Monday, July 22, 2013. Tom, Anna, and Evie go on for a family outing to a restaurant. Getting there requires them to walk past the Hipwell house, which makes Anna uncomfortable—but Anna is so happy to be out and about with her family that she doesn’t care. As they pass the house, however, Anna is astounded to see Rachel step out the front door of number 15. Anna instinctively reaches forward to pull Evie out of her buggy. Rachel turns and walks the other way. Evie begins wailing, and Tom tells Anna that they should just go back home.
This passage demonstrates yet again that Anna sees Rachel as a danger and a threat to her and her baby. By introducing a character who sees Rachel as not only unreliable but overtly suspect, Hawkins deepens her readers’ distrust of Rachel and further complicates Rachel’s web of secrets and lies.
That evening, Anna learns that someone has been arrested in connection with Megan’s disappearance. Tom wants to discuss the news—but Anna is still focused on Rachel and whether she was perhaps in the Hipwells’ house trying to gain access to the back garden of number 23. Tom, however, urges Anna not to worry—he promises to call Rachel and ask what’s going on. Anna insists that they call the police. Tom, however, says such a measure is unnecessary. Anna remains perturbed by Rachel’s presence on Blenheim Road and privately resolves to find a way to get away from the house—and from Rachel.
Again, this passage cements the fact that Anna sees Rachel as the most direct threat to her happiness. Megan’s disappearance from just down the street doesn’t alarm Anna nearly as much as Rachel’s presence on Blenheim Road does. This suggests that women who seek to embody society’s ideals of femininity are conditioned to see those who don’t as dangerous.