December 20, 1995 – Wednesday – 12:53 p.m.

I got a call from Tenielle yesterday.  She is in band at school and they were having a concert that night.  She wanted us to come.  Mike came over around 5:00 p.m.  We played Killer Instinct on the Super NES.  He kicked my butt.  Around 7:00 we left and picked up Marcus and headed down to Sanford.  Mike was driving.  When we got to West Lee Middle School, all four of us ran to the gym.  We were a little late.  I opened the door and the first person I saw was Tenielle.  She was sitting in her chair with her trumpet.  Jenna was standing up against the wall.  She saw us and walked over to us.  She was really beautiful.  She had grown up so much.  She will be 16 in March.

The band played really well.  We all talked and had refreshments afterwards.  I might go over there Thursday and spend the day with them.  It was great to see those two.  So many memories we have together.

While Tenielle was playing her trumpet, she would look up at me.  Her eyes would smile; amazing Christmas music all around us.  If my life was a movie, that would have been a good place to end it.

 

March 13, 1995 – Monday – 11:25 p.m.

Today, Jenna turned 15-years-old.  She is growing up.

I don’t work until tomorrow, so today I went for a walk in the woods, washed dishes, played Game Boy and Super Nintendo with Mike, and then I went to Sanford with Marcus to celebrate Jenna’s birthday.  There was a surprise party for her at Kiesha’s house.  I suppose she was surprised.  The only people there were myself, Marcus, Sunny, Kiesha, and Jenna.

I decided we would play a karaoke-improv game.  Everyone had fun.  Kiesha lives right near Jenna and Tenielle, so afterwards, we walked through a path in the dark.  Tenielle was cold and scared, so she stayed close to me.  I held her hand while we walked.

I also wrote Emily a letter today.

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 10, 1995 – Friday – 8:45 a.m.

I go home today.  I am not going with Richard.  Donald, a dancer, who lives in Fayetteville is taking me all the way to my house. I only have one class, and that is at 11:00 a.m.  Then I will eat lunch and he will pick me up here at 12:30 p.m.

I will be home by 4:00 p.m.

Jason came up to visit again before he goes to the Navy.  He is leaving today to go back home, but he doesn’t leave for Basic Training until the 21st of March.

Last night Charlie and Jason and I went to see Billy Madison.  Jason hadn’t seen it yet.  He will leave around noon as well.  I may never see him again.

The Power of One came on TV yesterday.  He and I watched it together.  I began to remember.

I don’t know what this next week will bring, but I do need to get away from here for a while.  I need to appreciate both of my homes again.

I miss Ryan.  I also miss Cheryl, Amy, Christi, and Tammy.  I miss Tim, Scott, Marcus, Shurby, and Pastor Steve.  I miss both of my brothers.

I miss Jenna and Tenielle.  I miss walking on the railroad tracks.  I miss my old room.  I miss playing Nintendo.  I miss innocence.

I miss Jonathan, Mike, the Neals, Danny and Peter.

I miss Deep Creek.

I miss Veronica and Sherry.

I miss Emily.

Thank you for allowing me to miss, Lord.

And I hope that I will be missed as well.

You only miss the ones you love.

February 4, 1995 – Saturday – 1:40 a.m.

I am in a deep.

I am down too far.

I can’t swim.

I’m sinking.

I have put this off for too long.  I have tried not to write about it, but now I must.

Jeni and I have had some problems.  It just seems like we have been drifting apart this past week or so.  We are never overwhelmingly happy when we are around each other.

It is a very long story and I will continue it after I’ve gotten some sleep.

I’ve gotten some sleep.  It’s now 8:00 a.m.

Let’s continue.

Ever since the mission trip to Albany, GA things have been bad.  Then we went home and things were good again because we had that talk about how close we had gotten physically.  We decided to back away.  There were times when Jeni and I would be making out and she would simply take off her shirt.

WHY!?  I didn’t ask her to do that.  I didn’t want that.  Of course, my body did, my flesh did, but not me.  Not my soul!  Not my spirit!

I was the one who brought it up back home and I thought it was taken care of, but it wasn’t.

It happened again once we returned to school.

And then it happened again.

“STOP IT!” I hollered inside.

That is only a part of it.  There is a lot more.  Although I love her very much, Jeni has been in such a bad mood these past two weeks.  All she ever says is that she wants her mommy; that she wants to go home.  She say that in one sentence and then she’ll talk about marrying me, and being my wife, and making love to me and what we will name our children.

That made me feel uncomfortable.  I would go along with it just to please her.  It’s the same thing with our physical closeness…I would go along with it because I thought that was what she wanted.  It’s like she’s insecure or something and trying to use her body to hold onto me.  I never wanted to be with her because of her body.

She would get so jealous if I talked or laughed with another girl.  She would get upset if I went out with Charlie or did anything but wait patiently for her while she was in dance class.

She would complain if I went over to Kristi’s room to play Donkey Kong Country.  Yet, whenever I was over in her room, we never did anything fun.  I just sat there, bored out of my mind, listening to her talk about wanting to go home.

Truthfully, I felt trapped.  I felt pressured.

I still feel trapped and pressured.

But there is still something else.  Remember how I told you this skit group at Heaton is beginning?  Well, it made me think of home.  It made me think more about one person than I had been.

To tell you the truth, it all goes back to what happened on May 8, 1993.

That weird feeling hasn’t gone away.

Also, what I wrote on February 13, 1994.

That one flower still hasn’t faded away.  All of the others have.  But she is still alive in my heart.  I even wrote her a letter yesterday.

But why am I thinking this way?  What can’t I be happy with Jeni?  Why do I still want Christi?

Jeni and I had a long talk last night.  I shared with her how I felt pressured and trapped.  I said that I needed her to lighten up and that I needed a little space.  I said that all this talk about marriage and naming our children is making me uncomfortable.

