August 10, 1997 – Sunday – 4:05 p.m.

Marisa turns 15 today.  I turn 21 in a week.

Dan has gone home.  The place feels empty.  This next week I will move to McAlister; I’ll have a smaller apartment with one less room than this one.

It just started to rain.

For the next hour and a half, I’ll exist quietly in these three rooms.  I will listen to slow and soothing music, and I will read and write.  At 5:30 p.m. I will go back to the box office to sell tickets and I’ll enjoy the show again tonight.

Jeanine will sleep in here tonight since her mom is visiting and will take her bed.

RD training begins on Monday and I will also check everyone out of Tennessee Dorm between Monday and Wednesday.

Children of Eden ends tomorrow.  Lindy and I began with three full ticket racks and now we are nearly empty.  Everyone has loved this show.

My final year of college is so close.  How different it will be.  My rounds will now include seven buildings instead of just two hallways.  I will tackle directing and horseback riding.

So my simple and relaxing summer will soon end and I will never live in these walls again.  What have these walls seen?  Jeni and I kissing.  Dan and I wondering.  Charlie crying over Kate.  And me watching Sherlive as she slept.

The summer of 1997.

Nothing ever stays the same.

Charlie and I went to see Conspiracy Theory last night.  I enjoyed it.  I helped Charlie in Junior Worship this morning and ate with Tracey and her family plus Lindy and Ann-Marie at the Banner Elk Cafe.

It’s difficult for me to remember who I was before Lees-McRae.  I almost feel like my senior year will be the last year of my life.  Leaving this place seems close to death.

But surely there are no real goodbyes among Christians.

It’s 4:45 p.m.

Am I still living in my youth?  Or are those days gone?

4:47 p.m.

And so…well…

Weird, huh?

 

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September 26, 1996 – Thursday – 4:00 p.m.

Yesterday was so cool.  Vince and I went hiking at upper creek falls.  I took a lot of pictures.  There was a rock slide that we slid down.  It was the closest thing to deep creek that I’ve done this year.

It’s hard to believe September is nearly over.  The leaves are already falling.  Time is passing so quickly.  I feel as if life has escaped my journal.  I haven’t written much, but all is well.

I went to see The Taffetas last night.  It was a lot of fun.

Today in Playwriting class, the whole class got stirred up because of what I wrote about a Christian virgin speaking with a prostitute.  I based it off of that scene I did my freshman year.  My play was simply about two different lives as they crossed paths, but it made others uncomfortable.

Doc said I was a great writer.  She said it comes naturally to me.  It’s a gift.  The class spent 20 minutes talking about it.  No one’s else work was really talked about.  I made them stop and think.  My dream is coming true.

This weekend a group of us are going to drive down to the Billy Graham crusade in Charlotte.  I’m looking forward to it.

We are one month into the semester.  It’s been amazing.  God is obviously taking such good care of me.

Thank you Lord.

May 22, 1994 – Sunday – 11:09 p.m.

What a day!

Today was the church fellowship at Kiwanis Park.  But I’ll begin with church in the morning.  I sat next to Sara, Jonathan’s Sara, but not Jonathan’s Sara anymore.  He hasn’t said a word to her since Carowinds.  And last night he went to the prom with Vicky.  But all of that means nothing to me.

Tenielle and Jenna rode with me to the park.  Kevin rode with the Neals and Marcus had to ride on the bus with the kids.  A boy named Victor was with Jenna and Tenielle.  He is 9-years-old and their mom babysits him sometimes.

They all brought water guns and I was soaked by the end of the day.  To tell you the truth, so many different things happened at the park that I can’t even remember them all.  But Becca brought a friend named Ashley and she and Kevin spent a lot of time together.  This upset Tenielle.  Ashley is only thirteen.

I believe my brother is beginning to have a serious problem.  College and middle school just shouldn’t mix.  Kevin’s pursuit is crossing the friend line.

Jenna and I spent a lot of time together and we had some nice talks.  The same with Tenielle.

