Eden’s short hair was as soft as feathers under Sophia’s gentle fingers. Her shoulders were narrow but strong and Sophia felt the muscles moving beneath her hands, even through Eden’s thick wool waistcoat. Touching Eden and being touched by her felt uncannily familiar, as if by some miracle, she had always known Eden and had always been known by Eden, though they had spoken so little together before two weeks ago.
Until the evening of the Chopin concert, she had thought it was a girlish crush. She’d been embarrassed by her own feelings. She guessed Eden Smith would probably never look twice in her direction, given the clamor of much more popular, better dressed, socially clever girls that constantly surrounded her. She had watched Eden as if from afar, though they might be sitting mere yards from one another in a lecture hall, and lived just steps from each other in identical boarding houses. Once, two years ago, Sophia had glanced out the front window of her own room and seen Eden walking arm-in-arm with Gertrude Prescott. Ever after, Sophia found herself watching for Eden to come around the corner and walk past her house on the way to a lecture or the library. But the few times she had actually spoken to Eden, she had done so shyly, certain that if she ever guessed Sophia’s feelings, she would laugh.
But Eden had not laughed. Eden had kissed her. Sophia supposed the miracle was love.