Today’s daily prompt: Leftovers Sandwich
Today, publish a post based on unused material from a previous piece –a paragraph you nixed, a link you didn’t include, a photo you decided not to use. Let your leftovers shine!
My short story series, inspired by NaNoWriMo/NaBloPoMo and the daily prompt.
I wanted to write a conversation between Connor and Eric earlier, but I wanted to make sure the story was progressing on schedule. I think now would be a good time to throw it in the series.
“Why did you want to talk to me?”
When Connor received the pristine white wedding invitation, it took everything in him not to dump it into the garbage can. Samantha was getting married to Eric the Editor. Eric the asshole editor. And of all days, they had to choose the first Monday of December. The date printed on the invitation taunted him, and Connor wondered if it was Eric’s idea to choose that day to hold the wedding. That bastard.
Samantha was at fault too for being insensitive about the date. How could she get married on the first Monday of December when he had confessed his love for her the year prior? Connor regretted his cheeky remark about why they weren’t married after six years of being engaged. That probably only pushed Samantha to go through with it.
But then again, Samantha never did anything she didn’t want to do.
It also took Connor months before he decided he would attend the wedding. He didn’t want to attend without being sincere and happy for her. He was not going to ruin someone’s wedding by being a hateful prick. So, Connor thought hard about how he could mentally prepare himself.
Somehow, he came up with the conclusion that he had to ride an eight-hour plane ride to meet up with Eric before the wedding.
The rationale was that they would have an honest talk about Samantha and settle their issues once and for all. Connor was hoping to reach some kind of a civil consensus.
Connor had seen Eric many times before, and each time he saw him he would wonder what Samantha saw in him. He always thought that Samantha never dated anybody because her standards were too high. He was expecting Eric to be some big-shot model hunk who could do everything from making pasta to playing the violin. It turned out that Eric was your average white male- a little on the tall side with a stocky build, curly brown hair, and ridiculously pale skin. There was just nothing extraordinary about him.
“I wanted to talk to you because I think we have some issues to sort out before the wedding.”
“Oh yeah? Like what kind of issues?”
“Well for starters, we don’t get along very well.”
Eric snorted and stirred his tea. “Obviously. Why would I get along with the guy who loves my fiancé? You know, I really don’t appreciate you confessing your love to my fiancé a year before our wedding.”
Connor scoffed. “And I didn’t appreciate how you proposed to her at my graduation party. Or that you guys are holding your wedding on the day I confessed to her.”
“Just to clarify, the wedding date was chosen because that was the only available date for the venue. It had nothing to do with you.”
The civil consensus did not seem to be working.
Connor tried again. “Aside from my feelings for Samantha, what is it about me that you hate so much?”
Eric eyed him carefully and stopped stirring his tea. “Let me ask you this: do you still love her?”
“I think so, yes.”
Eric drank his tea with a smirk. “You think so? See, that’s what annoys me about you. You never know what you want but you expect to get it in the end.”
He put down his cup. “You think it’s unfair, don’t you? Because you’ve known Samantha since you were a kid and you’ve probably had feelings for her much longer than I have. You think I’m taking away someone that belongs to you. You don’t think about how you never did anything about your feelings or never confronted them until now. All you think about is what an asshole I am for taking Samantha when the truth is that I was able to face my feelings, and you weren’t ready to.
I could tell when we first met that you’re a privileged boy. I bet your parents have a nice big house and you never had to work for anything in your life. Well, I’m not as fortunate as you are. I had to work my ass off for everything I have and so yes, it pisses me off when I see a guy like you, no ambitions no nothing, expect to be with Samantha simply because you loved her longer.”
Eric’s little outburst made Connor furious. The hardest part in listening to it all of it was that it felt true. That was what made Connor so furious, because it felt like Eric hit straight onto the mark.
Connor calmed himself down with a gulp of water. “I don’t really expect Samantha to be with me. I never thought I was good enough for her. I still don’t think I’m good enough for her.”
He looked at Eric, who seemed to look less tense after his outbreak. “I’m not saying I don’t love Samantha anymore, but I do want to attend this wedding and I don’t want to ruin your relationship. I know you’re a good person, at least to Samantha, because otherwise she wouldn’t have stayed with you for so long. I am just here trying to be on better terms with you because she chose you and I want to respect that.”
For the first time in all the years they knew each other, the atmosphere didn’t feel so intense. Eric’s eyes seemed to soften at Connor’s words.
After a moment, Eric sighed. “I know you’re a good person too because you and Samantha have been friends for so many years.”
Eric then cracked of a smile. “She talked about you often, how you have a lot of talents but you don’t know it.”
Hearing this, Connor could feel a smile spreading on his lips. “She talked about you a lot to me too.”
Connor could feel a boulder lifted off his shoulders. Civil consensus was working! He and Eric were having an actual normal conversation without subtly throwing insults at each other.
Perhaps this is what being an adult was about, being able to resolve conflicts in a mature and polite way. By the time they finished their second drink, Connor couldn’t remember all the distinct reasons why he used to despise Eric so much.
“- and I’m not saying we’re buddies now or anything, but I would like it if you came to our wedding. I think Samantha would really like to see you there.”
Connor ignored the bad feeling in his chest when he imagined Samantha in a wedding dress. “I will go, for sure. And it’s kind of late, but congratulations on the marriage.”
Eric grinned at him.
That was when Connor realized he had an extraordinary smile. It stretched from ear to ear and illuminated his dimples. Maybe that was one of the things Samantha saw in him.
Eric wasn’t such a bad guy.
To be continued…