One Day

There are good moments in our lives when unpleasant incidents seem to fizzle the fun out of them. Moments are to be enjoyed for they quickly dissipate in to another day. You can never atone for it, or get back the moment once it has passed. A moment becomes a yesterday, which are meant to teach what one chooses to do right and to do what is right, not because we believe it’s right. Doing what is right is not easy, especially when one encounters something unpleasant. Every moment is a choice, a choice to be happy, a choice to be excited, a choice to have fun, or we can sit in the corner and hold everyone responsible for our unhappiness. But emotions can run deep, and any form of sensibility can be reduced to insanity.

Marigold had choices and she had chosen to love the summers she spent with her father, even when some moments had become unpleasant. It would begin with Mr. Otto picking up Marigold at her apartment, other times, Mona would drop her off at the boat, though they was often late getting there, didn’t mean to start off with the wrong foot. That didn’t stop Lucille and she would be fuming, while Mr. Otto kept quiet. Marigold would say goodbye to Mona, and cheerfully greeted her father, and waved and waved until Mona was out of sight.

Being at sea was something new to Marigold, the smell of the ocean, the blue, the bright sun excited her. Marigold quickly learned her father’s routine, especially when Lucille was around. In the morning, they all had breakfast together. Marigold who didn’t have much of an appetite would have a small bowl of fruit. She wasn’t familiar with fruit, but the different colors enchanted her, the smell of the nectar was delectable and when she tasted them she found them to be sweet. Mr. Otto’s face lit up when he watched her eat the fruit.

After breakfast, Marigold had to entertain herself as Mr. Otto and Lucille spent the morning sunbathing. Marigold would go whale watching, or view the ocean with a spyglass, other times she would search for Cecilia and helped in any of the chores Cecilia was occupied in. There was so much to do on the boat it kept Marigold busy that her father had to go searching for her.

A light lunch was then served at noon. Marigold managed to eat her lunch as they were plain and simple. Nobody didn’t have much to say as Lucille took up most of the conversation about restaurants, shopping and her friends. After lunch, Lucille would take a nap, sometimes Mr. Otto followed her to her room–but of course that is none of our business– other times he staid on the deck and spent time with Marigold. He would call Marigold over, have her sit on his lap, and gaze in to the horizon. He was awfully pensive. Marigold could not recall if anything was said exactly, but she enjoyed the moment.

Lucille’s habits were unpredictable. Sometimes she would emerge from her cabin minutes before dinner, angry about one thing or another, or simply because Mr. Otto did not join her for her nap. It was rare that she would join them on the deck, and never in a good mood. She had a habit of making little sounds when she was displeased, especially towards Mr. Otto’s lack of affection, which he would quickly correct. Mr. Otto tolerated Lucille. Marigold felt sorry for her father. She didn’t know what to make of Lucille’s behavior, and chose not to pay attention. As the summer dragged on, Marigold learned that Lucille was not kind to anyone, even to Mr. Otto. But, it was not her place to say anything and tolerated Lucille for the sake of Mr. Otto.

When dinner was served since it was only them, it became a three course meal, consisting of an appetizer, entree and dessert. When they had guest on board the meals could be as extravagant as an eleven course, which Marigold would only last by the third before falling asleep. Mr. Otto, knowing his daughter, had have her skip the appetizer and start on the entree, finishing everything with a dessert, which she much enjoyd whole heatedly.

The Royal Mary spent her days out at sea and when it reached port, Lucille was quick to disembark. Marigold barely saw them leave as Mr. Otto was whisked away by Lucille. When he stayed behind and that’s when Marigold noticed they would argue, mostly about her. In fact, Marigold was quite aware Lucille quarreled with Mr. Otto quite often. They were not loud about it, but it was evident neither couple was happy. It was obvious, Lucille was transforming in to the green-eyed monster. How can anybody be jealous of a little girl? But it happens, I’ve been witness to it. Adults turning green for a child, is preposterous. Nevertheless, that was the case.

Marigold kept much her self, and watched and waited as Mr. Otto struggled in his relationship with Lucille. She didn’t know what she was waiting for, but she kept her distance as she had never seen two people fight the way they did. It made her have stomach aches and as the fights continued and intensified, her aches increased to the point her digestive system was disrupted and her eating became a constant worry to her father. She didn’t want her father to be unsettled and made an effort to eat until the aches became so strong she could barely get out of bed. Mr. Otto sent for a doctor but the doctor could not find anything wrong. Lucille believed Marigold was pretending just to get attention, and that didn’t make anything better for any of them.

One Day

As I have veered from the story, Marigold didn’t have much of an education, because she traveled to far away places like Greece. She didn’t have the time to go to school, unbeknownst to her father, Mr. Otto. His three sons were all going to prep school. Robert II was the eldest, most called him by his middle name Mathew, hoping to follow his father’s footsteps by going to law school. Then there was Dale hoping to go in to law as well. Lastly, the youngest son, Frank who rarely made his presence known. That left, Marigold who barely knew what the inside of a school looked like.

One particular night, Mr. Otto, Marigold and her three brothers where having dinner. Lucille was absent of course. Mr. Otto was discussing his sons future and what they expected to achieve once they graduated. It was a very proper conversation. Marigold was surprised to hear they all wanted to practice law. Curious herself, she asked her farther if she was going to be practice law too.

