Everybody likes a good story, I know I do. I also like the sound of rain, and the calming effects it produces. Rain can make a light noise depending where it falls or a heavy rattle that doesn’t sound pleasing at all. The funny thing about rain is that it tends to fall everywhere, getting everything wet. It forms puddles of all sizes, it fills rivers, creeks, and streams. Rain can be needed during dry seasons, but not fun to be drenched in on a cold day.
Rain symbolizes relief, the cleansing of one’s sins, the washing away the worries, the renewal of one’s body, mind and soul. Rain has many properties, it brings to life all sorts of living creatures and God knows I can’t live without drinking water. It is as essential as it is to breath.
Sometimes, I don’t mind the rain, other times, it rains too much that I feel muggy. I think about rain and the many days, Mona and Marigold had to stay inside, unable to move to the next town. It rained so much that the flophouse they stayed in had too many leaks in the roof and not many pots to hold the water. It was just one of those days, where nothing went right and everything went… don’t need to say any more than that. I could have ended the story long ago, but there was too much to remember.
Marigold and Mona had just made their narrow escape from the previous town, where Marigold’s missing posters dressed the town. It was a close call, but Marigold wondered why her family wanted her back. She didn’t miss them, and she didn’t harbor ill will towards them, either. In fact, Marigold felt pity for them for not knowing what love is. Mona didn’t have to say it, Mona simply doted over Marigold, made sure she was somewhat fed, a roof over her head and made her look pretty to the world. Mona made her laugh, made sure she drank her milk, chocolate milk of course, plain just wouldn’t do.
Mona was resourceful and talented, and what she lacked she made up in her skills as a dressmaker. Mona dressed Marigold the same way she dressed herself, in beautiful, bright sunny dresses, a pair of pretty shoes and her hair curled at the ends. Marigold looked like a precious doll, adult like, even when Mona’s means were meager. As I wrote before, Mona was resourceful. When they staid in a flophouse, Mona didn’t leave open handed. If the curtains and the bed spread caught her eye, she would make two dresses, one for her and one for little Marigold. No one would have known the difference.
Marigold became Mona’s shadow, where one went the other followed, and the two became inseparable. Mona never went anywhere without Marigold, and Marigold never left Mona’s side, they were very much like mother and daughter and two very good friends. Among Mona’s friends, they were the talk of the town. Mona’s married friends wished their daughters were more like Marigold, obedient, innocent to a fault, the ever so patient daughter who was good and sweet as cherry pie. Mona was proud of Marigold, and displayed her like a little porcelain doll. And in turn, Marigold worshiped Mona, she could do no wrong. Mona was the mother Marigold never had. But, Mona didn’t put on a show, she really loved Marigold.
Behind closed doors, Mona was a protective mother, who attended to Marigold. Mona wasn’t perfect, and sometimes when she became ill, Marigold had to take on the role as an adult. The first time it happened, Marigold was ten years old, Mona become ill. They were saying in a bordello on the edge of town. The best way Marigold could describe the place was the different shades of red that made it feel unsafe.
Mona laid in bed, sick for days, money was scarce and days seem to weave in to another, never changing, never failing to be unhappy. It rained constantly, and the roof leaked here and there, not as bad as the last place, but the smell of mustiness wasn’t pleasant. The place was small, with two beds opposite of each other. Whoever invented electricity was not a blessing, thought Marigold many times, as the red neon lights kept her awake.
Mona rarely stirred and kept herself under the covers, never saying much, always hungry. Marigold made sure she was breathing and would even nudged her a bit to make sure she was all right. But as the days blended, Marigold was anything but calm. It was hard to sleep when Mona barely got out of bed, and food was always on Marigold’s mind.
One night, as Marigold felt hunger gnawing at her belly, she went to wake Mona, but she didn’t move, or make a sound. Marigold cried and shouted for Mona to wake up. It was a while before Mona made a weak moan. Hunger was the culprit, it had depleted Mona’s energy and the atmosphere in the room dampening. Marigold, couldn’t lose Mona. Where would she go? Who would take care of her? She didn’t want to live in the unknown. With so many thoughts racing in her mind, she searched the room, high and low, and with that determination she found a few coins. It was all she needed.
She ventured outside and with a bold heart, though a bit shaky since their last escape she went to the store. She bought lots of milk, which was all she could afford. When she got back, Mona was still in bed. She shook Mona awake as best she could and made her drink the milk. Mona didn’t decline and drank away. Eventually, Mona got stronger and better that Marigold sighed in relief. They didn’t leave right away, but at least Mona was feeling better.
Mona wrote to an Uncle, who apparently was well off. He regularly sent money when Mona asked, which was quite often enough. The money came through in two days, and soon Mona and Marigold left behind the lodging that forever marked Marigold with a displeasing memory.