Eden 26:1

Eden sat smoking and watching the rain falling in the back garden of the house on the Rue Jacob. The pencil drawing of Sophia she had done so long ago fluttered to the floor from her lap and she glanced down and retrieved it, pinning it back to the wall by her bed.

“Damn it, Sophie,” Eden muttered to herself. And she walked to the little desk in the corner of the room, drew out paper and pen and wrote.

September 1904

Dearest Sophia,

I have tried not to write, as you asked, but my heart is too full of things I feel I must tell you or die.

I do not eat. I do not sleep. I cannot paint at all. I wear your ring and mine together, imagining that you will walk through the door and tell me that this nightmare is over and you will have it back.

Darling, I will stop painting. I will leave France. I will do anything you ask if only you will come back to me. Tell me what to do. You say my genius has a greater claim on me than you do. But Sophia, don’t you know? You are my genius.

I know too well how little I deserve you, brilliant girl. You are far too good and wise for me. But I will change for you if you tell me how. I will learn any lesson you set me.

Please darling, send me one word—just the smallest, single word. Scrawl but, “yes,” on a scrap of paper and I will be on a steamer to Boston the very hour I read it.

I beg you dearest Sophie, my only girl. Please don’t let me die of this despair.

Yours and only yours forever,


She left the letter on the hall table for to post.



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