The Fifteen Minute Novel 2023: Day 55

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 55: “Of course if you don’t like them that it fine too,” Margaret continued.  “It’s just an option so you don’t have to spend the entire summer with just me and George. No obligation at all.”

“Of course if you don’t like them that it fine too,” Margaret continued.  “It’s just an option so you don’t have to spend the entire summer with just me and George. No obligation at all.”

Gwen nodded and noted that her grandmother looked a little nervous.  She wondered just how important these gatherings were to her grandmother.  ‘Surely they can’t be that worried about spending time with me to be desperate for me to make friends.’

Gwen tried to follow along with where they were going but she was soon lost in a maze of side streets in the unfamiliar landscape.  She promised herself a good look at a map once they returned to the apartment.  It was difficult to figure out exactly where things were from the back seat and she really didn’t like the feeling of being so lost.

Eventually they pulled into the parking lot of a shopping center.  The stores from what Gwen could see were a bit more high end retail than anything in Westport.  She purchased from these stores before when she wanted a few special things, but it was usually online shopping. 

“Nice to see the stores in person,” she said as she and Margaret got out of the car.

“Do you not usually see stores in person?” Margaret asked.

“When I shop in these places I tend to order on-line,” Gwen explained.  “It’s harder to try things on, but Westport doesn’t have them.”

“Ah I see,” she said. “Are there any you want to stop in while we are here? I can see quite a few fun ones?”

“Sure,” Gwen said.  She read what signs she could as they walked closer. As she saw one sign in particular she stumbled.  Margaret  caught her arm.

“Sorry,” Gwen mumbled. 

“Something wrong?”

“No it’s just that is the store where I bought the dress for the dance,” Gwen said. 

“Where Toby broke up with you?”

“Well not at the dance actually I didn’t go,” Gwen said.  “He broke up with me before.”

Margaret frowned.  “I would have gone to the dance anyway and shown him what he was missing,” she said.

“I wanted to,” Gwen said.  She smiled.  “I was actually going to but…”

“But you were worried how people would take it?” Margaret asked.

“No,” Gwen said.  “I didn’t actually think about how anyone would take it.  “I figured I would look good when everyone found out and if they were going to find out it would be nice to look fabulous when they did instead of a weeping mess. Sharron didn’t agree.  She cut up my dress,” Gwen admitted.  “She paid me back for it later but I had nothing to wear to the dance.”

“I see,” Margaret said.  She nodded.  “Then that is the first place we will go,” she declared.  “We’ll erase bad associations of the store from your mind and then you will no longer think of the dance or Toby when you look at the store.”

Gwen smiled.  “I appreciate it,” she said.  “But the one dress I found from there I had to have tailored to fit me.  Even though it was in my size it didn’t fit quite right. The color looked so good on me though I decided it was worth having it tailored.”

“Very sensible,” Margaret said.  “When you find a color and cut that suits you try and get it a size larger than you need so your seamstress has something to work with.  I have an excellent one we can call if need be. But of you would rather pass the store by I will understand.”

Gwen nodded.  “I think we should go in, I just don’t know what we will find.  It was pretty hard to find that dress.”


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