Ursula misses Crighton. He had invited her to dinner the night before the war was declared only to announce that they should end things—though they had still gone to bed together. The next day, a siren sounded, and when they left the hotel and got the all-clear, they said goodbye. Ursula now resolves to “live out the war as a nun.”
Atkinson writes different timelines for Ursula based on three different configurations of her potential love life—with Ralph, with Crighton, and alone. It is notable, however, that none of these three options leads to any change in Ursula’s death, thus demonstrating how the war is not easily escapable.