“Your wedding?” Franny tried not to sound shocked, but felt sure she hadn’t pulled it off. “I mean, congratulations!”
“Don’t worry, dear, I know it comes as a surprise to all and sundry.” Marilyn sighed. “Even myself, in a way. It’s a long story that I’d rather share in person. If you two haven’t had dessert yet, can I meet you at the coffee shop in about fifteen minutes?”
Franny made eye contact with Leo, who nodded. “Of course. We’ll see you there.” She tapped off and dropped onto the love seat. “Wow.”
“A day full of good news,” Leo said. “See what I mean about the wind? It keeps things fresh, and brings us all kinds of surprises.”
Franny was not at all certain that the wind could take credit for this turn of events, but she smiled back at Leo. Her own reaction to the news of Marilyn’s wedding puzzled her. She did not feel unmitigated joy, but rather a wary sense of happiness mixed over and around something uneasy.
“Well,” she said. “I am curious to hear the full story. Knowing Marilyn, it will be worth the price of a pastry.”
Leo nodded. “I’ve known Marilyn for a long time, and I always thought she’s a catch. I figured she had multiple suitors and enjoyed going from one to the other. Not one to settle into a domestic arrangement. Or maybe her interests were more toward other women.”
Franny raised an eyebrow.
“Well, you never know,” Leo went on. “Marilyn seems too intelligent to only love men.” That made them both laugh.
“I’m not sure love has anything to do with intelligence anyway,” Franny said, with some bitterness in her voice. “In fact I’ve always thought the opposite. Love chases all intelligence right out the window.”
“Oh no, you’re mistaking lust for love. Lust, definitely. Overwhelms the brain, substitutes stupidity for discernment. Love? Just the opposite. The ability to love well is really the only intelligence that matters.”
Franny fought the urge to argue. “We’d better head over,” she said. “Marilyn’s never late.”
As it turned out, that was one of several mistaken assumptions Franny made about her new friend.
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