Eden 32:3

Paris

BethBette pulled paintings from crates of sawdust. One by one she brushed them off gently and sat them around the room, propping them here and there until she had a little gallery in her kitchen.

There were desert landscapes at every time of day; grazing mares and bucking colts; Eden’s sister with her children in her lap; a woman Bette didn’t recognize, drawing water from a well under a blazing sky; three girls, two white, one Negro, arm-in-arm; a beautiful young man with blonde curls but sad eyes, sitting before a rough table in some kitchen; and—Bette gasped quietly—a woman who could only be Eden’s mother, astride a horse, bending forward slightly to stroke its neck with affection, a tiny smile on her lips. A stray lock of bright auburn hair escaped a hastily gathered plait and framed her face, a broad-brimmed straw hat fell over her back, tied across her shoulders with a leather thong and her eyes gazed with unguarded joy at, Bette supposed, her daughter.

It was better than Aphrodite.

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