October 22, 1994 – Saturday – 7:30 a.m.

I’m still in Cincinnati, Ohio, and boy have I got a lot to tell.

After meeting Kenny, Jeni’s dad, Missy, Jeni’s sister, Paul, Missy’s boyfriend, and one of Jeni’s grandmothers on Wednesday night, I went to bed.

Kenny is really funny and neat.  I like him and he seems to like me.  Missy is around 23 I think.  She lives at home and commutes to a university nearby.  Her boyfriend Paul was visiting and he seemed like a great guy as well.

Oh Thursday morning I met one of the neighbors.  She is an old lady named Skip and her husband is Gill.  She is so sweet.  She told us about her grandsons Chip and Joey.  Chip is diabetic and Joey is, well, he wasn’t formed completely when he was born.  Chip wrote a paper about his brother for school.  Skip showed it to us and Jeni and I read it together.  I have so much to be thankful for and yet I still sometimes complain.  It really hurts me knowing that I do that.

A little later Jeni and I went for a walk to her church.  It’s a Presbyterian Church.  It looks very modern.  I met her youth pastor, Craig.  He’s really cool and you can see Jesus in his face.  I can see now why Jeni always talks about him.  Tonight, Saturday, we are going to go visit them at their house.  We spent about two hours talking to Craig, he’s only 23 and yet it seems like he’s been everywhere.  He plays the guitar and writes songs.  He was in a band, but not anymore.

I met the pastor of her church as well.  I also met Jeni’s old dance teacher Candice.  She is really tiny and she has played about three different cats in the musical CATS over in Germany.  She was so wonderful and easy to get along with.  But she is not a Christian and it hurts Jeni very much because she can’t imagine heaven without her.  She was crying about it on our way home.  I held her hand.

Last night we rented Last of the Mohicans and Searching for Bobby Fisher.  They were both great!

Each night Jeni would come into my room (the guest room) and we would cuddle for a while.  Last night she was in here until about 3 or 4 in the morning.  She was in her pajamas and she was cold so I let her get under the covers and I stayed on top of the covers next to her.  We just held each other, kissed each other, and complemented each other.

Last night however I also met three of her guy friends: Joe, John, and Shawn.  We went out to downtown Cincinnati.

I have never been so amazed about anything in my life.  I have been so isolated.  This city is so huge.  There are so many people here.  There are around 100 high schools just in the Cincinnati area.  And there were only three in the county I grew up in.  They took me to rich parts of town and bad parts as well.  I saw homeless people and 4-year-olds walking around by themselves.  I thought I had seen so much in life.  But last night as we were on top of a lookout, I could see so far.  I saw city lights go forever and it seemed as though I was looking down upon the stars.  The moon was full and the color of blood.  As I stood there next to Jeni, it all hit me:

Throughout my life I will go many new places and different people and different things will take me there.

Jeni is one of those persons.  As we held each other last night for so long, a few words poured helplessly out of my mouth, “I’m falling in love with you Jeni.”

And she simply said, “Thank you.”

April 22, 1994 – Friday – 4:05 p.m.

I just got Tenielle’s letter in the mail.

This is my reply to that letter, and I will let her read this:

Tenielle, the two of us saw everything differently.  Before I begin, I ask for your forgiveness.  Some words are better unheard and better unsaid.  The reason I acted the way I did was because I was confused, not mad.  I didn’t know how you felt or really how I felt.  I was upset Saturday because of the way Skit Practice went.  Tenielle, writing and directing skits, drama, and theater is something I love doing very much, more than I can ever express.  It is a part of me, it’s the way I communicate.  God put it in my soul and I can’t take it away.  And when hardly no one acted like they were enjoying it and they all acted like they’d rather be doing something else, well, it tore up my soul.  It hurt so much because I wanted you guys to enjoy the process, but you weren’t, so I blamed myself.  And I brought in Pastor Steve to help me do the job.  I couldn’t do it by myself.  You and Jenna both acted upset and in a way I was sick of all the junk and crap my brother was giving me.  So, I thought, “well forget this place, they won’t have to put up with me much longer anyway.”

