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Authors: John Goode

Going the Distance

BOOK: Going the Distance
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Readers love the Tales from Foster High series by
J
OHN
G
OODE

Tales from Foster High

“This story was awesome. You could really get behind the feelings these young men had for each other and their lives in their small Texas community.”

—Mrs. Condit & Friends Read Books

“Brilliant. A truly phenomenal piece that took me right back to the halls of my youth, and made me remember the reality of what it was like.”

—Rainbow Book Reviews

End of the Innocence

“John Goode writes one hell of a book. His way with words is just almost sensual. He weaves not just a story, but threads that seem to wrap around your entire being.”

—Gay Romance Writer

“It is easily one of the most outstanding examples of realistic Young Adult fiction I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.”

—The Novel Approach

“You have to read this novel. Its twist and turns will leave you wanting more.”

—MM Good Book Reviews

151 Days

“This book and this series is important to read to really understand what some kids are going through in high school.”

—Hearts on Fire

By
J
OHN
G
OODE

First Time for Everything (anthology)

Going the Distance

L
ORDS
OF
A
RCADIA

Distant Rumblings

Eye of the Storm

The Unseen Tempest

T
ALES
FROM
F
OSTER
H
IGH

Tales from Foster High • To Wish for Impossible Things

End of the Innocence • Dear God

151 Days

Published by
H
ARMONY
I
NK
P
RESS

http://harmonyinkpress.com

C
OPYRIGHT

Published by

H
ARMONY
I
NK
P
RESS

5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886  USA

[email protected]

http://harmonyinkpress.com

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of author imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Going the Distance

© 2014 John Goode.

Cover Art

© 2014 Paul Richmond.

www.paulrichmondstudio.com

Cover content is for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted on the cover is a model.

All rights reserved. This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of international copyright law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines, and/or imprisonment. Any eBook format cannot be legally loaned or given to others. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Harmony Ink Press, 5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886, USA, or [email protected].

ISBN: 978-1-63216-619-7

Library Edition ISBN: 978-1-63216-620-3

Digital ISBN: 978-1-63216-621-0

Library of Congress Control Number: 2014949324

First Edition November 2014

Library Edition February 2015

Printed in the United States of America

This paper meets the requirements of

ANSI/NISO Z39.48-1992 (Permanence of Paper).

This is dedicated to every single gay athlete who played even though they knew their teammates might not accept them.

 

 

C
HAPTER
O
NE
:
T
IP
-O
FF

 

 

M
Y
NAME
is Daniel Devin Monroe, and I’m eighteen years old.

I was born on January 24 in the Naval Hospital at Camp Pendleton to John and Mary Monroe, who had been married for only six months at the time. My dad was a newly minted PFC fresh out of boot and spent exactly three days with me as an infant before being shipped out. Later that month Mom and I joined him at Kaneohe Bay in Hawaii, where we lived until I was five years old and she was killed.

A drunk driver blindsided her on her way back from the store just outside of base. I was being watched by family friends on base and had no idea what had happened until a chaplain came to collect me. My father was deployed when it happened, and it took the brass almost a week to get him back home. Neither of them had any relatives living nearby, so I stayed with a family on base. It was the longest week of my life. I was pretty sure my parents had given me back. I cried, screamed, begged the people watching me to tell Mommy and Daddy that I would do better if they gave me another chance. No one wanted to be the guy who told a kid his mom was dead, so instead they kept trying to reassure me that I hadn’t done anything wrong.

To this day I walk around feeling like I have done something wrong even when I haven’t.

I can vaguely remember my dad standing there in his uniform, sobbing violently as they gave him the details of what had happened. Up to that moment I’d had no clue how bad the situation was. I thought Mommy had gone to Daddy and they were leaving me forever. Seeing him break down was the instant I knew our life as it had been was over. That might seem like a very complex thought for a five-year-old, but little kids see and understand more than a lot of adults think. I knew that Mommy was gone and she wasn’t coming back.

After that I don’t remember much besides an endless stream of covered dishes from the other families on base and the nights lying awake in my bed hearing my dad cry in the next room. I didn’t know it at the time, but my dad’s life was crashing around him also. He was the sole caretaker of a child he barely knew. I never asked him if he had the
desire to send me off somewhere else to live. I knew he had a sister he never talked to, so it wasn’t like he didn’t have options. I never asked him because I was always afraid of the answer. I’m sure he was given the chance to get out of the service, but he didn’t take it. He was twenty-three years old, a widower raising a child on his own, and I figure he didn’t want to add “unemployed” to the words that described him.

We moved around a lot after that. The Marines assigned him to mercy billets, which were postings in CONUS—Contiguous United States, meaning the lower forty-eight—he could fill while raising me. We never stayed anywhere more than a year and a half. The only housing I knew was on base. I grew up with a high and tight and an oversized USMC sweatshirt on wherever I went. I was a base brat in a bad way, and it never occurred to me that people lived any differently than I did.

When I was ten, Dad sat me down and explained that we had a chance to transfer to Germany for an actual posting. The Marine Corps had been more than patient with him, and he repaid them with what would become a willing lifetime service commitment. Five years was a long time to not have a steady post, and at ten I was more than old enough to weather an overseas billet. My dad was now an MP, and there was a posting in Stuttgart he could take, providing I was okay with it. I didn’t understand at the time what going overseas meant or why he was asking me for the first time if I wanted to go somewhere. I simply agreed, thinking being in Germany meant another base school I wouldn’t like in a new place I’d never see.

I have never been so wrong about something before or since.

The thing about military bases is that they have a consistency that is comforting to a young child in ways an adult can’t understand. I never learned the difference between Oklahoma and Virginia, since the bases in each state looked exactly the same to me. The same steel gray tones coupled with the overwhelming sense of order made me oblivious to the concept that one place could be different from another. So when I stepped off the plane in Germany and was, for the first time in my ten years of life, confronted with something new and not the same as everything else, I did what any world-wise child would do.

I threw a fit and screamed, begging to go home.

The sad part was, I had no idea where home was. Home was a series of half a dozen names sprinkled across the country. Home was the identical four walls that made up my bedroom in each place. I was a military gypsy and was crying for a place that didn’t exist. I couldn’t verbalize to my father what I wanted. I’m sure he knew he was screwed. He had committed himself to the posting, and there were no other options. The Marines had given him more than enough leeway, and now it was his time to pay them back. The feelings of a ten-year-old had no impact whatsoever in their feelings, and he’d known me long enough by then to deal with me as best he could. In Germany.

On the other hand, I felt my dad was unfair, a jerk, and doing this just to make my life miserable. I hated the base, the school, the other kids who lived there, everything. My level of loathing knew no bounds. As time passed the loathing just increased. The first month sucked, since my dad had an inordinate amount of training and paperwork to complete in order to be brought up to speed with his assignment, which meant the horrible place with nothing on TV was made even worse by the fact I had to suffer it alone.

I hated the people who lived there, and I hated the weird language they spoke. I hated the different uniforms people wore on base, and I hated that we had to learn different things in school. I had gone from being an average student to the slow guy overnight when I found the difference between US-based schools and German schools to be devastating. I didn’t want to learn about Europe or Germany or anything new. I hated it more and more and blamed my dad for landing us in Stuttgart. I became surly, mouthing off to teachers, refusing to do schoolwork, generally being a spoiled fucking brat of the highest order. I say that now, looking back at how impossibly hard it must have been for my dad. He spent a twelve-hour shift in a new place with different regulations and a different culture and then came home to me and my problems. Me not liking the school and hating the language and not having good TV programs must have seemed petty to him.

BOOK: Going the Distance
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