Updated date:

Dear Ellie - Part 1


This story in no way depicts real life events. It is purely fictional. As always, I welcome any constructive criticism you may have. Just leave it in the comments below. Please join me now as we enter the world of Dear Ellie.


Ellie sat at the dining room table staring out through the French doors as a gentle, September breeze filled the room. Autumn’s golden garb was just beginning to clothe the mountains in the distance. She wondered how life ever got so complicated. Her gaze shifted to the note in her left hand. It read in part -

“Dear Ellie,

. . . I never meant for this to happen. I don’t how it all went wrong. I know I’ve caused you so much pain, and I can never make it right. Life has gotten to be too hard too fast. I’m leaving, and I won’t be back.”


Ellie’s mind shifted back to a happier day. She had known Scott Branson since kindergarten, They grew up together in the Pittsburgh suburb of West Mifflin. But it wasn’t until her senior year at West Mifflin High that she really noticed Scott.

It was the way he looked at her after the Friday afternoon pep rally. The Titans first football game with South Allegheny would take place that night, and the air was filled with electricity. Scott’s athleticism won him the starting job at quarterback for the second year in a row. In his junior year, he thoroughly destroyed the competition, and his senior year was to be no different. The rally was dismissed, and Scott winked at Ellie as he walked past her on the way to his locker.

A strange tingle covered Ellie. She never felt like that before, and now these many years later, she never would again. Her life with Scott began as everything she ever hoped for.

They continued to date through the rest of their senior year while Scott led the Titans to a 10-0 record for the second time in as many years. She was the homecoming queen and led the Titan cross country team to another championship before graduation.

The world seemed perfect to both of them, but now she sat looking out over the lonely countryside from her dining room. She glanced once again at the letter she held in her hand. It was all too much for her to handle. The pain and confusion stirred once more. Then . . .

Her mind regressed again. After graduating from high school, both signed commitments to attend Penn State – Scott on a football scholarship and Ellie on a cross country scholarship. Scott was to be groomed to be the starting quarterback within the next two years.

Ellie, she’d just run, and run, and run and was getting nowhere with every step. College level cross country was a bigger step than she could take.

But that didn’t stop her. She pledged herself to the Alpha Xi Delta sorority and her popularity continued to climb. Not to be outdone by the love of his life, Scott also decided to consider fraternity life.

Rush week was fast approaching, and both Ellie and Scott were excited. There was to be a welcoming party at the Sigma Nu house on Friday night, and Scott was pumped. He was not yet a member, but he felt it wouldn’t be long until he was. His social standing was as important to him as his college football career.


The days passed slowly, but finally, Friday night arrived. He and Ellie walked through the Sigma Nu door to be greeted by many of the ones he believed would soon be his brothers.

They mingled with the other rushes and their dates. They snacked on the finger foods that were continually passed around along with the drinks. They listened to the band and eventually moved to the small dance floor. Scott felt quite at home in the party atmosphere.

“Hey, Scotty, my man. How ya doin’?” Todd Martz called from across the room. Todd knew everybody and everything about his fraternity, and he knew how important it was to Scott to be a part.

“Doing great! Doing great, Todd. Quite a lively place here tonight!”

“Yeah, uh, look Scotty. We know ya want to be part of this fraternity, but of course, we need to test your loyalty.” Ellie continued mingling while Scott was led to a small room off to the side of the main entrance.

The dimly lit room housed only a table and one chair – a chair that Scott would not sit in. It was reserved for Todd. On the corner of the table was a mirror. Todd led Scott over to the mirror and handed him a fresh one-hundred dollar bill.

“Nothin’ but class for Sigma Nu, Scotty – nothing but class. We’re gonna play a little game called Lines on My Face. Now, I know you know this is how we play, right Scotty?”

“Not exactly, but I think I have an idea.”

“Yeah, well it’s pretty simple, man. All you have to do is to chase that line on the mirror. You know what I mean by that, Scotty, my man?”

He handed Scott the rolled up one-hundred dollar bill.

“No . . . No this doesn’t work for me.”

“Okay, okay, my man. Go do some more mingling. I have another game we can play, Josh will have to get it set up. Meet me back here in ten. Oh, and Scotty, this is your last chance to prove yourself loyal to the cause of Sigma Nu. Know what I mean?”

Scott stepped out for a breath of fresh air. He breathed deep and had to stop and remind himself that the party lifestyle didn’t mix with his athletic aspirations. Scott re-entered the party and casually walked back to the room beside the entrance. Todd met him there.

