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    Krista
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Standing In Shadows - 1. Chapter 1

SIS 1

The summer before my senior year of High School has just began. I had high hopes for this summer; the last summer before a final freedom of the four walls I’ve called my room for the last seventeen years. The summers before this one I spent helping Mom in the store. She had been a Kindergarten teacher before, but after my grandfather died over nine years ago she took over the family store. It had been in the family for over four generations and Mom couldn’t stand seeing it bought or closed. It was in the other side of town, next door to the house we moved to after she started working there. We had lived in the middle of town, now hay fields and a secluded country church dominated the landscape. I had no neighbors that I could walk to and strike up a plan to waste time anymore. After getting my license it gave me a sense of freedom I had longed for. I could now go across town and see my friends from school, but it still didn’t mean I could neglect everything my parents wanted from me.

“Riley Corey Wells if you’re not up in ten minutes and at the breakfast table you’ll live to regret it,” Dad bellowed from the hallway of our one story two bedroom house. Being the only child we didn’t need a lot of space, but having all the chores and no one to share them with wasn’t something I looked forward to every morning. The older I got the more responsibilities I had. I now had my own shift at the store at night instead of just cleaning up the store I now had to deal with the customers, mostly regulars to the store that had come since they were young. It provided little income for the family, and I barely got what I would call a paycheck for working there just enough to spend on gas and an occasional trip to the bowling alley for two games or to the pool.

“I’m up,” I groaned rolling out of bed. I grabbed my ball shorts from the floor and shoved my legs into them. I grabbed a clean shirt from my closet and tugged it over my head. I left the room and walked down the small hallway to kitchen table. It was in the middle of the kitchen, it barely left room for Mom to cook and we were always stepping around one another to get around. The house was small, a lot smaller than our old home in town. It was cheap; no one had lived in it before we bought it. The family that owned it before us rented it out a few times before putting it up for sale.

“You could’ve took a shower before coming to breakfast Riley,” Mom said as she examined me while holding a skillet full of scrambled eggs.

“You said ten minutes,” I said as I sat down at my seat across the table from my father who had started drinking his cup of morning coffee.

“At least fix your hair,” she said as she smiled and winked at me before turning to finish up breakfast.

“Yeah,” I said, “I am in need of a good hair cut.”

“Want me to do it?” Dad asked setting the town’s paper aside. It had never really been filled with important news. The only thing Dad was worried about anyway was the sports column and the police news to see if any of his stars were in trouble for drinking or something. It only took him a few minutes to read and I had no use for it at all. If the writers wrote anything about me though, Mom would make a fuss and cut it out to save in one of her scrapbooks.

“No,” I said as I ran my fingers through my hair. It was wavy and longer than what my Dad preferred it to be. His idea for a haircut was buzzed really short with a pair of trimmers. He had been cutting his own hair for years.

“That’s probably a good thing, I’ll cover your morning shift so you can go to town,” Mom said as she sat down with her cup of coffee and the last platter of food.

“The boy can go after work,” Dad argued looking across the table at me.

“But Dad,” I said reaching for the biscuits just to have my hand slapped away by him.

“Your mother first, she cooked the meal,” Dad said, “and don’t you back talk me son.”

“Right,” I sighed looking down at my empty plate and poured glass of milk. I was aware of the rules, but challenging Dad was something I found myself doing more. He was always strict; it was how his father raised him. Now I was receiving the crash course. When Mom had finished serving herself Dad took his turn and when he finished setting his own plate I took my turn. Mom controlled most of the conversations at the dinner table, mostly Dad pretended to listen as he ate, but since it was early Mom only had last night’s gossip to talk about.

“Oh and did you hear about Glenda Taylor’s oldest daughter?” Mom asked getting both our attention for the first time after we were all sat down to breakfast and eating.

“Sara?” Dad asked setting down his fork, finished eating. My heart skipped when Mom didn’t continue with the story, but was relieved when she smiled.

