The Life and Times of Andrew Goss

Book 1—two men, Andrew and I, our lives as different as the color of our skin. I, defeated by the stressors, strains, and denseness of life, multiple losses, those as close as a noon shadow, a boat floundering in the stillness of life's hidden winds. Andrew, a genius, one collected and calm; a passionate and resilient massive sail of a man, empowered by the intensive and powerful breath of encouragement, one to move the mightiest of vessels. Friendships materialize over long periods of time, not days, and in that materialization, trust is born.

However, Andrew and I were different. Our friendship was connected by the simple and unassuming, a single number being used to forge the strongest of bonds. Seven. Remember.

“Seven straws, handed to me on a Monday, like an Olympic runner passing a baton to a teammate.” Yes, remember my words. “Our initial words were minimal, if not laconic by nature, yet they would be far from our last. Those seven days—yes, seven—beginning on a Monday and ending seven days later, on the seventh day of the week, an arbitrary Sunday—would be the most brilliant, mind- and soul-altering weeks of my life. He—yes, he—would touch both ends of the spectrum of good and evil, he would peel rigid and often unyielding layers of my tormented soul, he would create clearness in my mind, he would end the unceasing debate that once anchored me to bitterness, self-depravity, and internal corruption, and he would become the arbiter and authority for which the rest of my life would eternally depend. And it would be accomplished by the most bizarre, mystic, and unbelievable plights. Just wait. Yes, I would look back to those seven days and say, ‘I'm glad Andrew Goss came into my life.' But at what cost?”

by Michael Bilbro

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