Page 86 of Hopeful Hearts

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“Nothing’s definite yet,” she shook her head. Closing down the discussion before Daisy got wind of it. So much was still undecided, and she had no idea how she was going to make it work, but as she took in the view in front of her, she knew she couldn’t go back. In just the few short weeks they’d been here, her daughter had come on leaps and bounds with all the attention that had been showered on her. She hadn’t realised how much she had been doing alone until she’d come here and been surrounded by friends. Mel and Robbie had been amazing and treated her and Daisy like nothing but part of the family since she arrived, and it was a world away from what she was used to. For Daisy’s sake and her own, she knew she needed to make a fresh start.


The conversation about plans continued over the next few hours. Daisy eventually succumbed to the heat and had a nap on the sun lounger. Kate covered her with a beach towel to keep her shaded and left her next to Sophia while she wandered off to source one for herself so she could grab a quick sunbathing session before her daughter awoke.

“I mean, you’ve literally got nothing to lose. You’ve been unhappy in your job for a while.” Sophia said to Jayda who was still not one hundred percent sure she was doing the right thing in applying.

“Youth justice, though.” Paige frowned. “Doesn't that mean you’ll be working with all the little arseholes that don’t know how to behave?”

“That’s one way of looking at it,” Jayda grinned. “But it would be a change from child protection, and I think I need that. The pressure is unreal.”

“It’s a no-brainer to me,” Callie chimed in. “Less stress and on your days off, look where you could be.” She waved a hand in the air and no one argued with her.

The bay was basking in the midday summer sunshine. The sand was almost white and the sea crystal blue. It could be mistaken for a tropical holiday destination save for the mountains surrounding the cove. Stress didn’t exist in a place like this, and Sophia wasn’t surprised that her friends didn’t want to say goodbye to the idyllic place she called home.

It amped up the twinge of guilt she felt about the random and intrusive thoughts and ideas she’d been having, impossible to ignore.

“What about you, Callie? Where’s next for you?”

“Well, I’m currently supposed to be in the Maldives, but I’m going to skip that and go straight to Croatia then onto France. I’m really looking forward to it.”

“I can’t believe you make money from travelling the world,” Kate said.

“Clearly I need to start a blog,” Paige added.

“Maybe you could start a blog for the bed-and-breakfast,” Callie suggested. “Home renovation bloggers are really taking off at the moment.”

“I have to figure out how I’m going to renovate the damn thing first, but you could be onto something there. No one could know it was me, of course. Imagine if my parents saw their pretty investment pop on Instagram looking like a hostel for the homeless.”

Everyone laughed at the idea. They knew Paige’s parents well enough to know how much it would freak them out to think of their daughter purchasing such a hellish property and, worse still, considering staying in it.”

“How much does a trip like that cost? “Lennon asked.

“Why? Are you thinking of tagging along?” Callie teased.

“Could I?”

Five sets of eyes flew to Lennon, who had been quiet the whole day. It wasn’t unusual. She was always deep in thought and conjuring up songs in her head, so no one had thought to ask if she was okay.

“You’re kidding, right?” Callie stared at her friend in disbelief.

Lennon gazed back at her with determination in her dark brown eyes.

“Wow. You’re not kidding. Oh my god, Lennon, I can’t take this. Imagine if you came with me, that would be amazing.”

“I don’t know if I can afford it, but I have three weeks and where there’s a will, there’s a way.” She bit her inner cheek and Callie jumped up from her sun-lounger and dived on top of her friend, hugging her to within an inch of her life.

“This is everything. You have to do this,” she announced.

“I think I really do. Since I’ve been back in the bay, I’ve written more songs than I have in so long. Imagine all the inspiration if I travelled to all those places. It’s like Kate said, life’s too short to be unhappy and I am unhappy when I’m not writing.”

“You could stay here in the bay? There’s plenty of room in the bed-and-breakfast,” Paige offered.

“I was thinking about that. My head’s been all over the place lately, but honestly, the idea of travelling really appeals to me. Waking up in unknown places. Seeing different cultures, tasting all kinds of food. I feel like it’s what I need to shake things up with my writing.”

“It sounds like a dream,” Sophia gave a small smile.

“You’ve no idea how lonely it gets travelling alone. I know the photos look glam and I do meet plenty of people on the way, but having one of my best friends come with me would change everything.” Callie couldn’t contain her excitement and Lennon giggled as she rambled on about all the places she was planning to see.

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