That killed her.

She said that becoming a wife and mother was her calling and it would kill her to not be able to talk about that with me.  I didn’t know what to say, so I said that I wasn’t going anywhere.

It’s like I want Jeni simply to be with me while I’m at school, but then have Christi afterwards and forever.  I told Jeni that we need to realize that the chance of us not being together forever might happen.

She said that if we both wanted to be together forever, then nothing would stop us.

Last night went on like that for a long time.  I would say one thing and she would say another.

She was in tears.

My eyes were dry.

She didn’t want to lose me.  She got down on her knees and begged for God to let her have me.

Yet, during all of this, I was thinking of Christi.

I was so mad at myself.

What was I doing?

What was wrong with me, I wasn’t making any sense.

Jeni said that she thinks it is better to have never loved at all, than to have loved and lost.

I told her that I felt like I was wasting her time.  But she says that she doesn’t want anyone else.  She only wants me.

She was crying and screaming, curled up in a fetal position on her bed.  I was so afraid that other girls were going to come knocking on the door to find out what was wrong.

So, I went against my will and I put on a mask.

I became a good actor.

We went for a walk in the winter wonderland outside and she was happy.

Yet, I was fighting a war inside my soul.

I don’t know what I’m doing.

Jeni knows nothing about Christi.

Show me what to do God.

Show me who to love.

This is really difficult for me.  I need you.

Christi, where ever you are, I pray you have a wonderful day.

Perhaps this is the legend of my fall.

January 31, 1995 – Tuesday – 11:17 p.m.

January is over.

February is beginning.

Only 11 more months in 1995.

Time flies.

Sunday afternoon, while Jeni was dancing, Charlie, Jason, and I went to Sharon’s house.  Little Hannah and I played Super Nintendo and then watched The Land Before Time.  It was wonderful to be away from campus and live around a family for a few hours.  I had a blast!

Thanks for being with me Lord.

January 29, 1995 – Sunday – 1:45 a.m.

When I say “today” I mean Saturday.

I slept in this morning.

Jason, as I believe I told you, dropped out of school early in the semester.  College just wasn’t doing anything for him.  He is here until Thursday to visit.

Jeni had been dancing most of the morning, but I met her for lunch.  Charlie was taking his junior high school youth group to see The Jungle Book today.  He asked me to go with him.  I told Jeni I was going to go and asked her if she wanted to come along.  She said should didn’t want to and would use the time to be alone and do her homework.

After lunch, she went back to dancing and Jason and I went up to Kristi’s room to play Donkey Kong Country.  

I rode with Jason to Boone to go see the movie and we listened to Ray Boltz on the way.

The movie was a lot of fun.  It was Disney’s live action attempt at the book.  But I prefer the animated one.  The music is awesome.

We ate at Taco Bell then came back to campus.

It was nice to see Jeni this evening.  She was a little sick so we just watched ice skating on TV.

I called Kevin tonight.  He is going great, but his grades are horrible.

I do love my brother.

August 20, 1994 – Saturday – 1:10 a.m.

Today (Friday) I mowed the grass some, played Super Metroid, and read one of my favorite parts of Les MiserablesThe Conjunction of Two Stars.  I love it.  That’s the way I want to meet the girl I’m destined to marry.

It reminds me of when I saw the girl who sings in the choir at Union Pines High School.  For over a year I’ve only seen her three times.  I have no idea who she is but she still means a lot to me.

Work went okay tonight.  Keesha and Kevin are seeing each other and they’re trying to keep it from Marcus.  I believe I told you that already, never mind.

One more Friday here, then…

Tenielle says the saddest day of her life is going to be the day I leave.

But there’s nothing to be done about it now.  

Build up the tears.

Nine more days.

 

August 4, 1994 – Thursday – 11:58 p.m.

Work was hectic tonight, but I did okay.  They had me in the grill, something I never do, and I was the one of the few back there.

Kevin and I went to Peter’s this afternoon.  We played Monopoly and Super Nintendo.  I forgot to write in here about getting my braces taken off.  It feels really good.  My tongue can’t seem to leave the front of my teeth alone.  They are so smooth.  I have to wear a positioner at night though.

I learned something today by reading an article about Forrest Gump.  I saw the movie, but I got sick as a dog in the middle of it, so I really want to see it again.  But the article said that Forrest Gump as a movie had something not many movies did:  Pure Decency.  The simpler the better.  Would I jump out of a moving boat and swim just to see a friend?  Or would I take the time to dock it and walk to him?  Perhaps the rest of the world is the one with the problem and people like Forrest Gump are the only ones in their right mind.

I will be 18-years-old in 13 days.

August 3, 1994 – Wednesday – 3:03 a.m.

It’s real early Wednesday morning, but to me it’s still Tuesday.  

Work was fun tonight.  Jonathan brought me home.  We played Super Nintendo and then wrote a letter together.  The letter was to Jenna.  She’s been writing to him and she likes him.  Jonathan wants to get her off his back, so together we wrote a letter that was sort of cruel.  It was his idea though.  He led her up to where he really liked her and wanted to be her girlfriend, but then wrote, “but why the heck would I want that.”

He then listed out a bunch of reasons, all describing how young and immature she is and how she can’t express her feelings.  It’s really mean and really blunt, but also done in a joking way.  I’m supposed to give it to her at church; Jonathan will be working.

Also, tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m. I get my braces taken off.  I can’t wait.  Then I work that afternoon.  We’re supposed to go over to Christ’s house tomorrow evening.  I can’t wait to see Christi.  She’s so grown up compared to…well…Jenna’s still a great friend.  I won’t be mean like Jonathan.  I appreciate her for who she is.