Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise to the phrase, “third time’s the charm.”
Molly, the daughter of a banker, had been married off to an elderly man, at the young age of 14. It wasn’t odd, at that time, to be married off at a young age; neither was it odd to be married off to a much older gentleman. The man that Molly was married off to, was 52 years old. His name was Mr. Ralph Milligan. Ralph had recently been widowed when his wife, of 30 years, had passed away from pneumonia. Their three living children, 2 boys and 1 girl, were all grown and married with families of their own.
Molly was married to Ralph for seven years, when he suddenly passed from a heart ailment, leaving her alone with three young sons. Molly’s father did not want the responsibility of raising his three grandsons and quickly found her another husband. He had to lure husband #2 with a rather large sum of money, since he would be taking on three sons along with a wife.
Molly had inherited a large home when Ralph passed, but all the money was put back to split between his three sons, when they became of age. Back then, a young man became of age at 18.
Molly married her second husband at the age of 22. His name was Mr. Walter Langley, he was 30 years old, and had never been married. Her father took Walter under his wing and began to teach him all about the banking industry.
After 15 years of marriage, Walter fell ill with tuberculosis. Molly nursed him, for five years, before he passed. Molly had born Walter seven children, four boys and 3 girls.
Her first three boys had became of age and began families of their own. Two of her oldest sons followed their grandfather’s footsteps into the banking business. One went to college and became a physician.
Molly’s oldest daughter had married well and was expecting her second child. Molly, and her remaining six children, moved in with her father. Molly’s mother had passed on several years ago, one of her brothers had become a banker, like his father, and was now running the bank. Molly’s other brother had moved up north and became a physician. Molly was the only one left to look after her father when he became ill. She nursed her father, until he passed, around eight years later.
At her father’s funeral, Molly met a man who introduced himself as Mr. Edward Simpson. He told Molly that he ran the neighboring bank in Cartersville. He said he had been a friend of her father’s and wanted to pay his condolences.
Molly thanked him and said, “Yes, she remembered her father speaking of him over the years.”
Molly still had four of her children, two boys and two girls, living at home with her, when her father passed. The oldest, a son, had just turned 18. His name was Brian Langley. Brian wanted to go on to college and study English. He wanted to teach and to write. Molly assured him she would be okay and sent him on. She decided she must find a husband for her 15 year old daughter and her 13 year old daughter. Her youngest, a son, was 11 years old and would still be home for a good while. Molly, at age 50, was ‘fit as a fiddle’.
Four months had passed since her father’s funeral. Molly had found husbands for her two daughters. Of course, the girls were still in the mourning period for their grandfather, and had several months to plan their weddings and enjoy their suitors.
One day, Molly was upstairs planning with her daughters, when her youngest son, Daniel, came up to tell her she had a visitor. Molly went downstairs to the parlor. Mr. Edward Simpson rose from his seat to greet her.
He took her hand in both of his and asked, “How are you Molly?”
Molly blushed a bit as she slipped her hand from his. “I’m well. How are you?”
“I’m well. I had to run over to the bank for a bit of business and thought I would stop by and see how you were faring.”
“Oh, well, will you stay for tea?” Molly asked as she motioned to the maid.
“Yes, I would enjoy that,” Mr. Simpson replied.
Molly motioned him to a seat, then sat across from him.
“How are things at the bank?” she asked. She never talked with her brother or her sons about the banking business. She knew her monthly allowance and lived well within it, while being able to save some money for later.
“Oh, things are just fine. We always get together for a monthly morning meeting.”
“I see,” said Molly as the maid entered and poured their afternoon tea.
The two chatted as they drank their tea, mostly about their children. Mr. Simpson said he only had two living children, both sons, who worked at the bank with him. He had been widowed about three years ago and had found fulfillment in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren since then.
After Mr. Simpson had taken his leave, Molly sat and thought for a minute. “What made her blush, so, when he held her hand in his?” she wondered. She had grown fond of her first two husbands, but she never remembered blushing like that. Then again, she never remembered either of them holding her hand like that.
The rest of the year flew by quickly, with all the engagement and wedding planning. It had been decided that Doreen, the oldest, would announce her engagement first and her wedding would follow 4 months after the engagement announcement. There would be engagement parties, wedding showers, and other forms of entertainment before the wedding. Miriam, the youngest daughter, would announce her engagement two months after her older sister’s announcement and her wedding would be held 2 months after her sister’s wedding. That would make the next year go by quickly too.
Mr. Simpson stopped by for tea, once a month, when he was in town for the monthly morning meetings. Molly was growing very fond of him. He still made her blush.
After the whirlwind and excitement of two weddings were over, Molly sat back and realized the she was tired, very tired. Daniel, now 13, sat down in front of her and began to massage her feet.
“What are we going to do now mama, with just the two of us in the house?”
Molly leaned up and ruffled his hair. “I don’t know about you, son, but I’m thinking of going to bed and not coming out for a month or two.”
They both laughed because they knew that would never happen.
Daniel sat beside his mother.
“I thought you might get married again,” he said with a serious expression on his face.
“What on earth gave you that idea?”
“Well, Mr. Simpson visits often. I thought he might have his eye on you.”
Molly thought before she spoke. She hadn’t had time to think in a long time. Daniel was right. Mr. Simpson had made it a habit to stop by every month and he was her companion during all the festivities this past year. It had just seemed natural for her to ask him to accompany her. He still made her blush and feel all giddy. He was a widower and she was a widow. There was Daniel to consider.
“How would you feel about that, Daniel?” she asked.
Daniel shrugged. “I like Mr. Simpson alright and if he makes you happy, I will like him even more.”
Molly looked at Daniel, trying to read his true feelings, but she could see nothing except the sincerity of his words. She had never thought of being in love before; she had always been too busy. Now, she wondered, was this relationship she had with Mr. Simpson love, or was it just a companionship.
Someone had asked her, at Miriam’s wedding, if she was going to remarry again. Molly had simply laughed, because she hadn’t even thought about it. Then the woman had told her, “You know what they say, now days, The Third Time’s the Charm.”
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