“She’s getting married,” Mom said, “to a nice boy named Brandon, but I can’t for the life of me remember his last name.”

“Oh,” Dad said, “well that’s nice.”

“We’re probably not invited to her wedding,” I said squirming in my seat before I stood wanting to escape the table with the mention of the Taylor family.

“Just because you broke up with Jenny doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to go to their wedding,” Mom said and dad looked up at me frowning.

“You broke up with Jenny Taylor?” Dad asked shaking his head, “what did this one do?”

“Dad,” I said shaking my head, “I’m too young to be serious.”

“You’re also too old to be a flake son,” Dad argued grabbing his cup of coffee to refill it.

“Honey leave the boy alone,” Mom said as she reached over and caressed his hand. “I remember how you were in high school.”

“I wised up didn’t I Cora?” Dad asked smiling and leaning in to kiss Mom on the cheek. The show of affection was a surprise to me as I rarely saw Dad do anything like that in front of me. His stern straight edged demeanor softened until he saw that I was still in the room. He coughed and turned back to the paper. I walked back into my room to get ready for my morning shift at the store. Mom would be working the register while I restock the shelves and make sure the mechanics show up on time. The summer for the most part already seemed unpromising, just like the others. My friends Keith and Ryan had always been optimistic that my folks would let me be free for one summer. This year though, they decided to enjoy their last summer before senior year to go to a summer camp for athletes. They were on the football team. The football team that Dad coached and the same football team that I was the quarterback for.

“Hurry up Riley,” Dad ordered from behind the door as I started dressing. I put the apron on with the Store’s name embroidered on it. “Wells Gas, Garage, and Groceries.”

“Comin,” I responded opening the door to find him standing in my way.

“We’ll have a talk about Jenny when you get off work,” he said in his hard matter of fact tone. It meant that I wouldn’t get out of it, even if Mom came to my rescue.

“Yes sir,” I said standing straight and looking at him eye to eye. It was how he liked me to respond, satisfied he patted me on the top of the head and we went our separate ways as he headed out to the back yard. Being the football coach and history teacher at the high school he had the summer away from school. Unlike me though, he never worked at the store unless Mom or I were too sick to work our shifts. Even if he was the town hero, being responsible for three state championships. With most of the team being seniors next season, the opportunity for a fourth looked promising. In a town where football is first it was difficult to escape it when I wanted to. I found myself wanting to escape it more than I liked playing. I hadn’t enjoyed the sport, but I had been conditioned for it all my life. One more year wouldn’t kill me, I knew that, but it didn’t make it easier to get through with Dad.
“Go get your hair cut,” Mom whispered as we walked across the yard to the pavement of the store’s parking lot. The regulars were already waiting in their cars for Mom to open the store and start serving them breakfast before they headed off to work.

“Mom if he catches me away I’ll be in trouble,” I countered smiling.

“He’ll get over it,” she said, “and I’ll talk to him if he gives you any trouble.”

“He’s already mad that I broke it off with Jenny,” I stammered looking down at the apron.

“Honey when he was your age he had a new girl on his arm every week,” Mom explained patting me on the shoulder then hugging me closer to her. I had out grown her since middle school, but her smaller frame was still comforting.

“I know,” I said, “but I have to settle down.”

“He’s only wanting you not to make the same mistakes he did dear,” she defended releasing me from her grip to unlock the door to the store. “Now mind your mother and go get a hair cut.”

“Fine,” I said faking a groan as I took off my apron and handed it to her. I did unlock the garage for the mechanics before I grabbed my helmet and keys to my motorcycle. It was Dad’s and I got it fixed up for my sixteenth birthday. It wasn’t anything special, but it was easy to push until I got out of Dad’s ear shot. I started down the highway slowly pushing the bike with the helmet hanging on the handle bars. When I got to the large hill I hopped on and started the bike. I glanced over my shoulder at the store and my house in the distance and hoped I was far enough away before securing my helmet and heading for town.

