She walks away or is turned away. She leaves feeling hollow inside and she thinks about sleeping with Jack, anything to fill that hollow. She thinks a warm body next to hers could be all that she needs. She cries for things that can never be: Dan, Jack, Trudy.
She dreams about Dan in a small town in Cuba somewhere. He is holding out a cup for her. Coffee? She looks inside, only it isn't coffee, it's water and it tastes like the sea. She wakes up and it's cold and quiet and only the waves remind her that she's here. Alone. Lonely.
Eventually, Max takes the jar and doesn't leave. She brings him tea on the beach and watches him come in from the waves. He is Jonah returning from the whale. A second chance. "It's like an ocean," he says. "It's so deep you can't imagine its dimensions."
She doesn't ask but she knows he is talking about loss, his loss. Maybe hers too. He comes out now like breaking away at the shell piece by tiny piece. He offers a place for her in his misery and she accepts because it hurts too, but she wants to somewhere she fits.
When she was younger she was smart, oh so smart, and good and clever, and she was courted by money and power and hanger-ons looking for a ride to wherever she was going. She wore new shoes to the interview. Smart shoes with a which were sensibly black and sensibly low but for some reason pressed against the bridge of her foot so hard they cut off her blood supply and left her with a tingling sensation in her toes.
The next day she had tiny bruises on her feet where the leather had been. Jack took them to the seaside and there were these little purple spots on her feet as she examined them in the sand. This is going to hurt, they said, and it did, but after a while she stopped noticing. Her feet are in the sand again as she thinks about leaving once more. "Do you believe in fate?" She asks Max who sits beside her and hates her tea.
"Does it matter if I do? Fate is all about looking back, saying 'all this happened for a reason' but everything is meaningful if you want it to be." "But why would you want it to be meaningless?" "It's all semantics, Laura." "Maybe," she screws up her face and tosses the left over tea into the wind. If her future is in the tea leaves it is blowing away down the beach. "But it's not very romantic."
"Did Christmas lose its meaning when you stopped believing in Santa Claus?" "I stopped getting excited about losing my teeth when I stopped believing in the tooth fairy." "Ah, but then your parents stopped placing money under the pillow." "I want to believe in all this," she says. "I want to believe there's a reason for this." But he doesn't believe in anything and she knows it's like talking to the wind because her words come back distorted.