A Soft Place to Land: Chapter Two

Marah sat shotgun in Reva’s car and watched the town of Springfield pass by her window.  As she took in all the changes to their little spot in the world Marah was once again struck my a touch of melancholy.  She had probably seen these same buildings a thousand times, and now the city was familiar but filled with changes everywhere she looked.  Turning onto main street Marah felt her stomach flutter, she turned towards Reva and shouted, “Mom stop the car!”

Reva slammed on the breaks, earning her a few choice words and gestures from the car behind them.  She ignored them as she whipped her head around and faced her daughter, worry clear on her face. “What is it?  Are you okay?  Do we have to go back to Cedars?”

“Why is my name on a storefront on Main Street?” Marah smiled brightly,”Do I sell my designs internationally now?”

Reva didn’t know how to respond.  She certainly didn’t want to extinguish the delight she saw in her daughter’s eyes, but running her own business wasn’t exactly small potatoes.   In fact, Reva was incredibly proud of what her daughter had accomplished in such a short time.   Marah on Main was a thriving business that had proudly boasted a steady stream of clientele since Marah had opened its doors.  “Not exactly sweetie.  See you wanted to try something different when you moved back to Springfield.  So you switched directions and started an interior design company.  Quite successful at it too I might add.”

Marah was stunned.  Fashion design had been her dream.  Living in Paris and designing clothing lines for the big fashion houses, it had all seemed so glamorous.   The perfect escape for someone haunted by some awful memories and a broken heart.  Hard to believe she would want to do something different, that she would ever give that up.   “Oh.  I see.” No she didn’t.  Marah couldn’t see it even though she tried.

“I have been going in a few times a week to catch up on calls, emails, and deliveries.  So no worries about business just yet.”  Reva smiled reassuringly before continuing, “Last year you even remodeled the Beacon.”

Now Marah did laugh. “Oh I bet Olivia loved that!”

Reva smiled as she pulled back onto the road. “Oh it wasn’t that bad.  Olivia isn’t quite the same as she used to be.  While I may never be added to her Christmas card list we buried the hatchet awhile ago.”

Hmm, Marah found that harder to believe than her quitting fashion. “You didn’t bury the proverbial hatchet in each other’s backs did you?”

“Why Marah!” Reva mocked outrage at the presumption. “I am a grandmother these days.  My hatchet-wielding days are over.”

Somehow Marah couldn’t see her mother spending the day baking cookies like other middle-aged women.  Thank God.  There was a large part of her mother that was warm and loving, yet there was also another side.  The brash and daring side that belonged on the reality shows she had watched while in the hospital.  Where the women scream at one another while calling them a “bey-otch”.  Hard to imagine that side of Reva Shayne disappearing anytime soon.  Closing her eyes she rested her head against the seat and soon fell asleep.

***

All too soon they were pulling into the Marler’s driveway and Reva was putting the car in park.  “Here we are!”

Marah raised an eyebrow at her mother, “Tony and I live in the Marler carriage house?  You know even when I lived here in college I always thought of it as the Marler house.”

“Blake continued to live here but once Kevin and Jason went away to college it was just Blake and Clarissa.  And once she started seeing Frank-”

Marah’s mouth dropped, “Frank COOPER?”

Reva laughed at her daughter’s shocked facial expression.  “Yeah we were all stunned as well.  But she seems happy, they both seem happy.”

Well Marah was glad someone was happy though she couldn’t imagine Blake loving anyone as much as she loved Ross Marler.  But crazier things had happened.  Like marrying someone who broke your heart and who you thought was dead.  Tired of thinking about the same thing and getting nowhere she got out of the car and began reaching into the back seat for the baby carrier .

Reva snatched the carrier from her hands with a scowl. “Give me that!  You just got out of the hospital for crying out loud.”  And like a seasoned veteran of baby handling Reva grabbed the carrier deftly in her grasp, lifting it with ease.

Before they had started walking a large pickup truck pulled up, parking along the curb.  The driver quickly got out and rounded the hood, coming towards them. “Sorry I have been out-of-town for the past couple of weeks.  But everyone has kept me updated on the situation.  How are you feeling today?”

As the dark-haired stranger went in for a hug Marah recoiled defensively.  “Who are you?”  She immediately felt bad, especially when she noted the crestfallen look that took over his face, but despite his familiarity with her she had no idea who he was.

Her mother’s reassuring hand on her arm was more than welcome.  “Honey, this is your brother Jonathan.”

Despite her mother’s soft tone Marah couldn’t help feeling frustrated.   Constantly having to be reminded who people were, facts that should have came to her naturally were simply…gone.   Even worse, Marah didn’t even get twinges of recognition.  It was all a big blank that led to constant frustration for her and pain for those around her.  Like Jonathan, her brother.  People should know their own siblings.  “I’m…sorry.”  Really, Marah had run out of things to say in this situation.

Jonathan smile was one of reassurance, “Hey no biggie.  We have plenty of time to catch up.”

His heartening tone made Marah smile.  He seemed like a nice guy, even with the hint of “bad boy”, that came off of him in waves.

“Alright, you two can catch up later.  Marah needs to rest and this little one is getting heavy.” Reva indicated the arm still holding the baby carrier, “Jonathan, I will call you later.”

Marah let the sound of their conversation blend into the background.  All her concentration was on what awaited her behind that front door.  Leaving her mother and newly discovered brother standing in the driveway she made her way towards the house and wondered what would happen when she opened that door.  Would all of her memories come back suddenly?  And if so, did she really want them back?  Dr. Salas had said that her mind had brought her back to when she felt safe.  Had she felt unsafe with Tony.  Lord knows that had been a problem in their relationship in the past.  She reached out and turned the knob….

And felt nothing.

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