a long time until then.  I was praying earlier today.  And I asked God if you were the one he had set apart for me.  I told Him I was going to take a step of faith and the next phrase that entered into my mind I would believe were His words.  But before I could even finish the phrase He told me that I already knew.  And the answer was ‘yes.’  And I instantly doubted it, but not because I don’t want to be with you, but because while I know it in my heart, my mind doubts because I have been hurt so many times.  I am expecting you to hurt me, but you never do.  And sometimes it’s hard to accept the fact that the one thing I want the most, wants me in return.”

“Thank you Jacob.  You are so much wiser than me.”

See, Jeni dreams a lot and she knows it.  I am a dreamer too, but I don’t tell everyone about it.

She was getting ready to leave and go to bed, but I asked her to stay and hold me a little longer.

She did and I prayed for us.  I started to cry.  God is so good to me.  Jeni held me and tears rolled from my eyes.

I love her.

We are in Kentucky now.  It’s raining very hard.  Jeni’s dance concert is tomorrow night and Tuesday.

My life continues.  It never stops.  Jeni and I grow closer every day.  Each day is full of simple love.

And we still dream.

My heart has a burden for the world.  I want to show the love of Jesus through story and film.  Jeni wants to serve.

We dream, but these are not Winter Dreams.

They are hardly summer dreams.

They are our lives.

A reality.

Advertisements

March 12, 1994 – Saturday – 11:45 p.m.

My original plans for this day fell through.  But what happened today was more wonderful than I could ever imagine.

We went out on the Bus Ministry and then Scott and Marcus and I went to Christi’s house, to see what Andy was doing.  Christi had a friend over and the three of them plus they’re mom were going to have a picnic outside.  I borrowed Andy’s Roller Blades and Christi took the time out to ride Andy’s bike down the road while I rollerbladed.  We had a nice talk.  She seems to be doing well.

Andy was busy, so we went to Fayetteville and just looked around.  Back at youth group, I saw that Jonathan came in with Kevin.

The service was great, but Jenna and Tenielle didn’t show up.  It seems like I’m their only way there.

Well, stuff happened at youth group.  A lot of stuff.

Two people got demons cast out of them.  One was a 15-year-old girl.  The other was Jonathan.  He got set free from Dungeons & Dragons, pot, and unforgiveness towards his father.  Afterwards, he was crying and for the first time in my life I held his hand and felt his pain.  I sort of know what he has been through by what he has told me, but it hit me then.  I cried like a baby.

I cried and cried.

How do people survive such pain?

I’m back guys.  The youth group is back!  I’m going to be the Jacob I used to be; the one I am only when I’m around certain people like Jenna, Tenielle, and Christi.  The ones who bring me joy!

I love you Jesus.

You are the giver of joy!

An eternal joy!

YES!!!!

I love you Lord!

December 9, 1993 – Thursday – 11:01 p.m.

Tonight I went to Nana’s christmas concert at her school.  It was wonderful and she did a great job!

I brought my huge Les Miz painting to show her.  She loved it and said she wanted it.

But I think I’m going to keep it.

Of all my art work, I will keep that one for myself.

I gave her a ride home.

She had to talk to me about her problems she is having with her boyfriend.  She was almost in tears, and Nana hardly ever cries.

Tomorrow, I work again and then after that I’m going to Mr. Gatti’s in Sanford.  The youth group is having an after-basketball get-together since it is a home game.

Saturday will be the usual, I guess.  Sunday we have a special event in Children’s church.  And also, my high school’s Christmas concert is at 3:00 that afternoon.  Marcus is singing in it.

Christmas break starts a week from tomorrow.

1993 has flown by.  Which means 1994 will fly by too.

I wish time would slow down.  Just a little bit.

October 30, 1993 – Saturday – 8:10 p.m.

Yesterday at school there was a memorial service for Mrs. Nance.  The whole school was almost in tears.  I was one of the students who was not.

Christi bought a new Broadway Musical Soundtrack and she recorded a copy for me.  It’s called Miss Saigon.

I thought Les Miserables was sad, and I thought Phantom of the Opera was sad, but Miss Saigon tops them both.

I’ve listened to it almost six times and I’ve gotten chocked up each time.  I balled like a baby the first three times.

I will cry when someone dies in a movie or a play, but I have never cried over a person who has died in real life.  Jonathan said it is because in real life we don’t accept it.

At the wake, or the viewing, whatever you call it, Mrs. Nance didn’t look like Mrs. Nance.  She just wasn’t there.  She wasn’t moving.  She wasn’t breathing.  It looked like someone else’s body.

Afterwards, we went to the lock-in for the youth group.  Kevin came back from college for it and to go to a cross country meet he and Jonathan were going to early Saturday morning.

Ryan and Christi weren’t at the lock-in, but mostly everyone else was.  We watched videos and talked and ate.

Amy and Cheryl told me that Christi wasn’t a part of the church or the youth group anymore.  I’m not sure what that is about.  I haven’t talked to Christi yet.  I have no idea what happened.

Ryan simply had to babysit. 