And it hurt me to think that because I don’t want to forget this place.  I love it here.  I love you and Jenna, Marcus, Kevin, and everybody.  My whole life has been right here, but now my life won’t let me stay here.  It’s so hard going to school everyday Tenielle, because I see people whom I know I will never see again after the 10th of June.  This is the only life I’m living with only one heart to pull me through it.  I’ve never done this before and I don’t know what I’m doing.

And I’m not jealous because you like Kevin.  I’m so glad.  Kevin is the greatest brother.  He really knows how to care for someone and make them feel good.  Please Tenielle, spend as much time with him as you can.  You will treasure it for the rest of your life.  I know I will.

My mom asked me the other day if I had any fears of leaving.  I said yes, but I didn’t tell her.  I actually have two.  My greatest fear is that what is happening now and the time I have spent here will soon only be a vague, distant memory, and that all of us have spent together all of the tender emotions, all the smiles, and the laughter, all the times we jumped on the trampoline, all of the times we met at Mr. Gatti’s, all of the Christian Skate Nights, everything that makes my life so wonderful right now, these great days of my youth, will be lost in oblivion after I leave and grow older.

I don’t want that to happen.

I asked Brandon if he thought about this place anymore.  He told me NO!  I never want to lose my memory of this place.

I’ll remember a time I knew what happiness was, and a new life will begin.  Tomorrow.  Daylight.  I must wait for the sunrise.  I must think of the new life.  When the dawn comes tonight will be a memory too, and a new life will begin.

But I will only think of that new life when I am there.

Right now, my life is here and this is where I will be.

This isn’t a time for us to be sad Tenielle.  I’m thankful for the time I have spent here.  The part of me that wants to go to college is the real me.  The part of me that wants to stay is my emotions.

So, I thank you, and I thank Jenna.  Because the two of you came into my life when several other friends of mine were leaving.  And if you hadn’t been there to cheer me up then I would not be where I am today.

The two of you saved me from a lot of heartache.  And by doing that you saved my life.  

When one person saves another’s life, he or she has saved the world in time.

Tenielle, both you and Jenna have saved the world.  Every time you made me laugh, you saved another person’s life.

All I can say is thank you.

Love, Jacob.

August 23, 1993 – Monday – 4:48 p.m.

My senior year of high school started today, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Yesterday was sort of depressing.  Henry got onto me about all this stuff.  I put up with it again.  Just one more year of him.

Church was great in the morning.  My and Ryan’s skit went great.  She looked so beautiful.  At night, we had a guest speaker named Duke.  He was super funny, but very motivating.  Jason is back and he was laughing so much.  And guess what, he forgot to edit my book, Eagle’s Path.  He didn’t even read it!  I was disappointed, but it was at least good to get it back.

School went fine.  My schedule for the first semester is Computer Applications, World Geography, Art III, and Spanish II.  The periods are 90 minutes long.  Everything went fine, but boy am I tired.

My summer is over.

The summer of ’93 is no more.

A year ago as I entered my junior year, I was practically in the same position that I am now.  Some stuff has changed, but not much.

I liked Ryan a year ago, and I still do now, only much more.  I started writing My Book of Days in November of ’92.  That doesn’t seem like a long time ago.

I just put in the CATS tape that Christi made for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Memory, my only connection to the past 17 years of my life.  The earlier years have faded away. But these recent years, the years to come…I’m writing them down to preserve them forever.

For anyone out there in the future reading this, please listen to me. You have to do what I say. Take one day at a time and be thankful for the simple joys in life. You can never go wrong when you take pleasure in the smile on a girl’s face.

This year is going to fly by, then another great summer, and then…boom!  I’ll be out there. I’ll live my life for Jesus and then I’ll be free!