Despite the pain, and despite what is to come, Anna is glad that she confessed the affair to Karenin and relieved that she will not need to lie. However, the next morning, she is horrified. She did not tell Vronsky that she’d told Karenin, and she feels paralyzed with shame.
Although Anna is initially relieved to have confessed and removed the need for deceit between herself and Karenin, she did not confess to Vronsky that she’d confessed, and she feels deep shame and guilt from all sides of the affair.
Anna is distracted and distraught, but the maid says that her son is waiting for her for breakfast, which snaps her into a sense of purpose. Anna decides that she and Seryozha will go to Moscow that day, taking only themselves and Seryozha’s nurse. Anna writes a note to Karenin explaining that she is leaving for Moscow with their son. She begins a letter to Vronsky but tears it up.
Anna feels utterly hopeless and adrift and cannot decide what she should do. However, seeing her son makes her take action, and she decides to run away from the situation and take Seryozha to Moscow rather than face the painful consequences of her actions directly.