Page 55 of Hopeful Hearts

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“That’s why I’m out here. The last thing your grandparents heard from him; he was on an oil rig. Puffin Sands was the most obvious choice, but he’s been and gone. He could be anywhere by now.”

“Then we need to search every oil rig until we find him. We have to.”

Brodie shook his head. “That’s what I thought but I don’t think I can keep looking. The odds of finding him are so small. We need a better plan. Maybe, we could revisit your grandparents and talk to your dad in case there’s anything else we don’t know yet.”

“I’ll find him. You need to get back to the bay and take care of my sister. You’ll have sobered up after a few hours of sleep and then we’ll hit the road.”

The café owner led them to his place just a few feet away and Brodie had never been more grateful to lie down when he offered him his sofa and a blanket.

“Thanks again for looking after me. I can’t believe those little fuckers took everything I had.”

“Are you going to report it to the Police?” Emmet asked.

“No. They’ll be long gone by now and there’s nothing that can’t be replaced. My watch was my dad’s, which sucks, but it’s only money at the end of the day.”

“If they are out in the middle of the night mugging people, they’re obviously pretty desperate themselves,” Emmet mused.

“You’re both too kind for your own good,” the café owner butted in. “But, you’re right. If they’re on the streets, then there’s no lesson Puffin Sands won’t teach them. Heaven in the day and hell at night, this place is. Safe travels.”

“We’ll be out of your way in the morning but you have my card. Please keep hold of it. And, I meant what I said; if you ever need anything plumbing related, you only have to call.”


Sophia woke to an empty room. She’d been in and out of sleep since she fainted and although still in some pain, it was ten times less now that she was hooked up to an IV.

Unsure of how much time had passed or where Austin had gone, a sense of panic set in. Fumbling for her phone, she checked the time and saw it was morning. She must have been in and out of sleep all night, without realising.

Before she had a chance to gather her thoughts, her mum came flying in with Doctor Gunner at her side.

“Oh honey,” she squealed in a tone that Sophia couldn’t decode.

“What is it? What’s going on?”

“Nothing short of a miracle, Sophia. That’s what’s going on.” Doctor Gunner grinned and her mum continued to squirm with sugar rush levels of energy.

“The sheet of paper I have pinned on this clipboard is a signed consent form from your brother. So, I have one question for you. Do you consent to a transplant?”

Her mum let out a huge sob that echoed out of the almost empty room and down the halls and corridors of Truro Hospital.

Sophia felt as though she’d been hit by another burst of dam water, except this one didn’t cause her to drown. This one swept her along in a wave of hope that she dared not to have dreamt of before.

In this fresh water, she swam and fought her way to the top and if this transplant worked, maybe she could stop swimming altogether. One day, she might be able to just float on the surface and stop fighting so hard that she’d have a chance to take in the view.

“Sophia?” Doctor Gunner interrupted her daydream.

“Yes,” she yelled, nodding her head wildly and trembling from head to toe.

“It’s happening, Sophia. Didn’t I tell you to never give up? I can’t believe it. We have to call your dad and Emmet. And Brodie. We should call the whole freaking bay and tell the good news.”

Sophia said nothing. It was too much to process. Austin had been so clear that he wasn’t going to help her. What had changed his mind?

“You’re going to live, baby girl. It’s all going to be okay.” Her mum's hands squeezed her cheeks and Sophia laughed.

“Mrs. Randalls, we mustn’t forget that there’s a chance your son won’t be a match and we have to be prepared for that.”

“He will be. He has to be.”

Doctor Gunner frowned and dropped the clipboard from his chest to his side. “As your doctor, I would say we need to be cautious and keep in mind that this might not go the way you want it to. As a human being, I would say let’s hope with everything you have that the transplant is a success. If you’re religious, now would be the time to pray, Mrs. Randalls.”

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