After parking the bike and taking the keys I walked into the barber shop. It was empty as it was a weekday and early in the morning. I didn’t have to wait and I stepped up to the chair and sat down.

“Mornin Riley,” he greeted as he put the cape over me.

“How many times am I going to have to tell you to call me Corey, Phil?” I asked as he laughed. He had been cutting my hair for a few years.

“I like to be professional Riley you know that,” he answered as he started cutting my hair. “You’ve let this mess of hair grow out more than usual.”

“Yeah,” I said, “I want it the same old way though.”

“Figured,” he grunted as he started concentrating on his work as he worked the scissors over my bangs carefully. “Going out for football again next year?”

“Do you think I have a choice?” I asked noticing him smile in the mirror.

“I guess not,” he answered, “well you’re our best shot at another pretty trophy.”

“Cam is just as good as I am,” I said and Phil smirked and started combing my hair in the back and sides.

“You know that’s a lie,” he said, “and I bet it didn’t work on your old man either.”

“Haven’t even attempted it on him yet, wanted to run it by you first,” I said laughing as I knew it wouldn’t work with him. I would be starting this year like I had last year.

“You should be proud of your abilities,” Phil lectured starting to sound like Dad. They were teammates back in high school. Phil was a linebacker and Dad was the quarterback.

“Yeah,” I said trying to get him off the subject of football.

“And besides it’s your best shot to get out of here and into college,” he continued and I rolled my eyes, which he saw in the large mirror. He put down the scissors and grabbed the trimmers to start shortening the hair on the back of my head. I leaned my head forward and the talking died as he finished up my cut.

“Thanks,” I said as I reached for my wallet.

“On the house,” he said when I offered him the ten that was in my hand. He only pushed my hand away and I frowned trying to hand it to him again.

“Corey save it for gas money,” he said, “just slide me in few more pieces of turkey when I come in for lunch and we’ll call it even.”

“Right,” I said happy that he was calling me by the name I wanted to go by. “I don’t have the lunch shift so you’ll have to sweet talk Mom.”

“Will do,” he said as I walked out of the barber shop. My hair was short, but I could still put a little gel in it to make it look styled. When I looked at my bike I saw someone I didn’t recognize examining it.

“Hi,” I said getting his attention. He looked up at me and smiled. I noticed that his teeth were white.

“Your bike?” He asked as he started to look at it again.

“Yeah,” I answered walking up to the bike and grabbing my helmet.

“It’s pretty nice,” he said, “bet she flies.”

“It goes,” I replied shrugging, but I was proud that he liked the bike in between us. When he walked around he glanced at the barber shop.

“These guys any good?” He asked pointing to the sign.

“Yeah,” I answered looking up at his hair and saw that he didn’t need a hair cut as it was too short for Phil to do anything with. It was styled in a faux hawk, but wasn’t gelled just combed.

“Greg,” he said reaching out with his hand.

“Corey,” I introduced shaking his hand. “I have to go though, to work.”

“During the summer?” He asked, “that kills.”

“You have no idea,” I said as I stepped past him to put on my helmet. I leaned the bike straight and kicked up the stand ready to start.

“Well I’m hoping to get a baseball game started in the park later on if you want to sneak away we need an extra player.”

“I don’t know how to play baseball,” I stated trying to hide my discomfort. Football was the only thing I knew anything about completely.

“You probably know the general gist of the game,” he said, “I mean you are a dude.”

“Yeah,” I said, “just don’t expect Babe Ruth.”

“No one there will be,” Greg said laughing slightly, “least of all me, but it passes the time nicely.”

“I guess,” I said, “no promises on the game though.”

“That’s fine,” he said, “see ya around kid.”

“Not a kid,” I said, “almost eighteen.”

“Right,” he said tipping his head forward then turning to walk down the street to the ice cream shop. I wanted to follow him and get to know him better, but I was already flirting with danger skipping out on work behind Dad’s back.