Marcus has interest in Jenna.  He has had interest in her for a very long time.  She spends time with him and every time she calls me she always to know if he is there.  Today she asked if I thought she liked him.  I said, “No,” because it sounded like that was what she wanted to hear.

Truthfully, I don’t know and I don’t really care.  It is not my problem, nor my business.

Kevin, I believe, is on the phone with Marcus now, because Marcus just got off the phone with Jenna and Tenielle after a two-hour conversation.  Kevin and Marcus were discussing the Ashley, Kevin, and Tenielle thing.  Again, it is not my business, nor my problem.

I want nothing to do with Jenna and Tenielle beyond our wonderful friendship.  I told Jenna today that I want no one to like me romantically because it brings too many complications.  I will start over in Banner Elk at Lees-McRae College.  I know that my relationship with Jenna and Tenielle couldn’t possibly get any better than it is right now.  Each time they laugh, each time they smile, each time they reach out and touch my face; that is all I will ever need from them.

Anne is back from college for the summer.  I told Tenielle that I wasn’t sure I could come back for the summer; that it might hurt too much.

The real me is out there somewhere.  The real Jacob, both young and old.

These days are only my youth.  Although they must be of some importance to the rest of my life, they are not everything.

It has been over six months since I saw Les Miserables on the stage.

That is unbelievable.

Perhaps this moment is the perfect moment to write down the poem I wrote for Tenielle’s drawing.  I couldn’t fit the whole poem on her drawing, so she got a much shorter version, but here is the whole thing, which I based on The Lady of Shalott.

 

I stand here and shiver

The trees around me quiver

I thought I’d stay here forever

But I must move down the river

            Flowing to Lees-McRae

I go up and down the people go

Gazing where the lilies do not grow

To a place down below

            Oh spare me of this day

 

But in each day there are still delights

Beautiful and amazing magic sights

I survive through the silent nights

Waking to the gorgeous lights

            Not thinking of Lees-McRae

But when the moon was overhead

Grew too young flowers, not yet wed

“Will this happen again?” said

            I on that day

 

In a way I was straining

Like the yellow woods were waning

However, never was I complaining

Nor the winter sky raining

            Far from Lees-McRae

And at the closing of each day

A smile on my face did lay

And I began to think of far away

            Towards Lees-McRae

 

Away went the snowy white

Everything still seemed right

But though the Phantom was not in the light

I began to hear the Music of the Night

            Still far from Lees-McRae

Yet, I kept running along

The two flowers still among

The day I sing my last song

            Will be a sad day

 

Who am I and what is here?

Is the lighted palace near?

I so often hear the cheer

But it’s the crossing which I fear

            Towards Lees-McRae

What God?  Why this face?

Why such beauty in this place?

The two flowers and their grace

            Can it already be May?

May 21, 1994 – Saturday – 8:40 p.m.

Shurby is in Tennessee, so there is no youth group.

I went to Band Practice then had a Faith Street meeting.  Afterwards, I came home and Kevin and Marcus went to play Sega at his house.  I can’t stand Sega.  It’s Nintendo or nothing!

I began putting my graduation announcements together and then Tenielle called.  We talked a while, then she and Jenna were fussing over something and Jenna picked up the phone.  I thought we were all joking around, so I said, “Jenna, act your age.”  She took it the wrong way and hung up.

I didn’t think much of it.  I knew one of them would call me back.  Jenna did about five minutes later.  We both apologized.  Both of them were on the line and we talked about how sometimes Jenna is in one of those moods where you just can’t tell if she is happy or mad or both.  She said she wants me to point out when she is acting like that since she says she’s not aware of it.

We talked some more, then Jenna went to do something.  Tenielle decided to let me go.  She said, “Jenna says she loves you.”

I said, “Well, tell her I love her too and I love you too.”

I’m saving the world by loving them and they are saving the world by loving me.

May 19, 1994 – Thursday – 10:25 p.m.

