September 17, 1993 – Friday – 8:39 p.m.

I just need to pray.

Father, you are the best thing that has ever come into my life.  Without you I would probably be dead.  I love you God.  I love you Jesus.  And I suppose I love myself, but I sure don’t like myself.

I used to like who I was.  I used to be someone I would actually look up to, but not anymore. I’ve changed, and maybe I can point the finger at these teenage years.  But I don’t want to change.  I want to be the old me.  I want to like myself again.

Recently, I’ve been thinking in ways that I shouldn’t.  I’ve let other things come before my relationship with you.  I don’t want to be like this anymore.

I know you have a plan for my life.  You have called me.  Yet, I know I can’t move on unless I get rid of this pride, this way that I look down on people that are different than me.  I hate it.  I’m upset with myself.  What have I become?

Who I am now is not who I want to be.

I want to like myself again.  No more pride.  No more junk.

Only you.  I want to quit complaining and appreciate life again.  Lord, I repent and ask you to forgive me.  I want to live holy in your presence.  Holy, pure, honest!

I need you God.  Do a work in me.  Change me so I can live with myself and enjoy being around myself.

Please God.



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.”


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.


“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.

August 20, 1993 – Friday – 11:25 p.m.

Tonight at work I did something so funny.  After I got off, I went up to the counter and ordered a hamburger with extra cheese.  You know, as opposed to just ordering a cheeseburger.  I knew the woman running the cashier so she played along.  The grill order went back and John, the manager, picked it up.

Now John is the man.  He knows what he is doing every second and around every corner.  You don’t mess with John because he can run the whole place with one hand tied around his back.

So John picks up the order and calls out to his crew, “Hamburger, extra cheese!” without giving it a second thought.  Now John is supposed to have it all together and when he said that the place just died laughing.  He tried to cover it up, but it was so funny.

School starts in 56 hours.


Two days of summer are left.

Tomorrow, I’m going to singing practice, then the swimming shindig, then shopping, then to Ryan’s house for children’s church practice, then to skit practice, then to youth group, and then home.  Sunday is church!  Then school.  Oh boy.

But to tell the truth, I’m actually looking forward to it.

August 18, 1993 – Wednesday – 11:45 a.m.

Yesterday we went to the zoo.

It was myself, Scott C., Scott T., Ruby, Laura, Elizabeth, Nate, Cheryl, Anne, Ryan, and Amy.

I had a lot of fun.  Afterwards, we went to Fayetteville and saw Aladdin at a dollar theater.  We picked up Christi on the way there.  She’s back from New York.

The last time I saw that movie was with Veronica.  It brought back a lot of memories.  A lot of good memories.

Cheryl rode with me back to Sanford.  She said that she knew something I didn’t about Ryan, and it deals with me.  It doesn’t matter anymore.  I care, but it’s not important.

We went to McDonald’s after we got to Sanford.  They were talking about everything you could think of.  Both Christi and Ryan said they were ready to get married.  Then Christi said she just wanted to fall in love, but she knew she had some more growing up to do.

Then I said, “I just want to grow up and make movies for the rest of my life.”

Cheryl thought I said “babies.”

That is only part of my future dream.  Here is the full version:

I want to graduate high school and then go to a film school and learn everything there is to know about film and filmmaking.  Then I want to write books, novels, short stories, plays, scripts, you name it.  And I want to make movies.  Overall, I want to be a storyteller.

I want to tell stories is so many different ways for the rest of my life.

And some where in between all that, I want to find that special someone to share all the joy and all the happiness and all the love with.

And I know now that will be neither Ryan nor Christi.

And I want to have a little girl, and I want to see her grow up and have so many boys go crazy over her, and I want, one day, to give her away in marriage.

I also want to have a boy and want to watch him grow up and fall in love as well.

But above all of that, above everything else, there is one day I am looking forward to.  And that is the day I die, because:

The mountains are steep
And the valleys low
Already I’m weary
But I have so far to go
Oh, and sorrow holds my hand
And suffering sings me songs
But when I close my eyes
I know to whom I belong
Who makes me strong

I will be free
I will be free to run the mountains
I will be free
Free to drink from the living fountain
Oh, I’ll never turn back
‘Cause He waits for me
Oh, I will be free

A wise man, a rich man
In pauper’s clothes
A shepherd to lead us
Through the land of woes
Though many battles I have lost
So many rivers yet to cross
But when my eyes behold the Son
Who bore my loss, who paid the cost

I will be free
I will be free to run the mountains
I will be free
Free to drink from the living fountain
Oh, I’ll never turn back
‘Cause He waits for me
Oh, I will be free

Oh, and I’ll dance on silver moonlight
And I’ll walk through velvet fields
Oh, and I’ll run into the arms
The arms that set me free

I will be free
I will be free to run the mountains
I will be free
Free to drink from the living fountain
Oh, I’ll never turn back
‘Cause He waits….
I’ll never turn back
Don’t you ever turn back
Because someday, someday we’re gonna see
We will be free

-Cindy Morgan

August 4, 1993 – Wednesday – 11:34 p.m.

Everyone was at church tonight, even Cheryl.  She is back from Ohio.  Christi was there, but she is leaving Friday to go see Jason in Pennsylvania and then she is going to New York.  I stood next to her while we were singing on stage tonight.  Every time my arm touched her body chills flowed through my body.  I wonder if she felt the same thing?

I’m going to Virginia this weekend.  It is my dad’s birthday so I should go see him.  Kevin isn’t going.  At first I didn’t want to go because I didn’t want to miss church, but the next chance I get to see dad will probably be Christmas.  That’s not fair to him.  Christi wouldn’t be there this weekend either.

But that’s not the reason I’m going.  Seriously, it’s not.

Shurbie preached tonight.  It was awesome.  God is so big.  I love Him.  It is the last days guys.  I can just watch the news and that confirms it.  These are definitely the last days.

August 4, 1993 – Wednesday – 2:21 p.m.

Yesterday mom wanted me to take Nate to the library.  I did, and then afterwards we went to the park and swang or swung, uh, well we went swinging.  It was fun.

That simple joy made my day.  After that I drove up an old dirt road that took me to the forest up above where I used to live.  Those woods were my playground in my youth.  There were two deep gullies that Danny, Peter, Kevin, and myself used to play in.  There were also these enormous rocks we would climb.

It has been six years since I played there.

Yesterday, as I stood on those large rocks, I spoke to my old playground.  I know it sounds crazy, but this is what I said:  “Thank you for letting me and my friends play here.  But the priorities of my life have changed now.  I have to move on to live a life of work and love.”

That’s what I said, isn’t that strange.  I’m weird.

But I still know those woods like the back of my hand.  I easily found my playground after six years.  It was still there and is waiting for another little group of friends to come and enjoy the deep gullies and large rocks.

I’m sure I’ll return again one day and stand on that rock and once again say, “Thank you.”

August 2, 1993 – Monday – 8:50 p.m.

I worked tonight and Tina was there.  She said that her daughter was staying up late and that she couldn’t get up early enough to work at the other place she was working, so she was gonna stick with McDonald’s.

John, a manager, came up while she was talking to me.  She said, “You know John, if you take Jacob out of a McDonald’s Uniform and put him in some decent clothes, he is very sexy!  I saw him the other night, he was all dressed up, and Jacob, let me tell you, you looked sexy!”

To my memory that is the first time someone who is not related to me has said something like that.  I never thought of myself as sexy.

My senior year starts in about 20 days.


I’ve come so far.  Yet, my whole life is still ahead of me.

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.