July 6, 1995 – Thursday – 10:05 p.m.

I got paid today.

So, I went to Asheboro.  A storm came up and slowed me down, but I made my way through it.  Thunderstorms occur every evening here.

In Asheboro, I bought $33 worth of T-shirts, boxers, and socks.  I watched Pocahontas and then met up with Mike and his dad to see Judge Dredd.  I enjoyed The Lion King much more than Pocahontas, but I like Pocahontas for mainly one reason, Pocahontas herself.  I know she is only a cartoon, but she is beautiful.  Inside and out.

Banner Elk is in 38 days.

Crestview is in 28.

Deep Creek in 20.

Fishnet in 6.

June 24, 1995 – Saturday – 9:50 p.m.

A lot of little things happened yesterday, both at work and at home.  I finally got a letter from Syndi.  She wants advice.  She doesn’t know whether she should come back to school or not.

As for work, I ran the drive-thru.  A beautiful young girl named Toni backed me up.  She is a swing manager, about 21-years-old, and a couple of weeks ago, a woman who came through the drive-thru saw her and asked her if she ever considered modeling.  Long story short, that woman was a modeling agent and Toni is now modeling.  She is still getting her portfolio together.  She was talking to me yesterday about getting a tattoo.  She was going to go to the same place Jonathan got his nose pierced.  We talked about the place on Yadkin Ave. in Fayetteville and then she asked me if I would like to go with her on Monday.  I told her that I had to work though.  It was good to know she thought of me.

So, time passed and we continued to talk.  And I was shocked to find out she is married and she is a mother.  Her husband is a truck driver and is never home.  He has been sleeping around on her, so she tells me that sex is no longer fun with him after three years of marriage.

This beautiful woman is telling me all of this as I hand out bags of food to every human soul that drives by my window.  I felt sorry for her.  She seems happy, but she deserves better.

Then during lunch time, I ran fries.  While dropping them into the vat, I looked up and saw a familiar face come in the door, but this face did not exist in this world.  Not this world, but from the world I will return to on August 14th.  He was a fellow student on my hall, his name is Eric, and he walked into my McDonald’s on his way to Raleigh.  I went out into the lobby and shook his hand.  We said a few words and he was equally surprised to see me.  He’s actually going to be right next to me.  I’ll be in room 206 and he’ll be in room 208.

After work yesterday, Kevin and I went over to Danny and Peter’s to watch Scent of a Woman.  It was great; very interesting.

Then Friday ended with Kevin and I having a long talk.  He is my great brother.  He has a good spirit.  He wants to do right.  And  I love him.

I worked for eight hours today and then Jonathan and Kevin and I went to the Asheboro Zoo.  Jonathan met a girl at the mall last weekend.  Her name is Misty and she works at the zoo.  She gave us all free passes.  We stayed a few hours and then Kevin and I went shopping, got a bite to eat, and then saw Pocahontas.  I liked it.  It was beautiful and Pocahontas herself was beautiful.

disney-pocahontas

In all the recent Disney films, except The Lion King, two people from different worlds fall in love.  Perhaps the same is happening with Emily and I.

I don’t know what Jonathan is doing.  Mandy still sees him as her boyfriend, yet he says he is seeing both Mandy and Misty.

He is with Misty right now and was with her last night.  Last night he didn’t get home until seven in the morning.

Please protect him Lord.

In six days July will be here.

In six months it’s Christmas

In six years…

June 11, 1995 – Sunday – 11:30 p.m.

Today was a unique day.  First of all, my parents weren’t here at all this weekend.  Henry, mom, and Nate went to Washington, D.C. to see Patty.  Se, with out them things can get a little crazy.  I woke up to find a pile of crap in our bathtub.  It seems our three-legged-cat left a deposit of stinking, digested, 9-Lives Dinner & Lunch Entree in our tub.  It stunk up the whole house.  It took Kevin and I about 40 minutes to get it out.  I almost threw up.  It was so gross.

Marcus took us all to church, but Jonathan had to work, so we dropped him off at Subway.  Church was great.  Pastor Steve talked about becoming a man of God.  It inspired me greatly.  It’s time to begin.  Cheryl was there and she gave me a letter.  She apologized and said that we both have changed, not for better or for worse, but that people grow and people change.  She said that she loved me and she can still see that am I still me, despite however the past year of college grew me as a person.

