After many days, Equality 7-2521 finds the Golden One again and speaks to her near her fields. He tells her that he has given her the name, “The Golden One.” She in turn confesses that she does not think of him as Equality 7-2521, but rather as “The Unconquered.” Equality 7-2521 tells her that her thoughts are forbidden, but they both agree that it is better that she thinks them. He then calls her “our dearest one,” a phrase whose poignancy takes them both by surprise.
Together, Equality 7-2521 and the Golden One are working to undo the restrictions on individuality that they had endured. Singling out the Golden One with a superlative adjective by calling her his “dearest one” shows that Equality 7-2521 is beginning to think of human individuals as more separable from the homogenous collective.
The Golden One then offers Equality 7-2521 some water to drink. Because he cannot cross the hedge, she kneels by the moat and brings water to him in her cupped hands. Equality 7-2521 drinks the water from her hands and remains for some time with his lips pressed against her palms. The two both seem confused about what this gesture means. The Golden One then begins to walk away, but cannot bring herself to face away from Equality 7-2521 or to lower her arms to her sides.
This encounter is likely the first sensual human contact in either of the two characters’ lives. Because the collectivist society has been designed to eliminate love between two individuals, Equality 7-2521 and the Golden One are unable to make sense of their encounter, because they cannot reconcile it with the world view they have been taught.