When I got back to the store Mom smiled and handed me my apron and I walked behind her to where the products are stored and started bringing out what needed restocked, mostly the car parts and candy bars. Most people came for the company and breakfast Mom would fix. Mothers entering with their kids would always have to buy them snacks too. After the shelves were full I sat down behind the counter and waited for my shift to end. It was an easy job, the most taxing thing I had to do was stock the shelves. Occasionally I would help someone out the door with their bags of groceries or I would help find something. All of which Mom could do by herself, but Dad thought I needed a better work ethic and made me start shifts.

“Your father dropped in,” Mom whispered leaning over the counter resting on her elbows.

“Damn,” I said shaking my head. She playfully smacked me on the shoulder.

“Riley,” she hissed, “you’re too young to cuss and in front of your Mother.”

“Sorry,” I said, “he probably heard the bike.”

“He didn’t,” Mom said, “but he suspected I would let you go anyway and you know how nosey your father is.”

“Yes I do,” I agreed, “did you smooth it over?”

“Sure did,” she said winking at me. I knew what that meant. She threatened to scold him in front of a customer and sent him on his way with a kiss on the cheek telling him not to worry about me. He would let it drop, he does let things drop like this, but the talk about Jenny would be longer in some ways paying me back for this morning as well.

“I ran into a stranger today,” I said, “didn’t recognize him at all.”

“He was probably Sara’s future husband,” she said shrugging.

“He said his name was Greg,” I explained and she looked thoughtful for a second trying to recount any past conversations she had with a person to give me an answer.

“Mrs. Carol Gene’s grandson,” she offered smiling, “she said he was in town for the summer.”

“Why this dead town?” I asked and Mom shrugged.

“So, Ryan and Keith gone for the summer?” Mom asked frowning slightly.

“Yeah,” I answered shrugging, “finally knew there wasn’t any hope for me having a free summer I guess.”

“Well that’s a shame,” Mom said, “because you’re fired.”

“Fired?” I asked sitting straight up on my stool my mouth open.

“From the weekday shifts,” Mom explained, “Look don’t look at me like that I told your father you shouldn’t be cooped up all summer.”

“And this year he magically bought it,” I stated disbelieving that I actually had five days to spend however I wanted.

“This year I was more stubborn,” she said, “Honey I have my ways with your father.”

“I don’t want to know what you threatened to get this,” I joked shaking my head as I untied my apron and left the store for the second time. Mom came out forgetting something.

“He does though want to see you for that talk before your freedom officially kicks off,” she said, “sorry honey I’m not a miracle worker.”

“You’ve done a lot of work already Mom thanks,” I said as I turned towards the house mentally preparing Dad for the talk about Jenny.

When I walked to the back yard I saw Dad cleaning up the grill for all the summer barbecues we would have. This time of year was Dad’s favorite time of year, he could be free to drill me with Football passes outside after work and he could reconnect with his old football buddies over beer and a variety of barbecued animals reliving the glory days that are growing cloudy and stretched by exaggerations. When he stood and saw me he sat down the dirty washcloth and took a seat in a lounge chair.

“Son,” he grunted as he motioned for me to sit as well.

“Sir,” I replied taking a seat beside him. He glanced in my direction before opening a can of beer. He offered me a sip, but I shook my head and he smirked.

“No son of mine will turn down a beer,” he said as he shoved the beer into my hand and I took hold of it. The can was cold to the touch and for a second I thought the talk wouldn’t be so bad as I lifted the can to my lips and took a sip of the alcoholic beverage. The taste made my stomach twist and I wanted to spit the sip out, but I swallowed and handed it back to him. He seemed satisfied then wiped off the rim of the can and took a drink himself. With a burp he turned to look at me again and I watched as he studied me.

“We gonna have that talk?” I asked feeling uncomfortable.

“Phil called me,” he started and I shook my head.

“Yeah?” I asked sighing as I wiped my sweaty palms on my khaki cargo shorts.

