“Vaguely,” Brodie replied, studying her face to try to decode her deadpan expression.
“Well, they reached out to me. A lot of times, actually. They’re hosting a beach wedding in Italy and they want me to plan it.”
“Did you reply?”
“I did, and I told them I’d do it. I know you might think it’s too soon, but I want to start working again, Brodie. I miss it. I’ve been putting some ideas together for the last few weeks and it’s like all of this time out has reset my creative energy because the ideas are just bursting out of me.”
“This is amazing. I’m so glad you’re feeling up to getting back to work again.”
“The thing is, the wedding is in Italy and it’s a complicated one. Tying together Jewish and Italian culture with a beach destination is going to be a real challenge.”
“I’m sure it’s nothing you can’t handle.”
“I know I can do it, but I’ll need to spend a considerable amount of time with the Abrams in the early stages of planning.”
“We can set you up with a home office in the guest bedroom, no problem,” Brodie shrugged.
Sophia shook her head. “I’m flying out there to Italy. The Abrams have sent me airline tickets and booked me a room at the hotel with them while we spend some time finding the perfect venue.”
“Are you serious?” Brodie looked at her as though the idea was so absurd, he couldn’t quite decide if this was some kind of windup and the punchline was on its way.
“Are you even well enough to fly?”
“Doctor Gunner says it shouldn’t be a problem as long as I keep up with my medication and get decent travel insurance. He is even willing to do my appointments over the phone, to keep in touch.”
“You already spoke to Doctor Gunner? Wow, Sophia, I don’t know what to say.” He ran his fingers through his hair and came to rest with his fingers locked on the back of his neck.
“I know this seems like madness to you, Brodie, but it’s my decision. It’s what I feel I need to do to get better. Not in my body. I know that’s healing well, but I’m sick on the inside. I’m not myself and even though I keep pretending to be, I’m not.”
“You just need time. You need to be here with me, where you belong,” he fought back.
“So, come with me? We can travel together and make some new memories. God knows we both deserve a break.”
“You know I can’t. Especially not now. Emmet needs me to hold the business together. He needs to focus on getting better, you know that.”
“You’re such a good man, Brodie. I wish I didn’t feel this way but I do. Things haven’t been the same since I had the transplant.”
“Is this really what you want?” Brodie asked.
“How can you expect me to let you go? I’ve only just got you back home with me. Where you belong.”
Sophia stood her ground. The worst part was over and now she had told Brodie she was leaving and had the tickets on her laptop. There was no looking back. She had laid everything out on the table and it felt like a weight of her shoulders.
“I’m trying to understand where you’re coming from with this, but you’ve genuinely lost me. I thought we were on the same page, here.” Brodie’s eyes were dark and his frown lines deep.
“We are. I’m not saying I don’t want all of this amazing life with you,” Sophia replied.
“You just want more? Is that it?”
“No. Yes. I don’t know,” she groaned in despair. “I’m not myself lately and I need to figure things out.”
“You’re not yourself because you’ve just had major surgery. You know the transplant can play havoc with your mental health. Doctor Gunner warned us about this. How can you be so sure that leaving is what you want?”
“I’m sure, Brodie. I have to follow my gut on this and I need you to trust me.”