“It all depends,” her father said.

“Depends on what?” Marigold asked.

“How hard you dedicate yourself to your studies,” Mr. Otto said. “Mona does send you to school, doesn’t she?”

Marigold looked down at her plate, food had not been served yet and she wondered how she would get through this meal. She had stopped feeling hungry as she had become accustomed to the lack of food in their home. Marigold nodded, she was being truthful as Mona did register her to one institution to another, but never followed through to making sure Marigold went. Mona taught her all that she needed and believed worldly experience was more important. Mona made sure to cultivate Marigold with manners and being polite, being kind to others, and making wonderful mistakes so she could learn from them and do better, instead of making mistakes that are not beneficial to the growth of ones development.

Mr. Otto sighed, “I wish Mona would take an interest in your education. You need to go to a proper school. I’ll make sure of that.”

Marigold did not know what that meant and did not ask. Cecilia came around with the first course, tomato soup. Marigold cheerfully greeted her, and asked her to please give her half the ladle. She didn’t have the appetite for a full ladle, and yet she struggled to consume the first course. Second course meal, was sea bass, seasoned, with a salad on the side. Marigold was still on the first course and sighed in relief when Mr. Otto told Cecilia to pass her. Third course was a prime beef with some cooked miniature carrots. Mr. Otto knew his daughter was undernourished and would encourage her to eat with little affect. He often made her sit at the table until she finished her meal, which at one time took about two hours, but he was patient and two hours was an eternity for a child. He stood up and carefully cut the beef in small chunks. Her three brothers watched silently and quietly enjoyed their meals.

When everybody had finished their third course, they moved on to the fourth course, a Greek salad. The fifth meal was a cheese dish, which everyone savored with a wine glass, while Marigold struggled with the third course. She managed to slowly eat the carrots, but the prime beef was left untouched. When they got to the sixth course, she ate a few bites and then forgot about the meal as she looked out into the ocean, while her father and brother spoke of many topics.

Mr. Otto didn’t forget about his daughter and would goad her to eat a bit more. She did as she was told, but stopped short from finishing her meal. By the seventh course, desert finally made its way through the table. It was the most important meal after all. Mr. Otto, watched as Marigold gleefully gobbled the desert. He learned Marigold would ask for ice cream for lunch or dinner and he would often had to say, “ice cream is not a meal.” He also learned Mona would feed sweets to the girl, mostly ice cream and cakes as a meal and nothing more.

Marigold wasn’t spoiled as many would think. She never asked for anything more and said thank you and please very often. Mr. Otto could afford to give her the world, yet she never asked for anything more except ice cream. The only toy she owned was a teddy bear Mona made from one of her old coats. Marigold had plenty of dresses, all pretty, made by Mona herself, none would believe she was without. But Mr. Otto also learned, Mona barely had any means to care for the child, but whatever little money she made she would spent it on beautiful fabrics and expensive toiletries. Mona and Marigold looked polished and refined, no one ever assumed they went to bed hungry and cold.

Mona never dared to ask money from Mr. Otto, his presence was unsettling and she had an uneasy feeling he would take the child away. Money was not everything for Mona and raised Marigold to never have the love of money, that’s when everything goes south, Mona would say. Mona loved the little girl, as she was all that she had.

Mr. Otto began to fall in love with Marigold, and though he never showed favoritism to his sons, he did expect his sons to respect Marigold as part of the family, becoming, at times, overly protective of her, especially as she grew older. Yes, Mr. Otto adored his sons, he was proud of them and treated them as the individuals they were.

Marigold appreciated the time she spent with her father, though she wrestled with her meals, she was content with being in their company, never making much of a noise, but a giggle here and there to make her presence known. Eventually her brothers came around to accepting her. There was the exception of the youngest brother, Frank, he had no other option but become accustom to her existence. He often complained she was too happy and paid no mind to her still. Tom was proper with the girl, while Dale seem to take more of an interest in her.

The brothers found her odd at times, especially when she would inspect the hems of Mathes’s suit coat. Since, Mathew tolerated her, she would carefully pull at his sleeves, turn it over and asked him what kind of stitch was used at the hems. Of course, he didn’t know and she would kindly asked to see the inside of his coat. Dale found it amusing and goaded his brother to take off his coat, which Mathew would, a bit perplexed by her curiosity. When she was done, feeling the fabric, and carefully checking the pockets and seams. She thanked him and kindly returned the coat.

After meal time, they would gather for drinks, and by nine it was time for Marigold to go to bed. Mr. Otto would take his daughter to her new room, told her to get ready for bed and promised to return to say goodnight. Marigold couldn’t wait for bed, like Mona, Mr. Otto made bed time fun and exciting. When she finished getting ready, she jumped in bed and waited for Mr. Otto, who as promised, returned and told her a fantastical story. Mona didn’t tell her stories, but talked about the many things she had yet to see when they traveled. Mona talked about people they knew, sometimes it was about their future, and other times about history of the places they had traveled through.

Marigold couldn’t wait for tomorrow and as she waited and waited, slowly drifting to sleep, thinking only of tomorrow.