The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 68

The Fifteen Minute Novel is a novel written fifteen minutes at a time with each week day’s section starting with the sentence from the previous day. At least it is attempting to be a novel. For now I am just aiming at one continuous story, worked on for fifteen minutes each day. Started Friday January 1st, 2021 (in case you want to search for the beginning. I can’t wait to see where it ends up. It could be good, or it could be a mess. We’ll have to see. For now, here is today’s fifteen minutes.

Day 68: He nodded and smiled at the half heard comment Gary was making.

He nodded and smiled at the half heard comment Gary was making. The rest of the evening followed the same lines.  After talking to Gary for a little while, mostly nodding, smiling and trying not to look like a human bobble head, James turned to talk to someone he was pretty sure was named Dave.  He was pretty confident that he got the name right as even though he missed the first letter he couldn’t think of another name that ended with ave.

The process continued and despite everything, James was able to relax.  It was nice in its own way.  Since he couldn’t hear much of the conversation, he couldn’t claim it held much interest, but for the first time in a while he was one of the crowd.  He was just one person at the table.  He was not a package to be ferried between safe destinations.  People did not want him to repeat the same story over and over again.  Here he was just the newest accountant and not a witness.

It felt…comfortable, strangely enough.

While it wasn’t his usual style of gathering, James found himself almost disappointed when it came to an end.  He, and the rest of the group, left the Sport’s bar and went into the parking lot.  Once outside, James breathed deeply of the fresh air. While inside the scent of stale beer and warm bodies mixed with lemon scented cleanser faded into the background.

Now as he took in the cool evening air he realized how hot and close the bar had been and relished the freshness.  Even though they were among the first to arrive, more people arrived after them and even though they were leaving it was clear the bar was just gearing up for a raucous Friday night. While he was pleased to have an element of normalcy to his life, James was glad they were leaving.  He wasn’t certain he was up to the bar at full capacity.

In the parking lot everyone went their separate ways.  “See you Monday,” Mike called.

“See you,” James returned. 

As he pulled out of the parking lot, James thought of the frozen meal waiting for him and decided that he was just not up for whatever mystery item lurked in his freezer tonight.  Instead he decided take out would be a better option.  As he drove, James reached a stretch of street lined with restaurants on either side.  The fast food places didn’t thrill him too much but he did see a soup and salad restaurant that offered take out. 

It looked like a local restaurant or maybe even a local chain.  “Or it could be one I’ve never heard of.”

As a fresh salad actually sounded like a fantastic notion at the moment, he decided to give it a try.  James pulled into the parking lot.

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