The author does not specifically state why Eveline decides not to go with Frank. The story begins with Eveline reminiscing about earlier days in her home. She recalls those earlier days with fondness and remembers her promise to her mother that she would "keep the home together as long as she could." However, she realizes that "everything changes." Eveline considers her father's potential to become violent and how she must work hard to help with the home.
When Eveline has the opportunity to leave with Frank, she decides to stay with what is familiar to her. She compares the turmoil she is experiencing to her heart being surrounded by tumbling seas. She arrives at the decision that "he would drown her." Eveline chooses the safety of what is known to her over the fear of the unknown. Although her life will not be easy, it will be predictable and familiar.