June 10, 1994 – Friday – 11:58 p.m.

As I am writing this it is becoming the 11th day of June, 1994.  Today dad and I saw City Slickers II and tonight I received my high school diploma.

It happened.  I graduated from high school.  Jenna and Tenielle were there.  They seemed to enjoy it.  I gave them a big hug!

I can’t believe it’s over.  All those people.

There was one thing that happened tonight.  It happened twice.  I can’t get it out of my mind.  A girl was near me while I was in the midst of the crowd after graduation.  I was talking to someone happily and then turned and I saw her and she smiled at me.  Then later, while talking to Jenna and Tenielle, I saw her looking at me.  I looked at her and she smiled like she had known me forever.

But this sophomore girl has only said four words to me since she came to high school.  Once, in the sight and sound section of Wal-Mart in Sanford, she said “hey.”  The other three words she spoke to me during switch day of my senior year.  She said, “Turn around Jacob” because she wanted to see how I had stuffed my butt to look more like a girl.

This girl is Renee and it is very unlikely that my eyes will ever see her smile again.  I thought of her the rest of the night.

I am leaving tomorrow to go to Virginia.  Everyone else from my graduating class is going to the beach, but that’s just not me.

My collection has grown.  My collection of farewells.

I will miss it.  I will miss them greatly.  It’s hard to know what to say, but all good things must come to an end.

I have a list.

A list of my own.

Schindler had his and I have mine.

His was a list of lives he’d saved.  Mine is simply a list of people I’ve shared existence with.  And I say goodbye to you.

We are the class of 1994.  You have shaped me.  And even those at Chatham Central who are not in the class of 1994, you have shaped me as well.  

Thank you Renee.  

Thank you for smiling at me.  

You made this graduation so wonderful.

January 24, 1994 – Monday – 7:35 a.m.

All of this is going to take a while to explain so I’m going to start now.

At the moment, I’m sitting on the carpet area of Senior Hall at Chatham Central High School.  I did not ride the bus this morning, but someone drove me.  First let me tell you about Saturday and Sunday and then I’ll tell you why this morning is a little different.

When we went bowling, Jenna and Tenielle didn’t play for some reason.  They just watched.  Tenielle was going with Wayne then, but she isn’t now because she wanted me to break the two of them up yesterday.

I did.

But Shar, Shane, and Wayne went with Jenna and Tenielle and I.  Tenielle told me that we would have had more fun if it was just us her and Jenna and I.

Well, Shane beat me in bowling and then we all went to Kiwanis Park.  It was late, we played Freeze and Justify and some human knot game.  Everyone was laughing so hard.

Oh, and I got pulled over Saturday night on the way to the Bowling Alley.  I made a wrong turn then got back on the road.  A cop was behind me and he thought I was drunk.  Everyone was scared out of their mind, but I didn’t get a ticket.  I just explained to him what had happened.

I took Wayne home and then Shar and Shane.  After everyone else was gone, Tenielle didn’t want to go home.  She just wanted to sit and talk.

Well, earlier on that day, when I stayed at Jenna and Tenielle’s before we left to go bowling, I learned a lot about them.  They have a good mom.  Her name is Ginger.  She has a very northern accent.  It is just the three of them.  Their mom runs a beauty parlor out of their trailer.  They are doing pretty good.  Their mom has a boyfriend who is over a lot, but he doesn’t stay there.

The bell rang.  So I’m going to Advanced Math now.  I’ll continue more later.

It’s lunch and I’m in the Library.  Let me continue.

Jenna is older than Tenielle, but Tenielle is more outgoing than Jenna.  The reason is as follows:

When Jenna was one year old and Ginger was pregnant with Tenielle their father died from a reason unknown to me.  Without the help of her husband, Ginger had to show more attention to Tenielle since she was an infant.  Therefore, as the years passed, she grew in more self-confidence than Jenna.

Their mom never let one go out with friends without the other there.  So Jenna is really dependent on Tenielle.  Their mom asked me to go down the road to the store; Jenna was too shy to go with me alone so Tenielle went.

Well, their mom doesn’t know me that well, but she is getting to.  When a person knows me well it seems like they trust me with anything.

Jenna and Tenielle share a room.  I told them about my Book of Days, so for some odd reason they started one.

Tenielle told me that I was in Jenna’s a lot.  Jenna wrote me another letter; I’ll write it in later.