“He said that you didn’t seem thrilled about next season,” he explained, “said that you thought Cameron would make a better captain and quarterback.”

“Phil talks too much,” I scoffed crossing my arms.

“If you don’t have your head focused we won’t do shit next season,” Dad lectured standing up and slamming down his empty beer can looking at me intensely. For now Jenny had been forgotten and I actually wanted to have the other talk.

“I will be sir,” I said trying to muster as strong of a voice I could.

“That’s the only reason I’m letting your lazy ass off this summer,” he explained, “so you can get your act together.”

“Thanks,” I offered and he sat back down in his chair and grabbed another beer from the cooler, opening it.

“Now about Jenny Taylor,” he said and I sighed. He shot me a glare and I looked down at my hands resting in my lap.

“If Heather Jonston, Kimberly Cutley, Amber Butler, and Jenny Taylor doesn’t do it for you, who will?” Dad asked and I didn’t know how to answer him. I had dated a lot of girls over the years, all of which he approved of, because they were all cheerleaders.

“Maybe I want something that’s not blonde and dumb,” I said, “I’ve had my eye on a few girls that fit that description.”

“Those girls are too much trouble,” he said shaking his head, “Jenny never would have bothered you like the ambitious girls.”

“You’re a teacher Dad aren’t you supposed to like intelligent students?” I asked and he smiled.

“Those girls are all straight A students,” he said, “they just don’t have much common sense.”

“Mom wasn’t like that,” I said and he looked stuck by the comment, but then smiled and looked down at his beer.

“And we didn’t start dating until after the senior season ended,” he said, “when I had time to deal with a girl as amazing as her.”

“So I’m supposed to date all these girls until I have time to date someone meaningful?” I asked and he laughed.

“You’re in high school kid, you don’t know what meaningful is,” he answered shaking his head.

“You married Mom before you started college,” I countered confused by him.

“Because I was ready to marry her, you barely know when you’re coming or going,” Dad said, “you need to learn a thing or two from your old man just give Jenny another chance.”

“I don’t want to,” I said shrugging, “I can be alone for a while and get focused on football.”

“At least you got that priority straight,” he said standing and stretching. He grabbed the washcloth and started polishing the grill dismissing me as he turned his back to me. I stood and left the backyard.

I had thought Dad was controlling, but I never would’ve thought he would tell me who I could date and who I couldn’t. I looked back at him as he finished with his cleaning of the grill. He took a step back and examined his work and I sighed wanting to be away from here and all his expectations.

“One more year,” I whispered as I started walking towards my bike remembering the baseball game in the park that I was invited to. Hoping against all odds that this summer would be different.

Copyright © 2014 Krista; All Rights Reserved.
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I think I will read this. You think it will be completed by the time I get to the end?

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On 07/01/2011 05:50 PM, Foster said:
I think I will read this. You think it will be completed by the time I get to the end?
Nope.. :( This one is going to be about the length of, Are You Christian.
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Well, looks like I have found another good story to read. This looks great Krista. On to the next chapter. :)

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Great story so far (I've read the first 19 chapters), but something caught my attention in the last chapter with the move, and I came back here to check. And in the very first paragraph I found the same contradiction, which slipped my attention when I first read this.

You say (here and in ch 19) that he has had the same room for almost 18 years, but at the same time you say here that they moved to the house after his mother started working in the store (9 years earlier), plus he has memories of their earlier house and the surroundings and had friends where he lived before.

I know it's a minor thing, but it still annoys me when the rest of the story is so very realistic and captivating. Can't wait to read more and hope it ends well.

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On 04/10/2013 04:21 PM, Timothy M. said:
Great story so far (I've read the first 19 chapters), but something caught my attention in the last chapter with the move, and I came back here to check. And in the very first paragraph I found the same contradiction, which slipped my attention when I first read this.

