She had lost him, she knew that definitively. She hadn’t understood who he was. She hadn’t understood him at all. It was only when she saw him pointing the revolver at the car, risking his life for her, that she saw his courage. There was an aura of destruction emanating from her, spreading out like invisible wings. She had wanted to protect him by keeping him out of its range, but she had only intensified the danger. In reality he was the protector. Even in her absence he had worked to safeguard her. He had revealed the threads of the conspiracy that she, in her obsession, had missed. She realized how machine-like she had become, senselessly repeating the same thoughts and actions. But he had remained aware; he had remained rational. If only I could be more like him. This never would have happened.
She had pitied herself, thought of herself as invisible to others, but he had seen her, he had known her. She had been so intent on concealing herself that she had never tried to see him. He had been the most convincing part of her deception. It was only an act—the accomplished girl scholar and her well-bred friends. The only one she had truly deceived was herself. She had judged him as a representative of his class, and had never glimpsed the real person until the final moment. He was brave and reckless and true. And he loved her. What else mattered? Now the Amilech had him.
She would rise up, she would transcend her circumstances, then descend on them and shatter their evil. She would rise up for Ayala, and James, and Reuven and Rachel and Eitan. For everyone she loved; for everyone in the tenements. She would fight them with limitless ferocity and articulate information. She would out-think them and overpower them. The corporation was powerful, but complacent in their power. She would find their weaknesses and pry them open. And the Amilech—she didn’t know what they were, and she didn’t understand their connection to the corporate conspiracy, but she would find out. She would discover their flaws and exploit them.
James was alive, she knew it. So was Ayala. That knowledge was a silver thread guiding her out of the maze of her despair. She had something to fight for. Some stake in life. Something to search for. Something lost that she had to recover. Ayala. James.