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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

The Beard - 8. Chapter 8

“Follow me.” Coach Miller’s voice allowed no room for argument as he stared down at Dale. It was his study period at the end of the day, and he’d been on his way to the library when he saw the football team coach standing there. Since the little match he’d participated in had been exactly a week ago, he had some idea why the coach was here now, demanding that Dale follow him.

There wasn’t much choice. In school, teachers had authority, and Coach Miller had more authority than most. He’d been at the school for sixteen years, and while the football team hadn’t been the best in the last few years, the first decade of his time had seen championship after championship victory. The flags of those victories still hung on the walls of the gym.

Dale hadn’t been in the locker room since the end of his sophomore year. It still smelled the same, after four or five decades it seemed no amount of cleaning would get rid of the smell of sweat, testosterone and other bodily fluids that hung in the place. Coach Miller was a tall man, and it seemed like he grew another inch as he stood slightly straighter, leading the way to the cluster of offices just off of the main locker room. He had the biggest office of them all as the senior Coach, and he sat behind an old, battered desk that looked like it was surplus from World War II.

“You and Chavez seem to have put aside your difficulties.” Coach Miller said after Dale had taken the rickety chair on the opposite side of the desk. Dale studied the man, who was about the same age as what Dale’s father would have been, and had blond hair that was fading to gray. He still had a fit body, and obviously kept in shape – unlike some of the other coaches.

“We worked things out, Coach.” Dale mumbled, wondering if the fight in the cafeteria was what this was about instead of the little game he’d played with Chavez and others against Westport’s team.

“You also managed to survive another encounter with Millray.” Miller noted. “This time I was pleased to hear that my team acted like what I’ve been trying to pound into them instead of how they behaved with you and your friends last year.”

“They’re good guys.” Dale had to struggle to find something to say.

“How is your mother doing?” Coach Miller’s change of subject worried Dale. “I haven’t seen her since the funeral.”

“She’s doing better.” Dale said with a frown. The Coach’s words reminded him of something he’d forgotten. Every now and then, the Coach would visit their house when Dale was growing up, and had even played catch a few times with Dale and his father.

“You and Dad were friends.” Dale said aloud, having put the pieces together and arriving at a startling conclusion. It was amazing how he’d forgotten about Coach Miller’s visits, but then he’d been in Junior High during the last of them, and not attending the High School where the man taught.

“Yes, we played together in college.” Coach Miller said with a slight smile. “After I got hurt and any chance of a career was ended, your father helped me get a job here in town. I met my wife here, again thanks to your father. He was very proud of you, you know.”

“Not proud enough to stick around when things got tough.” Dale said, surprised at the bitterness in his voice.

“No, he had his faults.” Coach Miller’s comment was honest, and surprised Dale. Most people tried to defend his father when he said stuff like that. Miller wasn’t attacking Dale’s father, just being truthful. “He had a lot of pride, and I think it was that pride that led to his downfall in the end. When things got bad, he couldn’t see a way out and instead of taking help, he refused it and gave in to the despair. I hope it’s a lesson you’ve learned.”

“I… there haven’t been many things to be proud of in the last few years.” Dale said with shame, hanging his head as he shifted in the chair and it creaked with the movement.

“Nonsense.” Miller refuted Dale’s statement. “You stood up for yourself or that little incident with Millray would have turned out differently. I notice that most of the other kids in that group moved on to other schools rather than face the crap in the hallways, but you trudge through it.”

“I don’t have much choice.” Dale shrugged. “We can’t afford to move.”

“But you don’t let the whispers and other crap get to you.” Miller pointed out. “More, you’ve made friends with Pritchard, and if the stories I’m hearing and reading are true, a little more than just friends. You’ve also earned the respect of Chavez and others on the team. They’ve spent a lot of time in the last week raving about you and begging me to talk to you about playing for the team next semester.”

“Is that what this is about?” Dale asked.

“If you want to give it a go, I’ll be glad to work with you, but I won’t pressure you one way or the other.” Coach Miller said indifferently. “Your father paid his way through college on a football scholarship. I know you’ve got a natural talent for the game, but you’re coming to it awful late. If it’s something you want to do, it will take a lot of effort and determination, and I will help as much as I can. Then again, if you’d rather not, well we’ll get by although Ben King will be the worst affected.”

