Miguel is a revolutionary; Alba is not. The mysterious question of motivation not only in love but also in ideological commitment arises. Alba participates in revolutionary projects out of love for Miguel, rather than out of her own interest. The difference is evident to everyone. Alba's lack of revolutionary commitment is not due to her class or to her gender, although people attempt to attribute it to both. Because her interest in the revolution only stems from her love for Miguel, Alba is not able to endure the same suffering as Miguel for the sake of the revolution. We find in subsequent chapters, however, that she is able to endure as much if not more suffering in order to protect Miguel.

Just as loves return and persist through a strange combination of chance and design, so do other connections. Esteban Garcia has followed Esteban Trueba purposefully, but his first three encounters with Alba seem to be dictated by chance. When Alba leaves the university occupation she has participated in with Miguel, it just to happens that Esteban Garcia is the officer in charge of escorting her out of the building. Fate is neither a benign nor a malign force; it crosses the paths of lovers—Alba and Miguel—of allies—Esteban Trueba and Transito Soto—and of enemies.

This third meeting between Alba and Esteban Garcia instigates a flashback to four or five years earlier. The scene Alba remembers from her fourteenth birthday parallels the one she does not remember from her earlier childhood as well as the one that occurs in the present time of the chapter. In each instance of her meeting Esteban Garcia, the same sequence of actions occurs. Esteban Garcia approaches her somewhat surreptitiously, begins to molest her and at the same time to strangle her, before he is suddenly interrupted. The specifics of each scene vary, but the structure is the same.