The Psychology Behind Hazing

On the table, spreading end to end, was a neat, single row of 20 shot glasses. “Now, Scotty, my man. I feel a new Sigma Nu record is gonna be set tonight – if ya know what I mean.”

“Not exactly, Todd. You might have to spell it out for me.”

“Um, yeah. Spell it out. Well, ya see, my man, the old record is 12 shots in 60 seconds. That’s about one every five seconds. Ya only have to do 13 to beat the record, but Scotty, I know you can do more than thirteen, right?”

Scott was getting a little nervous. “No, this doesn’t work for me either. Coach gives us an ETG test every Monday before practice. I can’t risk it.”

“Trust me, my man! By Monday, the alcohol will be all outta your system. You’ll be okay." Todd held up a glass. "Look how small this glass is. Hardly anything to it.

“Ya are wanting to be a part of this fraternity, aren’t ya?”

“Well sure, but . . .”

Todd cut him off. “Look, all the pledges here have to do this. This just happens to be your night. Believe me, my man, Monday’ll take care of itself. Josh, get the vodka and let’s go. Get those glasses filled before he changes his mind. Get the other brothers and gather ‘round.”

Josh Timmons began filling each glass. By the time all 20 glasses were filled, the rest of the Sigma Nu brothers were gathered around the table to witness the possible new record.

Todd began, “ Okay, guys. We’re ready. Here are the rules, Scotty, my man. Ya have to finish each shot before going on to the next. I’ll count the empties as we go. Josh, here, he’ll keep the time. Ya have 60 seconds to down as many as you can – But, Scotty, I have faith in ya! I think you do at least 15. What do ya think, Guys.” The room filled with cheers as Todd continued.

“Okay, Scotty. On my signal. Ready?” Scott nodded a big yes. “Ready, Josh?” Josh signaled likewise, “Okay. Ready. Go!”

The contest was under way. Todd began to count. “One . . . two . . . three . . . four. Hey, Josh. What kind of time do we have?”

“Just hit 15 seconds, He’s way ahead of the record.”

Todd continued. Three . . . four . . . five . . . six. How ‘bout another time check, Josh?”

“Oh, he’s slowing down. He’s only at 23 seconds.”

The chant began – “Scot-tee, Scot-tee, Scot-tee.”

Scott kept up the pace. Todd counted. “Four . . .five. . . six. Time check!”

“Just ticked 19 seconds. You say he’s at four, Todd?”

“Right. Four . . . five . . . six . . . seven . . . Gimme the time!

“22 seconds.”

The chant continued as Todd began to count again. “Five . . . six . . . seven. . . eight . . . Time?”

“Approaching 25 seconds.”

Two and a half minutes later Todd finished counting the number of shots Scott put down as he reached for the last glass. “Ten . . . eleven . . . twelve. Oh, Scotty, my man. You tied the record. I was really hoping for something more, but hey, you tied it!” 20 shots later, a collective cheer was raised around the table.

Within minutes Scott fell to the floor convulsing. Finally, his body settled down as he began to make strange gurgling sounds. Seconds after that, Josh noticed he quit breathing. A blanket off panic covered the Sigma Nu brothers.

“Someone call 911! Hurry! Hurry! Hurry!”

Todd spoke in a calm voice, “No, we can’t do that. Quick, Josh, help me carry him to the balcony.”

Josh grabbed Scott under his arms while Todd lifted his feet. The other brothers crowded around to shield Scott from the others attending the party. Carefully, they lifted Scott over the upstairs balcony railing and dropped him to the ground below. Todd reached for his cell phone and dialed 911.

“Yes, this is Todd Martz at Sigma Nu Fraternity on Fraternity Row. We just had an accident. A man fell over the balcony railing. I think he may be dead.”

  • Dear Ellie - Part 2
    Dear Ellie - Part 1 Scott Branson is on a path to self-destruction, and Ellie will pay the price.

© 2017 William Kovacic


William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on July 04, 2020:

Thank you, Anupam Mitu. I hope you enjot it!

Anupam Mitu from MUMBAI on June 30, 2020:

Marking it now, to read it tomorrow.

Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 22, 2019:

Thanks to you too William. You're such a great fiction writer that I've ever read. Thanks for giving us inspirations.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on November 22, 2019:

You're welcome, Luis. I hope you are able to read the other chapters as well. Although it's fiction, I'm glad it seems real. That's what I aim for. Thank you.

