Eden 39:5

Sophia did not feel as if she were too good.

For the next fortnight, she found that every minute she was not preparing for her examinations, Dr. Bertrand was asking excitedly for her consultation on Eden’s case. She was in the very position she had weighed as easy on the dark riverbank. But though Eden herself had laid her a foundation with reams of lies—based artfully on the cases in Dr. Ellis’s book—Sophia found nothing easy about allowing Bertrand to believe she shared his views.

One moment, she found herself feeling a guilty relief at being once more in Bertrand’s full confidence. The next, she would imagine throwing his notes on the floor and telling him that whatever Eden might be, Sophia was, too. Sometimes the fantasy gripped her so hard that her heart raced as she bent over a working draft of Bertrand’s article, fearful of what she might do and the consequences it would produce.

At night, exhausted as she was, she lay sleepless on her bed in her own room alone, afraid almost to look at or speak to Eden, much as she longed to crawl into her arms and beg her to take away the awful feeling of betrayal that dogged her.

But in a few days more, Sophia came home from the hospital to find Eden gone.

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