We know the ocean covers most of the earth and that a world undiscovered lays beneath it. I find the ocean interesting and I have come to respect it as most people who sail the seas often do. The sea its so enchanting, it calls many people out to its borders, as it did sailors who sailed the seven sea. I don’t know if sea mermaids serenade anyone who approaches the ocean, but I can say something about it calls many, at least those that listen.
The Royal Mary traveled the Mediterranean sea, anchoring here and there, never settling in one place, just drifting where the tides ebbed and flowed. Marigold, watched the sea, as it sailed and it bounced up and down on the waves. The Royal Mary could go on forever and ever and it felt like nothing else mattered. The ocean was large and it extended all the way to the end’s of the earth. It was more fascinating when they approached an island or two. Sometimes they would anchor near the island and settled there for awhile. They wouldn’t explore the island as it didn’t interest Lucille and Mr. Otto pursued her around the boat. Marigold quickly learned that when Mr. Otto trailed behind Lucille it meant she was displeased with him about something or another.
Around that time, Mr. Otto spent less time with Marigold, and who could blame him, the beautiful Lucille had him bewitched. Poor daddy, thought Marigold. She tried to get his attention, but to no avail. Mr. Otto was distracted and his mind was elsewhere. Marigold never gave up and would find ways to get his attention. When they were anchored near one of the islands, Marigold asked to go swimming. Mr. Otto allowed it only if she wore her arm floties and stayed within his view to the right of the boat. She complied and in the water she went. She swam and swam and began to do somersaults in the water, and yelled out for her father to watch, but Mr. Otto barely noticed as Lucille was the center of his attention. They were spatting again. Marigold could hear her father saying something back to her, but she wasn’t able to catch his full words as she did another somersault.
Marigold could see Lucille storm off deck, and out of her view. Mr. Otto glanced down to see Marigold and then disappeared after Lucille. Marigold, wondered if her father would notice if she swam a little away from the boat. When nobody took notice, she swam a little farther out, inching her way around the corner of the island. She looked back to see if anybody was watching but didn’t seem surprised when no one saw her floating out of view. At first, she had encouraged herself to get caught, then she wondered if she could swim around the island, and so she swam and swam. She got tired but it wouldn’t be wise to stop, so she would rest a little and then swim some more.
Marigold can’t say how long it took her to swim around the island, but she managed to come around back to the boat. She had been the happiest when she was by herself, floating in the sea, so when she saw the boat in view, her smile weakened a little, for the boat meant a place of unhappy people. It was just as well, thought Marigold. She reached the boat and had forgotten the words that Mr. Otto had instructed her to do as she swam to the left of the boat, and wondering how much further she could go. She was brought back to the present when she heard Mr. Otto’s voice bellowing from above, displeased over Marigold’s disobedience. He quickly ordered her back on the boat.
Because of Marigold’ disobedience she was sent to bed early without dessert. Marigold was sure happy he hadn’t seen her swim out as far as she did. But, she understood she did not do right by her father. Mona had told her more than once the importance of obeying her mother and father, that it may all go well with her and that may she enjoy a long life. Life was indeed pleasant when she did as she was told, until she defied her father’s instructions.
Marigold went to bed early, dreaming of ice cream and cakes. Her father and Lucille had gone out for dinner as they did every night since they docked in Monte Carlo. She saw her father less and less and it made her unhappy but she didn’t say a word. She could hear Mona’s advice surface in her head, “your father can do as he pleases, if he wishes to miss out time with his daughter that is his choice. Love him as best you can, because he is not perfect.”
During the day, Mr. Otto spent his days with Lucille. Sometimes Marigold would have breakfast with them, and then by lunch they would get together again, depending if Lucille wanted to spend time with her friends. By night fall, Mr. Otto would prepare a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for Marigold, as he was heading out with Lucille for dinner. This became a loop, and Marigold wondered if she was repeating the day.
By morning, Marigold would wake up to find the yacht empty except for the staff. She was certain to find Cecilia somewhere and when she did, Cecilia would remind her to be quiet. Mr. Otto and Miss Lucille had returned very late and they were still asleep. Marigold had breakfast by herself and then went to the bow where she would be when Mr. Otto and Lucille finally awoke. Mr. Otto would call on his daughter, kiss her good morning and lounged for the rest of the day, until Lucille had the urge to go out.
This went on for awhile until Lucille would find something to cause discomfort among the staff, especially with Cecilia who could do no right in Lucille’s eyes. Marigold would watch as Lucille yelled at Cecilia for not keeping the napkins as she wanted them to be, for the dinner table not being set right, for the silverware and glasses not being spotless, it went on and on. Marigold took pity on Cecilia and decided to take the blame for anything Cecilia didn’t do right. Mr. Otto would punish his daughter, sending her to bed without dessert other times she was not allowed outside and told to stay in her cabin until Mr. Ottoe lifted the punishment.
Cecilia tried to explain to Mr. Otto that it wasn’t Marigold at fault, but Mr. Otto would only say, “that is up to Frida. She must come to me and admit the truth, until then she must reconcile with her choices.”