Sophia had not been to the hospital for a long time. The smell of disinfectants made her feel uneasy.
Apart from the sound of their footsteps, the corridor outside the intensive care unit was quiet.
Kylie walked in front while carrying the mushroom shop freshly made by the housekeeper, whereas Sophia supported Perrin.
Perrin took part in several wars when he was young. He was shot in his left calf and right thigh. Whenever it rained, he had to suffer the consequences of those injuries.
Now that Perrin was getting older, his health also deteriorated. Regardless of how strong he was in the past, he had to acknowledge his old age.
On any normal day, Perrin would rather walk slowly by himself than be supported by someone else. However, it was Sophia who helped him that day. His heart softened when he looked at Sophia’s face, which resembled Rachel’s. I’ll let Sophia help if she wants to, as long as it makes her happy.
Since Perrin could not walk fast, Sophia deliberately slowed down her pace. When the two of them entered the ward, Kylie had already adjusted Penelope’s bed.
After being tormented by cancer for more than five years, Penelope was all skin and bones. However, looking at her bone structure, Sophia could tell that Penelope was a stunning beauty when she was young.
It was no wonder that Lukas told Sophia that she looked similar to Penelope, especially with that pair of sparkling eyes.
Nonetheless, old age had taken a toll on Penelope. Her face was wrinkled. Furthermore, she had drooping eyelids. There was only a rough outline of her once-prominent facial structure.
Sophia stood there gazing at Penelope’s profile as sadness surged within her.
This woman is my biological granny.
Propping up himself with the cane, Perrin walked over to the bedside. He looked down at his wife and said, “Penelope, you’ve been waiting for so many years. It’s time to meet your granddaughter. Ray had a tough life. She passed away in a car accident along with her husband nine years ago. However, she left behind a daughter. She looks very much like you back then.”
Then, Perrin looked at Sophia. “Sophia, come here and let your granny take a closer look at you. She’s been waiting for this moment for so long.”
Urged by Perrin, Sophia walked over to the bedside. Penelope’s eyes were dull and lifeless. Lukas had informed Sophia earlier that Penelope was close to her dying breath. She could barely take a few spoonfuls of soup. Other than that, she could not talk or move anymore. Nevertheless, her eyesight was still functioning.
The moment Sophia approached the bed, Penelope slightly moved her fingers on the hospital bed. Seeing that movement, Kylie urged, “Don’t be scared, Sophia. Your granny wants to touch you.”
Sophia also saw the movement of Penelope’s fingers. With her head hung low, Sophia carefully put her hand on top of her grandmother’s hand.
Penelope’s hand was as thin as a stick. Sophia felt as though she was holding a dried branch that could break at any moment.
Suddenly, Sophia felt a gentle squeeze in her hand. Her heart tightened instantly. ”Hi, Granny. This is our first meeting. I’m Sophia Yarrow.”
Looking down at Penelope, Sophia could not help breaking into a faint smile.
As soon as Sophia introduced herself, she felt a gentle touch on the back of her hand.
Sophia knew that Penelope could feel her presence.
After waiting for more than thirty years, the time had finally come for Penelope. In her cloudy vision, she vaguely saw a young woman in her twenties. The latter looked very much like her daughter, Rachel.
Furthermore, Perrin also whispered into Penelope’s ear that the young woman was Rachel’s daughter, which explained their resemblance.
Indeed. This girl looks just like my Ray. People would always praise her beauty and our resemblance when she was young.
Penelope had patiently waited for more than three decades. Moreover, she had been suffering from cancer for the past five years or so. Penelope hung on to her dear life in hopes of reuniting with her daughter one day.
Alas, Rachel was no longer in this world. Instead, she left a granddaughter for Penelope.
She had always wanted a sweet and caring granddaughter. Her daughter-in-law, Kylie, had poor health. Therefore, she was unable to conceive again after giving birth to Lukas.
It was a dream come true for Penelope to have a granddaughter like Sophia.
