“It isn’t from the pictures.”
“From your family then? How can I ask them to pay my way when my own family—”
“Not from my family.” Eden’s voice betrayed impatience.
Sophia suddenly stopped walking. Eden stopped too.
“I said I would go with you anywhere. I put no conditions on my promise,” Sophia said.
“Then come with me to Paris and take up your work there. Isn’t it better that way? I thought you would be pleased.”
Sophia eyed the pavement for a moment. She was pleased—more than she wanted to admit to herself. Wherever the money came from, it must Eden’s to spend—Eden wouldn’t lie about that. And didn’t Sophia deserve some kind of compensation? If she had to live abroad and learn the ways of a place and a people so alien to her own, wasn’t it only right that she should at least be allowed to pursue the one goal that had guided her life until now?
For the first time, Sophia’s heart really swelled at the thought of Paris. It was a beautiful city, after all. She was sure, like Eden, that she could pass the entrance exams—even in French—and the thought of taking her degree at such an esteemed institution tempted her to premature pride.
At last she lifted her head to meet Eden’s earnest eyes. “I am pleased. I only wish
you had not surprised me in front of my parents.”
“I’m sorry. You’re right. It was foolish.” Eden reached for Sophia’s hand, placed it in the crook of her arm, and they walked on to the hotel.
They did not speak of the source of the money again.