The Fifteen Minute Novel 2023: Day 19

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 19: “We are heading out to the Steak House,” Lisa said.

“We are heading out to the Steak House,” Lisa said. “Toby and his family are meeting us there.  Will you be … um…that is…”

Gwen felt her father’s hand on her shoulder.  “I’m afraid we have made other plans,” he said. Gwen nearly sagged with relief.  Sitting with Lisa and her family through dinner would have been nightmarish.

“Of course,” Mrs. Lewis said quickly. “We completely understand.” Lisa looked like she was going to say something.

“Speaking of which, we will need to get going if we are to make our reservation,” Gwen heard her father say.  “Congratulations to you.” Gwen felt her father’s hand steer her towards the door as Sharron offered more fulsome congratulations and goodbyes behind them. 

They made their way into the parking lot where clusters of other family groups stood.  Some were talking, some were moving to vehicles  and others were merging with other family groups.

“I booked a table at Renaldo’s,” her father told her when they were clear of the building.  “You know where it is?” he asked.

Gwen nodded.  Renaldo’s was technically not in town but on the outer edge of the nearby city.  It was upscale but as it was on the side of the city that was closest to them it was occasionally used for special nights out.  Toby took her there once for Valentine’s day.  Gwen tried not to think about that.

“Then we will meet you there,” her father said.

He and Sharron left her at her car and they walked over to his.  Gwen opened her car door and tossed the graduation cap she still held over into the passenger’s seat.  She unzipped the gown and now no longer worried about wrinkles she shrugged herself out of it and let it drop to the ground.  Gwen bent to pick up the gown from the ground.  When she stood up she blinked in surprise as she saw Mrs. Lewis approaching. 

“I just have a moment before I need to get back,” Mrs. Lewis said.  “I just couldn’t let you leave without talking to you.”

Gwen nodded, but felt a lump rise into her throat.

“I am so sorry for the way things went down and I honestly can’t believe…,” Mrs. Lewis shook her head.  “Not important.” She added.  “What is important is that you realize this is actually good for you in the end.  A man who will cheat on you with your best friend isn’t someone you want to marry.  And the friend that would do that…”  Mrs. Lewis pursed her lips as though swallowing back the rest of the comment. “I won’t say anything more about it other than it was poorly done on everyone’s part.  You didn’t deserve it.  Now take a deep breath and let it go.  Be free and be whoever you want to be.”

Mrs. Lewis stepped close and gave her a quick hug.


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