Emily tells Paige that their dreams of living inside her dorm room matrix are over. She can’t get a scholarship if she can’t swim and she can’t swim with bruise poisoning and she wouldn’t have bruise poisoning if she’d just let Aria and Mona die. Paige grins and says, “Yeah, you should have let that car hit them.” She’s joking but she’s not joking. The Batman part of her gets it. The puffy drapes part of her does not. Paige is so wonderful right now, even the tenor of her voice is a comfort. Emily thinks she’s going to flip out about the loss of this enormous dream, but Paige says they’ll find a new dream. She once wore a braid and wrote a note and hoped Emily might like her back, even just a little. It was the best dream she’d ever had in all of her life and she held it out with trembling hands and Ali snatched it away. And look at them now. Back then, she couldn’t have even fathomed a world where this dream existed. There’s a new dream for them; they just don’t have the capacity to comprehend its awesomeness yet.
Emily doesn’t want to be a sideline girlfriend, and Paige tells her that’s good, because she’s going to swim again. She’s like, “This is how it’s always going to be with you and me: I’ll get the edge, and then you’ll reclaim it and pull ahead, and I’ll work harder to catch up and swim past you, and then you’ll do the same and I’ll do the same and you’ll do the same and sometimes we’ll swim side-by-side like that night in my pool and sometimes we’ll race and one of us will win. But we’ll make each other better because we’ll both keep getting better. I want to undress you, Ems, but I want to wrap you up in towels after you win gold medals too.”
Emily goes, “My life really blows right now but it’s hard to remember that when you’re being you.”