When the day of the funeral came, it poured like cats and dogs, it slowed down enough for the funeral to proceed. But, Marigold was disappointed that only a few of Mona’s friends came to pay their respect. Marigold counted five of them, Mrs. Baker was present too, but she didn’t count. Marigold’s disappointment soon turned unpleasant. She had her heart set out that Mona would have a procession of her friends, crying over her grave.
After the funeral, Marigold had decided she would find Mona’s friends and give them a piece of her mind, brandish Mona’s successful business in front of their faces. She traveled far and wide, searching for them. She went there and here, north and south, then west to east. She found some of them, the other’s were untraceable and a few of them had already parted this world. Marigold soon landed in a familiar place in Bavaria, the slums of one of it’s major cities. It had not changed much since the first time she lived there with Mona. If Marigold had to describe the place she would say it was a shade of different browns from beige to taupe. Marigold was 12 years-old when they fist arrived to this side of town, or at least Mona told everybody Marigold was 12. By then, Marigold lost track of her real age.
Mona had everybody convinced Marigold was older. Marigold was always around adults growing up, never children her age, so it was never necessary to be a child. Marigold talked as if she was older, dressed as if she was older, walked as if she was older and acted as if she was older. Marigold had to mature rather quickly, and care for Mona who acted more like a child at times and less like an adult.
Marigold walked through the streets and came upon the playground where children played. She watched uninterested as it never appeal to her to be among other children. Adults were much more interesting and fun, at least Mona’s friends were. She walked past a lamppost riddled with staples that once held advertisements or posters of missing people.
A memory flooded her mind, as she recalled the day she saw a poster of her face, disclosing she was missing, her name, and age, and to call the police as her family, the Tempest was searching for her. She almost dropped the milk carton she carried with her small hands. The moment she saw the poster, she ran back to the tiny apartment she shared with Mona and told her of the missing poster. Mona, began to pack all their things in to two suit cases, and the travel trunk that went everywhere with them. Mona told her to not leave the apartment as she ran out and locked the door. Hours went by, and Marigold was almost in tears. What if Mona had abandon her? But Mona never went anywhere without her travel trunk. What if police had apprehended her? Marigold could slip through the fire escape if she had to. More questions arose as Mona did not return.
Five hours later, Mona came back.
“We will leave tonight,” Mona said. “It is better if we leave at night, nobody will notice. We can easily slip away. A train leaves before midnight. I have the tickets.”
Mona grabbed Marigold and held her in her arms as they sat waiting. When night fell, they grabbed the suitcases and helped Mona carry the travel trunk onto the street. They had to walk a few miles to the train station, and were only stopped by a policemen asking where they were going so late at night.
“My mother is gravely ill and is on her deathbed,” Mona explained. “I wish to see her before it’s too late.”
“I understand,” the policeman said.
But Mona’s Franconian wasn’t good and the policeman raised his eyebrows, thankfully, Marigold spoke better Franconian and explained to the policeman.
“Where is your father?” the policeman asked.
Marigold knew this one, “father passed away. Mother is from north of France. I was raised here, but born in Budapest.”
“Hhhmm,” the policeman said. “Have I seen you somewhere?”
“No,” Marigold smiled. “I get that every time.”
The police wasn’t quite assured, but he let them go. They didn’t sigh of relief until they were on the train in route to anywhere but where they were. They reached Belarus, where they stayed for a short while, by the end of the year they returned to France, the small fishing town, Mona had fallen in love with. The rest of months were a blur as they traveled here and there, never staying long, avoiding attention, lingering enough for Mona to recuperate before they moved on.
But, that life was over and Marigold had to live on without Mona. With a heavy heart, Marigold returned to the farm house. She slept on Mona’s bed, wore her clothes and drank her liquor. She didn’t leave the house for three days. Stony, who hadn’t heard from her went to the house and used the key Marigold gave her to use in case of an emergency.
Stony found Marigold, sitting on the floor against the bed, drunk and semi-conscious.
“Mona was not being honest,” Marigold slurred her words as she looked up to see a familiar face. “She said she wore a size six. She was more a size ten. I practically swim in her dress.”
Stony helped her on the bed, and laid her down to sleep.