It was already eleven o’clock at night when the plane finally landed in Doveston. They exited the airport to find that the cars sent by the Dawson family were already awaiting them outside.
The three of them got into the cars and were then driven to the Dawson residence from the airport. The streetlights cast long shadows as they marked their journey back.
Forty minutes later, the car pulled up in front of the Dawson residence.
Sophia glanced at the time indicated on her phone. It was almost midnight.
“Sophia, we’re here.”
Lukas, who had been sitting next to her, glanced at her briefly before getting out of the car.
Sophia followed suit. The lights in the mansion were all lit up as she followed behind the latter and entered the mansion.
Once inside, they came face to face with a woman with a kind face. “Is this Sophia?”
The woman had a similar facial structure as Lukas. Hence, Sophia deduced that she was likely Lukas’ mother, Kylie Woodward.
Sophia smiled in response. “Yes, Aunt Kylie. I am Sophia.”
Kylie was momentarily stunned at suddenly being addressed as “aunt,” but she got over it quickly. She lifted her hand and patted Sophia on the shoulder. “Sweet child, your granddad is waiting for you upstairs. Hurry, don’t keep him waiting.”
Sophia proceeded to head upstairs.
Perrin Dawson was eighty-five years old that year. He had his first child when he was thirty years old. Rachel, his second child, was born when he was nearing his forties.
Rachel was the adorable daughter that had been taken away from him.
Over the years, Perrin rarely spoke about Rachel. However, many a quiet and sleepless night was spent clutching a toy that Rachel had owned when she was younger.
They had been searching for Rachel for almost forty years. In the absence of news, they had no idea if she was dead or alive.
That night, when Lukas said he had found Rachel, Perrin thought that someone had finally decided to take pity on him. However, he did not expect to receive the news of Rachel’s and her husband’s demise. The information about the daughter they left behind was also unexpected.
Sophia greatly resembled Rachel. Instantly, Perrin had been able to ascertain with a glance that she was indeed his granddaughter.
Lukas broke the silence. “Grandpa, this is Sophia Yarrow. She is Aunt Rachel’s daughter.”
Nodding briefly, Perrin glanced at Sophia. “Come closer. Let me take a look at you.”
Sophia walked over. The eighty-year-old man’s hands were etched with traces of his age, and his once resolute face was filled with wrinkles accumulated over the years. However, his bright eyes were not diminished as he stared at her.
“You must have suffered throughout the years.”
Perrin reached out a hand with the intention of caressing Sophia’s face. He halted and decided against it when he thought about his scarred old hand.
Shutting his eyes, Perrin said, “It’s quite late. You should rest. I will take you to your granny tomorrow morning.”
On the way to the Dawson residence, Sophia had pictured many scenarios in her mind. She imagined a tearful reunion or even a reunion filled with a heavy silence. The one scene she did not conjure up in her mind was the simplest and most realistic one.
Lukas had not lied to her. The Dawson family had been waiting for her and her mother’s return.
Kylie had personally decorated a room for Sophia. Ever since the former had found out about her existence, she had instructed the housekeeper to prepare a room for Sophia.
The room was near Lukas’, and both their rooms were just across the hall. The Dawson family was truly looking forward to her return.
“Good girl, don’t overthink it. Get a good night’s sleep. Tomorrow, we will visit your granny.”
Sophia nodded. She turned to Lukas, who stood behind Kylie. “Good night.”
At one o’clock in the morning, it was eerily silent in the Dawson residence. Normally, Sophia would have been sound asleep at this hour. However, she did not feel the slightest bit sleepy as she lay on the bed.
Only about five to six hours had passed since the lunch meeting, but so much had happened within that short period of time.
She was elated and touched that she had found her relatives. At the same time, she dreaded seeing the grandmother she had never met.
Although Lukas had not said anything, Sophia was aware that her grandmother could pass on at any moment.
Sophia had been seventeen when she stood alone at the funeral parlor, waiting for her parent’s cremation to be done. Ever since that day, she had been afraid to face death.
Countless thoughts raced in her mind the entire night. It wasn’t until sometime around four o’clock in the morning did Sophia finally fall asleep.
She had a headache when she was woken up by the alarm at seven o’clock.
Sophia frowned as she sat up and surveyed the unfamiliar room blankly.
Right, I followed Lukas to the Dawson residence last night. Today I will visit his grandmother at the hospital.
Due to insufficient sleep, Sophia was not in a mentally good condition.
Just as she finished washing up, the housekeeper came upstairs and bade her come down for breakfast.
Sophia glanced at the message from Katherine on her phone. Arching her brow, she sent a short reply, telling Katherine that they would talk about it later. She then headed downstairs.
Katherine had inquired about her relationship with Lukas. As it was a complicated matter that could not be summarized in a few sentences. Sophia had no choice but to delay the discussion to a later time.
Sophia and Lukas were the hot topics of discussion on the internet that morning. Photos of her and Lukas at the airport were taken the night before. Countless images had been taken even from the short distance from Mirage to the parking lot.
Sophia put away her phone when she heard footsteps approaching. Lifting her head, she glanced at Perrin. “Good morning, Granddad.”
Perrin appeared to have a sleepless night as well. As such, his heart was in turmoil as he stared at his granddaughter, who so greatly resembled his missing daughter.
“Did you sleep well last night?”
Sophia did not wish to lie. “I haven’t gotten used to the bed.”
Kylie, who had been seated nearby, smiled. “Lukas is the same. He, too, cannot sleep in a bed that’s not his own.”
Kylie smiled. “She’s just like you. She can only sleep in her own bed.”
Lukas narrowed his eyes in response. “I see.”
The atmosphere in the Dawson residence was pleasant. They did not adhere to strict manners when dining. It was likely they did it to ease Sophia’s awkwardness. Occasionally, Kylie would briefly ask about Sophia’s current life.
Sophia and Alexander’s divorce the previous year had caused a major uproar. Kylie did not know the reason for their divorce, but she was afraid of hurting Sophia. Hence, she did not broach the subject and only inquired about casual subject matters.
Lukas was a civil servant. He had deliberately made time just so that he could travel to Jadeborough the day before. Soon, he headed to work after breakfast.
Kylie requested the housekeeper prepare some nourishing food, and the rest of them left for the hospital sometime around nine o’clock in the morning.
Since they couldn’t all fit in one car, Kylie rode in her own vehicle, while Sophia and Perrin got in another one.
Throughout the journey to the hospital, it was quiet inside the car.
Perrin and Sophia were both not talkative people. Without Kylie to break the ice and bridge the conversation, it was extremely difficult for them to converse.
Sophia could feel Perrin scrutinizing her. Just as she was about to speak, the old man spoke up first. “Did your mother ever mention us?”
Sophia shook her head. “No.”
Stunned, Perrin felt a bitter feeling surge in his heart. He blinked a few times, and his eyes grew moist.
“My mother wasn’t named Rachel before. Her name was Zoey. She changed her name after marrying my father.”
Rachel had been gone for almost ten years. No one knew why she initially chose to change her name.
However, this matter gave Perrin a small measure of comfort. He had been extremely guilty when he had been unable to find any trace of her for over thirty years.
“Mr. Dawson, Ms. Yarrow. We’ve arrived at the hospital.”
At the driver’s words, Perrin glanced at Sophia. “We’re here.”
“Please take care when disembarking.”
Sophia helped Perrin before getting out of the car herself.
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