The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 150

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 150: He felt a little of his control slip away and his mood deflated just a bit.

He felt a little of his control slip away and his mood deflated just a bit.

“It’s just groceries,” James reminded himself.  Still he didn’t like the fact that he had to check in before he went shopping.  As James went in search of his cell phone he wondered if he needed to alert Tucker to the fact that he might be taking a class or seeking a project car or doing whatever it was he was going to decide to do. 

“Maybe I’ll just wait until he is sure no one is attacking.” He decided. 

James found his phone.  “After all, I can use unpacking and settling in as an excuse this week if I have to.”

James pressed the buttons needed to get him to Tucker.  Tucker answered on the second ring.

“Let me guess, it is grocery time?” Tucker said by way of greeting.

“It is,” James replied.

“Well it should be safe but I think today I will meet you at the store and help my good buddy with his first day of shopping for the new house.”

“Sounds like a plan,” James said. 

James gave him the details of where he planned to go and agreed to meet Tucker in the parking lot. “At least he is trying to make it seem less like he is chaperoning me,” James told himself as he picked up his keys and went out to the car.  The Studebaker was happy to make its getaway from the house and James had to concentrate on his twists and turns to make certain he could not only find his way to the store from the new house, but find his way back again after the shopping was finished.

“No point in Tucker keeping me safe if I get my own self lost.”

As arranged, Tucker was waiting for him in the parking lot.  Tucker feigned surprise at their meeting even though James could see no one lurking to take in the performance.

‘And it is a good performance,’ James had to concede as they both headed into the store.  If he had been the one watching he certainly would have thought Tucker liked him and was in fact happy to see him.  The fact that the agent’s eyes stayed hard and watchful was the only indication that this wasn’t two old friends running into each other. 

‘But the eyes let me know this is work and that Tucker still thinks very little of me,’ James said.  He tried not to think about it.  In reality what Tucker thought of him didn’t really matter unless it prevented him from keeping James safe.  As James hoped to spend as little time with him as possible, he wasn’t overly concerned.  However his lack of attention to detail was something James found a little worrisome.  When he had one one of his younger executives take over an account, he made certain they knew the company or clients file inside and out so they could anticipate problems that might arise. 

‘I would have thought it would be the same here,’ James thought as he took a cart from the line waiting by the door and began his tour of the large box store.  Having no desire to call Tucker for an extra trip back to claim something he forgot, James decided to go aisle by aisle slowly loading his cart with not only food but other items he thought might be useful in the coming week. 

As he did, James realized that Tucker’s not reading his file really bothered him.  He glanced over to his shopping partner.  He was casually eying an older woman studying the various jars of tomato sauce on the shelves.  As James picked up some frozen ravioli in a previous aisle, he stopped, and looked at the jars himself, thinking covering the ravioli in sauce might be within his culinary skill set and save him from another prepackaged frozen dinner.

Tucker was casual in his observance but relaxed a little as the lady selected her jar, checked her list and moved on to the next item.

As they were the only two in the aisle, James decided to ask a question that had been bothering him.

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