Page 10 of Hopeful Hearts

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She returned a few minutes later, holding up the ring to watch it sparkle in the tiny bit of light creeping around the curtains.

“Do you think it suits me?” She asked, climbing back into bed.

“I hope so. I had it custom made for you.”

“It’s the prettiest engagement ring I’ve ever seen.”

“I’m just happy you’re wearing it,” he whispered back.

“Does this mean you promise? Because my terms are still my terms, Brodie.”

He looked confused for a moment, like he had no clue what she was talking about, and then a flash of pain turned his eyes a deeper shade of blue.

Wrapping his arms around her, he spoke softly. “If you promise not to mention it ever again, then yeah, I promise.”

“Thank you, thank you. I can’t tell you how much this means to me.”


Sophia fell back asleep within minutes, but Brodie lay awake for much longer. There was so much to do and so many plans to put into place if he was going to give her the perfect wedding day. Sophia was the planner, but he didn’t want her to stress out over this.

She needed to focus on getting better, and he needed to make the day run as smoothly as possible. He had been planning an intimate ceremony with just the two of them and maybe their parents, but after seeing the photos in the scrapbook her mum had made for her, how could he not invite her friends?

Knowing that she’d never agree, he tiptoed out of bed and managed to slide her phone off the bedside table without a sound.

Lifting her finger by just a fraction, he touched it to the phone and breathed a sigh of relief when it unlocked. Immediately, Brodie was met with a photo of them. The one she’d had as her wallpaper ever since they’d visited the aquarium. Their cheeks puffed out and their mouths formed the same O shape as the ugly-arse fish behind them. What he wouldn’t give to have a day like that, again.

Scrolling through, it didn't take long before all five of her best friends' numbers were copied, pasted, and stored in his phone. He contemplated texting them, but if they were going to attend the wedding, they would need to know the circumstances. It wouldn’t be fair to just let them show up unprepared. Not that anything could prepare them for what Sophia was going through, but he hoped they all loved her enough to see through the illness and give her a day to remember.

So, he slid her phone back onto the bedside table and decided to call them all individually.

The fact that they could be a million miles away, as Sophia hadn’t seen any one of them for ages, didn’t seem to matter.

He should probably have worked out the time zones and made sure they were at least half awake before he called, but something told him not to wait. Brodie’s grandad always said, “Why put off to tomorrow what you can do today?” The saying had always seemed like an excuse for him to spend another hour fixing things and avoid doing the chores his granny would have had him doing, but in recent times, he realised maybe there was something in it.

As silently as he could, Brodie tiptoed downstairs and out to the car, where she wouldn't be able to hear him. Taking a breath and pressing the call button before he could back out, the dial tone barely connected when Kate picked up.


“Hey, it’s Brodie.”

“Brodie?” The feminine voice on the end of the line sounded exhausted and obviously had no idea who he was or why he was calling her at whatever time it was in her corner of the world.

“As in Sophia’s, Brodie?” She asked.

“Yeah,” he replied, relief kicking in. This was totally doable.

“Hey, sorry, I’m half asleep over here.”

“Do you want me to call back later?”

“No, you’re fine. I’ll be half asleep then, too. Since I had Daisy, I’m only ever half awake. The child never sleeps. Everything okay with you and Sophia?”

“No. That’s why I’m calling you,” he blurted out. He really should have thought this through more, written some notes or something because this was already feeling like a mess and the news wasn't out yet.

“Oh god. What’s wrong?”

Kate no longer sounded half asleep. She was fullycompos mentisand his mouth dried up as he had no idea how to tell her.

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