The Handmaid's Tale Part 13: Night
Offred waits in her room for Serena to take her to Nick. She has removed the makeup of the early evening. Serena knocks and leads her downstairs. She instructs her to walk across the yard to the garage where Nick sleeps. Offred wonders how this has been arranged. She knocks on the door of the garage apartment and Nick lets her into his austerely decorated room. Offred describes the event that follows twice, in two different ways. She is unsure what the true story is or if there is a true story. In the first reconstruction, Nick says nothing. The encounter is compulsive and purely sensual. In the second account, which Offred says is more truthful, they have a cynical repartee before the sexual act. He asks that there be no romance. He does not want her to risk herself for him. Offred feels she has betrayed Luke with her feelings. She wishes she were shameless. She wishes she were not painfully conscious of her ignorance.