Page 57 of Hopeful Hearts

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“Is it awkward with Callie? Sophia told me about the two of you.”

Emmet fell silent for a minute before answering. “How would you feel if you were living with your ex?”

“I don’t know, I don’t have any exes.”

Emmet shook his head. “It’s so weird that you’ve only ever been with my sister.”

“I just got lucky, I guess,” Brodie shrugged.

“You can say that again. I would give anything to be where you are. There’re not many people that find the real deal the first time around.”

“When you know, you know.”

“I thought I knew with Callie. Turns out, I was way off the mark.”

“I don’t know. It seems like she might still hold a candle for you. There’s definitely a weird vibe in the room whenever I’ve seen you two together.”

“It’s been so long since we were in proximity. Am I being awkward?”

“Not awkward. I just sense a tension between you guys.”

“What am I supposed to do? The chick rips my heart out, tramples all over it, then shows up five years later as though nothing ever happened between us. At first, I thought she was faking it, you know? I get it must be awkward for her too, so I went along with the charade.”

“And now?”

“Now, I think she genuinely didn’t care and I am a total douchebag for ever thinking otherwise.”

“Nothing wrong with wearing your heart on your sleeve, Emmet. It’s one of your sister’s best qualities.”

“What makes it worse is that I think she knows how I feel about her. When she looks at me, it’s like she looks straight through to my soul and reads me like a goddamn book. Yet, I have absolutely no idea what she’s thinking.”

“Have you tried talking to her?”

“And saying what? By the way, I never stopped thinking about you and now you’re walking around my house in shorts every day and it’s driving me crazy.”

Brodie chuckled at Emmets’ exasperated tone. “Yeah, if that’s how you feel.”

“You know what? You’re right. When we get back to the bay, I’m gonna man up and talk to her.”

“Good for you.”

“No idea what I’m going to say, but I can’t carry on acting like there’s nothing between us.”

Brodie nodded, his eyes pinned to the side of the road, the travel on top of the alcohol inside him making him nauseous again.

“What about you?” Emmet asked after a while.


“When we get back to the bay, what are you going to do?”

“I don’t know. Talk to your sister, I guess. Tell her I’m sorry.”

Brodie didn’t mention their argument or that she’d told him she was planning to give up her treatment. He didn’t need to know all the gory details of what had driven him to the point of desperation. Brodie figured he worried about his sister enough as it was, so the less said about her dumb plans to give up, the better.

“We might never find my brother, you know. I don’t think it’s a good idea to keep going with the search, at least until we have something more concrete to go on.”

“I can’t just give up, Emmet. I’m sick of feeling like I’m doing nothing to help.”

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