Emilia sees that Florian is beautiful when he smiles. He reminds her of August. Emilia wishes that her mother could have met August as well. She knows Joana still has her mother, and understands that reuniting with her mother is Joana’s primary motivation. Emilia thinks, “A girl who lost her mother was suddenly a tiny boat on an angry ocean. Some boats eventually floated ashore. And some boats, like me, seemed to float farther and farther away from land.”
Because her mother is alive, Joana is given purpose and direction: she must survive to reunite with her family. Emilia’s entire family has died, and so, although she has been fighting for her life, she feels that she has no direction, she has nowhere to go, and no one to motivate her to continue forwards.
Emilia believes she cannot make it much longer. She feels “with each step, the truth drew closer.”
Although Emilia has been hiding her trauma beneath layers of fantasy, she believes that the truth will eventually come out, perhaps when her baby is born.