Eden 19:1

It was a late October night and Eleanor was saying goodnight to her dinner guests as they scattered away variously to carriages and cabs. But Eden hung back though Eleanor’s landaulette sat waiting to take her home.

“El?” Eden began once the rest of the company was gone.

“What is it?”

“That man—Henry Barrett—I…” Eden drew on her gloves, avoiding Eleanor’s eyes.

“What about him?” Eleanor tried to keep the surprise from her voice. It had been a year since the subject had arisen between them; since Eden had made Eleanor promise to drop it.

“I wonder if I could maybe just see him—just get a look at him, that’s all–Sometime.” She examined the back of her glove.

Eleanor thought for just a moment. “He lives in Philadelphia, but he is in Boston often enough. I will find out what I can, and we’ll work something out,” she told Eden.

“Thanks, El.” Eden walked out to the waiting carriage.

She had not changed her mind about whether or not Henry Barrett meant anything to her, she told herself as the carriage rolled towards home. But the curiosity that she had always felt about him had slowly resurfaced as her anger at Eleanor had subsided.

She still did not want to meet him, but she thought that perhaps—if he was out there somewhere—it would be best to at least see what he looked like. What if she passed him on the street some day without even knowing it was him? The idea of it bothered her. It would be enough, Eden thought, for Eleanor to point him out to her in a crowded place, let her overhear the timbre of his voice. It was a small thing. But Eden wanted no more.

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