Wedding Encounter. By Martin Green.
Paul Lerner had thought that, with his three sons safely married, his days of going to weddings were thankfully over. Then came the invitation from his wife Sallys college roommate; her daughter was being married in Florida. Why not go, asked Sally, then take a Caribbean cruise that just happened to be leaving at that time? Paul indicated his lack of enthusiasm but knew that once Sally had made up her mind there was no use arguing and so the arrangements were made.
Paul was sitting by himself at the wedding reception, hundreds of people swarming around him, and Sally off somewhere talking to old friends. Hed noticed that Sally, who was originally from Georgia, had taken to talking in a Southern accent she never used back in California. He saw the tall, dark-haired woman hed noticed before standing by herself at the bar. She looked to be in her forties, was quite attractive, wore a stylish suit in contrast to the frilly dresses around her and seemed to be observing the activities with amusement.
Paul made his way to the woman. Hi, he said. New York?
Boston now, but brought up in Manhattan. And you?
The Bronx. Hunter College?
Ah, hah. Maybe Ive seen you before. Football weekends at Yale.
Maybe. Lots of parties.
I wouldnt have been there. I was scholarship. I probably served you in the dining room.
I remember one uppity waiter.
Could have been me. Whats in Boston?
My husband, before we divorced. Now a law firm. Youre not still in New York?
California. Went out many years ago. I work for the State.
And with three sons. My wife went to college with the mother of the bride.
Im a cousin of the grooms father. One of the Yankees.
The band started playing, slow music for once. Dance? she said.
When the dance was over, Paul found Sally by his side. I saw you dancing, she said. I was surprised.
Uh, this is my wife Sally, Paul said. Im sorry, I never asked your name.
And Im Paul.
I want my friends to meet you, Sally told Paul.
Right. Nice talking with you, he said to Grace. And dancing.
As Sally led Paul away, she said, I thought you didnt dance.
I was standing right next to her when the music started. What else could I do?
Hah, said Sally.
Paul remembered that when hed met Sally in San Francisco, he was attracted by her soft Southern voice, in contrast to the harsh nasal tones of the girls he knew in New York.
But if hed met a girl like Grace he might not have gone out to California.
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