“How’s that?” Dale asked with a frown.

“Ben is a good receiver, and an okay quarterback.” Coach Miller answered. “We’ve had a few scouts from some good colleges sniffing around about him last year. A good year, even without us going to the championships, but a good year for him as a receiver and he might get a good scholarship. It won’t be to one of the Big Ten, but there might be a few good schools for him to choose from. Stuck at quarterback? Well I’ve got the ear of coaches at some of the smaller schools and he might get a basic scholarship that will help him with school.”

“So you’re saying if I don’t play, Ben’s going to have problems with getting though college.” Dale frowned at the obvious pressuring.

“No, I’m saying that Ben’s one of the people that have been hurt by last year’s incident, even though he wasn’t involved.” Coach Miller said with a shrug. “It’s not your responsibility to fix it or make things easier for him. That’s my job as his coach and I’ll do what I can, and that means letting you know what is going on so you make an informed decision. If you decide to work with the team, I’ll do my best to get you up to speed. We’ve got a few months to do that before we even start summer camp.”

“I’ve never been interested in football.” Dale shrugged. “That was always something dad wanted.”

“Really?” Coach Miller asked with a frown. “Who was it that begged his father to play Pee-Wee football?”

“He wouldn’t let me.” Dale pointed out.

“Too many kids get hurt playing at that age.” Coach Miller stated. “You did play flag football in your first year of Junior High.”

“Yeah, but I wasn’t the quarterback.” Dale noted. “That was Beachman.”

“Who moved away and is no longer in the district, much less the state.” Coach Miller made his own point. “You were backup quarterback and played the second half of most games.”

“I forgot about that.” Dale admitted. He really had forgotten. Those pictures from that year were packed away in a box with a bunch of other stuff in storage. Somehow he’d pushed it all right out of his mind. Part of it was because his father had killed himself early the next year.

“Blochs didn’t forget.” Coach Miller pointed out. “He played with you on that team.”

“Oh yeah.” Dale blushed. This conversation was making him curious. How much of his life before his dad’s suicide had he pushed away and forgotten like the flag football? He remembered that, how proud he’d been when he got on the team, and how happy he was as his father recounted each and every play to his mother after each game. No wonder he’d done his best to forget that time.

It had been a regular, happy father-son moment thing and those hurt to remember with what came later.

“Sometimes we can’t take the good without the bad.” Coach Miller said as Dale sat there silently. It was like the man was reading his mind, and Dale felt tears come to his eyes. He’d done his best to not cry at all with everything that had happened, but somehow this man was bringing those tears out.

“Why’d he do it?” Dale finally asked, choking back a sob. It was like waves of feelings were washing through him. Grief was followed by rage, anger by a longing for when things had been simpler. He could feel his whole body shaking as he sobbed quietly, the tears flowing from his eyes, tears that he hadn’t even shed at his father’s grave, or in the counseling sessions that he’d gotten before the money had run out.

“None of us can answer that for sure, Dale.” Coach Miller’s voice was filled with sensitivity as he got up from his desk and knelt next to Dale’s chair. The sensitivity and kindness of the football coach was surprising, and even more surprising was how good it made Dale feel at that moment. “People are a lot more complicated than we would like, and your father was no different than the rest of us in that regard.”

“I know.” Dale sighed. It made sense, especially when added to what the counselor had told him right afterwards. “Sometimes I just wonder what would have happened if I’d said something different, or maybe spent more time with him the day it happened.”

“He’d probably have just done it another day.” Coach Miller said and Dale winced at the bluntness of the words. “Some people try to commit suicide and send all types of warning signals. Most of them actually are calling for help. The people, like your father, who don’t send any warning signals are the ones who really want to die and usually succeed. I don’t think he wanted you to be the one to find him though.”

“Why are you so… blunt?” Dale asked with a shake of his head. The sobs had stopped and the tears were slowing down too. “Most people, they just tell me my dad was a good person who made a mistake and didn’t deserve it, or that he deserved it because of the accident.”

