Chapter 20 Summary

Although Kathy tells Ruth that she will become Tommy’s carer, their relationship does not immediately become intimate. In fact, it is nearly a full year since their trip to the boat before she and Tommy begin to see each other again.

Before long she has grown accustomed to the recovery center at Kingsfield. In some ways, it is better than she at first thought; if nothing else, Tommy has a large, private room. It is important to Kathy that they become intimate quickly. Although Tommy is now recovering from his third donation, she does what she can with her hands until he recovers. She can tell that Tommy is happy they are together now.

Kathy always worries that they are not doing enough somehow. When they make love, Kathy tells Tommy to do anything he wants to her in the hope that it will make up for something that is missing. It bothers her when Tommy admits that he cannot have sex two times in a row anymore, and Kathy worries that they probably should have started their relationship before now. When Tommy begins drawing his imaginary creatures again, Kathy worries that they are not as powerful as the originals he drew during their time at the Cottages.

They do their best to prepare to meet Madame, but they do not actually have a plan. One day Kathy returns from a trip. She is very tired and explains to Tommy that she has followed up on Ruth’s address for Madame. Ruth’s information was reliable. Kathy managed to track down Madame, and she also got a good look at her. In spite of the years that have passed, Madame appears not to have aged. In fact, even her clothing looks the same. She might well be wearing the same gray suit she wore while they were students at Hailsham.

Kathy has not approached or spoken to Madame. After all, it is not as though Madame was ever a very friendly person at Hailsham. Now it seems that Tommy and Ruth have a plan. They begin to prepare to approach Madame with their request for a deferment. Although they do not know whether the rumors are true or what they would do if they were removed from the system, they resolve to see Madame.