The carriage rattled over the brick streets of Beacon Hill and towards Cambridge. Eden took out the card Eleanor had given her as she passed under a streetlamp.
Herbert and Sons
Main Street Cambridge
She drew her father’s watch from her pocket and opened it. The carriage was dark again, but she passed her thumb over the rough inscription. She knew it said, “Yours for all time, Lillian.” Her mother had given it to her father before they were married.
Eden sometimes thought that Lillian had given Joe Smith everything. Almost no one knew it, but Eden’s mother had left a life at least as privileged as Eleanor’s to be with a man who had nothing. Joe Smith had been working in Lillian’s father’s stable when they fell in love. Lillian had run away from a rich husband to be with Joe. She had never seen her family again—nor had she ever seemed to regret her choice.
Eden smiled in the dark. Her parents were the heroes of their very own romance. Someday, she and Gertrude would be, too.
Eden looked up as the carriage stopped. She closed the watch and got out of the door John held for her. She stepped to the porch of her boarding house but did not go in until she had watched the carriage roll out of sight.
Eleanor, John, now Wil—Eden counted the all the people in the world she knew to be “like her”—she herself made four. Altogether then, there were five.
But of course, her father had been the first.