“I’m a coach.” Coach Miller said with a shrug and a smile as he stood back up. Now that Dale was calming down, he resumed his seat. “Part of my job is to find the weaknesses of my players and give them an honest analysis of where they are lacking as well as praise for what they are doing right. That was one reason why Millray and I didn’t get along, and the team suffered for it as a result. Millray thought he knew it all and wanted to go his own way, not the way I wanted things done.”

“But you’re the coach.” Dale said with a frown. “Can’t you just make him do what you want?”

“I could, but then I wouldn’t be a good coach.” Miller answered with a faint smile. “This isn’t my team, it’s the players’ team. I’m here to guide them, to help them be the best they can be, but they succeed or fail on their own merits, not on mine. Some coaches do it differently because they are obsessed with the game and their own records. Ruining the lives of the young men on my team are not worth winning any games.”

“Huh.” Dale said with a shrug. “I never guessed that.”

“There’s a lot you don’t know, Dale.” Coach Miller was all smiles now. “For that matter, there’s a lot every single person does not know. Unfortunately, far too many of us think we do know everything we need to know and we close our minds off to other possibilities. That was probably your father’s worst failing, and I think it might be one of the explanations you’ve been looking for in regards to his death.”

“I don’t know.” Dale said sadly. “Thank you though. This wasn’t what I expected. I thought you’d just push me to join the team.”

“I’d love to have you on the team, but you have to join it for the right reasons, Dale.” Coach Miller said seriously. “I won’t cajole you, I won’t push you to join, but if you do, we’re going to have to work pretty hard to get you up to speed. From what I’ve seen and heard, you’ve managed to keep your fine control, but your arm is weak. Some of the plays require you to throw the ball a long ways, and you are not capable of doing that without some strength training, and of course you have to learn to work with others as a team. You have possibility, even after skipping so much time, but it would not be easy and you wouldn’t do well if you didn’t do it for the right reasons.”

“I understand.” Dale said with a nod. “I don’t think I can do it anyways. We still have a lot of bills to pay, and I have to work regularly.”

“Like I told you, I won’t pressure you.” Coach Miller said. “Now, the last period is almost over, so why don’t you go on and head home? I’ve cleared you with your study hall teacher so there won’t be a problem there.”

“Thanks, Coach.” Dale said as he stood up and found he was smiling.

“You’re welcome.” Coach Miller replied and then he looked thoughtful. “Don’t be such a stranger, Andrews. Even if you don’t join the team, stop by and let me know how you are doing, or just come by to talk if you need someone’s ear to bend.”

“Thanks, I just might.” Dale said, wondering at just how much his life had changed in the last few weeks since Cole had come walking into his work on that boring night.

Cole is what stopped him dead in his tracks as he started to leave the locker room. Like most athletes, Cole had P.E. last period and was in the locker room, changing out of his sweats. His torso was covered in a light sheen of sweat, and he was laughing at something Jeremy Blochs was saying. Dale’s reaction was almost embarrassing, and he adjusted his backpack to hide the growing visibility of his erection just before Cole spotted him. The smile that filled Cole’s face when he saw Dale would have made it impossible to miss the tent in his pants.

“Dale, you talked to Coach?” Cole called out, and suddenly Dale’s face was red as several familiar faces turned towards him.

“Hey, queer, you joining the team so you can look at this every day?” Chavez called out, turning to show his underwear-clad butt to Dale. It was shocking how light and teasing his tone was, and the smile on his face showed he was using the term ‘queer’ as a nickname more than an insult.

“Sorry Chavez, who could look at that when I’ve got him to look at?” Dale replied boldly, pointing to Cole who was looking a little upset at Chavez’s teasing. The truth was this was the closest to nude that he’d seen Cole, and every bit of his body was as perfect as what he’d seen so far. It really was too bad that their being boyfriends was a sham. It would be wonderful to run his hands and tongue all over that perfectly lean body.

“Ah man, Coach better not put his locker near yours.” Chavez groaned aloud. “We don’t want to have to wait for your two to finish geeking on each other before we start a game.”

“He can have the locker near mine.” Ben King offered.

“Hey, wait a minute!” Dale protested, suddenly alarmed. “I didn’t say I’d join the team.”

“Why not?” Chavez asked. “Is it about me calling you queer? I’ll stop, I promise. I don’t mean it bad, at least not anymore.”

