Eden 4:4

Eleanor“Tell me about your holiday, then,” Eleanor asked Eden as they sat around the dining table, sipping brandy after dinner.  Eleanor had been back in Boston for less than a week, but had insisted Eden come over right away.  It had been three months since they’d seen each other.

“It wasn’t much, really,” Eden admitted.  “I just read a lot of books and spent a lot of time at the museum.”

“Did Gertrude like her present?” Eleanor asked.  Eden had consulted her about the bracelet before choosing it.

“She did,” Eden frowned, “but she didn’t get it until January.  I made a mess of Christmas.”

Eleanor raised an eyebrow and quietly waited.  But Eden didn’t explain.  Instead, she changed the subject.

“I might take up painting,” she said abruptly.

“Painting?  Watercolor?” Eleanor asked Eden.

“No,” she said carefully, “oil painting.”

“You will need proper instruction,” Eleanor said practically.  “There are plenty of people claiming to teach painting in Boston.  I don’t know which of them is any good.  I’ve never been much interested in art—producing it, I mean.”

Eden knew well enough that Eleanor’s interest was all in the collecting of art. Her house was a minor gallery to Eden’s thinking. She shrugged. “Whatever it is I need to do—I’ll just have to find out and do it, I suppose.”  Eden tried to keep the urgency she felt from her voice, but her older friend was eying her thoughtfully.

“I suppose,” Eleanor said.

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