Marie likes to swim. One day, while swimming at the public beach down at the Algiers harbor, she bumps, or rather, swims into Meursault, a former co-worker of hers at the shipping company. Meursault makes a move on her.
The two fall asleep together, with Meursault lying on Marie’s stomach.
Meursault asks her out to a movie; she agrees to see a Fernandel comedy.
When he picks her up wearing a black tie, Marie is shocked that Meursault’s mother died only yesterday, but soon after, she forgets it.
The two mess around in the theatre… then take it to bed at Meursault’s place.
The next morning, Marie leaves before Meursault wakes up.
That next weekend, on Saturday, Marie goes to the beach a few miles outside Algiers with Meursault. After all afternoon in the sun, the two hurriedly catch a bus home to have some sex.
The next morning, Marie asks Meursault if he loves her. She is saddened when he tells her saying that you love someone doesn’t mean anything, and he doesn’t think that he does.
As the two fix their lunch, a fight breaks out on the landing of the apartment complex. Marie gets flustered and asks Meursault to call the police.
When the commotion is over, everyone leaves. Meursault and Marie go back to their lunch, and then she leaves soon thereafter.
A few days later, Meursault informs Marie that they’ve been invited to a friend’s beach house for the weekend. That same evening, Marie off-handedly asks if he wants to get married. Meursault, of course, says it doesn’t make any difference to him but that if she wants to, sure.
Marie then asks again if he loves her yet, and Meursault answers in the same absurd way as before. Marie is fed up, but proposes marriage to Meursault anyway. Sigh.
The two go for a stroll through the main streets on the other side of town (apparently to celebrate their engagement). Then, Meursault goes for dinner at Celeste’s and Marie leaves.
On Sunday, Marie comes by Meursault’s apartment and wakes him up. They knock on Raymond’s door, and the three catch a bus to the beach.
They arrive at Raymond’s friend’s (Masson) wooden bungalow. Marie bonds with Masson’s plump, Parisian wife.
Marie goes with the boys (Masson and Meursault) for a swim down at the beach.
When Meursault dozes off, Marie wakes him for lunch.
Everyone eats fish, meat, wine, and fried potatoes for lunch. Marie drinks and smokes with the rest of them.
Afterwards, the ladies take care of the dishes, while the men go for a walk.
Only Meursault comes back from the beach, explaining to Marie and Masson's wife that Raymond got into a fight and is on his way to a doctor.
Meursault has been sent to jail. Marie visits him, full of smiles, in a room without privacy.
She shouts to Meursault that he has to have hope.
Marie shouts again that they’ll get married after he gets out; she has to force herself to act convincing.
When the visit comes to an end, Marie blows a kiss at Meursault with a forced smile as he is led away.
Shortly after, Marie sends a letter to Meursault stating that she is not allowed to visit him further, as she is not his wife.
Marie attends Meursault’s trial in June, a year later, in the Court of Assizes.
She tries to catch Meursault’s gaze all through the trial, but to little avail.
Marie is called to the witness stand after Celeste. The prosecutor gets nasty with her, calling her Meursault’s mistress and their relationship an affair. He has her go through their first date together, which, by the way, occurred the day after Maman’s death.
Marie resists, but has to testify. She narrates the swim, the movies, and going back to Meursault’s apartment. The courtroom is completely silent when the prosecutor notes that the movie was a comedy by Fernandel. Marie begins to sob, saying that it’s not as bad as it sounds, and that Meursault didn’t do anything wrong. The bailiff ushers the crying Marie out at the signal of the judge.
Marie never sees Meursault again after the verdict is announced.