“I have no problem with the way you say it now.” Dale said firmly. “It’s not that.”

“Is it what Millray did?” One of the other players asked. Dale didn’t know the brown-haired senior. “If it is, we’ll go kick his ass if you’ll change your mind.”

“No, it’s not Millray.” Dale said with a sigh. “He’s gone.”

“You worried about us, then?” Another team member asked. This was a shorter, squat guy with dirty blond hair and a smile that lit up his face. He had a towel wrapped around his waist and abs that looked too darn good. “Look, we don’t care if you’re gay. It looks like Pritchard’s one of you too, and he’s an okay guy, so it doesn’t really matter if we have another one on the team.”

“You know the other teams are going to give you crap about it.” Dale told the guy.

“Then we’ll just have to win so we can rub it in their faces that a bunch of queers and queer-lovers beat their asses.” Chavez retorted with a bark of laughter. “We can hump their asses when we tackle them and really freak them out. You don’t play as well when you’re freaked out, so we can fucking psyche them out and win more games.”

“You’re a sick mother fucker.” Johnson laughed in a booming way, slapping Chavez on the shoulder.

“You guys are freaky.” Dale said with a shake of his head.

“Just call us the queer lovers.” Johnson laughed as he shook his head. There was a look of disbelief on his face as he said that, and the laughter in the locker room was uncomfortable to say the least, but no one protested.

“I don’t know.” Dale shook his head again. “I’ve got work and…”

“Your work will fix things so you can play ball.” Cole promised, giving Dale a very direct look.

“Yeah, just listen to the boss’s son there.” Chavez laughed since he knew where Dale was working now.

“Then it’s settled.” Johnson boomed. “You’ll be playing next semester.”

There was a lot of cheering from most of the team, although Dale noticed a few of them just nodded and went back to changing. Not Chavez, Johnson, and the guy with the abs. They came over and patted Dale on the back, welcoming him to the team even though he had not said ‘yes’ yet. He wanted to point that out to them, but he found his voice was stuck and he couldn’t quite force the words out.

“I have to get to work.” Dale said when the congratulations was finished, and turned on his heel to leave the locker room. He could see Jeremy and Cole talking to each other quietly, and he nodded to them as he left the building. Cole had a slight frown on his face but gave Dale a smile.

While he did have to go to work, it was actually several hours before he needed to show up there. That was just an excuse to get out of the locker room. He got into his truck and drove around for a bit before heading home. His grandfather was out, doing something, and his grandmother was in the back yard getting her garden ready for planting.

“Did you have a good day at school?” His mother asked as he came into her room. She had the television on, watching some program, but paused it as he came into the room.

“Yeah.” Dale said as he sat in the chair nearest her bed.

“Okay, that was less than enthusiastic.” She said with a shake of her head. Grandmother had gotten her to wear one of her dresses today and she looked good.

“Do you remember Coach Miller?” Dale asked and she frowned.

“He was a friend of your father’s.” She answered with a lost look on her face. “Has he been bothering you? I’ll call the Principal and…”

“No!” Dale exclaimed. “Nothing like that. I mean, well, he wanted to talk to me today, so he took me into his office. It was a good talk. He reminded me of a lot of things I’d just plain forgotten about.”

“Like what?” She asked him with an expression of curiosity.

“Like playing flag football.” Dale said with hunched shoulders.

“How could you forget that?” His mother asked with surprise. “You begged him for years to let you play and he kept telling you that you were too young. Then you played and every weekend I’d get to listen to him recount every minute you played. He was so proud of you, and you seemed to be proud of yourself. That’s one of the things that made me so angry about everything. Instead of playing football when you got into high school you were taking care of me.”

“Yeah, well that’s changing now.” Dale sighed again.

“You joined the football team?” His mother asked with surprise, and there was actually a happy look on her face.

“More like they drafted me.” Dale responded with a little grin. It took some time to explain everything, but she really seemed excited.

“Oh, I’m going to have to get some warm clothes for the fall so I can go.” She said with an excited voice.

“What?” Dale asked with surprise. “You never went to my flag football games.”

“I had to work and other things.” His mother said sternly. “Now, well I’m looking forward to it, even if it is like half a year away. I’m so glad you met the Pritchard boy, Dale. Make sure you don’t let him get bored with you.”

