In chapter 1.
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Ethan is aroused by Mattie. For the fist time in many years, he feels life inside him. Mattie is the antithesis of Zeena. One night Ethan fetches Mattie back from a church dance. He feels like he is walking his girlfriend home. Their walks together are some of Ethan's happiest moments, but he has never really considered acting on his feelings. On the way back, they talk affectionately to each other, and at some point Ethan puts his arm around Mattie to prevent her from falling. It is the most intimate physical contact they have ever had, and she does not push him away. Zeena is waiting up for them when they return, and the contrast between Zeena and Mattie could not be more defined.