As time went by Marigold thought less of Mona, eventually Mona became a distant memory, one filled with adventure and excitement. But Marigold’s life was never uneventful, she made it as stimulating and colorful as it had been with Mona. She met many people, poor, rich, it didn’t matter. She made friends and spent time in good company as she prospered in her business. Many would say she bloomed, and grew like a sunflower under the sun, and when it rained and clouds obstructed the sun, she kept her sunny disposition.
I can tell you the many suitors and lovers Marigold had, but I could never kiss and tell. Now, I do recall her close relationship with various women about town. Most thought it unnatural, but Marigold knew people whispered and rumors are just that, rumors. These women were the most beautiful women of the town, one in particular was Mrs. Blackboard, a school teacher.
Mrs. Blackboard was twenty year’s older than Marigold. She was married to a shipper man who was often away. They had two children a boy and a girl, both were grown and had moved out of the house. Mrs. Blackboard was often lonely and by chance met Marigold, who’s wandering eye had fallen on the raven haired, blue-eyed woman. They became close friends and spent time with each other, mostly Marigold visited Mrs. Blackboard at her house while Mr. Blackboard was away.
What they talked about, I cannot say, but it must have been a lively conversation because Marigold would stay for hours, as neighbors observed. The neighbors thought it most unusual, but one must be careful where they get their information from. Marigold enjoyed Mrs. Blackboard’s company and the same could be said about Mrs. Blackboard as she visited Marigold at her farmhouse. The relationship would have lasted a bit longer than the six months they carried on, but Mr. Blackboard became mistrusting of the relationship, and as most would say he turned green.
He often returned to find the well dressed Marigold and Mrs. Blackboard in the living room chatting about anything under the sun. But he became unsettled when he found both women in the bedroom searching for an earring, though that’s what Mrs. Blackboard claims. True or not, he didn’t like it, something disagreeable stirred within him. He a forced Marigold out of the house. He next dealt with Mrs. Blackboard. Poor Marigold couldn’t protect her, it would have been fruitless, Mr. Blackboard did not want to listen to reason.
It is said that if you search really hard, you will find what you are looking for even the slight inclusion in a diamond. Well, that’s what Mr. Blackboard did, he found signs in his imperfect marriage. One day, in the bedroom he didn’t find an earring, but Mrs. Blackboard’s wedding ring. He indeed lost control of his emotions and demanded from his wife why her wedding ring had been taken off her finger. Mrs. Blackboard gave the best explanation she could give, but it did not appease her husband. And in that moment he forbade Mrs. Blackboard to ever see Marigold ever again.
Mrs. Blackboard obeyed not wanting to rustle her husband’s feathers, but that was easily said than done. Mrs. Blackboard kept her word while her husband was at home and once he was back traveling she would secretly visit Marigold at the farmhouse. But Mr. Blackboard found out about the indiscretion and made a stop at the farmhouse. Mrs. Baker, pointed Mr. Blackboard towards the barn where Marigold spent her days painting when she wasn’t at the shop. There, Mr. Blackboard addressed Marigold in a loud, commanding voice, “stay away from my wife! If I see, hear or learn you are with her I promise I won’t be this controlled the next time.”
And he kept his word, since Mrs. Blackboard couldn’t stay away as she was very fond of Marigold, though she felt a tinge of culpability. Nobody could blame Mrs. Blackburn as she felt lonely most of the time, since her children didn’t need her as much and Mr. Blackboard was away often. And when he was home, the passion from their marriage had vanished and they drifted together only as husband and wife.
One day, when Marigold was home by herself. Mr. Blackboard came charging through Marigold’s front door and as Marigold stood up, he was upon her and gave her a fierce trouncing. Marigold didn’t come to until the next morning. She didn’t see Mrs. Blackboard again.
Marigold, came to see her a few months after Mr. Blackboards visit. They talk a few minutes and Mrs. Blackboard realized the friendship had to end. Mrs. Blackboard had chosen her husband, something Marigold knew she would. They said their goodbyes and drifted apart. They met up a few years later, but they simply nodded a hello as they passed each other on the street. Marigold could never understand why Mona made friends with only married women, they were more trouble than they were worth.