The Cedarville Review 2021

heart, but it hadn’t taken his eyes. To the shock of most friends, family, doctors, and teenagers, his eyesight was still as sharp as when he accidentally saw Mrs. Cordova in her underwear. The house across the street had a big bay window in the front that exposed the entire front room, and, from the right angle in his own bedroom, he could see into the kitchen. There, he saw Marigold talking with the Andersons. It was her. That same sense of purpose oozed out of every pore of her being. “You gonna tell me why Martin Anderson told me I need to put you on a leash?” Solomon frowned. Martin had kicked him off of his property before Marigold could properly answer his question. Apparently, an honest question as to how Marigold was alive was “inappropriate and absurd.” “Shouldn’t you be out trying to find yourself a man or something?” he barked back at Jules. His second child, oldest daughter and the only one of his four children unmarried, had waltzed into his bedroom and sat on the chair across from the bed. Jules scowled at the back of his head as she sipped from the teacup she had stolen from his kitchen, the ungrateful brat. “You should be happy I’m single so you don’t have some heartless nurse watching you.” “You call what you have a heart?” Jules smiled at him, a bit tiredly, like how a mother smiles at a teenager trying sarcasm for the first time. “Depends, what do you call yours?” “I had a family of my own! I got married.” “Because that’s the metric of human quality.” If Solomon was paying as much attention to her as he was to Martin Anderson’s house, he would have noticed her eyebrows lower over her eyes as she responded to his claim and averted her gaze. For all his looking out the window, he never quite noticed her. Jules continued speaking, with a slight exhaustion in her voice. Solomon was aware she was looking forward to Drew and Hannah visiting so she could go spend a few days at the house of that witch of a friend she kept, Caroline. “Now, what did you do to the neighbors?” “You wouldn’t understand, you weren’t there.” “Dad, please look away from the window and tell me what happened with Mr. Anderson.” Solomon whirled on his daughter. “I owe you nothing! Can’t you trust me, the man who raised you!” Jules sighed. As she did so, Solomon felt something change, break. He felt surprised. She always weathered his outbursts before. He assumed she was unbreakable. She put her teacup down on the bedside table, stood up and walked over to her father, and bent so that they were eye level. Solomon had always hated that his daughter was three inches taller than him, a distance that had grown as old age had hunched his back. “You’re right. I should trust my father; however, I’m not talking to my father, I’m talking to an old man who treats his own daughter with the same contempt he treats a hobo on the street. Now tell me what happened.” Solomon’s scowl deepened. Jules wouldn’t understand. She focused so much on self-discovery, never bothering to look at the world around her. She didn’t know anything about the family house. She didn’t know how to properly hold the lever so the toilet flushed, which floorboards in the kitchen creaked, or where Solomon hid the rifle under his bed. She didn’t have the seventy-eight years of experience Solomon did. “I’m a grown man, I can handle it myself.” Jules stood back up and rubbed her forehead. “And I’ll be cleaning up after you.”