The drive back to the city was all nerves. He wanted to tell Phillip, but wasn’t sure he would even care or take action. Phillip would probably just look sad and continue tinkering with his robot or editing his asteroid book. Edward’s conclusion was that he would not tell Phillip, but would move out, and while this would certainly leave Phillip in the unfortunate position of having to maintain the rather high rent, Edward couldn’t see the point in his remaining there as nothing but financial support when he could better serve his niece and brother by unobtrusively taking some responsibility in her development as a person; that is to say that he would watch over her and attempt, and this would be the most painful part, to befriend her adoptive parents even though they were likely 12 to 18 years his senior.
Edward also peripherally considered that giving himself this purpose might provide him with something of a more interesting track in life. Having some undisclosed mission would provide his ego an undeniable boost which could facilitate his learning some skill other than working in a FedEx warehouse. He would ask Phillip out to a bar and break the news of his exit in a friendly cordial setting; Phillip will doubtless not care, but depressively stare at the bar and state that it’s okay and Edward had to do what he had to do. Phillip’s sense of isolation, while more theoretical when living with someone, will become undeniably real upon Edward’s exit. The question for Phillip now is what to do with himself and his time.
Dominic returned home to an empty house. His parents were at work and his younger sister was in the village with her friends. The ordeal in New York had left him feeling helpless and hollow. So many men lost in a fruitless attempt to protect the city. He wishes he was among the dead; he was in fact the one giving orders, and tomorrow he had to visit the families to inform them of their son’s and daughter’s brave sacrifice in the face of a relentless and reasonless foe. They will look at him and wonder why he’s standing there; they assume him a coward who left their children behind to die and they would be right. He hadn’t held the line and when he could have been fighting alongside his neighbors in the heart of a darkening city, he thoughtlessly followed a girl he would never see again out of some misplaced sense of hope that her acts had instilled in him.
Phillip re-reads the section several times and is taken aback at Dominic’s majesty. The character was obviously ripe for arcing and would be the proverbial carrot to lead Phillip on through the story. Edward was gone which meant so was Phillip’s only source of casual editorial opinion. He had taken an apartment in the suburbs and pretty much become a person altogether different from the brother Phillip had grown up with. Edward was suddenly talking about saving money, going back to school and getting involved with the community. Phillip assumed that all of this spontaneous evolution was due to Edward developing a crush on a girl, and assumed that Edward didn’t want to talk about it because acknowledging his new preoccupation would be admitting defeat in the search for his niece; a pursuit in which Phillip had admitted defeat some time ago.