You say (here and in ch 19) that he has had the same room for almost 18 years, but at the same time you say here that they moved to the house after his mother started working in the store (9 years earlier), plus he has memories of their earlier house and the surroundings and had friends where he lived before.

I know it's a minor thing, but it still annoys me when the rest of the story is so very realistic and captivating. Can't wait to read more and hope it ends well.

Sorry about that. I can't remember details.. since this story was started a long time ago.. and I've been slow about updating.. :( I'm glad you liked the story.
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This starting chapter is very promising. Everyone is loveable and characters are established nicely. It sounds like a straight story at first, but I confess this is one of the few times I didn't read what the story is tagged with (gay, straight, bi, etc.) before I began to read, so I didn't expect a completely gay story. But given this is GA after all, so I hope he'll turn gay. LOL It's okay..., Corey can be who he wants to be. Man, who is this new Greg guy? :)

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On 08/31/2013 12:00 PM, Ashi said:
This starting chapter is very promising. Everyone is loveable and characters are established nicely. It sounds like a straight story at first, but I confess this is one of the few times I didn't read what the story is tagged with (gay, straight, bi, etc.) before I began to read, so I didn't expect a completely gay story. But given this is GA after all, so I hope he'll turn gay. LOL It's okay..., Corey can be who he wants to be. Man, who is this new Greg guy? :)
Lol. I'll assure you, it is GA worthy and approved.. for that sort of content. :P But I'm glad there was a bit of mystery in the first chapter. ;) Not everyone is cut of the same mold.. especially in RL. Thanks for reading and liking the first chapter! :)
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On 08/31/2013 12:00 PM, Ashi said:
This starting chapter is very promising. Everyone is loveable and characters are established nicely. It sounds like a straight story at first, but I confess this is one of the few times I didn't read what the story is tagged with (gay, straight, bi, etc.) before I began to read, so I didn't expect a completely gay story. But given this is GA after all, so I hope he'll turn gay. LOL It's okay..., Corey can be who he wants to be. Man, who is this new Greg guy? :)
Lol. I'll assure you, it is GA worthy and approved.. for that sort of content. :P But I'm glad there was a bit of mystery in the first chapter. ;) Not everyone is cut of the same mold.. especially in RL. Thanks for reading and liking the first chapter! :)
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On 07/03/2013 02:42 PM, Daithi said:
Good start to the story, love the mom not to enamored of the father. Lol
Lol. Seems to be the general consensus. :P Thanks for reading!
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On 10/15/2012 12:13 PM, joann414 said:
Well, looks like I have found another good story to read. This looks great Krista. On to the next chapter. :)
Thanks JoAnn! :D
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Looks like a nice story and great characters. And I noticed this is a long story :read:

 

Unhappy teenager, caring mother and demanding father. “No son of mine will turn down a beer,” What kind of a father forced his underage son to drink alcohol, and he´s a teacher as well. That was weird :/

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On 07/19/2014 01:44 PM, Suvitar said:
Looks like a nice story and great characters. And I noticed this is a long story :read:

 

Unhappy teenager, caring mother and demanding father. “No son of mine will turn down a beer,” What kind of a father forced his underage son to drink alcohol, and he´s a teacher as well. That was weird :/

Aww. I'm glad you're reading and reviewing! I'll go through them and try to remember all the questions and answer them in your last review. :D Thanks for reviewing the chapters! I like to see the comments as readers reading.
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After reading the first chapter, I really hate Cory's father. He sort of remind me my Chemistry teacher and the way she was with her son, my classmate. At least Cory has loving mother, unlike my friend, whose father, while loving, was banned by court to come anywhere near him and she made sure that will be the case. To these days I don't know how she achieved that, probably bribed the judge, otherwise, I can't imagine any judge to give custody to her, instead of her ex-husband. But I would love to see her face when he moved away from her and went to live with his father the day of his 18th birthday, which ended her child welfare, from which, she did not use anything to the boy anyway. Serves her right for treating her son the way she did.
Anyway, I love this story so far. The first chapter build for interesting story. I can't wait to read more.

