The Fifteen Minute Novel 2023: Day 15

Welcome to the Fifteen Minute Novel. Each morning I spend fifteen minutes writing on a singular story line. Each morning starts with the last line of the previous day. The goal is to get a (very) rough draft out of the simple story idea and to avoid letting the story idea languish in limbo forever, actually writing it out. This is the third year I have done this writing experiment and each year I learn just a little bit about myself and the way I write as well as creating a framework for the story. But without further ado…

Day 15: While the school was in walking distance, it was a small one and for all major events the city auditorium was used.

While the school was in walking distance, it was a small one and for all major events the city auditorium was used.  In the auditorium lot she parked in the section of the lot she was told to use and retrieved her graduation gown from the back seat.  She hung it up in the back for the sort drive so it wouldn’t wrinkle. The cap was placed on the seat.  This too she picked up. The hanger was a disposable one and she would leave it in the staging room.  Later, she would either come back for it or abandon it there.  For the occasion Gwen had a small cross body bag that was large enough to hold her ID and car keys but not quite fit her phone. She would be able to wear it under her gown and not have to worry about misplacing it or hunting for it later.

The phone she left in her glove box as she headed into the room they were using for staging.  She was not the first one there and as she arrived others turned to her.  At first there was silence as no one seemed to know what to say.

“Are we changing now or do we need to wait?” Gwen asked the room at large. Everyone seemed to relax with her calm question. 

“I think we are starting to put them on Ashley told her.  Ashley’s honey blonde hair was tied up in a neat twist at the back of her head.  As she had worn a high ponytail for most of high school it was strange not to see the tail of hair swinging free.

“Great,” Gwen said. 

“Do you want me to help you so you don’t mess up your hair?” Ashley said.  “Then you can help me so I don’t mess up mine.”

“Sure,” Gwen replied. Ashly smiled.  “I like your hair like that, by the way,” Gwen said as she slipped her gown off the hanger.  The zippers in the gowns only went down part of the way so people could either step into them or pull them on over their heads. 

“Thanks,” Ashley said with a smile.  “I thought something more grown up would look right for today.  We missed you at the dance last night.”

“Did you,” Gwen said.  Ashely seemed oblivious to the quiet that fell over the room at her words.

“Yeah,” Ashly said.  “I mean I get why you didn’t want to go.  I can’t believe Toby and Lisa.”  She shook her head, disbelief showing on her face.  “I mean who does that to their best friend?”

Gwen smiled at the statement as Ashley helped her into her gown.  With the gown in place she zipped it up.  Ashly helped her pin her cap into place with bobby pins, careful not to disarrange her hair too much.

“I was certainly shocked,” she said.

Ashley nodded.  “So was Ron,” she said. 

Gwen helped Ashly into her gown and when her blonde head appeared at the neck of the gown, her hair still in place she continued.  “He made quite the scene.”

“Did he?” Gwen said. She pinned Ashley’s cap to her head carefully avoiding the artfully curled tendrils.

Her question seemed to break some sort of spell that had a hold of the rest of her class mates and they all started to tell her about Ron’s arrival at the dance the night before, each chiming in with their own details.

“He arrived while Toby and Lisa were slow dancing,” Ashley started.

“He looked crazy mad,” John added.

“Smoke was coming out of his ears,” George said.  “It would be coming out of mine too I suppose.”

“He yelled at Toby first,” Ashley said.

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