It was just after dawn when Lillian looked up and saw Eden and Sophia in the kitchen door, holding hands. Eden blushed when her mother caught her eye. But she smiled too.
“There’s coffee here,” Lillian said, “I was just about to step out and get the eggs. Would you like some for breakfast? The baking’s been done for the week.”
“Yes, thank you, Mama.” Eden walked to the cupboard and took down two cups. “I’m sorry there’s no tea, Sophie.”
“Coffee is lovely,” Sophia said with a small smile of her own. She pulled back a chair and sat at the table. Eden poured the coffee, for them both and sat.
“Well, the eggs—” Lillian said with artificial levity. She wiped her hands nervously on her apron, grabbed a basket from the corner and went out.
Eden and Sophia sat quietly, Eden drinking her coffee, Sophia blowing on the steam rising from her cup.
“What is it?” Sophia asked. She reached over and covered Eden’s hand with her own and gave it a squeeze.
Eden’s fear shrank a bit.
She looked down at the last finger of her left hand, where she had been wearing both her own ring and Sophia’s. She drew off the garnet now, swallowed hard and asked “Will you have your ring back?” But her heart raced with worry.
Sophia was quiet for what felt to Eden like an age before she finally answered “yes.” Eden let out her breath, only then realizing she’d been holding it. “But you have to promise me one thing,” Sophia added.
“You have to start painting again.”
Eden’s face broke into a broad smile. “I promise.”