Luis G Asuncion from City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Philippines on November 22, 2019:

Although this is fiction, however, as I am reading every word of it, it is like somewhat real. Thanks for sharing it.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 05, 2019:

I certainly understand. My goal is to have my new book, Cadeyrn's Tale finished by the end of the month. Take your time. I'm just glad to have you along.

Tori Leumas on September 30, 2019:

This seems interesting. I wonder what happens to Scott? I'll read more, but I also need to work on my own book too so I can get chapter 6 up soon.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on January 08, 2018:

Hey, Mike. Good to see you here. 'Should be out in March. I'm working on the rewrites right now. There's a link to the next installment at the bottom of the page if you're interested!

Michael Sprankle on January 08, 2018:

I look forward to reading it when it is finished.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 23, 2017:

Thank you, Tamara. I'm glad to have you along for the ride.

Tamara Yancosky from Uninhabited Regions on October 23, 2017:

Excellent! I look forward to reading the following chapters to your story, as well.

Tamara xxx

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 21, 2017:

Welcome to the story, Aaron. Thanks for a great ending. It sounds like you already read Part 2 - no, only kidding, but I do think your ending would be more fun. Glad to have you stop by. It's been a while.

Aaron Rushing from USA- Florida on October 20, 2017:

UUUGH! OK Bill, I know how you like tragedies, I should have prepared myself. But come on Over the balcony? In the 1st chapter? NOOOO! I feel I must remind you that balconies are meant for villains and should only be used at the END OF THE BOOK! Sigh! OK I am off to read # 2 Poor Scott! Now let me see, If it were me, writing the story, Scott would have miraculously survived the fall, by landing on a soft shrub. The impact would have made him vomit out all the Vodka, allowing him to stand up in his right mind. Then he would have gone back up the stairs and and thrown Josh and Todd off the balcony. But only after beating the tar out of both. Of course I would have come up with a great "one liner" for Scott to say as he throws both bottom feeders off the balcony. Something like "Does this work for you"

But alas, before this is over, I suspect you will go with a biblical response which will be to accept and adjust, turn the other cheek, and will remind everyone that Vengeance is mine. Well all that is true of course, but I think my response is way more fun.


William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on October 19, 2017:

Hi, Susan. Sorry to be so late getting back to you. There's a lot going on. Anyway, I'm glad to have you along for this one. See you next chapter.

Susan Ream from Michigan on October 06, 2017:

Poor Ellie... I'm holding my breath! On to part 2.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on July 07, 2017:

Thanks, Tammy. Peer pressure - I guess we usually think of kids battling it, but I wonder how many times we as adults fall prey to it. Glad you were able to stop by for the read and hope you can follow along!

Tamarajo on July 07, 2017:

Hi Bill

Great depiction of sad realities. Good job making it real. I was actually getting mad. Oh, the icky seductive trap of evil disguised as peer acceptance.

Good read

God bless

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on July 06, 2017:

Hey, Jackie, It's good to see you. Glad you were able to stop by for a visit. Hope all is well with you. Always glad to have you stop by when you can!

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on July 06, 2017:

Oh how horrible...and no doubt a true story somewhere in time.

Long time no see...am trying to get back as often as I can. Will sure get back to this as sad as I know it is going to be.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 11, 2017:

I know the internet problem routine, Lori. I wasn't able to get anything new up on the TGAF website this week due to difficulties.

Always glad you stop by when you can.

Lori Colbo from United States on June 11, 2017:

As soon as I read what Scotty had to do I felt sickened. This is so much a reality in our culture today, and not just at college and fraternity parties. You portrayed Todd very well as a hard, unfeeling, even ruthless leader. Poor Scotty.

I loved this line "Autumn's golden garb was just beginning to clothe the mountains in the distance."

Sorry it took me so long to read this, as you know internet has been difficult this past week.

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 04, 2017:

It is happening all over, These are kids with a future ahead of them. Sadly, these things take place quite often on our college campuses. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Always glad to see you here.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on June 04, 2017:

This just happened recently near me. What a shame that a person has to feel that he must do anything asked to be accepted. Hazing should be outlawed and those who participate should be held accountable. Great story William with a timely message...

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 04, 2017:

Thanks, Bill. Always glad to hear from you!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 04, 2017:

I love how the beautiful description in the opening paragraph morphed into instant sadness upon reading the note, then morphed into an ugly memory...this is excellent writing, Bill!

William Kovacic (author) from Pleasant Gap, PA on June 04, 2017:

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Eric. Always glad to have you drop by for a visit!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on June 03, 2017:

This great. Wow what a place for a break.

Related Articles