The Cedarville Review 2021

seen me interact with the children in person. You’ve been watching me through the windows, which is a terribly unattractive trait in a man, but that’s beside the point.” Solomon opened his mouth to defend himself, but was stopped by Marigold leaning forward and whispering through gritted teeth, “If you want to know why I babysit those children or why I put up with you or what the hell I’m doing in this neighborhood, use your skills tomorrow.” Marigold then sat up straight again, took one last gulp of water, stood up, and turned to leave the restaurant. As she was walking out, she stopped and without turning around said, “Solomon, next girl you date, appreciate her for more than just the fact that she’s different; she’s gonna be a lot more than just unique.” As the door closed behind her, Solomon felt for the first time what it was like to be the watched rather than the watcher. Every pair of eyes in the nearest thirty feet was trained on him and the empty space at the table across from him. It took him until he was curled up in his bed trying not to cry that he realized he left the restaurant without paying for his food. Solomon Trent did his best to keep Jules from noticing that he was constantly staring out through the Fairviews’ -- no, Andersons’ -- it was the Andersons’ house now -- bay window to watch Marigold. It would have been harder if Jules actually cared about him. She mostly read books on her phone while drinking her tea. That girl drank enough tea to drown China. Marigold hadn’t changed at all; her smile still had that stretched affectation when she was interacting with children and she still radiated that purpose. She was here again for a reason and Solomon thought he knew what it was. He’d had sixty years to think about what had happened the last time he saw her. He just needed confirmation. He needed Martin Anderson to punch, grab, or kick Marigold. He just needed it to happen once, then Solomon wouldn’t let it happen again. Martin and Marigold were talking in the kitchen again and Martin seemed angry. Good. Prove Solomon’s theory. Martin was shouting and Marigold just stood there, awaiting the inevitable. Martin’s hand was up in the air when it suddenly clenched and started to swing down towards Marigold. Close enough. Solomon spun and ran into his room and grabbed his hidden rifle from under the mattress. Those four years of back pain caused by sleeping on that stupid hidden rifle were finally worth it. He ran out the back door so as to keep Jules from realizing her demented father was running out into the street with a rifle until it was too late. As he ran through the backyard, he grabbed the rusty old metal watering can in his free hand. He used that same hand to clumsily unlatch the gate and ran out into the street. As he ran across the pavement and the Andersons’ lawn, he saw Martin look directly at him. Martin was so awestruck by the old man hobbling across the street that he actually moved closer to the window to see Solomon better. “Stupid sonuvagun,” Solomon muttered under his breath as he threw the watering can through the bay window. Well, the watering can didn’t go through the window per se, it may have bounced off. Darn. Solomon’s throwing arm was not what it used to be, but this rifle power wasn’t affected by geriatric arm strength. He heard Jules yelling at him from the front porch back at his house across the road. About time that girl noticed what was right in front