Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 329
Belle is a musician whose father committed suicide in her dance studio when she was younger. She waits up all night for her fiance to arrive from Boston to a small town in Ohio where she lives. She's enjoying going over her bills and working on her checkbook with her calculator. Belle doesn't drive, so her mother has to take her to pick Will up. Belle has some doubts about the relationship; she isn't sure if Will is able to support her as a husband. She's cold to him and tries to avoid spending time with him, even though her mother continues to push the idea of her marriage. She's a judgemental person who thinks a lot about the flaws of others. She has a degree in Musicology from Boston University.
Will is Belle's fiance. They met in college when he was teaching botany in Boston. He's a plant taxonomist who recently missed out on a grant; the people choosing who to give it to said his work was irrelevant or outmoded. Belle says he said the work was superficial when he explained about the grant. He's gained weight since Belle last saw him; she thinks she wishes he'd freshened up, changed shirts, and cleaned up some ink on his face.
Belle's mother is never given a name in the story. She drives a compact Mazda that Belle thinks to herself isn't as good as the larger cars that Belle and her father preferred. She's a sensible woman who advises Belle to move forward with her marriage to Will instead of waiting for longer; however, she also seems disappointed with William on their first meeting. It's clear that she's either thrifty or short on money because she's waiting to replace a tire that looks old. She wears a zebra headband and Belle notices that someone did her hair with a minty-white rinse. She dated a lot of men and was in a sorority. Her husband was also named William.
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