Excerpts

Robert had reached the summit of many mountains. His adventures took him to unimaginable heights, yet his greatest achievements were not in conquering these majestic beauties, but in his ability to reach people in need. That is, until he’s the one facing the toughest climb of his life.

Roberto Sanchez is living the dream; one could say the man had it all. He is blessed with a beautiful wife and daughter who complete him. A career that reaches at-risk kids that brings him true joy. Then a tragic accident leads Robert to a chasm of dark despair. Although his interventions have reached many, he found he is incapable of helping himself off the edge of a cliff, jeopardizing his career, his marriage, and himself.

because takes us on a journey of two Roberts as he struggles to find a way to once again believe


Chapter 1

16 WEEKS AGO – SEEMA’S OFFICE

“I’m not supposed to be here!” Robert Sanchez spoke the moment Seema Pourshadi walked into the room.

“Seriously, this is wrong! I’m not supposed to be here. Really, I don’t know why I’m here. I never requested this.”

Without a word, Seema went and sat behind the desk facing Robert.

“No offence to you and what you do, but I’m not supposed to be here.”

Seema simply smiled and nodded. Her reaction surprised him.

“Oh—Okay then. So me being here—this is a mistake?”

Seema kept smiling as Robert rambled on. “You see, when Benny said I had an appointment with you after my session, I thought you were a new specialist I had to see—you know, going to talk about the new—Argh! Anyway, it doesn’t matter, it’s pretty obvious you are a…a…you know—Anyway, I’m sorry. Benny must have made the mistake. I’m not supposed to be here, right?”

“Okay. But Mr. Sanchez, do you know where it is you’re supposed to be?”

The question stopped Robert cold. He knew it was not meant to be anything more than just asking him what room he was supposed to be in but the innocent question forced a dawning realization that other than the multitude of doctors’ appointments and physio sessions, he really didn’t have any other place that he was supposed to be. The purpose of his days had changed. He had now become the one seeking help from other people.

Seema waited for Robert to answer her question. It soon became obvious that he was lost for words, so she spoke. “Benny didn’t make a mistake, Mr. Sanchez. He was the one who told me I needed to see you.”

“No, Benny would not have done that! He knows! I told him. We talked about it. He knows.”

“Knows what, Mr. Sanchez?”

“Can you please stop with the ‘Mr. Sanchez’? I’m not here for a job interview!”

“All right, ‘Roberto,’ is it?”

“Just call me Robert.”

“Oh, Robert, that’s such a great name! All right, Robert, you were saying Benny knows something. So what does he know?”

Robert squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. Other than his parents, very few people ever called him Roberto. The name had suited him more when he was in his twenties when his dark brown hair was all slicked back and he sported a very stylish Clarke Gable moustache. But now at forty-eight, a clean-shaven Robert with a receding hairline was a much closer match to Alan Alda during his last days in MASH.

“Look, he just knows, okay?” Robert held his hand up as if to signal he wanted this conversation to be over.

Seema just nodded in agreement.

“Don’t do that, okay?” Robert looked at Seema who just stared back at him.

“Okay—look, please just don’t do that!”

“I’m sorry, do what?”

“That…that…nodding your head all the time, like you know something I don’t. I’ve worked with a lot of people, you know, and I know what this is. And I’m sorry if Benny asked you. That just makes him another…Damn him! Great! Another person I can’t trust around here!”

“I don’t think he meant you any harm, Robert. Please don’t think Benny was being untrustworthy. I wouldn’t want to—”

“—But he knew! I told him. We talked about it so many times.”

“About what, Robert?” Seema asked calmly in her pleasant Middle Eastern accent.

“About this! About seeing any kind of shrink, therapist, mind doctor. I don’t know, whatever the hell you call yourself. ‘Cause he knew! He damn well knew that I don’t want to be here!”

“Well, if he knew that you didn’t want to be here, do you think Benny knows where you want to be, Robert?”

“No! No! And what the hell kind of question is that? Just stop it, all right?”

“I’m sorry, Robert, stop what?”

“All these damn questions! Look, I don’t think anybody knows where I want to be, all right? For God’s sake, I don’t even know where I want to be anymore!”

Chapter 1

16 WEEKS AGO – SEEMA’S OFFICE

“I’m not supposed to be here!” Robert Sanchez spoke the moment Seema Pourshadi walked into the room.

“Seriously, this is wrong! I’m not supposed to be here. Really, I don’t know why I’m here. I never requested this.”

Without a word, Seema went and sat behind the desk facing Robert.

