The Fifteen Minute Novel: Day 202

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 202: He thought of Gary’s smiling face and made his lunch a little larger to compensate for the later dinner.

He thought of Gary’s smiling face and made his lunch a little larger to compensate for the later dinner. “If I don’t go I can just have a lighter dinner tomorrow night,” he told himself. 

James watched a few episodes of the show and thought of several things to either comment or ask about at lunch time.  He went to bed and dreamt he was walking down a corridor lined with doors.  All of the doors were closed and locked.  He rattled the doorknobs, trying each one.  None opened.  Finally after what seemed like an eternity, the doorknob turned and one of the doors opened.  As it opened, his alarm clock sounded the start of another day. 

James blinked awake feeling somewhat startled to find himself in his bed instead of in a doorway.  He turned off the alarm and rubbed the sleep from his eyes.  As he began his morning, he wondered what was behind the door he managed to open.  He wondered what he would have seen if the alarm hadn’t woken him.

As usual James drove to the club, parked in the mostly empty lot and went inside.  There were more cars than usual, but not too many more.  ‘The morning training class starts this morning,’ he remembered.  ‘The marathon.’

James walked up to the desk.  Gary was once again on duty as he signed in.  “Morning, Mr. Ferris,” he said.

“Morning,” James replied.

James left the desk behind and went to the locker room to change.  The swimming area remained as empty as usual.  ‘I don’t know why it wouldn’t be the same,’ James thought.  ‘People don’t train for a marathon by swimming.’

James jumped into the water feeling the delicious shock of cool water against his skin and began his laps.  He pushed himself hard as his body cut through the water.  He wasn’t as smooth and graceful as his younger days.  He wasn’t as fast and the motions weren’t as easy, but James felt he was making progress. There was a great deal of satisfaction in that. 

James finished his laps, dried off changed and went to sign out.

“See you this evening Mr. Ferris,” Gary called as he signed out.  “Your group is meeting here in the lobby.”

“Great,” James replied.  He smiled. He suspected there was no backing out now. James left the club and for a moment had a hard time picking his car out of the others.  The Ford did not stand out like the Studebaker did.

‘Which is probably a good thing,’ he reminded himself as he walked towards the car.  The drive home was quick.  Once there he changed for the office, had breakfast and left the house.  The morning slipped by as usual and at lunch he found a few raised eyebrows at his larger than usual lunch.

“I signed up to start training for a marathon,” he explained, feeling slightly sheepish. “The first training session is tonight so dinner will be later.  I figured the larger lunch would help.”

The statement was met with encouraging smiles rather than ridicule.

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