That letter meant the world to me.  I’m sorry Cheryl.  She also let me borrow her copy of The Lion King.  Kevin went over to the Neals.  Marcus had to work, so the only people here at the house was A.D. and I.  We watched the movie.  I enjoyed it just as much as the other five times I had seen it.  Afterwards, A.D. and I played water guns inside the house and soaked each other as well as everything else that got caught in the crossfire.  We cleaned it all up and then picked Marcus up around 4 o’clock.  We went to pick Jonathan up from work, then the four of us went to Wal-Mart and played Hide & Go Seek.  We had a blast.  But looking around for each other made us look like shoplifters, and some of the staff were looking as us pretty nastily, so we left.  I bought some boxers, just to show that we weren’t trying to steal anything.

It had been raining all afternoon, so we went to Kiwanis park and played in the rain and the mud.  The four of us took off our socks and shoes and waded around in the flooding trails.  We all had a good laugh.

We returned to church that night.  Youth group was rough.  There were some very spiritually immature young kids acting up.  There were moments when I would look over at Tenielle.  Man, I miss her.  So, after the service, I asked her if I could talk to her. She nodded and we went into a room and I said, “Tenielle, I miss you and I love you and I’m sorry.  Please hug me.”

She smiled and hugged me.  I was happy.  I told her that it was so hard to be myself when I am living between two worlds.

I leave my home to go back home in 63 days.

I tried to call Emily when I got home, but she was babysitting at another house.  Those lucky kids!

Deep Creek, Fishnet, and Crestview are coming.  I will soon see Emily smile.  But before that I need to find my own smile and I can only find that in God.  In his presence.  In his house.

Sanford.

Siler City.

Crestview.

Banner Elk.

Heaven.

March 12, 1995 – Sunday – 11:00 p.m.

Let us continue!

Yesterday, I went to Jenna and Tenielle’s.  It was wonderful to be there.  They had The Lion King so we watched it.  That is the 5th time I’ve seen it and the 2nd time with Jenna and Tenielle.  Tenielle braided my hair and experimented with it in other ways while we watched the movie.  Afterwards, Jenna and Tenielle were getting ready to go their separate ways.  Tenielle and a friend were going to be volunteer workers for some pet shop, while Jenna and two other friends were going roller skating.

Jenna needed me to take her and her friends there, so I did.  Then, I went to McDonald’s to see what time Kevin got off work.  He said, 4:30 and it was 2:45 p.m.  So, I went back to the Skating Ranch and skated for an hour.  Jenna’s boyfriend Roy was there.  Just another punk kid I suppose.  But as before, it is all still a game to her.

It felt good to skate there again.  It brought back some old memories.

The key…

ABC…

I love those memories.

That was over a year ago.

I left around 4:00 to go get Kevin and then we came home.

Marcus and Mike came over and we played some Super Nintendo.  Then, Marcus and Kevin and I went to a 9:35 showing of Outbreak.  Mike couldn’t go.  Outbreak is a wonderfully suspenseful movie.

Sunday arrived and I went to church.  Praise and Worship was so amazing.  Ryan and Amy and Cheryl showed up and sat next to me.  Then Jenna, Tenielle and Jenna’s two friends from yesterday came in and they all sat with us.

It was good to hear Pastor Steve preach again.

For the afternoon I went to the Neal’s and watched three movies: Rookie of the Year, Ghost, and Sleepless in Seattle; all movies I had seen only once before.  It was great to just lay back and relax.

John leads the 15-18 year old youth group and it was wonderful.  Tonight he talked about the words we speak and he taught me so much.

It has been a wonderful first two days back.

Yesterday, as Jenna and I were messing and playing around, I accidentally hurt her cheek.  So I kissed it to make it better.

Tonight, as Jenna and Tenielle were leaving, I gave Tenielle a hug and kissed her on her cheek.

The “I will” has switched from a goodbye to a return.

I walked on the railroad tracks tonight and began to thank the Lord for my friends.  Marcus is still the same wonderful Marcus.  Everything is exactly the same in a way, but it is also totally different.

And Jesus had to bring me back here to open my eyes.

I can see Lord.

March 4, 1995 – Saturday – 6:00 p.m.

Another weekend!

The concert was pretty good last night.  The only people who came from G.A.G. were guys.  There was a basketball game going on for the high school, so that’s where a lot of the girls and some of the guys were.  Clifton was there though and I got to sit next to him.

The Laser Tag arena was booked, so we just stayed at the church.  We rented Maverick, but before we watched it, we toilet papered the new pastor’s house as a sort of welcome.  I had lot’s of fun!

