Brian's attempt to woo Jane in chapter 14
After walking the streets alone with her thoughts, Jane arrived at Brian’s apartment. It was going to seem weird that she was there: she barely knew his name, they’d never exchanged numbers, let alone addresses, but these things were easy enough to find out if you knew how to hack. She felt anxious. At the third attempt she mustered the courage to press the buzzer. No answer. She buzzed again. And again.
‘Hi!’ said the puzzled voice through the intercom.
‘It’s Jane. I need to talk.’
A minute later Brian opened the door, linked arms with her and walked. She had expected to be invited in, but this was cool too. They walked the neighbourhood in the moonlight. She needed to talk, but she didn’t: their lack of intimacy muted her. Brian filled the silence, as he always did, with his latest statistical knowledge. When he ran out of things to impress her with he ended, as he usually did, with a question. She had no clever put-down this time, no enthusiasm for flirtatious banter, and no one else to talk to. She told him about her mum, about her ambivalence towards her parents, about her upbringing, her brother. It was unfiltered and unguarded and made her feel vulnerable. Brian listened and told her to go to her mother.