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On 06/17/2016 09:16 AM, Horn said:

After reading the first chapter, I really hate Cory's father. He sort of remind me my Chemistry teacher and the way she was with her son, my classmate. At least Cory has loving mother, unlike my friend, whose father, while loving, was banned by court to come anywhere near him and she made sure that will be the case. To these days I don't know how she achieved that, probably bribed the judge, otherwise, I can't imagine any judge to give custody to her, instead of her ex-husband. But I would love to see her face when he moved away from her and went to live with his father the day of his 18th birthday, which ended her child welfare, from which, she did not use anything to the boy anyway. Serves her right for treating her son the way she did.

Anyway, I love this story so far. The first chapter build for interesting story. I can't wait to read more.

Thanks for reading! Sadly in some cases the 'mother' of the child gets more attention and less scrutiny in custody hearings over children - there is just this stigma to single fathers.. but I'm seeing that change a lot. :)

 

I'm glad you liked the first chapter! :D

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So this is my first time visiting this site, and first story I've started to read on here. With that in mind I finished reading the first chapter and immediately created an account so I can tell you that you are an amazing author and you display the characters and story in an amazing way. You also did a wonderful job at grabbing the reader's attention and putting them in suspense... Who is this new boy, why so many girlfriends, is it because he's gay, when will he come out to his parents, of course he's got to tell his mom first (she's the compassionate one after all)... Okay I'm getting ahead of myself, he could be straight for all I know, but not with the way he said "I wanted to follow him and get to know him more". I'm betting there is going to be something !ore that develops. Okay on to chapter 2. Thanks again for the great story.

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On 4/24/2018 at 11:25 AM, Higster said:

Enjoyed this Chapter, really sets the scene well.

 

 

Thanks for reading! :D I had a lot of fun writing this story itself. 

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This poor kid has it rough as I mean it sounds like he can’t do anything without his father finding out. First of all even the barber seems to agree with his dad and relays what he says to him, his dad checks on him at work, and his dad is overly focused on him being macho. By the macho comment I mean his dad seems to want him to settle down yet implies he’s not ready while also preferring he date non-ambitious girls like cheerleaders, despite his being underage his dad insists he take a swig of beer, and finally his dad forces him to play football even though he clearly doesn’t want to. I wonder if his desire for his son to be what he considers a man to be is because he secretly suspects his son is gay though I doubt he’s that intelligent. His mom while on one hand seems to be a much better person overall it sounds like she’s been a pushover for years so eh while I like her better she’s far from perfect. I don’t know if the main character is bi, gay yet heavily closeted, or unsure of his sexual orientation though in the end this story seems to be more about him finding independence than anything so labels don’t matter as long as he finds happiness.

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20 hours ago, NimirRaj said:

This poor kid has it rough as I mean it sounds like he can’t do anything without his father finding out. First of all even the barber seems to agree with his dad and relays what he says to him, his dad checks on him at work, and his dad is overly focused on him being macho. By the macho comment I mean his dad seems to want him to settle down yet implies he’s not ready while also preferring he date non-ambitious girls like cheerleaders, despite his being underage his dad insists he take a swig of beer, and finally his dad forces him to play football even though he clearly doesn’t want to. I wonder if his desire for his son to be what he considers a man to be is because he secretly suspects his son is gay though I doubt he’s that intelligent. His mom while on one hand seems to be a much better person overall it sounds like she’s been a pushover for years so eh while I like her better she’s far from perfect. I don’t know if the main character is bi, gay yet heavily closeted, or unsure of his sexual orientation though in the end this story seems to be more about him finding independence than anything so labels don’t matter as long as he finds happiness.

 

What a very insightful summary of the first chapter, really enjoyed reading it. It actually helped bring the story back to me a bit, since it has been a while. :) I'll say right now, that the Father dynamic in this story is my favorite thing about the story in general. I loved writing his character. :)

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