It was six in the morning by the time I went to sleep.

After a few hours of sleep, we all had breakfast at Peggy’s and then went to see Jim, the pastor.  He was outside cleaning up the toilet paper, and he was laughing.  He has a great sense of humor.

Clifton, Trae, Jamie, Jim, and Charlie and I played basketball down in the old gym.  I didn’t play that well, but then again, I never do.  Despite being tall, I’m horrible at basketball.

Pastor Jim went home and then we all just hung around in my room and Charlie’s room.  Then later, after they had left, Charlie and I drove over to Sharon’s.  Everyone was there, except for Bob.

Laura said nothing to me.  I suppose February 10th is the closest I will get to my dream.  And that will do.

Hannah baked some cookies for me.  They were yummy.  We ate Tacos and then Charlie and I came back.

The Lion King came out on video yesterday and Hannah is going to invite me over when she gets it.

I got Veronica’s new phone number this morning and I called them.  They live in Arkansas now.  They moved out there the beginning of October.  I talked to Brittany and Scott.  Shirley was asleep and Veronica and Sherry were at cheerleading tryouts.

They have my number now.  Maybe they will call back.

I also talked to my mom today over the phone.  She refreshed my memory.  Although I want to go home for spring break and see all my friends, I know that most of the time I’ll be stuck at home.  I don’t want to work, but I probably will.  Everyone else will be in school.  I also won’t have a car.  But I have no where else to go, so that’s what I will do for spring break.

And that is also where I came from.  Thank you Lord for my home.  And teach me to be more thankful for my family.

Today, as Charlie and I were driving back from Sharon’s, I looked at the beautiful mountains and listened to the soft music that was playing.  And just like the days back in Siler City and Sanford, these days here at my home in Banner Elk may be some of the greatest days I will ever know.

December 24, 1994 – Saturday – 10:30 p.m.

Merry Christmas everyone!

I’m in Virginia.

Dad and Kevin and I went shopping.  I bought Jeni’s Christmas present.  It is a Lion King music box type thing.  It cost me $42. I hope she will like it.

Christmas is tomorrow.

Happy birthday Jesus!

I called Jeni earlier today.  She is going to call me tomorrow.  I can’t wait!

December 4, 1994 – Sunday – 1:15 a.m.

Jeni and I went to a movie in Boone today (Saturday), but first we went to go visit with Dana from the High Falls youth group.  She attends App. State.  We talked a lot and played Taboo for a few hours.  It was a blast!

Disney re-released The Lion King for the Holiday Season, so Jeni and I went to that.  I love that movie so much.  Jeni had never seen it.  She cried.

I thought of Deep Creek; slowly but surely I am discovering and remembering.

We ate at Wendy’s afterwards and then went back home.

It was a great day.  An unbelievable day.

I am in love with Jeni.

That is what consumes my thoughts.

It is difficult to write about anything else.

July 28, 1994 – Thursday – 12:45 a.m.

I’m really tired.  I’ve been playing Super Metroid.  About two hours ago we got back from church, but church got out at 9:00 p.m.  Jonathan and Adrian (Marcus’s little brother) were with us.  I dropped them off at McDonald’s.  There is this little black girl that Kevin is talking to there.  Her name is Sonya.  Marcus and I left.  

For some odd reason I wanted to go to Christi’s to see if I could settle things.  This is the odd reason:  while singing in church I thought of Christi.  I only have 30 days left.  And I cannot leave knowing there are stories here that were not finished.

Tenielle gave me a letter tonight.  It said she went to see The Lion King again and she cried because she thought of me.  Everything is fine with all of them, but I miss my old friends.  So, I decided to see one, but Christi wasn’t home.

So, instead Marcus and I went to see Ryan.  Amy was away visiting a relative.  Ryan was fine.  She looked pretty.  The three of us talked about different stuff.  And you know what…she was the Ryan I once knew.  She was the Ryan I still know.  She did not act strange.  She was simply Ryan, the girl my mind once thought of constantly.

But that was long ago.

Looking into her green eyes tonight brought back so many memories.  She is still Ryan.  And when we were leaving, she hugged me.  I didn’t reach out to hug her, but she reached out to hug me.

That is only the third for fourth time we have hugged.  Yet I hug Jenna and Tenielle so much that I lost count a long time ago.

Our relationships are different.

Each is different.

And those days, long ago, can be brought back with great ease.

Because friends are friends forever.

July 13, 1994 – Wednesday – 7:12 p.m.

