Jane went home and decided she could definitely go to the gym. She couldn’t put her whole life on hold just because she decided to write!
So there she went, ready for some workout, and sure that the great start would help her reach the 50.000 words goal.
Getting to the gym, she rushed to a streching class – her favorite – where some friends waited for her. They actually started the class a couple of minutes later because they heard her coming. Small gyms are like that, if you’re lucky to find nice people in them.
So half an hour later she started her weight-lifting training, as usual. That would take more than thirty minutes, for sure! So she tried to do the exercises a little faster than usual, thinking she could head home and keep writing. Forty-five minutes later, while talking to a couple of friends, she decided to invite them to have a pizza after gym. She was already feeling a little hungry, and having a (light) pizza after gym with her friends was a good treat.
But she made the invitation thinking about her novel.
So the little group of young women headed to the nearest pizza place, where they ate, and drank, and talked, and laughed together… till almost midnight! A couple of men, friends of one of the girls, joined them when they spotted her on their way to the restaurant.
Linda was Jane’s friend from a previous workplace. She moved to Jane’s neighborhood a few months before, and decided to join the gym and keep Jane company during the exercises – or the other way around.
Maggie and Jane met at the gym. Maggie was a little older, and was very fit and pretty. She was in that gym for 10 years now, and has always been very dedicated.
Maggie worked with Bill and George in a company close to the gym, and that day they left work a little later – that’s why they were around.
Bill was a tall guy, very handsome and funny, as Jane found out when he joined their table. George was a little shorter, really smart and sometimes funny, too. They loved making fun of each other and enjoyed a lot when the girls laughed of their jokes.
Jane didn’t have a boyfriend. Actually, she’d been alone for some time now, and learned to enjoy the time she had for her own. She loved reading, and running on the streets nearby, and those were lonely hobbies. But sometimes she knew that she missed having a boyfriend who she could talk to, and have fun together, and share little secrets and opinions. She just got used to be alone – always better than in bad company, she said to herself when she felt a little sad about it.
And then she started noticing Bill looking at her in a different way. He was very subtle, which pleased Jane a lot, but she knew he was looking at her most of the time. At first, she felt a little shy about it, but then she caught herself laughing a lot with his jokes, and started noticing him, too.
“His eyes are so beautiful!”, she thought. Almost said it out loud, but hold it on time. And she enjoyed the night more than expected, and she knew it was solely because of Bill.
Before they all said goodbye that night, Bill said he thought Jane’s name was really nice – it reminded him of Jane Austen.
“That’s why I have this name!”, she said. “My mom loves her novels and named me after her.”
Bill replied with a smile that Jane would define as “melting”:
“What a coincidence! I’m named after a writer, too – my dad is crazy about Shakespeare! That’s why he always calls me William, no matter how many people prefer to use the nickname.”
For some reason, Jane thought that was the most wonderful story behind a name she had ever heard.
Then the group splitted, and Jane went home. When she got there, tired but happy for no reason, she thought about her novel again.
“It’s only the first day”, Jane said to herself. “I’ll get to my word-goal soon enough.”
And then she went to bed.
The next day was like any other day, only that Jane tried to write in every chance she had. Problem was, she didn’t have many chances at all! Who’d know it was so hard to write, after all?
She had many meetings that day, and she forced herself to pay attention to what was said – after all, she was not paid to be a writer (“yet”, she liked to repeat in her mind) and work had to be done. So reports were filled out, e-mails were sent, workmates were a pain – just a regular day at work.
And not a word was added to that novel of hers.
On her way home, she started to think what she’d do about it: Jane really wanted to go after those thousand words she missed the night before, and she still had another 1700 ahead. It started to look like a lot of work, and those almost three thousand words had a few oponents – Jane’s daily life!
