The Fifteen Minute Novel 2023: Day 20

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

Mrs. Lewis stepped close and gave her a quick hug. Gwen returned it.  Mrs. Lewis let go.  “I expect to hear you have done magnificent things.”  With that thought she turned and scampered away no doubt looking for Lisa and the rest of the Lewis family.

Gwen blinked back tears.  She took a deep breath and let it go.  She tossed her graduation gown on the passenger’s seat and took off the small cross body bag from over her shoulder.  That went on top of the gown and Gwen slipped into the car behind the steering wheel.  She fastened her seatbelt and put her key into the ignition.  Backing out of the parking spot and navigating out of the lot without hitting anyone took all of her concentration.  It was only as she left the lot and turned on the street leading to the highway that she allowed Mrs. Lewis’ words to swim through her head.

“Magnificent things,” she repeated. Gwen gave a snort.  She had no idea what she was going to do now.  Getting through graduation was one of the last items on her list.  Her fear of having to sit through dinner with Toby, Lisa, Ron and their families was avoided but she still had to get through a dinner with Sharron.  After avoid her for a week she wasn’t looking forward to it.

‘But it is the last thing on my to do list,’ Gwen thought.  ‘The post-graduation dinner.’

After that her life stretched before her as one long unscheduled blank.  There was nothing ahead of her magnificent or otherwise.  All of her plans were gone, all of her expectations smashed.  Other than dinner there was no place she had to be, ever. 

To even think about it was daunting.  As she drove Gwen tried to keep her mind a blank.  Despite spending the past few days looking at all of the classes offered at the community college, she had no idea what she wanted to do.  ‘The only things I have ruled out are criminal justice degrees, auto mechanics, and computer repair.’  Given the scope of their community college it didn’t leave a whole lot of options.  There was the possibility of taking classes that could transfer to a university somewhere, but that would require that she have some idea of what she wanted to study at a University.  While her walk through class listings took her over the local options, Gwen hadn’t looked at the listings for the nearest university.  She knew that id she wanted to become a full CPA instead of a book keeper, she could the degree she was planning to earn here to transfer there, but that was the extent of her research.

It was another thing she wasn’t ready to think about and Gwen shoed the thoughts away as she pulled into the parking lot of Renaldo’s. 

The lot was only half full and Gwen didn’t have too much trouble spotting her father’s car.  Shelving thoughts of the future, Gwen prepared to get through the present.  ‘Hopefully no one else is celebrating at Renaldo’s,’ she thought.  If Sharron thought anyone was watching she would feel compelled to be overly enthusiastic.  If no one she knew was around, Gwen knew her step mother would tone it down.


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