Page 45 of Hopeful Hearts

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This time, he found himself in the staff kitchen.

At first, it looked as though no one was there, but a chef flew around the corner a few moments later, forcing Brodie to introduce himself.

The chef eyed him with suspicion. “You’re not supposed to be back here.”

“I know, I can explain. I’m looking for someone.”

“Does it look like I give a crap what you’re doing? You’re not supposed to be here and I’ve got around seventy hungry riggers all about to roll in here for their evening meal. So, unless you’re here to help out, which I’m guessing you’re not due to the lack of an apron, then get the fuck out.” He walked away muttering something about apprentices being shitty and Brodie saw his chance.

“No, I am. My apron has gone missing, sorry. I was hoping I could bum a spare?”

The stocky little guy eyed him up and down before nodding to the door. “Come prepared next time. Apron’s on the hook and there are hats above it.”

Seventy riggers meant seventy chances to find Austin, and he wasn’t about to pass that up for anything.

“Great,” Brodie replied, but the chef had already gone back to chopping up onions at full speed.

“Start with the carrots and we’ll take it from there.”


“It’s, 'yes, Chef'. Even the last kid could manage that much. Let’s see how you get on with the food prep, but I’m not promising to keep you on.”

“Yes, Chef,” Brodie nodded and set to work chopping up the pile of peeled carrots.


“Can you believe how young we all look in this one?” Lennon pointed to a photo of all six girls at the top of a mountain.

Sophia wondered how the scrapbook had found its way into their hands.

“Literally babies,” Kate mused.

“I think we should all take a moment to pay homage to Paige’s braids,” Callie chuckled, and so did everybody else.

“They were on trend. I think they look cool,” she pouted.

“As in Coolio the rapper?” Jayda quipped.

“I don’t think that was the type of gangsta’s paradise he was rapping about.” Lennon added in a tone so serious it had them all in fits of laughter, again.

“Benny Boy liked them.” Paige popped a shoulder.

“Oh my god, Benny Boy.” I forgot about him. Sophia smiled. None of them could forget lovesick Benny Boy. He had followed Paige and around the entire summer and she had spent most of it trying to avoid him.

“Okay, can we flip the page and put the spotlight on someone else for a minute? I don’t think it was just me with an embarrassing story to tell from camp. Although, I do admit that the braids were a slight fashion faux pas.”

“It’s the rainbow beads at the ends for me,” Callie giggled.

Paige rolled her eyes.

Sophia flipped the page to a picture of them in their pyjamas, just like they were tonight. Save for the wine glasses they held in their hands. Now they held bowls of popcorn and mugs of hot chocolate instead.

“How did you get hold of the book?” Sophia asked her friends.

“Your mum showed it to Kate, who showed it to Callie. She showed it to me, and of course, I had to share it with everyone. You don’t mind, do you?” Jayda asked.

“Not at all,” Sophia shrugged. “At first, when she gave it to me, I didn’t want to look back. Now, with you all here, it feels better. I’ve been lucky to have you all as my friends for so long. I was worried that you might not know what you mean to me, but the photos speak for themselves. Look how happy we all were.”

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