Sophia gave a slight nod, “Yeah, feeling a lot better.”
Her gaze drifted towards the little girl’s clothes on the bed, then slowly to Brandon.
Brandon glanced at the clothes, then back at her, his eyes calm and profound.
“Just saw it while shopping and couldn’t help myself,” Sophia said in a soft voice. “I had a ticket to fly back to Wye City tomorrow and thought I’d pick up some gifts for a friend on the way.”
“Which friend?” Brandon asked.
“Just a coworker, Sophia replied. “She’s really into traditional clothes, loves wearing it herself and dressing up kids in it. I thought it looked pretty, so I just went for it.”
Brandon just looked at her, saying nothing, his calm and deep gaze making Sophia inexplicably hold her breath. Her hands curled slightly from nervousness under the covers, but her face remained calm and gentle, as always.
Brandon glanced at the little girl’s clothes on the bed. “It’s pretty nice.”
Sophia nodded, “Mhm.”
She looked back at the clothes with a hint of regret, “Shame it got dirty.”
“Just buy another one,” Brandon suggested.
“Mhm,” Sophia responded quietly, her eyes involuntarily darting to the bag on the nightstand.
The bag was still where she had placed it when she first moved in, untouched.
Brandon never had the habit of rummaging through her bag or phone.
Neither did she.
On this, they were on the same page.
Noticing the direction of Sophia’s gaze, Brandon also glanced at the bag.
The side of the bag facing them had a small zippered pocket.
The pocket contained things like bank cards, ID photos, and her phone-stuff she needed to grab often.
Brandon had taken her driver license from that very pocket earlier in the afternoon when he was getting her admitted to the hospital after she reminded him, and it was put back there too.
Seeing Brandon’s eyes on her bag, Sophia hesitated and bit her lip, “I want to grab my phone.”
Saying this, she started to reach for it.
The phone was in the zippered pocket on the back.
When Brandon had rushed her to the hospital at noon after their stroll in the alley, a passerby had handed the phone back, and he’d casually slipped it into that back pocket.
Although Sophia was groggy and uncomfortable at the time, she had a vague memory of it.
Before her hand could reach the bag, Brandon had already picked it up for her.
“Let me do it.”
He said, opening the outer pocket as he spoke, and the phone came into view, along with two bank cards and a slightly yellowed, folded piece of paper.
Sophia’s expression changed slightly at the sight of that paper.
It was the hospital discharge summary she had stuffed into the pocket the night before.
She had thought about tearing it up and throwing it away, but then hesitated and ended up stuffing it into the pocket of her bag.
Brandon turned his head just in time to see the startled look on Sophia’s face, his gaze lingered on her for a moment, and then slowly settled on the yellowed piece of paper.
The paper was creased, showing clear signs of being handled.
Brandon’s hand reached for the yellowed paper.
Sophia instinctively protested, then fell silent under Brandon’s gaze, her own eyes growing complex.
Brandon had already pulled out the piece of paper, and even without unfolding it, the hospital logo and the words “Discharge Summary” could be seen. He didn’t immediately open it, but instead looked at Sophia, calmly asking, “Can I read it?”
Sophia bit her lower lip slightly, her eyes showing a hint of struggle and guilt.
She didn’t speak, just gave an almost imperceptible nod.
Brandon opened the discharge summary, and his eyes quickly caught the words “termination of pregnancy.” His gaze froze for a
Sophia hesitated to look at him, her upper teeth unconsciously biting her lower lip, she turned her head slightly away, not daring to look at Brandon again.
Brandon’s eyes moved to the name and date on the paper.
The name was Sophia’s, and the date was the same as the day two years ago when Susan had informed him that Sophia didn’t want the baby.
The paper had yellowed a bit, and the printed ink had started to fade.
Brandon pursed his lips slightly, his gaze shifting from the paper to the little girl’s clothes on the bed. There was a moment of stillness before he gently looked away.
He silently folded the discharge summary, took a while to compose himself, and then looked at Sophia, “Last night, when you wanted to add me on WhatsApp, was it to send this to me?”
He asked, his voice very calm.