Wednesday I left school at 2:00 p.m. to go to the orthodontist.  Afterwards, I went to the Neals, every Wednesday Tenielle goes over there for trumpet lessons.  We went to the park in the neighborhood and had a lot of fun.  I gave her the letter I wrote for her.  She liked the poem.  In her letter I wrote down December 20, 1993’s journal entry because I knew she would find it funny.  It turns out that when Sharlene said what she did to me about them, that was only her assumption.

Yesterday, Tenielle said that both her and Jenna liked me then, but didn’t really like me like that.  Jenna did, but only for a little while.  When Tenielle read the line about, “I’ll just be their friends; things will be better that way,” her face lit up.  “They are Jacob!” she said, smiling.

That made me feel so great and free.

I am her friend.

I am Jenna’s friend.

Sometimes we act like we are more, but that is only because we know what we know.

So there it is.

And here I still am.

Scott did take our “joke” the wrong way, but we will see if that blows over.

Tomorrow we get out yearbooks and tomorrow is field day, and yearbook signing day.

Our yearbooks.

You know that means everyone will write down their feelings for you, especially since we’re all seniors.

We will get deep.  Or at least I will get deep.  I will encourage.  I will show love to them that I hope will last forever.

Eleven days left.

April 19, 1994 – Tuesday – 7:50 p.m.

Tenielle called me earlier.  She called to tell me that she wrote me a letter 15 pages long.  And she said that in the letter she apologizes.

As I said before, it will all blow over.

I have learned something throughout all of this heartache.  Something to help me in the future.  Sometimes people leave you half way through this life.  Others may deceive you.  But I am not alone.

You move just a finger, say the slightest words, and something is bound to linger.

You will be heard.

People make mistakes.

Holding to their own; thinking they’re alone.

You can’t judge them; you can’t blame them.

It’s sometimes hard to see the light, but things will come out right after the night.

Others will leave me halfway though this life.  I can’t let it grieve me, because I too will soon leave others.

I will soon know what’s out there in the world.  No one can prepare you for the world.

I have constantly listened and watched.  Through this incident I have listened and watched.

No one can prepare you, but you can prepare yourself.  I must say thank you to my past.

That, I believe, is the purpose of this Book of Days.  I learn from reading what I once wrote.

And if anyone else ever reads these entries, I hope you are also learning something.

April 6, 1994 – Wednesday – 12:20 a.m.

It just turned Wednesday, but to me it is still Tuesday.

Nate and I left around 11:20 to go to Jenna and Tenielle’s.  They’re mom had to take someone to the hospital so she didn’t cut my hair until later.  Louie and some other friends of Jenna and Tenielle’s were over.  They were all helping fix up the yard.  I helped.

Tenielle asked me if I read Marcus’s letter.  I simply said, “I haven’t taken it out of my wallet since I put it in there.”  She said, “good.”  But the truth is I put it in my wallet after I read it.  She acts like she wants me to read it though.  Girls…

We all had fun today.  It was another best day of my life.  We joked around and ate spaghetti for lunch.  It was only us there most of the day because their mom was out for a long time.  Tenielle told me that Louie was jealous because her and Jenna always hug on me all the time.  But there is nothing for him to be jealous of, trust me.  After their mom came back and she cut my hair, we all went to Pizza Hut.  Nate acted crazy.

After we got back, Nate and I left to go home since it was close to 7:00 p.m.

I just got finished writing Jenna a letter.  She told me to write her one and to type it so I did.

I guess I was noticing Tenielle a little more than normal, but something would be wrong me if I didn’t.  

Tonight I prayed as usual and this is what the Lord told me, “Jacob, you must live on.  Your life is a story, a story we are writing together.  You must live and you must write.  You must go on.  For in the end, great will be your reward.”

I almost cried.

I will live on.

I will write it down.

And it is normal for my emotions to get in the way when I spend time with girls as wonderful and as beautiful as Jenna and Tenielle.  I’m human.

I have my own story.  A story which no one else will live.

I will write this story.

This is my story.