“No! That’s not it, Soph!” The woman’s voice sounded a tad panicked.
“What is it, then?” Sophia’s voice noticeably increased in volume. The calmness earlier had all but vanished, to be replaced with a trace of fury. “For 20 years, there was no news from the two of you. You didn’t even come back when my grandfather passed away, yet you dare tell me that you two have your own difficulties? How could you be so shameless?”
The woman had no comeback in the face of her condemnation.
Sitting up, Sophia demanded, “Tell me, have you two paid off your debts after making money during all those years you’ve been away?”
At this, the woman hemmed and hawed. “Listen to me, Soph. Things aren’t as simple as you make them out to be. Back when your father and I first came out, life was truly arduous. We couldn’t do anything since we weren’t educated.”
Snorting, Sophia’s voice turned caustic. “You two abandoned an elderly man and a child to live a good life yourselves, yet you make it sound as though we’ve got to understand you two. Do you have no shame?” Finally, she declared, “The two of you truly sicken me. I’d rather you’d died out there when you first left the village. I would’ve preferred that since it’d then have severed all my thoughts about you two.”