“No offence to you and what you do, but I’m not supposed to be here.”

Seema simply smiled and nodded. Her reaction surprised him.

“Oh—Okay then. So me being here—this is a mistake?”

Seema kept smiling as Robert rambled on. “You see, when Benny said I had an appointment with you after my session, I thought you were a new specialist I had to see—you know, going to talk about the new—Argh! Anyway, it doesn’t matter, it’s pretty obvious you are a…a…you know—Anyway, I’m sorry. Benny must have made the mistake. I’m not supposed to be here, right?”

“Okay. But Mr. Sanchez, do you know where it is you’re supposed to be?”

The question stopped Robert cold. He knew it was not meant to be anything more than just asking him what room he was supposed to be in but the innocent question forced a dawning realization that other than the multitude of doctors’ appointments and physio sessions, he really didn’t have any other place that he was supposed to be. The purpose of his days had changed. He had now become the one seeking help from other people.

Seema waited for Robert to answer her question. It soon became obvious that he was lost for words, so she spoke. “Benny didn’t make a mistake, Mr. Sanchez. He was the one who told me I needed to see you.”

“No, Benny would not have done that! He knows! I told him. We talked about it. He knows.”

“Knows what, Mr. Sanchez?”

“Can you please stop with the ‘Mr. Sanchez’? I’m not here for a job interview!”

“All right, ‘Roberto,’ is it?”

“Just call me Robert.”

“Oh, Robert, that’s such a great name! All right, Robert, you were saying Benny knows something. So what does he know?”

Robert squeezed his eyes shut and took a deep breath, trying to calm himself down. Other than his parents, very few people ever called him Roberto. The name had suited him more when he was in his twenties when his dark brown hair was all slicked back and he sported a very stylish Clarke Gable moustache. But now at forty-eight, a clean-shaven Robert with a receding hairline was a much closer match to Alan Alda during his last days in MASH.

“Look, he just knows, okay?” Robert held his hand up as if to signal he wanted this conversation to be over.

Seema just nodded in agreement.

“Don’t do that, okay?” Robert looked at Seema who just stared back at him.

“Okay—look, please just don’t do that!”

“I’m sorry, do what?”

“That…that…nodding your head all the time, like you know something I don’t. I’ve worked with a lot of people, you know, and I know what this is. And I’m sorry if Benny asked you. That just makes him another…Damn him! Great! Another person I can’t trust around here!”

“I don’t think he meant you any harm, Robert. Please don’t think Benny was being untrustworthy. I wouldn’t want to—”

“—But he knew! I told him. We talked about it so many times.”

“About what, Robert?” Seema asked calmly in her pleasant Middle Eastern accent.

“About this! About seeing any kind of shrink, therapist, mind doctor. I don’t know, whatever the hell you call yourself. ‘Cause he knew! He damn well knew that I don’t want to be here!”

“Well, if he knew that you didn’t want to be here, do you think Benny knows where you want to be, Robert?”

“No! No! And what the hell kind of question is that? Just stop it, all right?”

“I’m sorry, Robert, stop what?”

“All these damn questions! Look, I don’t think anybody knows where I want to be, all right? For God’s sake, I don’t even know where I want to be anymore!”

Chapter 24

TROY

“He can’t read, mister,” were the only words I ever heard Troy speak. Even when I would go to say hello, Ty would give his younger brother this angry stare, and Troy would immediately shut right up. That little guy couldn’t have been more than ten. Mostly I recall how he would always be scribbling away in that dirty yellow notebook (you know the one). When Troy was busy in that book, his eyes had such a different look. They didn’t look scared. It was like his eyes smiled as he wrote, as if another universe existed in that book, one that was alive and hopeful. But it only was alive in that book, because the moment he looked away from it, those fearful frightened eyes came right back. The first day I saw Troy…that kid…he, well, he just rooted himself in me. And those eyes…I could see them in my sleep at night.

The next time I heard Troy speak was probably about four months later in the back of a police cruiser. I helped Tyrell get this job at one of those photocopy places. Troy was leaning against the window, writing in that notebook of his. I said “hi” but all I got was those ominous eyes sneaking a look at me. Just as quickly, they were back in that book again.

As I opened the door, Tyrell was stepping outside to have a smoke. Then it happened! It was piercing, like lightning crashing out of a calm, clear blue sky…happened just as I was speaking to Tyrell’s boss. I remember it like it was yesterday.

