Ursula is reading Chéri beneath the apple trees, when Sylvie happens upon her. Sylvie says she should do more with her French. Ursula says she wants to live in Paris, and wonders whether she should apply to university when she finishes school. Sylvie tells her that it won’t teach her to be a wife and mother. Ursula questions whether she wants to be a wife and mother.
Sylvie is not cold to Ursula in this timeline, but the damage has already been done. Ursula realizes that she does not receive the support she needs to from her mother, and she also realizes that she does not want to follow in her mother’s footsteps and adhere to society’s gender expectations.
Izzie arrives, commenting on how grown up Ursula looks now that she’s sixteen. Izzie reveals that she eloped when she was sixteen, which Sylvie denies as nonsense. Ursula, for her own part, is in love with Benjamin Cole. Izzie then says that she has become quite successful following her book series, but she has no husband or child to share her fortune with. She asks Sylvie, then, if she might adopt Jimmy. Sylvie is flabbergasted and reveals her shock to Hugh.
Sylvie’s enormous distaste for Izzie can now be re-contextualized, after readers have seen how Sylvie treats her own daughter following a traumatic rape and abortion. But it is clear that, like Ursula, Izzie simply needed (and continues to need) love and support from family, even while she puts on a veneer of being an independent and modern woman.
Ursula steals an apple from the kitchen and then gets a pang of terror. Instinctively, she runs to the train station, wondering if there is a train disaster she might have to stop. But the trains seem fine. On the way home, Ursula is still drenched in fear when she comes across Nancy Shawcross. Ursula offers to walk her home. As they approach a dairy field, a man with a limp climbs over the gate. He tips his hat to them and keeps walking.
Ursula’s pushing off Howie not only improves her life, but also prevents the death of her friend—once again proving how the smallest changes in a person’s life can lead to incredibly different outcomes.