“Mom!” Dale protested with blushing cheeks. He almost told her right then the whole truth, but he stopped his tongue just in time.

“Did I make my son blush?” There was a lot of amusement in her voice as she teased him, and that brought a smile to Dale’s face. It was worth being embarrassed if she was so happy, and there was a smile on her face that was genuine. “I talked to Elaine Pritchard today. She invited us to dinner next weekend, including your grandparents. The congressman is going to be home and we’re all supposed to get together. Make sure you have some good clothes ready.”

“I will.” Dale told her, shaking his head again and thinking briefly about the break-up that would happen after the election. His family was going to be so disappointed. He’d have to make sure Cole knew he’d be enemy number one around here for a while.

“Good, now do you have homework?” She asked. “Since the Coach bothered you during study hall I’m going to assume you didn’t finish it all there.”

“Yes, I have work.” Dale said with a sigh and got up from the chair. He did hug her though, and she was smiling as he started to leave. When he glanced up at the television though, he froze. “What the hell are you watching?”

“Watch your language young man!” She shot at him. Dale was standing there looking at the big plasma screen and the obvious image of two men in underwear on the bed.

“Are you watching gay porn?” He asked, and he did his best to not let his body react to the images. They really were hot guys.

“No.” His mother laughed. “It’s the Logo channel. Sordid Lives: The Series.” That’s Ty and his boyfriend.”

“Oh.” Dale said with a shake of his head. “You better not let Grandma catch you watching that. She’ll turn off the satellite service.”

“Your grandmother watches it with me most of the time.” His mother’s voice was sarcastic now. “She likes Sissy, says the women reminds her of an Aunt she had growing up.”

“Oh god.” Dale moaned before beating a hasty retreat from the room. He had no interest in seeing a show that reminded his grandmother of one of her crazy relatives. Still, he wondered if that was the Aunt that his grandmother talked about, the one that had poisoned the entire church with one of her dishes. The way grandmother told the story, the half of the church that wasn’t in the hospital had it coming out of both ends for a week.

When he got to work, after an interesting dinner with his mother and grandparents at the table, he was surprised to see Cole’s Aunt Trish was in the office. She wasn’t a common sight around the office. Most of the time she handled the campaign from a distance. The only time she was in the office was when the Congressman was making some major appearance in the area.

“They want you in Jan’s office.” Howie told Dale after he’d barely had time to log in to the computer at his cubicle. Dale frowned but nodded as Howie gave him an undecipherable look. His stomach was already doing flip-flops before he reached Jan’s office.

“Hi Jan, Mrs. Turnbuckle.” Dale said after knocking on Jan’s door before opening.

“Have a seat Dale.” Jan said with a friendly smile. Her office was always perfectly neat, unlike the rest of the campaign headquarters. She was wearing jeans and a comfortable sweater, unlike Trish Turnbuckle who was dressed as if she was preparing to go on the evening news talk shows.

“Don’t be nervous.” Trish said sharply, and then she smiled. “Oh, and please, call me Trish. I guess you’re practically family now.”

“Uh, okay.” Dale said with a frown, suddenly feeling even more nervous than he had been when he knocked on the door. “What’s going on?”

“Why do you think something is going on, Dale?” Trish asked him with a smile.

“Uh, you’re here.” Dale said with a frown. “You don’t come up here from Sac unless there’s a problem or the Congressman’s making an appearance somewhere.”

“Well, at least you’re not an idiot.” Trish said with a sigh.

“I told you he’s an intelligent young man.” Jan said with a warning tone to the meticulously dressed woman. “Dale, what Trish is trying to figure out is if you can handle a media interview.”

“Why?” Dale asked with a frown.

“The vote is tomorrow and the news is breaking that the Congressman has changed his position.” Trish explained. “The press isn’t filled with fools. They know the vote would not be scheduled unless the votes had been lined up, not on this bill, not after what happened last time and with elections coming up so soon. Since the Congressman has been one of the key holdouts in the party, there doesn’t have to be a leak to guess that it is him, especially with the tough primary election we are in now. My office has been fielding calls all day asking for confirmation and explanation.”

“What does this have to do with me?” Dale asked with a frown.