Chapter 28

PHILIP

At the back of the classroom were photographs of every student in Virginia’s class. They were tacked up in one big circle. In the middle of the pictures was the word BE. Under that BE was what looked to be a poem titled: BELIEVE + BELONG = BEHAVE. Robert read it out loud to himself:

To BE or not to BE depends on what you BElieve. If you BElieve you BElong, then that is how you will BEhave! BE-cause that is what you BE and have. So help others BEhave by helping them to BElieve they BElong. And then, everyone can always say they BE-LIVED!

Of course I immediately thought of the big kid from my workshop who didn’t believe people could change, and how he probably didn’t believe he belonged, and perhaps that was why he behaved the way he did—pushing me away.

I don’t think I’ve ever told Virginia how really proud I was of her. She had a purpose: she wanted to make a difference in younger people’s lives. And look at her now, she was actually doing it! Virginia was doing something very few ever seem to be able to do: she was living her life with a purpose and making a living doing it!

Chapter 32

PRESENT DAY — AT THE HOTEL

Back then, looking in the mirror, she imagined her hand was Robert’s hand saying his goodbye as he always did—so slow, so gentle—a caress only her face knew. Love felt so deep and, oh, the way he smiled at her, eyes making her feel more alive, more there. It always felt like one of those once-in-a-lifetime moments. His warm hand, tracing his finger across her lips and always, always saying to her, “Home…These lips will forever be my reason to come home.”

But at that time, she had just heard he was dead under a mountain of snow. She knew Robert was not coming home. She tried everything to hide from the haunting visions she had of his body, tangled and entombed under a huge avalanche of ice and snow. Was he curled up or did he die trying to claw his way out? The images were too torturous to go on imagining. She begged the nervous voice on the phone to do everything they could to find his body. But they told her that the possibility of recovering Robert’s body was very remote because of the dangerous location he was buried in. And although Monique was not a religious woman, she prayed that night in front of her bathroom mirror. She prayed out loud to whatever god would listen. Please let them find Robert, find my husband’s body. Just please bring him home—to see, to know, to bury…

And some gods must have heard, for the moment she asked, her bathroom prayer was interrupted.

“Monique, Monique!” The voice on the phone was out of breath.

“Monique, it’s Robert, Robert…They found him!”

FREE – Get your first 10 chapters!

Download Now

Reviews

Midwest Book Review

Midwest Book Review

A deftly crafted novel and an absorbing read from beginning to end, "because" is a compelling and thoroughly entertaining novel that documents author Jack Langedijk's truly exceptional storytelling skills. —Midwest Book Review

Kirkus Reviews

...Langedijk has lots to say about courage, compassion, redemption, and self-worth... Meditations on some of life’s biggest questions as told through some harrowing experiences.—Kirkus Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Yvonne & Rich Dutra - Co-Authors - Be the Hero You’ve Been Waiting For

Yvonne & Rich Dutra - Co-Authors - Be the Hero You’ve Been Waiting For

Jack Langedijk is a passionate heart led dreamer with a clear vision for what is possible for us all! From our very first meeting, Jack moved us with his gift for vulnerably communicating and sharing real life truths and lessons through story telling. With compassion and creativity guiding his path, Jack relentlessly follows his dream to create a safer and more connected world for those who are exposed to his work. His heartfelt communication style truly sets the bar for what it means to live one’s dream and to boldly stand for new possibilities for acceptance and interpersonal connection. As the Founders of the Challenge Day Program and the international Be the Change Movement, we are honored to call Jack our friend and to share our dream for what’s possible for people everywhere. While never losing sight of the big picture, Jack lives as everyday hero leading by example and writing with integrity and passion.

WH - Advance Reader Review

The story itself is inspiring, powerful, thought-provoking, and captivating. It is written with the skill of an alchemist with the power to transform words into music. The main characters are immediately likable. Once the rhythm was established, the changes in time and story line kept me interested and only time constraints forced me to put the book down.

WH - Advance Reader Review
Michael H - Advance Reader Review

Michael H - Advance Reader Review

Langedijk explores the depths of human suffering in a realistic, uplifting way. His characters deal with real and relatable issues that affect so many people today, especially the young. By showing the universality of depression and suicidal thoughts, readers are able to witness the characters’ overcoming their hardships. They find ways to cope, and to heal, that are as inspiring as they are incredible. Through all this, the characters never step beyond the limits of believability, and they must manage their relationships the same way they manage their inner demons.

