The Cedarville Review 2021

probably not.” “Darn it,” Solomon spit out. “All that for nothing.” “All what? The murder attempt?” Marigold spit back. Solomon’s eyes were adjusting so that everything still seemed clear again, but there was something different about Marigold. Glowing wasn’t the word. She seemed almost more real than the rest of the room, purer, brighter. “Well, that’s what I was for? Right?” “What do you mean?” “When Bob Fairview killed you, he got arrested and executed for murder, but also the lesser charge of abusing his wife and kids.” Marigold wrinkled her nose at the words “lesser charge.” Solomon continued. “So, you wanted him to get arrested, but you also wanted me to watch, so I was supposed to stop the attack. And…and...we both know how that turned out. All I did was scream and wail, like a baby. So, when you came back, it was all gonna happen again, but I had to do better this time, I had to kill Martin Anderson before he killed you.” Marigold’s whole face seemed to slump a little, as if the weight of Solomon’s stupidity was exhausting. “Clearly, if I got killed again, I’d probably recover.” Solomon awkwardly drooped in his bed. “Well, yes. But I couldn’t watch you die again.” Marigold leaned forward. “Then look away next time.” “Next time?” Solomon perked up a little. “I’m almost dead, and about to be arrested, when is next time?” “You will have plenty of opportunities to stay out of other people’s business in your last eight years of life, Solomon Trent. I suggest you take advantage of it. You are not a man of action, you are a watcher. I befriended you so you would watch.” Marigold’s expression softened as she saw Solomon stare down at his hands and contemplate the purpose of his existence. He had always felt a void deep within himself. He was incapable of doing anything. “I… befriended you so I could be more than just a watcher.” Solomon said while staring at his hands. “You were going somewhere. I figured, if I clung onto you, I could join you. I could be a mover, not just a watcher.” Marigold didn’t smile, but the edges of her mouth moved up a little in a gesture of what Solomon hoped was sympathy but worried was pity. She put a hand on the handle of the hospital bed and said, “You were just what you needed to be, Solomon. The whole plan would have failed if you didn’t watch. And I think you do your children and grandchildren a disservice to say you didn’t have any purpose outside of me.” “All their good qualities came from Samantha.” “Given that the average human only has 10% good qualities, that means you supplied the other 90% of any qualities. They’re contributing to society and haven’t gotten arrested yet. Well done.” As she was saying this, Marigold sat up and opened the hospital window. “Contributing? Jules just sits around and tells me everything I’m doing wrong.” Marigold looked out the window and at the ground that was four floors beneath them, then turned around and faced Solomon. “You treat that daughter of yours well. She’s sacrificed a lot for you, hidden a lot from you as well. You still got eight long years ahead of you. She won’t be as present-- given that you’re going to be institutionalized--but maybe lend her an ear or shoulder, she could use the company.”