Winston sat in a secluded corner in The Chestnut Tree Café, gazing into an empty glass. The way it caught the light reminded him of something he seemed to have had . . . something-
A waiter brought to his table the current issue of the Times, interrupting his musings. Absently running his finger over the ragged edge of paper, he recalled suddenly the feel of smooth, cream-colored pages. The feeling was gone almost before he registered it, and he was struck with the thought that it was merely a hallucination; the affect of the victory gin he had just drunk. The sensation stayed on his ink-stained hands, and he found himself regarding them with a vague air of puzzlement.
The memory made his heart stir, and he heard once again the voice, the voice that had said: "We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness."
His eyes opened wide, and a violent emotion, not fear exactly, but a sort of undifferentiated excitement, flared up in him. It was an extraordinary medley of feeling, and he drew a deep breath.
In his mind he was running, swiftly running, he was with the crowds outside, pushing over and through until he was finally free. He was following the weaving road, past the station and cattle track where he and Julia had laid down in the forest and first made love. Suddenly, she was there with him, and together they stepped into blinding white light . . . .
Winston stared down at his empty glass, the feeling fading away to nothingness. Lethargically, he moved his stubbed fingers over the glass rim, before crushing it in his palm. The rivulets of black blood ran across his wrist, but the waiters didn't notice. No one cared what he did any longer no whistle woke him, and no telescreen admonished him. He slipped a piece of glass into his threadbare coat.
Inside his pocket, the glass prickled and shifted. He would go home, he decided, by walking the same path he had always walked. He would struggle though the entrance of Victory Mansions that smelt unfailingly of cabbage, and climb the seven flights of stairs slowly; varicose ulcer throbbing. He would open his door and regard the telescreen as it gave out its useless, never-ending information. And perhaps he would cross the room to the window, or to the desk and sit heavily in the chair. Then he would take the piece of glass out of his pocket and regard it, perhaps thinking of a glass he had held that was less harsh than this one. Perhaps he would think of Julia, or of Mr. Charrington . . . Maybe he would dare think again of the place where there was no darkness. Then, he would end his life by his own hand, for that was the one thing they had yet to take.