Franny ejected herself from her apartment building onto the street, ready to refresh herself with a brisk walk, and shake off the lingering “ugh” feeling left by her brief visit from David. She turned away from the wind, moderate for this time of year, and focused on the sidewalk.
“Hey,” a voice called from behind her. “Slow down.”
She was tempted, oh so tempted, to ignore the voice. But, almost in spite of herself, her heart lifted.
It was Leo’s voice, and she longed to spend time with him. Her devotion to writing had kept her cooped up and away, with Leo’s full support. Franny loved the sense of accomplishment she found in spending her planned three hours at the keyboard.
And, she realized, she loved Leo.
Love terrified her. It thrilled her. It made her unsettled, cranky, picky. It made her want to throw her laptop out the window, call Leo in to her bedroom, and not come out for days.
Love had led Franny down dark and dismal pathways before, and she was not eager to tread them again.
And love had lifted her out of herself, given her a new view of the world, filled it with colors, songs, and smells she could never have imagined without it.
Anyone who has seen the crumbling of a marriage they worked hard to build, who has felt a marriage slip through their clinging fingers, who has listened to the loneliness of a shared, loveless bed, anyone who has been through this will understand Franny’s pause on the corner, the inner competition, one voice imploring her to keep walking, the other inviting her to turn toward her lover.
On this breezy, late-spring, almost-summer day, Franny chose to say “yes” to the invitation.
She turned to Leo, and kissed him as a brief cloudburst soaked them through.
Precious the scruffy old dog, who typically hated to get wet, waited patiently, tail wagging, happy in her humans’ joy