The Cedarville Review 2021

15 | CEDARVILLE REVIEW of her. “Martin Anderson!” Solomon shouted at the window as he saw Marigold keep Jill Anderson and the two children from exiting the kitchen. “Say hi to Bob Fairview for me!” Solomon then took aim at Martin’s face with the rifle and pulled the trigger. Then everything went black. The day after Solomon Trent got dumped by Marigold Tuppence, he stalked her through the windows of his house like a lioness stalking her prey through the African grass. He saw everything she did in the Fairviews’ house, looking for that reason she had described before she left him. And then he saw her get in a fight with Bob Fairview. Bob was screaming, flailing his arms, and his face was redder than Solomon had ever seen, which was saying something. Marigold just stood there. From his angle, Solomon could only see her from the back while he could see everything Bob was doing. But even without seeing her face, Solomon could tell Marigold was at peace. Whatever happened here was what she planned for. Bob Fairview grabbed Marigold by the throat and squeezed as hard as he could. Solomon panicked. He shouted and banged on the glass of his bedroom window until his voice broke. Marigold was spasming and jerking. She couldn’t have much time. Solomon ran for the phone in the kitchen and called the police. They told him to stay where he was. By the time they arrived, it was too late. Marigold was dead. He should have known. Those words would chase him for years. He was a watcher. The Fairviews had lived across from him for years. He had stared through their windows for years. He had seen the way Bob looked at a knife. The way he didn’t look at his children. Bob looked through everyone; humans were obstacles, even his wife. Solomon had watched Bob slap his wife, for crying out loud. But Solomon couldn’t say anything, it wasn’t his business. At least twice a month, he would wake up screaming for Marigold not to leave him at the diner, not to enter Fairview’s house. He became a pariah in his dorm. They called him Old Yeller. But Samantha always knew what to say. He met her in comp class. He helped her write her thesis, she helped him make friends. After they were married, she could always calm him down, always point out how he could use things he had seen to cause actual positive change. In return, he gave her character ideas for her novels and cooked a great lasagna. They were a good pair. Marigold was right: Samantha was more than just unique. Solomon Trent woke up on a hospital bed. Everything was fuzzy and flat seeming. He’d been here before; his heart had spasmed enough that the hospital should have given him a frequent visitors card. However, there was one thing that he could see with perfect clarity: Marigold. She was sitting at a chair next to his bed, looking calm and purposeful as ever. In a world still fuzzy, she radiated clarity. “Did I kill him?” Solomon asked her with the beginnings of a grin on his face. “Thankfully, no,” Marigold said, the sudden thud of her voice sending Solomon all the way back to that night she dumped him. “He’s rattled and wanting to press charges, but the doctors claim you have dementia. So, you’re probably looking at either rather intense house arrest or solitary confinement in a nursing home, maybe jail time, but