It felt to Eden as though she spent more time in the next several days with George St. John than she did with Sophia, who plunged herself immediately into studying for the medical school exams. She would hear nothing of taking breaks to walk in the gardens or sit in a café, insisting that no matter how well she had done in Boston, the work would be harder in French. Once she tried to play the old cabinet piano in Eleanor’s parlor. But she quickly declared it hopelessly out of tune and went back to her books.
So rather than taking George out to dance with Sophia, Eden and her friend wandered through the Luxembourg gardens or sat under Eleanor’s apple trees and smoked.
It wasn’t until she had been in Paris well over a week and George had taken the train back to Calais that Eden rose at dawn, walked alone to the rue d’Assas and opened the door to the studio she had not entered in months.
She scanned the room. Half-finished canvases lay propped against the walls. She glanced at the sofa in the corner and quickly away again. The midday light fell through the long windows in great swaths that revealed the drops of paint on the dark floorboards.
Eden took the paint she had bought that morning out of its box and assembled a little group of bottles and jars on a table right under a beam of light. She painted them from four different perspectives. When the sun was gone she locked the studio and walked home in the dark to join Sophia for dinner.