The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 143

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 143: As he did, something on the newspaper caught his eye.

As he did, something on the newspaper caught his eye. It was a wedding announcement.  It was small and discretely placed.  James spread the page out.  His eye flicked to the date.  It was two days after he disappeared into the first of the protective motels.  He couldn’t remember which one as they all blurred together.  He did remember that he just signed the paperwork to enter the program. 

He gave his initial statements and was informed that the officials thought it necessary.  Once he realized it was part of the bigger picture, he agreed.  It felt like the right thing to do for the man who so kindly helped him out.

James pushed those thoughts away and let his eyes drop to the announcement.  Very few people seemed to post them in the papers these days but he knew that Faith would want the news spread as far and wide a possible.  

James scanned the brief notice of his ex-wife’s upcoming nuptials and realized he felt nothing.  He expected to find sadness or regret as that seemed the right thing to feel when your former beloved declared her love for another via marriage.  But he didn’t. 

In truth she hadn’t been his beloved in a long time.

He knew the name of her affianced, recognizing it from various articles. He was wealthy and from the few times James did meet him, he seemed to enjoy many of the same things Faith did.  James found it slightly amusing that she announced the engagement once it was clear she could only get one lump sum payment from him instead of continuing remuneration. He could check the paperwork, but he suspected it was signed the same day as the announcement ran.

James shook his head and placed the paper in the box with all of the other loose packing papers.  There was no point in keeping it.  Faith had clearly moved on with her life.  He supposed he ought to do the same.  The problem was that he saw no way forward. He couldn’t be who he had been, but he didn’t want to be what he was set to become.  James was certain that after several months of wading through other people’s travel remunerations and payroll forms his brain would go numb and he would want an escape.

“Unless I had something else to do after the office was done.”

His thoughts flickered to his coworker and the generic sports bar.  Somehow he doubted that after the appearance of Thomas he would feel comfortable rejoining the group.

“Which means I’ll need a reason not to go,” he thought.  His coworker was making an effort to include him and he didn’t want to cause waves by dropping out.  While he thought he could get away with using his move to cover this weekend, he would need something for the following Fridays.

“So I need a recurring excuse,” he realized. 

Nothing came to mind.  James continued putting items in the cupboard, hoping inspiration would strike.

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