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Homecoming

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120 pages
Fiona’s dad comes home after sixteen months and eight days in jail. Along with her mother and family friends, she awkwardly welcomes him home. Uncle David is there, because he picked Dad up at jail. Dad’s best friend Simon, his wife May and neighbor Elisabeth are also at the house to greet Dad. He’s been away so long, it’s an uncomfortable reunion for Mom and Fiona, who have suffered financially, emotionally and socially in his absence. Even the dog, Honey, isn’t sure about Fiona’s dad anymore.Fiona’s dad was in jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Or did he? Fiona thought she knew him. Believed he was innocent. But now that he’s home, her friends, her teachers, even her mom, ;everyone is treating him like a criminal. Guilty or not, Fiona’s father has ruined everything. When she starts getting lured into the darker side of life, she discovers who her father really is.
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Homecoming
Diane Dakers
Copyright ©2014Diane Dakers
All rights reserved. No part of this publication 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 now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Dakers, Diane, author Homecoming / Diane Dakers. (Orca soundings)
Issued in print and electronic formats. isbn 9781459808041 (bound).isbn 9781459808034 (pbk.). isbn 9781459808058 (pdf).isbn 9781459808065 (epub)
I. Title. II. Series: Orca soundings ps8607.a43h64 2014jc813’.6 c20149015658  c20149015666
First published in the United States,2014 Library of Congress Control Number:2014935387
Summary:When Fiona’s dad is released from prison for a crime he says he did not commit, Fiona struggles with whom to believe and how to move forward.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund and the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Cover image by iStock
orca book publishers po Box 5626,Stn. B Victoria, bcCanadav8r 6s4
orca book publishers po Box 468 Custerusa, wa 982400468
www.orcabook.com
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For all the innocents.
C h a p t e r O n e
I am so sick and tired of defending my dad. I’m sick of talking abouttheincident, tired of being hassled about it. I feel like getting Mr. Hazel to put it on the morning announcements. That way, everyone in the school will hear it all at once: “Attention all students: Fiona Gardener’s father DID NOT TOUCH
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Diane Dakers
THAT GIRL. The lying little drunken skank made it all up.” Well, I guess the principal wouldn’t call Morgan a skank. But everyone knows what she is. And what she did. I still can’t believe nobody called her out on it. Some sort of party code. What happens at a party-where-underage-kids-are-drinking stays at the party-where-underage-kids-are-drinking. Anyway, I thought it was ancient history. I thought that everyone had înally gotten over the whole “Fiona’s dad is a rapist” thing. Nobody has bugged me about it for months. It was brutal when my dad was îrst charged. The whole school was talking about him andthat girl. Thankfully, it got old pretty quick, and the haters soon moved on to the next poor schmo. Of course, it all heated up again during his trial. And when he was convicted, I thought I would never hear
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Homecoming
the end of it—it was in the newspaper, after all. Luckily, it was just before summer vacation, so I could escape for a couple of months. Thank goodness we live out in the boonies, too far from town for the bullies to bother messing with me. When my dad îrst went away, Mom and I, Uncle David and Aunt Helen, the neighbors—we were all pretty messed up about it. Nobody actually thought Dad would go to jail. After all, he didn’t do it. At least I’m pretty sure he didn’t do it. He’s not like that. But when that two-faced little stoner started crying in court, and her psycho mother ranted about howthat manhad ruined her darling little angel’s life… well, the judge bought it, hook, line and sinker. After the sentencing hearing that November, Mom kept me home from school for a few days. To protect me
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Diane Dakers
from the name-calling. And the questions. And the looks. And the whispers. And the rumors. And…and…and… It didn’t help though. It takes more than a few days for the creeps to get over it. No way they’re going to let go of a chance to pick on someone like me. I’m such an easy target. Such anice girl. Easy pickings for someone like Zak, the school’s biggest butthole. That was a long time ago, though, and everyone at school înally moved on. They forgot about the party, the police, the court case. Even Zak stopped harassing me. He moved on to target someone else a few weeks after my dad went away. But now that my dad is coming home, it’s all started up again. Why can’t they all just leave me alone? It’s not likeIwent to jail. It’s not likeIdid anything wrong.
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Homecoming
I kind of wish my dad wasn’t coming home tonight. I mean, I miss him and everything. But having an ex-con for a father is going to make my life hell all over again.
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C h a p t e r T w o
It’s long after dinner and Dad’s still not here. Everyone is getting pretty antsy. Mom’s been totally wired since she got home from work today. Tidying everything in sight. Looking at her watch a thousand times. Checking her hair and makeup every ten minutes. She barely ate any supper.
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