Laura becomes dizzy and leans against the arm of the sofa, struggling with the idea that Jim actually likes her, but is not available. She is going through a tremendous transition while Jim explains that he will not be returning for another visit, because he is engaged.
Even though Jim is unavailable, for Laura, it is actually a positive experience. Something positive is happening for Laura, while at the same time, something disappointing. The reader knows that Laura feels happy because she gives Jim the unicorn, without the horn as a souvenir. If she was desperately upset, she would have fainted, as she did before.
"She bites her lip which was trembling and then bravely smiles. She gently takes his hand and carefully places the unicorn in the palm of his hand, then pushes his fingers closed."(Williams, pg. 92)
Laura gives Jim the unicorn as a symbol of how he has changed her through their brief romantic encounter. Although Laura experiences a sudden storm of emotions in this scene, she emerges with a new sense of herself and her worth.
Even though the situation does not work out with Jim, the reader must consider that Laura has had a life changing experience. She was so shy at the beginning of Jim's visit, not willing to sit at the dinner table, by the time he leaves, she has danced and been kissed, probably for the first time in her life.
During her conversation with Jim after dinner, Laura begins to find herself enjoying it and she begins to let go of some of her shyness. She dances with Jim and he kisses her.
Jim realizes that he has made a mistake and tells her that he is, in fact, engaged and that he should not have kissed her. Laura is shattered. The confidence that she had found is now gone. She had perhaps begun to believe that Jim might be interested in her and even date her. She is shaken after Jim's confession and has a flood of emotions running through her, understandably. She, in the course of an hour, feels hope, confidence, and self-esteem; however, she feels despair, great loss, and rejection later on. It is no wonder that she had such great conflict within her.