by Matt Micros


Publisher Micropulous Press

Published in Literature & Fiction/Contemporary, Literature & Fiction

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Book Description


After hearing the bad news, Joe Moretti was faced with a difficult decision. He could either fight for his life, or peacefully accept his fate. Unfortunately, his decision wouldn't simply affect his life. What if Joe wasn't around in three years to save 3 year old Diana Doyle after she fell onto the tracks in front of a moving train? And what if she in turn never became a doctor with the ability to save lives? Maybe even the life of someone Joe cared deeply about?

Sample Chapter

Joe Moretti never wavered from the steely, intense expression on his face, not even after he heard the word Cancer. It was a word that left most people feeling as though they had been kicked in the guts by a steel-toed boot, and one that was powerful enough to reduce even the strongest of people to puddles of tears. But Joe wasn’t wired that way. In the ten seconds since he had been informed of the diagnosis, he had already moved past the fear and anger and was already calculating survival percentages and wondering if, in poker terms, he was already pot committed enough in life to continue to fight for his survival.

“What are my chances?” Joe asked.

“Not good,” the doctor answered. “I’m really sorry.”

“Not good as in the chances of me being the starting point guard for the Knicks at age 44? Or not good as in my chances of winning Powerball tomorrow night?”

“Not good as in the chances of you surviving jumping out of an airplane at 30,000 feet without a parachute.”

“Jesus. Don’t sugar coat it, Doc. Give it to me straight.”

The normally dry doctor chuckled at Joe’s glib response. “I wish I had better news.” At a time when many doctors had seen enough sickness and death to become immune to it, he actually seemed sincere.

“How long do I have?”

“With treatment? Maybe a couple of years.”

“And without?”

“You’d be lucky to see ten months.”

“Why wouldn’t you have treatment?!!” his exasperated wife interjected. Leeanne was beautiful in a wholesome, girl next door sort of way, with a personality that lit up any room she entered which elevated her on the sexiness scale to off the chart sexy.

Joe carried forward as if she hadn’t spoken, but it was clear he had heard her. He just preferred to have the doctor answer her question for him. “And how will I feel if I get treatment?”

“You’ll be weak most days. Feel terribly some. Every now and then you’ll have a good week.”

“And if I don’t get treatment?”

“You’ll probably feel much as you do now, maybe even a little better if we give you some medicine to mask any pain. Until it turns…”

“And when do you think that would be?”

“There’s no way of knowing. Could be a few months. Could be longer. But when it turns, it will be quick. We’re talking weeks or less.”

Joe nodded his head as if he had already made up his mind.

“You don’t have to decide this minute,” the doctor said, “Take a few days to think it over and discuss it with each other. If you have any questions, here’s my cell number. Don’t hesitate to use it.”

A doctor’s cell number was more coveted by people than a Maserati Granturismo. Too bad one had to be dying to get it.


“Don’t you want to have as many days with me as possible?” Leeanne wailed once they had exited through the sliding doors of the hospital.

“Of course I do, but even more than that, I don’t want to be a burden to you,” he answered.

“You would never be a burden.”

“You say that now, but I remember what it was like for my mother towards the end of my father’s life. And I want to be remembered as the smart, funny, life of the party guy. Not as some broken-down, angry, bitter dying man.”

“You’ll be remembered as the life of the party guy, trust me.”

“I’m not so sure. When I think back to my dad, I have to really strain to remember what he was like when he was younger and full of life.”

“But you remember it.”


“And everyone will remember you the way you want them to. But can we not talk about this as if it’s over? You could fight this and you could beat it.”

“You heard the doctor, Lee. All that’s left to do, is figure out how I want to go out. I really wish Phil Halmer was around. He would know what to do.”

“Who’s Phil Halmer? And why would he know?”

“He was my best friend in high school.

Everyone loved him.”

“I’m sure they loved you too.”

“I’m serious. If you asked ten people about me, five might like me, three would hate me, and two would be indifferent.”

“But you still haven’t explained why he would know what to do?”

“Because Phil had failing kidneys and wasn’t eligible for a transplant because of other health issues, so he went on dialysis.”

“And what happened to him?”