“Do you really need to ask that?” Trish asked him with an answering frown.

“I’m dating his son.” Dale said with a sigh. “Plus with my family history, and the crap from last year with the football players, I guess it’d make sense.”

“Only the local media would bring that up right away, but you’re probably right the national folks will latch onto it quickly once the Congressman makes tomorrow’s speech.” Trish nodded. “As soon as he makes the speech, they are going to want to talk to Cole and to you. Your mother will have to approve any interviews. That’s the law, but I needed to talk to you first.”

“I don’t really want to do interviews.” Dale said. He barely caught himself in time. Almost he had said “That wasn’t the deal I made with Cole.”

That would have been bad.

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to, Dale.” Jan said.

“Still, you can imagine the angle the press is going to hit if you don’t.” Trish said. “They will bring up your history, and the fact you are working for the campaign now. It would keep things under control if you did speak. I have a copy of the speech that will be given tomorrow, and you’re quoted a few times from the conversation you had over dinner a bit ago.”

“Oh no.” Dale said with a frown.

“Oh, yes.” Trish said with an odd look. “Don’t tell me you didn’t expect that. You made some good arguments that night from what I’ve been told.”

“He doesn’t have to quote me though.” Dale said. “Just tell them Cole said it.”

“That would be lying.” Trish countered. “Lying is always a risk and you don’t do it when it is not necessary. You made the arguments.”

“Don’t remind me.” Dale frowned.

“I will have one of my people come up tomorrow.” She continued. “Leonora is an experienced press person and will prep you.”

“I have school.” Dale said with a frown.

“I’ll call the Principal and get you out.” Trish said without hesitation. “Don’t worry, we’ve had to make such arrangements with Cole from time to time over the years.”

“My grandparents aren’t going to be exactly happy.” Dale argued.

“The question is still about you.” Trish said with a raised eyebrow. “Will you do it?”

“Yes.” Dale said with a sigh. He didn’t want to, Cole had never mentioned this, but it was something that should have been expected.

“Good.” Trish smiled that shark-like smile of hers and Dale sighed again. “In fact, there’s no need to wait for Leonora to get up here tomorrow. Let’s get started. First of all, don’t blink as much on camera. It doesn’t come across well, and sit still. When you move too much on camera, it looks bad. Little movements of the head are okay, but keep your hands at your side.”

She went on like that for a lot longer than Dale expected, and he was soon overwhelmed with instructions. He wanted to get a notebook and take notes, but instead tried to absorb as much as possible as he could. By the time he went home that night, he was dreading the next day.

Copyright © 2012 dkstories; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental. Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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DAng, I am caught up and already pining for more Cole and Dale. This is such a great and enthralling story. Love the grandfather by the way. He would probably be Dale's best advocate if truth be known. lol

Loving this story so much:)

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I loved this story the first time, Just read the first eight chapter again today. Love the updates. I hope you will continue further than the first story

This is great story

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Things are really beginning to snowball for Dale. The comment about

lying says it all. I worry about whether or not he's capable of lying to the

whole world. As the pressure to bolster the lie about his relationship with

Cole grows, will he be able to keep his own self-respect? Coach Miller's

comment about his father's shortcomings and character have to enter

into the equasion. It's going to be difficult for a person like Dale.

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I've decided to go for the fairy tale ending of Cole and Dale. I hope their relationship survives the upcoming craziness.

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Probably one of the most emotional chapters of the story yet written in such a way that it is neither sentimental nor unbelievable that Dale goes through this catharsis (maybe too strong a word, but he does suddenly see his past and his dad in a wholly new way). And the reward is that he gets to be part of the football team, which is sure to be good for all of them. Oh and great to see a football coach portrayed as a intelligent and sensitive being rather than the stereotype we other get in these gay teen stories.

Oh and the the little surprise about the interview gets tagged on the end, leaving us out of breath with all the whirlwind changes in Dale's life. This story gets better with every new chapter, you really are a great writer.

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Yikes Aunt Trisha is scary. Dale's life has really turned around...fingers crossed it's not all going to come crushing down. Really good story, thanks.

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I hate seeing Dale being used by so many in his life. Now he will have to lie for them. He is doing crap, he would never do, before these people worked on him.

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