Groaning in agony Marah opened her eyes and then shut them as the light streaming in the window threatened to blind her. In her drunken state last night she had forgotten to make sure the curtains were closed. Marah chalked it up to yet another case of alcohol and poor decisions. Marah let out another groan as the memories from last night came back in full force. Talk about bad decisions. She didn’t drink to excess much but when she did she certainly did it in style.
Marah tentatively opened her eyes and as they slowly acclimated themselves to the brightness in the room the tequila fog lifted and she…remembered. Like the door that had housed her memories was finally thrown opened she remembered everything. Her life in Paris, her move back home, the stunning realization that Tony was alive…it was all there.
Ignoring the pain in her head she sat up and turned to wake Tony with the news and then it hit her. She had basically exiled him to the couch last night. Though she did have some vague notion of him coming in and holding her last night his side of the bed was void of any indication that he had been there.
There was nothing Marah wanted more than to nurse this hangover like a champion but even more she wanted her baby. After months of holding Lanie at arm’s length she remembered. The joy she felt at listening to her heartbeat, the wonder of the first flutters of Lanie kicking inside her womb, the absolute love she felt from the moment she learned she was pregnant. She wanted her baby.
It was then that she saw the glass on the nightstand. A glass of water, two aspirin, and a note. She quickly downed the aspirin as she read the note from Tony.
Went with Danny to get your car then to pick up Lanie. Don’t go anywhere. We need to talk.
Marah contemplated this for a few minutes before she balled up the note and threw it towards the waste can. If her relationship with Tony had taught her anything it was when to be just as stubborn as her husband. And this was one of those times. She picked up her phone and called the one person she knew that would understand.
Danny looked at Tony out of the corner of his eye as he drove. His cousin looked…rough. And that was being kind. Truthfully he looked like hell, with those bloodshot eyes and the five o’clock shadow threatening to turn into a full-grown beard. With their Cuban heritage the beards they tended to be able to grow often resembled some character off a cigar box.
But dealing with Tony had always been a balancing act. Balancing when to push for information and when to just let Tony stew for a while. Danny cleared his throat and decided pushing was needed this morning, “You look like hell primo.” Okay maybe he could have worded that better but it wasn’t like they had hours to chat. Without traffic they had maybe ten minutes.
Tony laughed humorlessly, “Thanks Danny. You sure know how to make me feel special.”
Danny shrugged, “I got a text at the crack of dawn saying you weren’t coming into work today. I get another text asking for me to taking you pick up Marah’s car at, of all places, the damn Roadhouse. So I am guessing this is a story that make take time and time is one thing we don’t have this morning. I have to go visit Carmen then go into the office.”
Tony turned surprised eyes to his cousin, “Visiting Carmen? What for man? She’s in a coma and hasn’t made any improvement in years. Not to mention she tried to kill you. She tried to kill your wife, a couple of times actually. So I think she doesn’t need to remain of the Christmas card list if you get what I’m saying.”
Danny sighed. It wasn’t the first time someone had asked that question, and it wouldn’t be the last. “I don’t do it for her benefit I do it for my own. So that when I have to meet my maker I can say that even though my mother was a vile creature who made my life hell I got something beautiful out of it. I am married to the love of my life, we have four kids who are healthy…”
Tony quickly held out a hand, “Four kids?”
Danny smiled but didn’t take his eyes off the road, “Michelle is pregnant again.”
“Wow man that’s great!” Tony lightly slapped Danny’s shoulder so he didn’t cause an accident, “Congratulations man! But could you please have a boy? Between Hope, Danielle, and Lanie we are going to have our hands full keeping them away from the dreaded male sex, I don’t know if we could handle another girl.”
Danny chuckled as he pulled into the Roadhouse parking lot, “We are Santos’s, we can take anything life throws at us.” He pulled alongside Marah’s car and put the car in park. Turning towards Tony he lifted his eyebrows in question, “So are you going to tell me what happened with Marah or are you going to stall some more?”
Marah knocked on the door and waited. She hadn’t visited since the accident but just looking at the house before her brought a smile to her face. It was a home that managed to be beautiful but also had lots character and charm. It was a family home and anyone who saw it would know that even with its large expanse the family was what made the home special. It didn’t take long before Michelle opened it with a smile, “Marah! How are you?”
Truthfully Marah wasn’t sure how she felt, other than the residual alcohol funk that is. She just shrugged, “Can I talk to you for a minute?”
Michelle’s face became serious as she ushered Marah inside, “Sure. It’s a rare day without husband, kids, or work. I was just about to make some coffee, do you want some?”
Marah nearly fell at Michelle’s feet in worship. In her brilliant decision to talk to Michelle she neglected to make herself some, and if she was going to resemble a somewhat live version of herself she needed some ASAP, “You are a savior.”
As Marah and Michelle made their way towards the kitchen she noticed that Danny and Michelle had painted recently. “I really like this shade of green. Sage green is very pleasing with the soft wood tones.”
Michelle stopped in her tracks and whirled around, “That is exactly what you said when I asked you what color I should paint the kitchen!”
Marah smiled, “I remember.”
Michelle let out an unlike-Michelle squeal of delight and gathered her friend in a crushing hug, “You remember? Everything? When did this happen?”
“Last night actually, it’s a long story. And well, I could use some advice.”