“We lost touch over the years, but last I eard, he had decided to take himself off of dialysis, because his quality of life had deteriorated so much and because he was tired of being a burden on other people.”

“So what happened to him?” Leeanne pressed.

“Truthfully, I don’t know. He changed his number and disappeared. I don’t think he wanted his friends to see him like that. And I think he knew I would have tried to talk him out of it.”

“Did he die?”

“I always assumed so, but I couldn’t reach any of his family and I never saw an obituary.”

“Well, if he would try to talk you out of fighting this, then I’m glad he’s not here,”

Leeanne said steadfastly.

Joe was correct. If you spoke to 1,000 people that knew Phillip Halmer, you wouldn’t be able to find one person that would say a bad word about him. He had blonde hair that was perhaps a bit longer than it needed to be, but it suited his carefree personality. With an infectious grin that ran from ear to ear, he was the guy other guys highfived every time they saw him and the guy girls just had to hug. “Philly Bear” had that rare ability to make every person he came in contact with feel as though they were smart and funny—even if they weren’t. People simply loved being around him.

And yet there was something that most people missed because he kept it so well hidden. He was a good student, but not a great one. He was a good athlete, but not a star. He was handsome, but not the guy every woman decided they needed to be with the moment he walked into a room. In fact, he was good at most things—just not the best at any of them—and that led to an inherent sadness within that only his closest friends noticed.


Phil gently waxed a ski in the back of his otherwise empty shop with as much care as a newly minted mother might stroke her newborn.

He was wearing Helly Hansen gear, the sign of a very good skier, not to be confused with someone who wanted to look like a very good skier by wearing a $3500 Kjus jacket. After college, he had moved out to Vail, where he became a ski instructor for the stars. Some of them wanted to learn how to ski black diamonds, others just wanted to have Phil ski up to them by the lodge as if they had just skied a black diamond.

A man entered the store. Older and distinguished. More professor than ski enthusiast.

“You know a guy named, Joe Moretti?” he asked.

Phil looked up from what he was doing, surprised to hear the name from his past. “Sure. He and I went to high school together. Why?”

“He was talking about you.”

“And you know this how?”

“It’s my job to know.”

“It’s your job to be a nosey bastard?”

“That is exactly my job,” the man answered with a smile.

“Does it pay well?”

“It pays in ways more valuable than monetary rewards.”

“So why was Joe talking about me?” Phil asked.

“He’s been having some serious health issues.”

“Not cancer,” Phil asked.

The man nodded slowly.

“Shit. Terminal?”

“Afraid so.”

“That sucks. He was a good guy.”

“Still is a good guy. He was talking about how you had a similar decision to make when you decided to take yourself off dialysis.”

“Yeah,” Phil said quietly.

“Maybe you should go talk to him?”

“I’m not sure he would want to hear from me.”

“Why not?”

“I kind of cut him and all my friends off when I got sick. I didn’t want to be judged.”

“People have an amazing capacity to forgive where their friends are concerned.”

“I dunno.”

“It’s up to you,” the man said. “I just thought you’d want to know.”


Excerpted from "Destinare" by Matt Micros. Copyright © 2016 by Matt Micros. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Matt Micros

Matt Micros

Matt Micros received a B.A. in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and his M.S. in Television, Radio and Film from Syracuse’s Newhouse School of Communications, before spending seven years in Los Angeles working in television and video production. He has donned the “referee shirt” for the popular kids game show, “Wild and Crazy Kids”, and claims to have attended more weddings than anyone else in the world after working as a wedding videographer, followed by a stint at Creative Artists Agency. A former high school Athletic Director and Math teacher, his diverse work experience frequently provides the backdrops for his novels, beginning with “The Knights of Redemption” and “The Chameleon”–both released in 2014. “Five Days”, released in June of 2014, has garnered rave reviews and has been adapted into a screenplay, while “Nick Nelson Was Here” and "The Music Box" continue to climb the seller lists. His latest novel, “Destinare” took its initial bow in mid-October. Matt currently resides in Stratford, Connecticut with his wife, Katy, and their crazy, but lovable yellow and black labs, Mr. Beans & Mr. Bode.

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