What Matters Most~ Chapter Thirty-One (Part One)

Two Weeks Later…


Marah tried not to cry, she really did, but she couldn’t help herself. She had thought she was going to Michelle’s for a girl’s night and instead her friend had surprised her by throwing her a baby shower. She turned and hugged Michelle as much as her expanded belly allowed. “You did all this?”

Michelle took in her living room and dining room which both looked like they had been doused in Pepto-Bismo. “Not by myself. Your mom and Dinah helped.”

“Thank you.” She was a blubbering mess but managed to gather Michelle up in a tight hug. Well, as tight as she could manage with her belly getting in the way. “It all looks amazing!” She shared equal hugs with her mom and Dinah, who in a few short months of knowing her she learned was the perfect woman for her brother. No wonder he had traveled all over Europe searching for her.

“I guess you can tell by all the pink that I am having a girl.”

Dinah gave her a wry look then motioned to her own outfit which was also pink. “I am not a pink person by nature but Michelle insisted.” She then leaned in as if she were imparting a deep dark secret and whispered. “I think it was secretly an excuse to see everyone decked out in Michelle’s favorite color.”

Indeed, all the party guests were wearing pink in some shape or form. It truly was a Pepto-Bismo looking party and she loved it!

Michelle returned from the other room and in full party-planning mode directed her towards a large rocking chair with soft pink cushions. “You are the queen today Marah Santos. Now you sit your butt in this chair and hold court.”

Marah laughed but was more than happy to rest her feet. “Well if you insist, who am I to argue.” It was all very surreal having people gather to celebrate the life inside you, and with pregnancy-induced hormones making her weep at the slightest provocation, Marah had gone through an entire box of tissues by the time lunch was served.


“I know it’s considered bad manners to talk with your mouth full, but this cake is delicious.” Marah partially swallowed the cake in her mouth and eyed the cake in question. In the shape of a baby stroller it had been almost too cute to cut into. Almost. “In fact, since I am eating for two I might just cut me off another one of those wheels. You know, for good measure.”

“You’re the guest of honor, manners be damned! And I have to agree, Michelle that cake is fabulous. We may have to save some for the boys.” Pointing towards the cake with her own fork Reva made a humming sound of approval. “Maybe. It may be too good to save.”

From across the room Mindy lifted a brow in question. “Where are the so-called “boys” anyway? I know it’s a baby shower but after a year of knowing Tony, and knowing your father, I know even an influx of pink wouldn’t keep them away.”

Reva was so excited to answer she looked downright giddy. “Well after seeing the mammoth of a crib that Marah purchased-”

“That Marah purchased?” Marah had to interject on this one. She had been completely innocent when it came to baby furniture. The planning of the general nursery design had been her idea but the opulent crib? No way. She was not taking the rap for that one. “That was all Tony. After learning our baby was a girl he kept calling her princess so we went with a princess theme. And Tony took it to heart and bought the biggest and most ornate crib that looks like a princess carriage. Of course he has no idea how to assemble such a thing.”

“Which is where your daddy is right now.” Reva continued with a flourish, “Helping your husband and Danny assemble baby furniture.”

Marah was speechless. Her dad and Tony working together? With Danny as what? A buffer in case one of them decided to throw a hammer at the other? Oh joy. “Daddy didn’t have to do that.”

From her side Michelle nudged her discretely and whispered. “Remember the stroller.”

Like she could ever forget Danny and Tony putting together Danielle’s stroller only to have a wheel come off. On second thought, as Michelle so helpfully reminded her, her father’s expertise was probably a good thing. Not that she didn’t trust Tony but that crib looked complicated. “Thank you. I’ll make sure to save them some cake.” It was the least she could do, granted they all made it out of there in one piece.


An hour later Marah was about partied out. Michelle had really put a lot of effort into making the day fun for everyone. The games were not the typical cheesy baby shower fare but fun ones that had people laughing because they were truly entertaining. And her friends and family had been more than generous in their gifts. But one can only take so much oohing and aahing over onsies before they started to go cross-eyed.

Beth handed her a large pink gift bag. “This one is from Lizzie and Bill. They wish they could have made it but she just got home with the new baby.”

Marah was touched that Lizzie even had the time to think of getting her something,. “Wow that is extremely thoughtful of them.” And of course it was. Lizzie may have married a Lewis but she was born a Spaulding and had exceptional taste, even in baby clothes which set off another round of appreciative sounds from the group.

The unexpected ringing of the doorbell had Michelle frowning slightly in response. She mentally noted all the guests in attendance, everyone was present and accounted for. “Who could that be?” She stood up and walked towards the front door but before she was even in the foyer the door swung open to admit whoever was on the other side.

The newcomer smirked proudly. “Michelle you must have forgotten my invitation.”


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