Mona came out of bathroom, dressed, applied her make up and coiffed her hair. Then she sat on the bed Marigold finished making. Mona patted the spot next to her.
“Come here,” Mona indicated. “We talk now.”
“Do you love me?” Mona asked, caressing Marigold’s back.
“Always,” Marigold said.
“Good,” Mona said. “I think it’s time I have a baby.”
Marigold was startled by the notion. “Why?” Marigold wanted to know.
“I have decided,” Mona said. “I want a baby.”
“Why? How are you going to take care of a baby?” Marigold asked. “You can’t cook, you don’t clean. I do all the cleaning and Mrs. Baker does all the cooking.”
“I thought it’s what you wanted?” Mona asked.
“I did,” Marigold admitted. “Until I realized I don’t have the means in taking care of a child.”
“Remember when you were fifteen,” Mona said, “and you lost your baby boy. Don’t start crying again, you know I don’t like it when you cry. It unsettles me.”
Unhappy thoughts surfaced within Marigold. It was a difficult subject for her to talk about. Marigold had gotten involved with another fifteen year old boy and one thing led to another. Mona never lost control of her temper when she discovered the affair, in fact she was supportive, especially when the doctor informed Marigold, she would never be able to have children again. The baby only lived a few hours. Marigold never spoke about it again.
“There is nothing good that comes from being with boys,” Mona’s voice echoed from the past. “I didn’t want to tell you… Now you know that boys are trouble.”
“Remembered what I promised you,” Mona’s presence brought Marigold back. “I will make things right. Did I not?”
“Yes,” Marigold looked down.
“I made things right,” Mona said. “I got us a home, we have good work. We make good money, now. You barely need me at the shop. You are so good to me, and I am proud of you. I want to do this… for you.”
“I always need you,” Marigold held her tears back, “and I don’t… I don’t have time for a baby.”
“I have plenty of time,” Mona said. “I made decision, no more talking. Okay?”
“Okay,” Marigold knew there was no persuading Mona from her ideas.
“I make things right,” Mona said. “It’s all right my flower. Joie de vivre, that is the secret, my love. Joie de vivre.”
The next few weeks, Mona would dress up at her best and arm in arm would take Marigold from lounge to lounge, meeting different men. Marigold would drink to a stupor to shut out the strong, disapproving feelings that came when she watched Mona flirt with a man. After a few drinks and small talk, the tall stranger would help Mona take Marigold home. They laid her on the couch where Marigold would feign to be asleep. Marigold watched as the tall stranger and Mona went up stairs. Marigold couldn’t hear anything, but she became sensitive to sounds and the slight creak, her eyes would turn ruby red. She was unable to control the unpleasant feelings, knowing Mona was giving her love to somebody else. Marigold had been visited by the green-eyed monster before, especially when they were living in France.
Three months passed and nothing seem to happen, except the way Mona provocatively dress. She wore sheer blouses, revealing her ample bosoms and slim waist. Sometimes her shirts were half button, uncaring if it revealed her cleavage. She wore flirty skirts and revealed her non existent underpants. She always dressed this way in front of Marigold, but her provocative clothing became more risque. Mona flaunted herself when she wanted something from Marigold. Marigold knew what it was, and shun her feelings. It wasn’t right.
One day, Marigold grabbed Mona and took her in the bedroom, and held her down on the bed.
“Why did you do this to me?” Marigold shouted. “What have you done to me?”
Mona didn’t struggle against Marigold’s hold, teased her even more. The struggle lasted half the night. When morning came, Marigold emerged from the room to prepare Mona’s breakfast.