Page 77 of Hopeful Hearts

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Her mum and dad appeared a few moments later and caught her up to speed with Emmet’s progress so far. She cried. So did Mel. Robbie wrapped an arm around both of their shoulders and stayed strong, for their sakes.

Callie kept to her word and returned around ten minutes later. Mel and Robbie rushed their goodbyes to get back to their son, and Callie didn’t speak until they reached the car park.

“Can you forgive me for being such a screwup?”

“We’re best friends. I don’t like what you did, but I know you would never have done it if you were in the right state of mind. You care about Emmet too much. Anyone can see that.”

“I do. He’s been a good friend to me over the years, you both have. I’m not sure I deserve you guys.”

“Well, your kind of stuck with us now. You should have got out when you could.”

Callie chuckled and threaded her arm through Sophia’s as they walked back to her car. Callie rounded the passenger side and helped her friend in before climbing into the driver’s seat next to her.


Aquick phone call to the girls and a slow drive back to the bay saw Callie and Sophia meeting up with everyone in Coast. Jen was as thoughtful as ever, setting them up with a table outside; away from others. Doctor Gunner’s words rang around her head as they joined their friends, who were already waiting for them in the sunshine.

Sophia had promised that no one would find out what happened between Callie and Austin unless she decided to tell anyone herself. Sophia wasn’t the type to gossip and no good could come out of sharing this, especially as she didn’t actually kiss him.

It was best left forgotten and part of her thought Austin might be, too. Yes, he’d helped her. There was no doubt about it; he’d saved her life and she would be forever in his debt. But he was also a huge threat to the people she loved most, and it could be the best thing all around if he returned to his old life. She felt wicked for thinking it and wished she had someone to talk it through with, but no one could fully understand her situation. She was the one he’d given one of his organs to, so she surmised there must be some good in his heart. He was just keeping it well hidden.


Lennon’s voice snapped her out of her daydream and back to the menu that had been placed in front of her.

“Sorry. I’ll have a bottle of water and a chicken salad, please.”

“Ice?” Jen offered.

“Of course,” Sophia smiled and Jen jotted her order down before collecting their menu’s back off them.

“Coming right up,” she winked.

“How cute is this?” Lennon glanced around the table.

“Freaking adorable,” Paige agreed.

“Impromptu meet ups are the best kind,” Jayda said as she grabbed a handful of hair and twisted it into a loose ponytail.

“Kate’s having a day with Daisy. She said to tell you she’ll pop by later, and she asked me to give you this.” Lennon pulled a folded piece of paper from her suede rucksack.

Sophia smiled as she opened it and flipped it over to show the rest of the group.

“Aww,” they all cooed at Daisy’s attempt to paint a flower.

“She is the cutest kid. Kate’s doing such a great job with her. I can’t even imagine the pressure of being a mum,” Sophia said.

“Especially a single mum. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone,” Paige frowned.

“I don’t know. It means she gets Daisy all to herself. It can’t be all bad.”

“It is when the ex’s new girlfriend wants her all to herself by the sounds of things.” Lennon mused.

“What a bitch,” Paige said a little too loudly.

She rolled her eyes when everyone gave her a look of disdain. “Oh stop, you were all thinking it.”

No one corrected her.

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