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  • Writer's pictureBrigham Vaughn


Man with dark stubble wearing dark shirt smiling. Text saying The Home Game coming june 2024

We're in the home stretch for the release of The Home Game! (see what I did there??) I'm wrapping up edits and it'll be heading to proofreaders soon.

“I hate money,” Matty said with a sigh.

Antoni gave him a skeptical glance. “Yeah, easy for you to say, eh.”

He’d seen the price tag on this house. There was a massive home gym and a steam shower in the basement. A six-car garage for fuck’s sake! Matty was hardly hurting for money.

Matty grimaced. “Yeah, okay I know how it looks now but I didn’t grow up with it. My parents struggled. And I played in the minors for a long fucking time before I secured an NHL contract. I’m lucky now but I’ve been poor.”

“So why do you hate money?”

“Well, I don’t hate it, I guess. I just hate that people like you struggle while I make a boatload.”

Antoni shrugged. “Agreed but …”

“Yeah, that doesn’t change the fact that this is what we’ve got to work with, right?”

“Right.” Antoni nodded. “Wait, we?”

Matty nodded. “So, you’re probably going to think I’m crazy but I think you and the kids should move in here with me.”

“Uhh, what?” Antoni blinked at Matty, sure he’d just hallucinated Matty suggesting he and the kids move in with him.

“Look, I know this sounds kind of crazy. But I have a big-ass house I don’t know what to do with. You need a house. In this neighborhood. It’s perfect.”

Antoni felt faintly dizzy. “Right, but you can’t just—”

“It’s not like I’m giving you the house or anything,” Matty said with a little laugh. “I’m not that crazy.”

Antoni pushed his hair off his forehead. “Um, this is pretty crazy. I’m not moving my kids into a strange man’s house.”

Matty’s eyes were wide and earnest. “You can do a background check on me, talk to my teammates, check me out to be sure I’m not some weirdo.”

“You met me an hour ago and you just offered to let me move in with you. That’s pretty weird,” Antoni pointed out, rising to his feet, suddenly uneasy.

Matty grimaced. “You’re probably right. And I’m sorry. I’m not trying to be pushy. I’m sorry if I made you uncomfortable. I just … I don’t like seeing people go through hard times if I can make it better. I’ve got all the answers to your problems and it seems selfish to not offer.”

He looked miserable by the end and Antoni felt a little wash of guilt.

“I do appreciate the offer,” Antoni said slowly. Only because he didn’t want to hurt this guy’s feelings. Maybe he wassome sort of weirdo but he certainly seemed sincere enough. “I just don’t think it’s something I feel comfortable with. You understand, right?”

Matty looked crestfallen but he nodded. “Yeah, that’s fair.”

“You’ve been so nice,” Antoni said sincerely. “Really. The food, the offer … it’s so generous. I just can’t move in here. I had a rough afternoon and you saw me at my lowest but I’ll keep searching. I’ll find a good house for all of us if I try hard enough.”

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