A Soft Place to Land: Chapter Sixteen

With a bounce in her step Marah descended the stairs with Toby following faithfully behind her.  For the first time in months Marah felt like the suffocating pressure to be “herself” wasn’t there.  Sure, everyone still wanted her memory to return, but that desperate look wasn’t in Tony’s eyes like it was last month, or last week, hell even the day before.  Marah actually felt hopeful, and that was a great feeling.

She went about monotonous tasks like making coffee and getting the paper.  She was just sitting down when a slight knock on the door had Toby wagging his tail in excitement. Marah shook her head, “Some watch dog you are.”

Pulling the door open slightly she was surprised to see an older Hispanic man standing there.  His face was weathered and Marah could tell he had seen things in his day, but his eyes were kind.  “Rafael Santiago I presume?”

The older man cocked his head and smiled broadly, “You remember me?”

Marah opened the door wider to allow him to enter.  “Not yet.  But Tony has told me all about you.  How you saved his life.”  She walked over to the coffee pot, “Would you like some coffee?”

“Please.” Rafael sat himself at the breakfast table and regarded Marah closely.  He knew she had a family who loved her but they had grown close since he arrived in Springfield.  Hell, he lived in their guest house.  And as unconventional as their arrangement may seem, he counted Marah as the daughter he and his beloved Maria never had.  “How are you feeling?”

Marah placed the coffee cup in front of him before returning to her own seat, “No real memory recall yet.  But we’re hopeful.”

“Is that coffee I smell?” Tony waltzed in with Lanie tucked close to his chest.

Rafael’s eyes lit up with delight. “It certainly is.” He held out his hands expectantly, “Now hand over my granddaughter.”

Marah laughed as Tony and Rafael traded verbal barbs in jest.  These two really were like father and son.  She rose from her seat to put her coffee cup in the dishwasher.  Walking over to Tony she placed a kiss on his cheek. “Have to go get ready for work.  Have a good day.”

Tony watched Marah as she walked out of the room.  He could tell something had changed between them last night and this morning was definitely a change.  It had been months since Marah gave affection without hesitation.

“Seems you two are at a good place.”

At Rafael’s statement Tony turned and faced the older man.  The man who was currently ticking Lanie and making goofy faces to make her smile.  “I think so.  Last night seemed to be what we needed.  She actually held Lanie.”

Rafael looked up from the baby in his arms and pinned Tony with that look of us, the one that said he saw between the lines and knew everything.  “That may be son but you are never going to be able to bridge the gap without telling her the whole story.”


Marah was sorting through the endless pile of deliveries that had arrived while she was in the hospital.  When she had first learned that she had walked away from her life in Paris she had been confused.  Fashion had always been her dream, to walk away from that seemed unfathomable.  But she could see why she chose interior design.  It allowed her to make something ordinary into something extraordinary.  To make things beautiful.

Her eyes landed on a brown package, smaller than the other.  Lifting it she saw it was addressed to ‘Marah Santos’ which she thought was odd.  Why would she be getting private mail delivered here.  She brought the package over to her desk and grabbed some scissors, ready to see what the box contained.  She was just about to tear into the thing when the door opened and  an arm shot through the opening, the hand holding a bakery bad with a hastily drawn smiley face on it. “I come in peace.”

Marah smiled at her mother’s antics. “Get in here mom.  You are letting cold air in! Oh my God, I am starting to sound like you.”

Reva smiled mischievously as she walked towards her daughter, “You may be a new mom but it just comes naturally.”

Marah fiddled with the scissors in her hand before placing them flat on her desk.  It was time to throw out the olive branch. “I am not mad mom.  About Collin.  About Jeffery.  Though I still think it is a bit icky that the man who saw me naked knocked boots with my mom.” Marah shook her head as if she could shake the mental image from her head.  There wasn’t enough mind bleach in the world to rid her off that. “But it was just a shock.  A brother no one ever mentioned.” Marah felt the tears begin to fill her eyes, what else had her family kept from her?

“Oh sweetie,” She came around the desk and gathered Marah into a tight hug, ” We were just doing what that damn quack said was best.  To not overload you too soon.”

Marah wiped the tears from her eyes.  Grabbing the bakery bag she peered inside before looking back up at her mother. “How about we indulge in a little carbfest while you tell me about my brothers.  And seriously, you couldn’t have had a girl?  Now I’m outnumbered four to one”


Ed knocked briskly on Dr. Salas’ office door.  He didn’t particularly like the man.  He was rude, had terrible bedside manner, and after that incident with Michelle he wasn’t too hip on him in the personal sense either.  But the man was brilliant in his field and Cedars was lucky to have him.  “Come in.”

Ed entered the office and closed the door behind him.  Sitting in one of the chairs placed in front of the desk he didn’t waste time on small talk and pleasantries, “I am going to get straight to the point.  It has come to my attention that you have ordered two MRIs for Carmen Santos in the past week.  Do you mind telling me why you ordered expensive tests on a woman who had been in a coma for over a decade?”

Dr. Salas tapped his pen against the blotter on his desk, “I was under the impression that when I joined the staff here I was in charge of the Neurology department.”

“This is true.  But-”

Richard Salas didn’t wait for Ed to finish, “I strive to give the best medical care to all of my patients.  And Ms. Santos is one of my patients whether she is awake or in a coma.”

Ed stood, “Next time you want to run expensive tests on patients comatose for over ten years you need to run it by me first.  You may be head of the Neurology department but I am still Chief of Staff.”


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