What a universally acknowledged desire of the human race: acceptance. There’s nothing like that spark which flares in the heart when a friend stands up for you or a family member says they don’t know what they’d do without you. To know you are accepted for who you are is a sweet form of validation. It’s the awww moment every time.
That’s why I decided to utilize this emotional tool it in The Memories of Godric Dorial (also known as the first book of “Bill”). My protagonist in an amnesiac Viking who is trying to find his past with the help of the Blackmore twins, a brother-sister duo who live in a small town on the Chesapeake. Elizabeth was kind enough to take him in, but Byron was always the more standoffish of the two. It isn’t until Godric is told of his dark past that he realizes why, but I wanted to build their relationship before that dreadful revelation. Here’s a snippet of the two of them.
The day after Godric had helped Elizabeth finish readying the “B”, she had shooed him out of the house with an awkward, nonsensical explanation, and told him to go grocery shopping with Byron.
It was a sunny day, so Byron loaned him a pair of sunglasses. Godric liked the camaraderie they had forged in the last week and a half. Byron had not seemed to like him much at first, treating him with a sort of polite neglect. Now, they were the sort of friends who loaned sunglasses to each other, and Godric thought that was just fine. Especially since he really had no idea what to do once they were in the grocery store.
Byron made them stop for a cart since they were shopping for the bar and wouldn’t be able to carry everything. Then he let Godric push it, and Godric had to try his level best not to run into any of the fruit stands with his wobbly contraption. Finally, Byron handed him a box, told him to check the ingredients list for gluten, and ducked down another isle.
Godric got all the way through the back of the box, turned it over, and saw ‘gluten-free’ on the front. He rolled his eyes and set the box of graham crackers in the cart. He didn’t know why they were buying graham crackers, let alone ones absent the presence of gluten; he couldn’t think of anything they used them for at the bar. So, he started looking at the other boxes of crackers. He knew, rather distantly, that he was a bit sheltered from this sort of common consumerism.
Even so… twelve different flavors of one brand of chips seemed excessive, to say the least.
Byron appeared, dumped an armload of things into the cart, declared them done, and they headed for the checkout stands. The whole thing felt a little rushed, but Godric assumed it was simply part of the whole field trip.
“Home or bar?” Byron asked.
“You coming with me to the bar?”
“Oh, I had some woodworking to finish before I started my shift. Is that all right?”
Byron pulled up the hill toward the ‘B’ and nodded. “Yeah, that’s fine.”
“Besides, I like the walk down the hill. Elizabeth made me some dog treats to feed the beasts at the corner.”
“How nice. Here we go. Have fun with your whatever-it-is you are building.”
Byron rolled his eyes. “Whatever.”
Godric took the sunglasses out of his shirt pocket and handed them to Byron.
Byron hesitated. “Nah, I’ve got an extra pair in here. Keep them for when you need them.”
Godric smiled and put them on. “Thank you.” Byron could be gruff at times, but he had just as charitable a soul as Elizabeth.
“Oh, and these are for here.” Byron tossed him the box of gluten-free graham crackers. “Rumor has it Alice Pendleton may be going gluten-free next, so Lizzy wants to try her hand at making something for her.”
“First vegan, now gluten-free. Honestly, when will it end?” It sounded like the right thing to say.
Godric furrowed his brow. “What is gluten?”
“Still beats me. See you at five.”