Here’s what I”m thinking:
Our story begins at Kate’s wedding to Joseph. Peter and Kate’s fathers are friends, thus why the Bramfields are invited. Peter, however, could care less and is still reeling from his and his father’s daily tiff. It’s really not for any good reason except that Peter and his father haven’t gotten along ever since his mother died.
See, Peter did not react well to the grief of losing his mother. He’s been stuck in an anger phase for about 5 years, and his anger is most often directed at his father. Robert reacted to his wife’s death very differently. His strategy was to just move on with life as if nothing had changed. Don’t talk about it and the grief will subside. Besides, as a single parent he now had more work to do. For the first year after his wife’s death he hired a local woman to do some chores and look after the children a few days a week, but Peter’s anger quickly derailed that plan. Charlotte was similarly aged to the neighbor’s children and they were nice enough to look after her and let her tag along. Peter, however, was largely left to his own devices (if he wasn’t grudgingly doing something with or for his father), and this fueled his anger. As Robert tried to teach his son important life lessons, Peter aimed his anger at his father and their relationship quickly deteriorated down a path of resentment and bitterness and miscommunication.
So naturally, after 5 years of this dynamic, tempers tend to boil over rather quickly, and being a teenager still, Peter’s emotions rage. Albeit it with a slight scowl on his face, Peter is polite enough not to explode at Kate and Joseph’s wedding, but as soon as they’re out the door he begins laying in to his father, completely ignoring his best friend Sam.
When they arrive home things only get worse. Everyone knows this one is going to be a bad one. Robert trivializes Peter’s anger which only makes Peter lash out harder. The argument gets so out of hand Peter blames Robert for his mother’s death, as if Robert’s negligence cause her consumption, and at this point, Robert tells Peter to leave. He won’t stand for the haneous disrespect Peter has shown him over the years. “Your mother died 5 years ago! You can get over it or you can leave! It’s your choice.” – is more or less what Robert conveys to his son.
Peter storms out of the room to his bedroom where he attempts to cool down for the rest of the night. Before she goes to bed, Charlotte comes in to talk to Peter. She’s 11 years old, he’s 18. She’s clearly saddened and maybe a bit scared by the argument that took place at dinner. Peter loves his sister very much. She is the brightness in his life. She is innocent and sweet and he is very protective of her. Peter apologizes for her having to witness them fighting and of course she is understanding. She asks Peter if things will always be this way? Peter hopes not. Charlotte sighs sadly. “Are you going to leave?” she asks. Peter thinks about it for a minute and then considers Charlotte. “I don’t know. Maybe it would be better if I didn’t live here. It would be better for you not to have to see us fight.” Tears formed in Charlotte’s eyes. “I don’t want you to go. Why do you so angry with one another?” Peter takes her hands and looks her in the eye and evades her question, “It’s time for you to go to bed. Don’t worry about father and I. We’ll be OK.” At that moment Robert pokes his head in the door and tells Charlotte it’s time for bed. Peter kisses her on the forehead and they say goodnight.
Peter lays awake a little while longer, considering for the first time the consequences of the family dynamic on Charlotte. It’s clear to him that it’s not good for her to be around the fighting. And he’s grateful that she has friends and support outside the family. It doesn’t take him long though to realize that not only would it be good for Charlotte if Peter left home, but it would be good for Peter too. He’s old enough to live on his own and he could use a break from the constant tension.
At that point he makes the decision to leave. He doesn’t know where he’s going to go or what he’s going to do, but he would rather not have to confront his father about it in the morning so he packs some basics and around midnight heads over to Sam’s house. He throws a pebble at Sam’s window and when Sam comes to the kitchen door at the back of the house Peter asks if he can stay the night in the barn. Sam, being the best best friend ever, says of course, and sets him up in the guest cabin, but at Peter’s insistence with only a blanket, as he doesn’t intend on staying more than one night and doesn’t want them to have to make the bed after him.
Peter leaves early in the morning, around dawn, leaving the blanket neatly by the door and heads to the market to search out opportunities. Maybe it’s fate, but he’s subconsciously pulled toward his favorite blacksmith. This particular blacksmith (name TBD) has been good to the Bramfields over the years and he’s someone with whom Peter has developed a friendship.
NEXT UP: Peter becomes a blacksmith’s apprentice and heads south! duhn duhn DUUUHHHN!!