The chapter begins with a memory told from Melanie’s point-of-view. She is raiding a house for food for herself and her younger brother, Jamie. She steals as much food as she can, but, when she tries to leave, she runs into a man walking in. They struggle, each believing the other to be a body-snatcher, until he realizes she is human. When he does, he kisses her. Melanie panics and knees him. While he is momentarily incapacitated, she flees. She proves faster than he is so he throws a rock at her to make her fall and stop. When he finally has her immobilized, he shows her he is still human by flashing a light in his eyes, but admits he does have a scar in the back of his neck, one self-inflicted in order to protect himself. He introduces himself as Jared Howe and tells Melanie he would follow her, as she was the only other human he’d met. He leaves to fetch his car, but before he does so, he kisses Melanie again. She feels the scar on his neck and screams in response.
Wanderer wakes up suddenly, revealing the memory to be a dream. Knowing she would not be able to sleep again, she e-mails the Seeker the new information she learned regarding the existence of Jamie. When she sends the e-mail, Melanie reacts in panic, speaking again as she had in the first few moments after Wanderer was inserted. Wanderer realizes she is becoming stronger and knows that she must visit her Comforter again.
Important Information Learned:
- Melanie has a brother, Jamie
- Jared scarred the back of his neck in order to live amongst the souls
- Melanie has been growing stronger and still has a barrier around her memories
“All the pressure of motherhood with none of the knowledge or the experience.” ~Melanie
“How can I not trust another human? We’re family–both part of the brotherhood of extinction.” ~Melanie
“How did anyone survive this world, with these bodies whose memories wouldn’t stay in the past where they should? With these emotions that were so strong I couldn’t tell what I felt anymore.” ~Wanderer
Summary prepared by: Alcyone