I slept almost two hours this morning while some people watched Return to Snowy River.  I had an eye appointment at 11:30 a.m. at Wal-Mart.  I went to that and then Marcus and I went to a place called Britt’s in Sanford and boy does that place have one fine waitress.

We ate there because I talked to Hank and Patti earlier and they said they were going to take Christi out to lunch there between her rehearsals for The Sound of Music.  They showed up, but without Christi.  She didn’t have enough time so they grabbed her a burger instead.  

I wanted to talk to her, but I couldn’t.

We came home after that and Henry felt the need to lecture us again.  This time is was on “conversing.”  Yeah, I don’t know either.

At the lock-in there were a lot of junior-high kids there.  Only about half of the original Endtime Warriors were there.  Cheryl said that everyone is leaving and new kids are coming in.  Cheryl is a freshman; she’ll be here for a while.

But she was right.  I received my acceptance letter from Lees-McRae today.  I will be there in less than ten months.

And in 20 days I will see Les Miserables.

September 5, 1993 – Sunday – 1:30 p.m.

I just wept.  Yes, I cried.  Several tears ran down my face just two minutes ago.

I’m in the black chair that sits right in front of my stereo.  I’m listening to the “Piano Music” tape that Scott let me borrow.  I’m wearing a pair of blue jeans and purple shirt.  I guess while I’m getting super specific, I might as well add that my underwear brand is Fruit of the Loom.  I’m barefooted.

The lights were out two minutes ago, but they are on now.

Two minutes ago was the second time I cried tonight.  I cried about seven minutes before that.

Let the story of this night begin:

Marcus and I had a good conversation tonight in my room after we got back from church.  He told me about Angela, “a chapter,” as he refers to her.  He cares a great deal about her.  He gave me an in-depth summary of their past and their friendship.  They are not a couple, but he cares a great deal for her.  After an hour or so, he finished telling me everything he wanted to tell me.

It was my turn.

This is basically what I said:

“Shirley has often told me that Veronica was and is the best thing that has ever happened to me.  And she was right.  With my relationship with Veronica now, oh…I love it so much.  Both of us know how we used to feel for each other and knowing that, we joke around and laugh about the past, still knowing that it was special to each of us.  And sometimes now, I look at her and just thank God for her and how much she has shown me.  She still means a lot to me and she will always have a special place in my heart.”

Then I stopped.  I couldn’t say anything else.  After a minute, I spoke:

“Oh my gosh, Marcus.  I’m crying.  I’ve never cried over her before.  I’ve never cried over any girl before.”

Silence.

Tears rolled down my face, then I said, “Marcus, with my relationship with Veronica, I told her I loved her and it seemed fake and I didn’t like saying it.  Well, about two months ago something happened, and I wrote about it in my journal.”

So, I got my 2nd Book of Days and opened it up to June 28, 1993.  I didn’t read it straight out to him, that would be too embarrassing, but I basically told him what I wrote:

“It was a Monday night and I was at work.  I was working the counter and we didn’t have any customers.  It was quiet.  Then I sort of got a chill in my stomach and I wanted to say something.  But I never did say it.  I went home and was hungry, but I couldn’t eat.  I think I went for a walk, maybe not.  But something I wanted to happen so bad was happening.”

“Which was,” Marcus asked.

I was silent.  “But I never did say it Marcus, even to this day.  Because I’m afraid that it might be fake.  And when and if I ever do say it out loud for the first time, it is not going to be fake.”

“What were you going to say?” he asked.

“You know, and I’m not going to say it because then I’d be saying it.”

“That you love Ryan?”

I laughed.

“But I don’t.” I said.  “She is my Winter Dream.  I’ve always seen her as something I want so badly, but no matter how much I wish, deep down I know that my wish will never come true; Ryan and I will never become anything more than friends.  Which is not bad in and of itself.”

“Why don’t you say it?” Marcus asked.

“I’m afraid.  And I don’t want to admit it too myself because I never thought it would get this far.  I like her too much and I don’t want this to ruin our friendship.  I’m only 17!  I don’t know what love is.  I shouldn’t be able to know.”

“Is she the one, Jacob?”

I didn’t answer.

“Well?”

“I’m not going to say anything.”

“You need to answer the question Jacob.  I want to hear you tell me.”

“As I’ve said, I always thought of her as my Winter Dream, but the Lord has told me twice, once about a year ago and once again on August 27th, that the one for me is the girl I won’t be able to get out of my mind, no matter what.  And I’ll think about her more than I think about myself.”

“Then that’s Ryan!” Marcus said.

“But I’m only 17 Marcus!  I want it, but I don’t!”

“So, you mean down the road?!”

“Yes, but I don’t want to wish for it, because it might not come true.”

We said a little more then said our good nights.  I turned the lights off and sat down.  I pressed play on my stereo.  Piano music filled my room.

I thought of Ryan.

I thought of today in children’s church, when she asked me to help her with the puppet curtain and how we talked about the skit we did in church.  I thought of tonight, and how her green and yellow earring dangled from her left ear while she talked to Cheryl.  I thought of the way she smiled when Rebecca put ice down her shirt.

I thought of Ryan and then I felt a tear on my face.

Another one came and another.

They all poured down.

I was crying over her.

What does this mean?

I cried.