Besides, Penelope could vaguely see that Sophia was a beautiful young woman with a tender voice. Her heart softened when she heard Sophia’s greeting earlier.
At that moment, Penelope had an overwhelming urge to hug Sophia. Unfortunately, she could no longer move her fatigued and fragile body.
Over the years, Penelope was afraid that she might not live to see another day whenever she fell asleep at night.
Nonetheless, she did not have to worry about that anymore. She had fulfilled her dying wish.
Looking at Penelope’s parting lips, Sophia felt her heart throb with unbearable pain.
Moving her hand slightly, Sophia gently held onto Penelope’s hand. She leaned down and whispered into her ear, “Granny, my mom had lived a good life. My dad loved her very much and spoiled her. They named me Sophia because they wanted to see me grow up as a wise woman.”
Tears began to roll down from the corners of Penelope’s eyes the moment Sophia finished talking.
Perrin turned his back and wiped the corners of his eyes. “Sophia, you should stay with your granny,” he suggested.
Hearing Perrin’s words, Kylie immediately supported him before leaving the ward together.
Kylie had been married into the Dawson family for forty years. Her mother-in-law was a generous and open-minded woman. The two of them had a great relationship throughout the years. Before Penelope had fallen ill, they often went on shopping trips together despite their massive age difference.
Over the last five years, Kylie helplessly watched Penelope’s battle with cancer. Seeing how excited Penelope had become in Sophia’s presence, Kylie could not help but feel emotional.
The Dawson family had been searching for Rachel to no avail all those years.
Penelope could have passed away more than two months ago. However, she endured such an excruciating wait just for that day.
After meeting Sophia, they felt that Penelope’s time had finally come. The family had been with her for so many years. Hence, they decided that Penelope should spend the rest of her time with Sophia.
“All right,” Sophia answered gently.
Glancing at the retreating figures of Perrin and Kylie, she settled down on a chair at the bedside.
Penelope could not speak anymore. Her dull eyes moved occasionally.
Thankfully, Sophia knew what Penelope wanted to hear at that moment. She began recounting the funny tales with Rachel during her childhood to Penelope.
Rain began to fall despite the sunny day earlier. Sophia’s gentle voice echoed inside the ward.
After Sophia came to the hospital, Penelope seemed to be in good spirits. Even though she was still unable to speak, she could occasionally flash a smile.
The doctor explained the situation as terminal lucidity.
It often rained during spring in Doveston. After feeding Penelope a few spoonfuls of soup, Sophia carried her onto the wheelchair by herself. Then, she pushed the wheelchair to the corridor on the side of the hospital. The two of them watched the rain together.
“My mom told me that she used to dislike rainy days the most because it made her feel sleepy in class. Furthermore, she had to herd the cows after returning from school. It was uncomfortable for her to do it in wet conditions,” said Sophia.
It was Sophia who did all the talking over the past two days. Nevertheless, she knew Penelope could hear everything she said.
The corridor was quiet. There was a garden under the stairs. In the drizzling rain, the air felt refreshing.
The old lady in the wheelchair moved her hand. The blanket slipped down from her body.
She tried to speak, but no words came out of her mouth.
Crouching down, Sophia tried her best to catch what Penelope was trying to say. Still, she could not hear anything.
Penelope slightly scratched the blanket with her fingers. Looking down, Sophia realized that Penelope was slowly tapping her fingers on the blanket.
“Are you feeling cold, Granny?”
Penelope moved her eyes, indicating that she was not cold.
Her hand was still tapping the blanket. Sophia looked at Penelope for a moment. The latter’s eyes were brimming with tears.
The rain continued to drizzle down outside. Raindrops occasionally fell on them after a gust of strong wind.
All of a sudden, Sophia realized something. She lowered her head on the blanket while gently placing Penelope’s hand on her face.
She tilted her head and leaned down. Penelope suddenly made a sound, yet she still could not utter anything.
Sophia slowly closed her eyes as tears began to stream down her cheeks. ”Farewell, Granny.”
The wind was still blowing as the rain became heavier.