When it came time to go, we left to pick up Shar and Shane.  Wayne was supposed to meet us there.  We had some time to kill so we went to Wal-Mart and tried to find wild clothes to try on, but we never actually tried on anything.

Well, the night eventually ended and after I got home that night, Jenna called just to make sure I got home safe.

Sunday morning, they wanted me to sit by them.  I did, Tenielle asked me to break her and Wayne up.  I talked to Wayne and he said he was mad at Tenielle because she was avoiding him.  So, they’re not together anymore.  I let them borrow some of my music and they told me that night that they really like it.

Jenna called me Sunday afternoon too.

Sunday night at church I sat between Jenna and Tenielle.  I gave them two letters each since I guess we sort of write each other now.

Scott came up to me later and asked me if one of them was my girlfriend.  He had a really weird look on his face.

The bell just rang.  I have to go to Computer Applications II.

I’m at home now.  It’s 6:10 p.m.  Kevin is on his way back to college.

So, where was I?  Oh, I told Scott “no.”  He just looked at me and said “yeah” in a really sarcastic tone and left.

Scott used to go with Cheryl and he asked Megan out last week.  She said she would feel too uncomfortable.

He says he wants a girlfriend.  Someone special to have and to hold.

I told him that I didn’t, that I’m just going to be everyone’s friend.

The funny thing is, my friendship with Jenna and Tenielle, just the time we spend hanging out and writing to each other, is what he is looking for in a girlfriend.  He seems hurt by all of this in a way.  When I saw him at the Pantry after church Sunday night, it seemed like there was a wall between us.

Does loving one subtract from another?

It shouldn’t.

But it might.

Well, Sunday night, as I will a few nights out of each month, I stayed the night at this house in Bonlee.  I watch these two boys whose mother is a friend of my mom.  My mom said she needed help and I’m helping her out.  The mom works all night at the hospital some nights, so I stay with the boys just to make sure nothing happens.  All I really do is sleep there and I get $10 a night.  I did it Sunday and I have to do it again Wednesday and Thursday night.

I don’t know what’s going to happen with Jenna and Tenielle.  Tenielle wants for just the three of us to go out.

It’s near the end of January.

One more week and then it will be February.

Then March.






Seven months.

It seemed like yesterday I had nine months left.  I’m so young.

Everything from last year is happening all over again.  Except this time it’s twice as big.  

I told you I would write Jenna and Tenielle’s letters in here, so here you go.  The first one is from Jenna:


You write really weird, it’s hard to understand, but it’s cool dude!

When you said Veronica was your first girlfriend, I didn’t laugh.  I wish I wouldn’t have gone with all the boys I have.

What are you doing now, besides reading this?

I hope you have fun at college, but everyone will miss you.  When you talked about Cheryl, what do you mean, ‘It doesn’t matter’?

Sorry I ask you so many questions, both in these letters and in person.  I don’t mean to.  I don’t even realize I’m doing it.

Well gotta go, but if you ever need advice you can ask me anything.  Even though I’m young and only 13 1/2, I am almost 14!

Love, Jenna” 

Here’s Tenielle’s:

“Dear Jacob,

Hi!  What are you doing?  I’m laying on my bed.  Well, I just wanted to thank you for taking us out and having a great time!!! I think we had a great time, but it would be better if Wayne and Shane weren’t there and maybe even Shar.  But other than that I had a good time.  I don’t really have anything to say, but you said if I need advice that you would tell me.  Well this really isn’t the advice, but… I don’t know if I really want to go with Wayne.  And I do, but I don’t.  I just hate when people tell me to do something and just like when you said, ‘we’re going to the park,’ Shane said, ‘What’re we going to do, play Truth or Dare?’ and he looked at Wayne and me.

Anyway, I feel like I can tell you anything and I trust you for some reason.  In my Diary, it says lots of what happened tonight.  That’s the part I’ll let you read because it is mostly about you.

Oh, you don’t think I acted like I like Wayne tonight, right?  I don’t want to break up with him, because I don’t want to hurt his feelings.  Jacob, please don’t show this letter to anyone.  What should I do about this?  I’m praying.  You might not think it’s a big deal, but it is to me.

Love, Tenielle.”

Well, the weekend is over.

And the Canon is continuing.

Dear God, may time never erase the way my heart sees their face.