Lo desperately kicks herself free of the gripping ocean current; it’s so dark that she doesn’t know which way is up. But soon, behind her eyelids, she sees “lights [begin] to spark and shimmer, terrifyingly close to the shards of light and dark that fragmented my vision when I had a panic attack.” When she opens her eyes, she finds that she’s seeing moonlight. Soon she’s bursting above the surface, sobbing and coughing.
Lo’s survival instinct is incredibly strong, and the bright lights seem to symbolize her escape from the horror of the past days.
Despite shaking convulsively, Lo forces herself to swim toward the lights of the quay, fearing hypothermia—not to mention getting dragged under by the ship if it starts moving. Finally, she pulls herself up a ladder onto the quay and finds herself in a small village. She staggers to a hotel, seeing the Aurora moving out to sea behind her. She bangs desperately on the door.
Lo has gotten away from the Aurora just in time, her survival instinct overriding all else.
Soon Lo finds herself under a blanket, holding a cup of coffee and sitting on a glassed-in terrace overlooking the bay. The hotel’s general manager approaches, wanting to know how she’s come to have Anne Bullmer’s credit cards; the Bullmers are personal friends of his. Lo asks him to phone the police for her; despite what she’d promised Carrie, she thinks it’s the only hope for both of them.
Lo is lulled into believing she’s safe at this point, and that the authorities can sort out the rest.
Lo is practically falling asleep when suddenly she hears the manager say “Richard.” She looks out on the fjord to see the Aurora coming to a stop, then turning around. Next she hears the manager speaking in Norwegian to what sounds like the police. She’s briefly frozen, realizing that what Carrie had said about Richard’s influence wasn’t just paranoia. Lo slips quietly out the door.
Lo’s illusory sense of relief and rest is jarringly disrupted as she realizes she is not safe after all. Richard has cultivated friendships everywhere, and Lo won’t be able to escape the web of his power as easily as she thought. She snaps back into survival mode and flees.