00360410

“Well, he makes a good point,” she tries to joke.

“He’s *pointing*… to his *name*,” said Marilyn to this, a what you see is what you get kind of gal. Unlike Sep here, who’s complicated. Marilyn was also reading her book upside down, which Sep didn’t bring up. No more pointing out anything. She needed to get to why she was here.

“I have a new gal in my life, Marilyn. I think… I’m in love. Yet she’s married.”

“*Married*?” Marilyn exclaims. “More like *buried*. I’ve been married 7 times and that’s just because I’m only 42.” She looks over, satisfied smirk on her face. “Okay, 56,” she relents. “Go on, change your expression to shocked. I’ll wait.”

Sep sits there for a second, then obligingly lets her jaw drop. “*Fifty*-*six*?” she meters out, knowing what Marilyn wants to have said to her. If she had to guess, Sep would have said 49, which is splitting the difference.

“Yes, shocking I know. Now go ahead and do the same for the 7.”

So Sep feigns the second shock as well. “*Seven*?” The information she has about the Heart Line here better be good. If only the duck were truly alive instead of just a dummy he could help instead or at least chip in. She makes a mental note to search out the real Professor Duck after this was over.

The alarm goes off. Sep wakes up. No Shelley beside her. Unlike last night. Must have taken a walk, she rationalized, not hearing anyone downstairs. Then she realized the obvious: she walked home. Back to Arthur. One night stand she just had here. Better write down the Heart Line dream before she forgets, what good it did her. “*One* *night* *stand*,” she imagines telling still couch sitting Marilyn, giving her back a dose of her own medicine.

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