The Invitation

This one takes us back to before Sam and Will reconnected. For more, read here.

“Will?” Erik knocked on the door jamb. His younger brother stood at his desk; he could just make out the cream linen envelope in his hands.

“Will?” he repeated. Will turned to him, holding the thick invitation as if the contents were poison.

Carefully, Will opened the flap, gingerly pulling the folio out.

“She’s marrying that guy,” he said, scanning the words.

“So it would seem,” Erik replied, coming into the room. He took the invitation from his brother.

“You haven’t seen her since high school. Honestly? What do you care?” Erik asked.

“I don’t,” Will said, tossing the sheets of card stock on Erik’s desk. “I don’t care.”

“Maggie and I are taking the kids to the farm later. There are new lambs,” Erik offered, shuffling the everything back into the envelope and tucking it under his laptop. “You want to come?”

“Did you know I kissed her once?”

Erik stopped. Turned.


“Couple months after your wedding. She came to a hockey game with Marnie and some other girls.”

He sat against the desk. Erik perched on the arm of his chair.

“I showed off for her. She wouldn’t talk to me after that whole thing with the party at her cousin’s friend’s house, so when I saw her there with Marnie—“

“You acted like a jackass?”

Will laughed.

“Yeah. I played like a gladiator, nearly got my head knocked in. After the game, Marnie dragged her down to the ice, and I invited them to come out with us. We were going back to one of the guys’ parents’ house.”

“This is my wife’s niece we’re talking about, you know?” Erik reminded him with a wince.

“She never knew how pretty she was,” Will mused. “Anyway, we piled into Jay Briggs’—remember Jay?—his big old Suburban.”

“You partied with Jay Briggs?” Erik asked, incredulous.

“I partied with a lot of guys, Erik.”

“Jay Briggs who plays for the ‘Leafs?”

“Yeah,” Will chuckled. “He can’t hold his cheap beer.”

Erik held up a hand.

“Don’t ruin him for me. He can fucking skate.”

“Anyway, Marnie hooked up with some guy, and I found Sam alone in the kitchen. She seemed a little lost; I went over. We ended up talking out on the deck. I kinda forgot she was only a freshman, totally out of her element.”

He reached out to trace the envelope corner peeking out from under Erik’s computer.

“I offered to walk her home. Jayne and Mike lived about a mile away from the Briggses if you cut over Stanwell’s Orchard. She let me, but she was so quiet. It made me crazy. We got all the way through the orchard. It was freezing and there were about a million stars and I just kind of kissed her.”

Erik looked at him, eyes a little wide.

“She pulled away, we walked another few steps. Then she turned and threw up all over the side of the road.”

Erik laughed. A smile tugged at Will’s mouth.

“She was all woozy after that,” he went on. “I carried her the rest of the way home. I left her on the sofa. I didn’t know what else to do.”

Will pulled his hand away from the invitation.

“Marnie told me the next day that Sam was quietly wasted that night. I felt like an asshole. I kissed a drunk fifteen year old.”

“You were what? Seventeen?”

“Newly eighteen. Still. You know Marnie says she didn’t remember me walking her home?”

“So she doesn’t know?”


Will pushed away from the desk.

“Now she never will.”

This week we’d like you to explore romantic heartbreak. For you fiction writers, here’s a chance to really delve into the psyche of your character. For you non-fiction folk, well, maybe it’s into your psyche you must delve. We all remember that first love, just like we all remember when our hearts broke for the first time.


19 responses to “The Invitation

  1. Oh, Will. Such the gentleman. I like that he shows intensity on the ice. Sometimes I want a little more of that from him….he’s almost too good to be true.

    And Sam is something of a lost soul to me.

    Is there really a Briggs that plays for the Maple Leafs? Is it really Leafs?

    I’m not a hockey gal.

  2. I love the filling out if the characters. Makes them seem more real.
    And poor Will, not yet as confident as we know him now.

  3. I always got hung up with Will brother being married to Sam’s aunt yet there is only 2 -3 years between Will and Sam…so is this a case of a “late in life” baby, hence Sam has an aunt that is only a few years older than she is?

    Besides all that, I love seeing this other side of Will. And the fact he never knew and now he thinks he’s missed his chance. It makes the reunion that much more special and romantic.

    You’ve written about their first get-together, right? Am I just forgetting the details?

    • Sam’s Mom (Jayne) has a sister (Maggie) about 10 years younger than her, and actually had Sam on the young side. Will is Erik’s half brother, a child from a second marriage, about 7 years younger than him.

      I’ve written the the night of Maggie and Erik’s wedding, and the morning they both end up staying at Maggie and Erik’s house, which happens several weeks after this scene.

  4. I like a little fire from Will. A little recklessness. Something other than mellow. Nicely done.

  5. Yeah, Cheryl stole my reaction…Will attitude/mouth is very welcome. You see where he was and where is goes later…very nice pplot point using dialogue.

    More please

  6. Pingback: Red Writing Hood – Heartbreak | Write On Edge

  7. I wasn’t really sure where the actual heartbreak came in, but it is very early and I haven’t had my 15 cups of coffee yet. I am very surly without my coffee.

    I did like the “guy talk”–Will and Erik seemed very comfortable together. You know, like real guys. That is very difficult to do!

  8. Nice background.

  9. my little chick lit loving heart is really enjoying this week. Such wonderful dialouge from the guys…and while we are a ‘Ranger” household and not a Maple Leafs one, this was such a great description to seeing how connected and unassuming Will is.

    Loved this, so glad that this went another way for him and Sam later on. 😉

  10. I really enjoy your writing. I can’t get enough of this 🙂

  11. I covet your ability to write dialogue. Flat out covet it.

    This is, as usual, fantastic.

  12. Not to join the echo chamber but I like this side of will.

  13. I love the dialogue, I love him {I know- obvious} but what I love most is your stage directing. I can *see* them -the expressions and body language. And that? Kicks ass.

  14. I can’t write male dialogue. I mean, I do, but it doesn’t flow like yours does. Sigh.

    I feel like I’m listening to real guys, not fictional ones, and that’s perfect. Maybe I need to secretly tape Ryan’s poker nights to practice.

  15. the writ and the wrote

    Wonderful. Can’t wait to read more.

  16. I love it! The dialogues sounds so natural as if I were listening in.

  17. This was so sad and bittersweet. Loved it and am so sorry I’m just now telling you. Catching up on my commenting. 🙂

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