I don’t know where to begin.  So much has happened since my last entry.

Yesterday we went tubing, but then it began to rain.  I found out there was a movie theater in Franklin, a city about 30 miles away.  Jonathan said I could take his car and go.  He wanted to stay and talk to some of the girls from the youth group.  I met a few of them, but everyone I met has been a hypocrite.

The girls who were next to us were very sweet.  They were always smiling at me and staring at me.  They even took some pictures of me.

It feels good when someone notices you.

But they left this morning.

Anyway, I took Jonathan’s car out to find a movie theater in a city I’ve never been 30 miles away.  I didn’t know what movies were playing either.  And Jonathan’s car is very hard to drive.  It’s like you have no control over it.

But I made it to Franklin.  I stopped at a motel to ask for directions and they told me and also pointed out that my tire was going flat.  I took the car to a gas station and put air in the tire, then I found the movie theater.

I wanted to see Forrest Gump, but the only movies playing were I Love Trouble, Wyatt Earp, and The Lion King.

It was 5:05 p.m.  I was going to see Wyatt Earp, but that didn’t start until 7:30 p.m.  So, guess what I went to go see?  You’re right; The Lion King for the third time.

It is the most perfect movie.  It helps me realize why I am here in the world.

After the movie I went to the car, only to discover Jonathan’s battery had died.  I stopped two pretty college girls to help jump me off.  They did and I drove back to Bryson City, happy beyond my wildest imagination.

Why?

I was out alone in a strange car I wasn’t used to, going over mountains and through valleys to find a movie theater in a city I had never been to before.

And, you know what, I did it.

I had to ask for directions, I almost had a flat tire, and the car battery died, but you know what, I made it!  And throughout my upcoming years at college, as I try to make it in a strange land, with a variety of obstacles coming my way, I too will make it.

And in the end, just like Simba, I will be the king I was meant to be.

July 4, 1994 – Monday – 11:30 p.m.

The 4th of July is over.  This day will never happen again.  Something happened that I will be faced with again.  My brother will make me face it.

The plans did not go awry.  This is what happened and part of what I tell you now I did not know at the time.  I learned this from my mom later.

After I was dropped off at Sally’s, mom went back to Riverbirch to pick up Henry, but found out that he had to stay there.  She went to get Kevin from McDonald’s.  Kevin asked where I was.

“At a friend’s house,” she said.

“What is he going to do?” he asked.

“Why do you need to know everything?” she said.

Now don’t ask me why she is saying this, I was shocked when she told me.

Kevin said, “He’s with Jenna and Tenielle, isn’t he?”

She said yes and then told them what our plans were, to see The Lion King, etc.

“Did he tell you not to tell me?”

Mom said no, which was the truth and then Kevin said, “Well, I’m going to have to have a talk with him.”

I didn’t know about this conversation until mom brought me over to the kid’s house in Bonlee where I am now.  I have to watch them tomorrow night too.

So mom brought Kevin to Sally’s picked us all up and drove us over to the cinema.  Kevin told me that we had to talk.  I said okay.

Whenever Jenna and I were making plans, I told them that Kevin would probably join us…and I even called Marcus to find out what time he got off work, but it wasn’t until 8:00 p.m.

Well, I enjoyed the movie much better the second time.  Simba really does remind me of myself.  After it was over, mom picked us up and we all went to Riverbirch.

Scott showed up.  I talked with him.  He’s okay and he is still going to Deep Creek.

Jenna and I walked around alone together.  We did crazy stuff.  She held onto my arm at times and we were so close while we walked that our shoulders touched.  We even went to the grocery store to buy some Grey Poupon and went around offering it to people in a British accent, “Pardon me, would you like some Grey Poupon?”  Ah, too funny.

We spent about an hour together.  The little stuff we did to pass the time is simply too wonderful to put into words.

We watched the fireworks together.  Then Kevin and Tenielle found us and we all listened to the band that was playing together.

Then, while standing next to Jenna, it all hit me.  These days here may very well be the best days I have ever known.  And once they are over I will not be able to relive what is in the past.  Jenna saw the look on my face.

“What’s the matter?” she asked.

“Retrospect.”  I said.

I told her I would explain it to her some other day.  They had to leave.  I hugged her.

They went home.

I went home.

Kevin said he wanted to talk to me tonight, but I had to come to Bonlee to watch the boys.

The 4th of July, 1994.

Will I be with Jenna on the 4th of July in 1995?

Or will I see beautiful fireworks with someone else?