Lauren Walker Goes To The Mall
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A day at the mall. I'd agreed to spend a day at the mall. An hour was my usual limit. My name is Lauren Walker. I am 30 years old, and I live with my husband Sean in a one-story house in Eddington, a small town in Maine. It is pretty quiet here, since we do not have many neighbors. Our excitement comes from our online activities, and we get our noise from TV shows we watch, like "The Voice", from music we listen to on the radio, and from conversations we have as a couple. Since Sean and I are introverts and writers, our rural and mostly quiet life makes it easier for us to write more. Then, on Black Friday, I had an experience that got me thinking a little differently.

That morning, I woke up at 8:00 and took a shower. I was hungry for fame and fortune, and I hoped that publishing another story would get me what I was after. I fixed a quick breakfast for Sean and me, and then, when I had finished eating, I sat down at my laptop and got busy. I found it easy and fun to plan my characters and work out the plot for my story. I was really getting into it, so I was startled when my phone rang.

"Hi, Lauren," my mom said, when I answered the phone. "I hope I'm not calling at a bad time."

"No, it's okay. Just working on another story," I said.

"Oh, okay. The girls and I are going to the mall today, and I was wondering if you might like to join us," Mom said.

I am really not a mall type of girl. I am a stay-at-home-drink-my-coffee-and-work-on-my-writing kind of girl. I am always open to new ideas, however. I thought that maybe, hopefully, if I went to the mall, I might see something that would inspire me, so I reluctantly said yes.

"Great!" Mom said. "We'll come by and pick you up in a few minutes."

"Thanks. See you then," I said, and then I hit the End button, closed my flip phone, and set it on my TV tray beside my computer.

"What's going on?" Sean asked.

"Mom's coming by in a little bit," I said. "We girls are going to the mall."

"Sounds fun," he said.

"Loads," I said sarcastically. Minutes later, there was a knock on the door. It was Mom. I gave Sean a hug and a kiss, picked up my purse, and then stepped outside to join Mom, closing the door behind us. I was off on my day-long shopping adventure.

When we got to the mall, we discovered a packed parking lot. It was Black Friday, after all--the busiest shopping day of the year. We got out of the car and walked together to the food court entrance. Once we were inside, we split up. Wondering how I was going to get through what might quite possibly be one of the longest days of my life, I wandered over to Bath & Body Works, where I sprayed a bit of Winter Candy Apple perfume on the inside of each wrist. The store was so crowded that I could barely move, so I quickly moved on.

As I left Bath & Body Works and headed to the food court for some coffee, something on the floor caught my eye. I looked down and discovered a $10.00 bill! It was folded in quarters, and it was lying on the floor. I picked it up and looked around to see who might have dropped it, but everyone seemed to be in his own little world. People were talking, texting, laughing, shopping, and busy hurrying from one store to another. They were paying no attention to the petite, middle-aged woman who was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and looking around like an idiot. No one seemed to miss the money, so I discreetly put it away. Now it was mine. This mall trip had suddenly turned fun, and I wondered what else was in store for me. I did not have to wonder for very long.

When I got to the food court, I went to Subway and bought a small coffee. Then I sat down at a table to savor my tasty hot beverage and figure out where to go next. As I sat there sipping and people-watching, my eyes grew wide with surprise and I smiled broadly when I spotted my friend Andrea Parker. We became friends when we met in college many years ago, and we had not seen each other since graduation. She was a little older and had gained a little weight, but she was the same sweet happy Andrea that I remembered.

"Hey! Long time, no see!" I exclaimed. We hugged, I bought her a cup of coffee, and then we sat down to talk. I was eager to discover what my friend had been up to all of these years. I learned that she had remarried and was writing a book. I told her about my blog, my adventures in getting back on Facebook, and the repairs on our house. We shared a good laugh, and then, to my surprise, there were Mom and the girls. They were ready to go home, and they were going to drop me off on the way. Andrea and I hugged goodbye and promised to keep in touch, and then I followed Mom and the girls back to the car.

On the way home, I thought to myself how stupid I had been to be reluctant to go to the mall. I will always be a homebody at heart, but I had had fun, and I could not wait to go back.

Works Cited

Wright, Heather E. Writing Prompts. A day at the mall. I'd agreed to spend a day at the mall. An hour was my usual limit. nd. 4 December 2015.

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