That night, specifically, Jane had to go to the supermarket, since there was nothing to eat at home. And after that, she’d have to cook something for dinner, and because of the night-out she left the house a little messy – and that really bothered her, so she just had to tidy things up. At that point, thinking what she could do to speed up all the chores and get to the computer to write, the cell phone rang and she activated the speaker while driving her car.
“Hey, Maggie! What’s up?”
“Hey Jane! Are you coming to the gym tonight?”
“Aah… not sure, actually. I have tons to do at home tonight…”
“Would you like to grab a snack with me? You can run a little and then we eat something!”
They used to do that a lot, so no surprise for Jane. She quickly thought that it would be faster if she did that than go to the market and cook, plus she wouldn’t miss exercising that day and she could just go home, tidy things up and type until she got too tired for keep writing. Doing this math in a fraction of second, she replied:
“Sure! I’m almost home, meet you in 15 minutes.”
“Great! See you, girl!”
And fifteen minutes later, there she was, heading to the treadmill. Jane was feeling good about herself, and her plan, certain that she’d reach the word-goal for the night. “And I’m not losing shape on the way, running before writing!”
It sounded like a good plan.
Half an hour later, Maggie and Jane headed to a coffee house nearby, where they used to have some snacks. When they got there, the owner said hi, as usual, and Jane thought it was a little strange that Maggie was stretching her neck, as if she were looking for a table for them, while their usual table was right there, free.
Before she could ask her what she was doing, Maggie stretched her arm, smiling, and said hi. And when Jane turned her eyes into the same direction, she saw Bill and George. The only thing that Jane had time to think was “What…?”, but Maggie turned to her and said:
“I asked them to join us, is that ok? I had a feeling that you and Bill needed to talk some more…”, and then she winked at Jane.
She didn’t know what to do, and it took a moment before her legs started moving.
She couldn’t help noticing that Bill was very happy to see her, though.
“Hi boys”, she said.
“Hi, Jane!” was the answer from both.
Jane didn’t know what to think, or feel, or say, but the last one was easier, so she hoped no one would notice what was going on her mind. Maggie was always trying to get her a new boyfriend, since they were friends during her last relationship, and Maggie was crushed when it was over – sometimes Jane thought that Maggie suffered even more than herself. But her friend really loved her, and felt so bad for seeing Jane having to get back on her feet while being forced to face the guy everyday (they worked together at the time), that every time Maggie could think of a nice guy to introduce Jane to, she did.
What bothered Jane is that Maggie matched her with nice guys without even asking her if she liked them in the first place.
But that time…
That time Jane really liked Bill. And she could only hope that Maggie had been the only one who noticed her interest the night before.
Things went pretty well, after all, and it was another pleasant night with friends, and snacks, and laughs. What was not to like about that? Bill’s eyes were still beautiful, and she loved his sense of humour, and got herself thinking more than once how it would be like if they went out alone, just the two of them.
She couldn’t help felling it would be awesome. That Maggie really nailed that time!
It was past eleven o’clock when everyone went home. Jane was walking down the street when she heard Bill calling her:
She turned around, smiling.
“I was wondering… I know tomorrow is Thursday, and you probably have other plans, but… would you like to go to a book signing with me?”
“A book signing?”
“Yeah, my sister is a photographer and she will be signing it tomorrow. Would you like to come?”
“Well… where will it be?” She said and thought “what the hell, why didn’t I say yes??”
“At Central Bookstore, I can pick you up, if you like, and we can eat something afterwards.”
“Ok, sure, why not? Sounds like a plan!”
“Great!” He was really happy, wasn’t he? “May I ask Maggie for your address?”
“Sure, go ahead!”
“Ok, I’ll pick you up at 8, all right?”
“Sure, ok!” she said, thinking “ohmygosh, is that ‘sure’ the only word I can say??”
“Ok, see you tomorrow!”
“Ok…” she said in a low voice, while he went away and she was left there. Smiling.
That night, she wrote until her hands stopped moving over the keyboard, and she got 2642 words.