Grady Harp - Amazon Hall of Fame • Top 100 Reviewer • Vine Voice

Superb writing and a thoughtful story make this a book that deserves not only a wide reading audience but seems molded for a film. Highly Recommended.—Grady Harp

Grady Harp - Amazon Hall of Fame • Top 100 Reviewer • Vine Voice
Catherine E. Sutton - Amazon Reviewer

Catherine E. Sutton - Amazon Reviewer

This was the best book I have read in a while, and I read constantly...—Catherine E. Sutton

Tom Bruce - Amazon Reviewer

I have read hundreds and hundreds of books, and this has become one of my favorites...—Tom Bruce

Tom Bruce - Amazon Reviewer
IndieReader

IndieReader

BECAUSE is a deeply moving, emotionally-powerful tale of intertwined lives, and of finding strength to go on in the face of utter despair. There are multiple stories braided into the main plot, as each of the characters has a voice and a tale of their own. Robert's story, therefore, is reflected in the stories of those he's helped as well as those who want to help him, giving the book a multifaceted perspective and adding deeper emotional and philosophical layers to the plot. This is a heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting book, and there isn't a character who doesn't have a substantial, painful tragedy to wrestle with... BECAUSE is a book full of both emotional intensity and real philosophical and psychological insight.—IndieReader

Monica L - Advance Reader Review

The conclusion found me weeping silently, in that quiet space in my heart where everything seems possible and nothing is ugly or wonting or unrelenting. Shhhhhh…quiet… Such a beautiful book, such a perfect ending, such a peaceful conclusion… I’m going to leave it there and continue enjoying the beautiful moment this book created for me and simply say…Thank you…thank you.

Monica L - Advance Reader Review

This is because...

Jack Langedijk has a unique gift of translating ordinary and abstract events into metaphorical life lessons that are compelling, captivating and entertaining. This is not your typical book on life and leadership; he has intended it to be dramatically different! Through the marvelous structure of time and space, Langedijk has woven simple and universal messages into thought-provoking tales that tug at your heartstring.

As the colourful and lively characters pass through their own journeys, you will too experience your own through the similar twists and turns that stir your emotions, spur your imagination and transform your thoughts. because takes you beyond high and dangerous mountains to beautiful inner places that once were deep, dark and sinful. Through the rise and fall of hopes and dreams that are filled with passion and love, the shared lessons and the connections will inspire you to discover your own purpose through your quest of learning: to always becoming a better person to lead yourself and others.

Pricing

Paperback version is also made available through Ingram Book Group that distributes to more than 39,000 retailers, libraries, schools, internet commerce companies, and other channel partners, including Barnes & Noble, Chapters/Indigo (Canada), and other well-known book retailers and wholesalers around the world.

Paperback

$18.99

  • ISBN 978-0-9937586-1-4 (Amazon)
  • ISBN 978-0-9937586-5-2 (Ingram)
  • ISBN 978-0-9937586-3-8 (Lulu)
  • Pages: 388 • Dimension: 6" x 9" x 1"
  • Available on www.because.zone
  • & through major retailers

ebook

$6.99

  • ISBN 978-0-9937586-0-7
  • Available on www.because.zone
  • & through major online retailers
  • throughout the world

Lifetime Membership

$9.99

  • Advance notice of news & contents
  • Exclusive promotions & contents
  • Access to an online edition of because
  • Interact with Jack and other readers
  • Worksheets, templates & tools
  • Opportunity to earn affiliate income

* US price varies due to conversions and discounts

About Jack A. Langedijk

jack

Jack Langedijk is a passionate storyteller with contagious optimism and original ideas. He has delivered many ground-breaking workshops in leadership and listening to diverse audiences including elementary school children, families and corporations.

Jack founded QUEST-I’m-ON, a not-for-profit organization with a mission to create and foster healthy relationships within schools, workplaces and homes. He received his BFA in Montreal at Concordia University and his MFA at York University in Toronto. Jack had also taught acting and directing at Concordia University and Ryerson University in Toronto.

because is his debut novel which combines lessons learned from his own life with a fictional setting that articulates and instills fresh strategies for social issues such as teen bullying. With powerful anecdotes and vivid metaphors, the novel expresses real life obstacles and the possibilities of achievements for all of us.

Jack lives with his wife and daughter in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Read more about Jack | Download Media Kit

Contact: jack @ because.zone

Author Profiles:  
Amazon | AUTHORSdB | Booklikes | eBooks Unlimited | Goodreads | Publishers WeeklyStoryfinds

Videos

Book Trailer

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Join Us

Password Reset
Please enter your e-mail address. You will receive a new password via e-mail.