April 28, 1999 – Wednesday – 11:15 p.m.

I decided this afternoon to spend $65.50 and spontaneously go see The Phantom of the Opera in downtown Norfolk.  I had an excellent seat, and I saw the world’s most perfect musical three and a half years after I saw it for the first time in the exact same place.

During those days, my thoughts endlessly dwelt on Laura; a beautiful girl whom I’ll see again in another week.  But I hear her love rests on a young man named David now.

Last night I spent some quality conversation with a girl named Cindy.  I also chatted a bit with Chris.  It was really nice to talk to other students.

I’m afraid I’m losing my romantic soul.  I’m afraid I’m losing my childhood dreams and wishes.  I only wish…oh…look, it’s nearly the 30th of April.

Remember the 30th of April?

Oh how life wants to live.  May my passion never grow dim.

Will a girl ever know me?

Can I ever tell her all these things I write in these books?

Someone must be looking for me.

I give all of this to you God.  Take care of her.

Hide your face so the world will never find you.

November 25, 1995 – Saturday – 11:15 a.m.

The Phantom of the Opera was truly amazing.  My mother and aunt Patty dropped me off.  I was in jeans and a T-shirt while everyone else was in either an elaborate dress or three-piece-suit.  Everyone was staring at me, as though I didn’t belong.  But I sat on the fourth row from the stage, right next to all those suits enjoyed every second of it.

I saw a guy named Neil there.  He used to go to Lees-McRae.  He is the ex-boyfriend of Tamara, a dancer at Lees-McRae.

After the show, I called my mom who was visiting someone.  She and Patty left to pick me up, but they were several minutes away.  So, I left the theater alone, after watching a story about a lonely soul, with 2,400 other people.  Despite being surrounded by thousands, I was by myself.  I stood there on the sidewalk, the cool November Chesapeake Bay wind blowing through my hair.  It grew colder.  My nose began to run.  My mom finally arrived.

Norfolk is in the Virginia Beach area, and is home to Regent University.  It was so big and beautiful.  If I went there it would be such a difference from the little village of Banner Elk.

Christmas is a month from today.  I will probably be in this exact room a month from now.  I don’t want to be though.  I don’t like it here at my dad’s parents.  My dad complains all the time.  I don’t know if I know a more miserable human being than my own father.

I’m looking forward to going back home.  I will spend my next month there, working on my final exam projects and my Christmas show.  Around the 20th, I will go to Siler City, come up here for Christmas, and then back to Siler City.  On the seventh of January I will begin my second semester of my Sophomore year.  There is not a January mission trip this year like there was last year.

A lot of snow will come.  Perhaps Dan will take me skiing.

I will begin a skit group at Heaton Christian Church while making arrangements to spend my summer there in the area.

1995 will soon end.  I am glad, but at the same time sad.

Perhaps 1996 is a second chance.

Masquerade

Paper faces on parade

Masquerade

Hide your face, so the world will never find you.

November 23, 1995 – Thursday – 10:30 p.m.

For Thanksgiving lunch I ate with Mom, Henry, Nate, and my mom’s parents.  Kevin stayed back home.  He had to work.  It was good to be there I guess, but I missed Banner Elk.  By the time I was having dinner with my Dad’s family I wished I had stayed in Banner Elk and gone to Sharon’s instead for Thanksgiving.  I know that family would understand and practice the true meaning of Thanksgiving and not spend the entire evening complaining like my Dad did tonight.  That’s all they do!  Him, his brother, my grandparents, they only know how to complain, to find the negative side of everything.

Only one good thing happened tonight.  My uncle’s 3-year-old niece came up and kissed me on the cheek when she was saying goodbye to everyone.  So gentle.  How lonely I must be if the affection of a 3-year-old blesses me beyond measure.

I thought about what I was thankful for today.  And beyond a shadow of a doubt, I realized I was thankful for Lees-McRae, for Heaton Christian Church.  These two places are a part of me now.

Tomorrow night I am going to see the Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway musical The Phantom of the Opera.  It’s been almost two years since I saw Les Miserables.

Happy Thanksgiving.

November 22, 1995 – Wednesday – 4:40 p.m.

I’m in Lanexa, Virginia.  My ride here was very difficult spiritually.  The guys were listening to an Adam Sandler CD.  It was very sick.

Yesterday I got a letter from my mom in the mail.  She had put a brochure from Taylor University in there and there was a picture of Jason on it.  I was so happy and excited!  He was surrounded by so many different people.  He looked so happy!

When I arrived here I looked in the area’s newspaper and discovered that The Phantom of the Opera was playing in Norfolk starting tomorrow.  I called up the ticket place and reserved a ticket for myself on the front row of the orchestra for Friday night.

It cost me $71.50.  I put it on my credit card.  I must be crazy, I really don’t have the money, but I felt like doing something crazy.

I’m going alone.

Alone.

Which is exactly how I feel.

I rented While You Were Sleeping today.  It made me cry.  Tears ran down my face.  They were warm.

I remember how Jenna and Tenielle always used to ask me when the last time I cried was.  I thought of that the other day and then realized I couldn’t remember the last time I cried.

Now I know.

Like Lucy, I too feel alone.  I don’t have anybody.  I thought of Laura.  I thought of her eyes and her smile.  I thought of the words “I love you” and how I wish I could say them to someone and truly mean it.

I’ve often wondered if I ever really loved Veronica, Jeni, Emily or anybody. In my Book of Days it says that I did, but in my mind, my memory, my heart, it seems like I can’t ever remember if I did.

While You Were Sleeping was such a good movie.  So, I’m just going to pretend that my life is a movie that someone is watching.  I’m the star.  I’m playing the role of Jacob.

I wonder if my story will ever make someone cry.

It’s already made me cry.