Good for you. Glad to hear you're getting on HF.
First, tell us about your dipole. Did you cut a length of 14GA copper wire per the formula: length in feet=492 divided by frequency in MHz? Is it in the attic as high as you can get it and the wire isn't touching anything? If possible, it should be running with the length of the dipole in a north-south direction.
Our time to play radio is valuable. Go to the DX Summit spotting software
. Click on "custom spots" and pick 28MHz and you'll get an idea where the propagation is.
The sunspot cycle is in the tank but that should be changing very soon. Those of us with "modest" antennas suffer more than the guys with beams and tall towers. Hang in there. Now is a good time to check out your system to be sure all is working fine.
Do you have any way of checking your SWR? If your transceiver doesn't have a meter in it, does your tuner have one? It would be nice to know that you have a low SWR and that you're not losing your signal due to something out of wack with the coax, connectors, or the dipole itself.
Keep listening. Watch the DX Summit as it will tell you who's talking to who and on what frequency. That will allow you to tune to that frequency to see if you hear one or the other or both of the stations.
Keep the questions coming. HF is a lot of fun. And with the sunspot cycle climbing to its peak, you're in for a lot of contacts on the radio.