Page 11 of Hopeful Hearts

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Deciding there’s no good way to deliver shite news, he let it spill out and instantly sensed the sadness in her response.

“But she’s going to be okay, isn’t she? I mean, she’s so young, surely, she’ll pull through.”

“I wish I could promise you that, but there’s been some complications along the way.”

“What kind of complications? Brodie, I’m so sorry this is happening. I just can’t wrap my head around it.”

“Neither can I and I’ve known about it a lot longer than you have. All we can do is wait and hope.”

“Surely there’s some kind of treatment?”

“She’s on dialysis most mornings, but we desperately need a transplant for her. The doctor has warned us that dialysis won’t last forever.”

Silence ensued and, once again, Brodie felt the full weight of the wrecking ball that was Sophia’s illness hit him straight in the gut. He’d been excited to make the calls–to plan the amazing day he so wanted to give her, but he hadn’t considered how difficult they were going to be.

“I’m so sorry, Brodie.” It was the exact reaction that kept Sophia from sharing her reality except when absolutely necessary. Kate’s tone made it sound as though all was lost. Already full of loss and sadness. It filled him with resentment and made his blood boil to hear it, but it wasn’t Kate’s fault. The blame game was a fruitless one, and he refused to play it for a single second.

“Is there anything I can do?”

“Yes. That’s why I’m calling. We’re getting married a week from today. I know it would mean the world to Sophia to have you and the girls here for the wedding. She would never agree to it or to me even telling you all of this, but maybe seeing you all again will give her something to want to fight for, you know?”

“I wish I could, but I have Daisy now, Brodie. I can’t just up and leave, you know?”

“I know this isn’t going to be easy. I know everyone has their own lives and their own things going on. But time is running out for Sophia and she’s slipping away from me, Kate. Little by little, I can feel it and I really think seeing you all again would pick up her spirits. Bring Daisy with you; we would all pitch in looking after her. I’m sure she’d love a trip to Lani Bay.”

Brodie tried to sound determined rather than desperate, but knew he hadn’t quite pulled it off.

“Okay. Leave it with me. If I can be there, I will be.”

“Thanks Kate, and please keep this to yourself. Sophia wouldn’t want anyone to go out of their way for her. It’s not her way.”

“I know. My lips are sealed. Take care, Brodie.”

“You too, Kate.”


“How are you feeling?”

Doctor Gunner never failed to check in on Sophia when he was on shift. She knew the way things worked at Truro Hospital by now, and it should have been one of his team doing all the little things he did, but it was always him. However tired or late he was, if he was working, he’d check how things were going for her.

At first, Sophia thought it was just because he felt bad for not being able to save her, but after so long, she concluded it could only be because he genuinely cared.

“I’m alright,” she forced a smile, and he flashed one back.

There was a shared understanding between them. They were both a little out of place in Truro hospital, where Lani Bay seemed like a distant dream, and it reminded them there was a whole other world outside of their shared home town.

“At least you have something to look forward to.”

“Going home?”

“I hope not before you head to my mum’s. I’m guessing you’re the blushing bride she’s been banging on about for the last twenty-four hours.”

“Your mum knows I’m getting married? I’m going to kill my mum. She tells everyone everything!”

“Oh, believe me, you’re doing my mum a favour. She hasn’t made a wedding dress in years, apparently. You better prepare yourself because she is super excited about this.”

Sophia’s shoulders sagged.

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