Page 63 of Hopeful Hearts

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“Everyone makes promises.”

“Not me. There are too many variables.”

“Urgh,” Sophia groaned in frustration. “There’s no denying you're my brother. You’re just as annoying as Emmet.”

Austin chuckled. “I’ll stop by before I go, but I’m not sticking around.”

“Are you scared? For the operation, I mean.”

“No. Doctor Gunner seems like he knows what he’s doing. Are you?”

“I’m not scared of the op, I don’t think. I’m just scared, in general. So much could go wrong, but I’m trying to stay positive. It’s just knowing it’s my last chance is intimidating. When you’re sick, you worry about everyone else. What will happen to them if things don’t go according to plan?”

“I think you need to take a leaf out of my book. Stop living for everyone else and exist for yourself.”

“Easier said than done,” Sophia mumbled.

“Whatever happens tomorrow is outside of your control, so try not to worry about it. Let the doctors do their job and if it’s meant to be, it will be.”

“You talk about life so flippantly. Like it doesn’t really matter either way, but it’s not like that for me. When you’re part of a family, then it all matters.”

“It’s not that it’s not important, it’s just that I think people get so caught up on the destination, they forget to enjoy the ride.”

Sophia smiled. “That sounds like something Mum would say.”

“I better go and let you get some rest.” Austin moved away toward the door, but paused to point a finger at her. “No worrying.”

“I’ll do my best. Thanks for coming to see me, Austin, it really meant a lot to me.”

Austin stifled a grin. “Thank your friend, Callie. She can be very persuasive.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Sophia called after him, but he had already spun on his heels and disappeared into the corridor.


It was three days later when Sophia woke to find herself in the same room she had been in before the operation but nothing was the same. She had a new kidney and even though her stomach hurt like hell and she was in more pain than she had anticipated, her thoughts were solely on her husband.

It was four thirty-two when her mum and dad burst through the doors dressed in plastic overalls, gloves and masks that covered most of their faces. It still brought a smile to Sophia’s lips to see them both.

“You guys look like you just landed on the moon,” she grinned.

“All I want to do is hug you,” her mum spoke first.

“We’re so proud of you, Sophia,” her dad sounded a little choked up.

They stayed for a while, standing across the room talking and she was exhausted by the time they left.

At five nineteen, her friends appeared at the door to give her a wave through the strip of glass, before the nurse ushered them all away and told them she needed to rest.

The clock kept ticking and people kept coming and going over the next couple of hours, but there was only one face she wanted to see. Had she pushed him too hard? Where could he possibly be aside from here with her when he knew the surgery was going ahead? Something in her stomach didn’t feel right, and she suspected it wasn’t the after pain from surgery. It was her sixth sense, and it was screaming at her so loud that she couldn’t ignore it any longer.

“Where’s Brodie? Something’s happened, hasn’t it?” She demanded to know as soon as her parents returned.

“Everything’s fine,” Mel started up.

“Don’t,” Robbie stopped her.

“What is it, Dad? Has something bad happened?”