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.

October 11, 1993 – Monday – 6:05 p.m.

Today is Columbus Day!

Wup dee do!

About thirty minutes ago I returned from the mountains.  It was cold up there.  It is difficult to describe what I’m feeling now.

Today Jonathan and I took a college day.  We both went to visit Lees-McRae.  We left at about 4:15 this morning and he let me drive while he slept.  I drove about half way.  We ate at McDonald’s and then Jonathan drove the rest of the way.

We had an appointment to talk to the admissions counselor at 9:00 a.m.  We had about an hour and a half to kill when we got up there, so we drove around on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Jonathan hadn’t been to the mountains in about eight years.  He was amazed.  It was nice there, in the area they call the High Country, but nothing can beat the Smokies.

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In the Smokies, the main attraction is rafting and tubing.  Up there in Banner Elk, it is skiing.

Once we arrived at Lees-McRae, everyone at the admissions office treated us like royalty.  We felt so welcome there.  This absolutely beautiful young woman showed us a video and talked with us some.  Then another beautiful girl gave us a tour.  The college is simply amazing.  Nearly all of the buildings are built of stone and the fall colors were super bright.  It is a gorgeous campus.  I liked it a lot.  And everything in the town was in walking distance.  Pretty important since I’m sure I won’t have a car.

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We went back to the admissions office and talked with a guy named Robert who teaches in the Performing Arts Department.  He answered a lot of our questions.  Jonathan later told me that he was gay because of the way that he sat and crossed his legs, but a lot of straight guys do that.  Anyway, it was a nice visit and it looks like we will have to go back later to audition for a scholarship.

I’m excited!

Yesterday at church I was a little down because I knew the very next day I would be visiting the place where the next four years of my life would probably take place.  My excitement made me realize that I only have about ten months left and then I will be gone.

I’ve been attending my church for nearly six years.  It seems like I’ve been going there for ever.  It seems like I’ve known Ryan, Christi, Amy, Cheryl, Scott, and Marcus for ever.  That church is all I’ve known for so long.  These friends are all I’ve known for so long.  Ten months is not enough time to say goodbye.  I’m a little afraid.

Yesterday, I was playing the piano after the evening service and Cheryl and Ryan came in there.  I was alone in the children’s church room before that.  They came in and told me about the clown troupe they want to form to go to visit kids in the hospital.  I found out that Ryan’s name is not Sunshine, but it is Happy.  She is always both of them to me.

No telling what my name would be.

Cheryl and Amy were telling me that everyone is going off to college and youth group isn’t going to be the same anymore.

Daylight
See the dew on a sunflower
And a rose that is fading
Roses wither away
Like the sunflower, I yearn to turn my face to the dawn
I am waiting for the day

There is a city near Lees-McRae called Boone.  Jonathan and I drove through there.  It was much bigger than Banner Elk and felt a little like Sanford.  Sanford itself is not special to me; it is the people that live there.

Memory
Turn your face to the moonlight
Let your memory lead you
Open up, enter in
If you find there the meaning of what happiness is
Then a new life will begin

I’ll never forget September 14, 1991.  That was when we went to Carowinds and Hank was the youth pastor.  Brian rode with me and Ryan and a friend of hers were in front of us.  Brian kept messing with Ryan’s hair.  It’s been years since I’ve seen Brian.  For all I know he could be dead.

Memory
All alone in the moonlight
I can smile at the old days
I was beautiful then
I remember a time I knew what happiness was
Let the memory live again

There were rough and sad moments too.  Like Jonathan and Christi at San-Lee Park.  I don’t want to go through that again.

Burnt out ends of smokey days
The stale cold smell of morning
A streetlamp dies – another night is over
Another day is dawning

It was a blast last September when we went to see Carman in concert.  And Marcus and I selling doughnuts at Wal-Mart.  Simple things that mean so much.

Daylight
I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

And look at me now.  Look at today.  I know I’m leaving, so why am I trying so desperately to hold on?

When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin

I wonder if there will be a girl up there at Lees-McRae whom I’ll think about like I think about Ryan.  In a way I don’t want it to happen, but I know that it will.

Sunlight through the trees in summer
Endless masquerading
Like a flower as the dawning is breaking
The memory is fading

Touch me
It’s so easy to leave me
All alone with a memory
Of my days in the sun
If you touch me, you’ll understand what happiness is
Look, a new day has begun

This Happy Sunshine will set.  It won’t be around forever.

Another girl always comes along.

September 15, 1993 – Wednesday – 10:33 p.m.

The past few days have been normal.

Today I had an orthodontist appointment, and afterwards I went to Wal-Mart.  Last year around this time I noticed a girl at school.  Her name is Renee.  I never really liked her, I just noticed her because is she absolutely beautiful.  Well, while at Wal-Mart, I went around the corner of an aisle and the same girl walked right by me and looked at me.  I have never spoken to her before.  We’ve never even shared eye-contact before.  But time stopped and it seemed like forever but I finally said “hey” and she said “hey” back in her sweet, soothing voice.  It stabbed right through the core of me.

Ryan was at church tonight.  I didn’t talk to her much.  I miss her.  I see her, but I just wish there was more.  I know there won’t be though.  Sherry, Veronica’s cousin, was hugging all over me tonight.  Her touch was encouraging.  We’re good friends, but it made me realize that I like being single.  And I want to stay that way for a while.  The incident at Wal-Mart made me realize that, too.

So, with Ryan, I’ll still think of her and if something happens, praise God, but I’m just going to wait for God to move.  There are other girls, but these modern productions are all very well, but there is nothing to equal from what I here tell:  that moment of mystery, when I made history, with Ryan…the girl I could never tell…