One night in spring, Lou sleeps over at Patrick’s even though he is too tired from training to even talk to her. As she walks to Will’s house, she thinks of how she and Patrick first met: Lou was working at a hairdresser’s, and gave Patrick the worst haircut of his life. At first, Patrick felt average and safe to Lou, but he quickly turned into Marathon Man. Lou no longer feels like she can keep up with Patrick, or that Patrick even wants her to. She worries that her curves now just look like fat to Patrick, over-accented by her whimsical clothing.
Lou reveals that the defining aspect of her relationship with Patrick was safety, rather than passion. Lou herself seems unsure if she ever actually loved Patrick. Especially when Patrick becomes focused solely on his physical training, all the emotional parts of their relationship fall apart.
Lou gets to work and Camilla orders her to take Will outside so she can do some spring cleaning. In the garden, Will asks Lou what is troubling her. Lou responds that it’s just boyfriend trouble, and Will asks more about Patrick, who he calls Running Man. Lou simply tells him that she has been with Patrick six years and that Patrick is very loyal. She then changes the subject to Will’s ex, Alicia.
Will reduces Patrick to “Running Man,” ignoring every other part of Patrick’s identity much like Patrick himself does. Lou is able to be honest with Will about her lack of passion for Patrick, though part of that might be a reluctance to talk about her boyfriend in front of Will, who she is also starting to have feelings for.
Will seems a tad melancholy about Alicia, but quickly tells Lou that he is happy for Rupert and Alicia. Lou goes on a tirade about the typical, upper-class, married life that Alicia will have, a life that will never fulfill her. Will asks if this is why she has never gotten married to Patrick, and Lou neglects to tell Will that Patrick never asked.
Lou outlines the “normal” life she expects for people who do not marry for love. Though Lou has never professed any ambitions, she clearly disdains this version of an ordinary life.
Will has good days and bad days, considering that his paralyzed limbs still put him in such discomfort that some days he can only listen to the radio. But the good days are much better than Lou’s first weeks, as she and Will stroll the gardens and Will teases Lou for her fashion choices. Will tells Lou that a person with her adventurous taste should travel and actually have adventures.
Will’s physical pain gets in the way of his mental stability. Yet Lou’s presence has also improved Will’s mental and emotional health so much that he is able to be more physically active than he has been in months. Will again reinforces the idea that Lou should have more ambitions for herself.
Lou interrupts Will’s advice to say that Will shouldn’t be giving such high and mighty advice when he can’t even keep his hair and beard trim. Will laughingly agrees to let Lou give him a haircut and shave. The pair go back to the castle and Lou nervously prepares Will’s shaving kit, as she hadn’t actually expected Will to agree. Lou slowly and carefully begins to shave Will’s beard, deeply feeling the intimacy of this moment. Will breaks the tension with a joke about Lou shaving his eyebrows, but clearly enjoys the caring human contact.
Part of improving Will’s mental health means caring for his physical appearance. Will and Lou bond through their sense of humor, even during a moment that might otherwise feel across the line of proper caregiver behavior. Will and Lou’s friendship is starting to develop into a more significant relationship.
Lou puts on a DVD while she cuts Will’s hair. As she finishes, a young woman bursts into the annex and shrieks at Will that he is more selfish than ever. Camilla follows the woman, asking her to be quiet. Lou thinks that the girl has the same moneyed look as Alicia, and Will introduces the girl as Georgina, his sister. Georgina has come to visit from her home in Australia, and Camilla asks Lou to take her lunch break as Camilla, Georgina, and Will talk about a private family matter.
Lou sees Alicia and Georgina as women who are unable to reach Will even though they loved him. Familial and romantic love is very similar in the novel. Still, Camilla considers the family to be sacred, keeping some things for family alone.
When Lou returns from lunch, Nathan is in the kitchen. Lou explains about the uproar with Will’s sister, but Nathan seems more interested in complimenting Will’s haircut. Lou goes back to Will in the living room to turn on Will’s DVD and sadly notes that Will seems distant once more. Lou takes the laundry down the hall and overhears Camilla and Georgina talking in the doorway.
Nathan sees how important Will and Lou have become to each other, also marking out the haircut as an important shift in their relationship. Nathan sees the haircut as a sign of Will’s renewed desire for life.
Georgina is sobbing as Camilla tells her that Will truly has no hope that he will ever get better. Lou gets uncomfortable listening in, but can’t pull away when she hears Camilla mention that Will previously attempted suicide last January. Lou realizes that she is employed to make sure that Will never tries again. She is about to leave once more when Georgina starts to beg her mother not to take Will to Dignitas in Switzerland. Camilla comforts her crying daughter, telling Georgina that she bargained with Will to get six months to change his mind.
Georgina believes that Will should live for his family because they love him. She focuses on the selfish consequences of Will’s actions, rather than the fact that Will’s life should be Will’s choice. Though Moyes presents Georgina somewhat unsympathetically, Moyes also seems to agree with Georgina about Will’s life, portraying the time period to change Will’s mind as a good thing.