Anatomy of Writing a Novel – Part 3

The first real scene I wrote

It was Monday, May 26, 1941.  Although it was early in the morning, it was already warm. It was also humid out. It was going to be an uncomfortable day. I stood on the sidewalk about twenty feet from the bus stop looking anxiously to the west waiting for the bus to arrive. In the distance, I saw the bus approaching. I was so intent on watching the bus pull up and stop that I didn’t hear the footsteps behind me until she said “Good morning Ted.”

The sound of her voice sent a thrill through my body. I knew it was Samantha’s voice. I turned quickly and there she stood with her face lit up with a big smile. “Hi, Samantha. What are you doing here?”

“I realized that with Doris in the hospital there would be no one here to say goodbye and wish you luck. I thought it would be a lot better if there was someone here for you.”

“That’s very thoughtful of you. I appreciate your coming so early in the morning.”

“I’m sorry I’m late. The bus is already here.”

            “That’s okay. At least you came. Being early was never your strong suit.” I said laughing softly.

“You’re right. It is always a struggle for me to be on time.” She responded sharing my laughter.

For a moment, we just stood there awkwardly looking at each other not saying a word. She stepped forward and put her arms around me. I put my arms around her. I realized that she was hugging me really tight with her body press tight against mine. In my ear, I heard her say “I wish you the very best of luck Ted. Please take care of yourself. Promise me that you will return safe and sound.” Her voice was very emotional, and I thought I felt her tear on my cheek.

I continued to hold her tightly as I responding in her ear “Thank you for coming. I can’t begin to tell you how much you being here means to me. I promise you that I will come back safe and sound.” My eyes were watery, and I was really choked up.

We continued to hold each other until we got our emotions under control. The bus driver called out “All aboard.”

As we broke our embrace, I caressed her cheek and looked directly into her watery blue eyes “You’re right.  It is really nice to have you here for me. Thank you!!”

She leaned forward and gave me a quick kiss on the lips. “Now go and win the war for us.” She said with a soft chuckle.

I smiled at her. “Okay.”

I picked up my bag, and as I started for the bus, I felt her hand slip into mine. I squeezed her hand, and she squeezed mine back. We walked holding hands to the bus. I gave my bag to the driver to load. I turned to Samantha “Thanks again for coming this morning. Goodbye.”

“Be careful Ted. Goodbye.”

I got on the bus and found an empty seat two-thirds of the way back and sat down by the window. The bus driver closed the door, and we started to move. I waved goodbye to Samantha. Samantha was smiling as she waved goodbye to me. She continued to wave to me until the bus rounded the corner and I lost sight of her.

This scene never appeared in the book

This scene was originally to occur at the bus station in Hooper. I quickly decided that I wanted the story line to unfold in a different direction. I wanted Ted to move to Lincoln. I also wanted a lot more interaction between Ted and Samantha before this scene would happen. But I really loved this scene and kept it in the novel for a long time before finally cutting it out.