Nick: "Carrie, you got me to the border. You did more than you needed to do."
Carrie: "Stop using the past tense!"
Nick: "Stories only make sense when they're over. So I can look at you now and say yes. We were in love. You and me, at the bottom of everything else, had love. Crazy beautiful smart scary love. Not mixed up with a bunch of other things, not under cover as something else or providing cover for something else. Real, actual, pure love."
Carrie: "Okay, I'll see you soon!"
Nick: "Whatever works, kid."
She nods, acknowledges, falls apart a little bit. Comes apart, a little bit. That square inch, gone; suddenly fluttering. Out over the water, again. She's given up so many lives today. She shudders.
We're ashamed when we're weak. We are embarrassed by emotion, when it threatens our control. We spend the majority of our time finding other words for it, playing other sides against it, leveraging armies against our need because need makes you weak and you can't be loved if you are weak. To give up the self is to betray the self. That's shameful.
But these are words that posit an observer: This is uncertainty in action. When you're alone, that's when you're unafraid, because nobody is looking. Nick and Carrie won't ever know that Quinn affirmed their connection, or gave it its holy due, or used it as a rhetorical strategy to get Estes to admit his complicity in murder: They weren't there, they didn't know they were being watched; they had only the feeling that we all have, that we are always being watched. That the voice inside your head, watching and laying down judgment, actually means something in the world. Which it does not. They might as well have been alone, for all the disruption Quinn brought to their moment; they might as well have been alone in all the world, telling truths. Accepting them. And they are alone now:
Carrie: "Why do I feel like this?"
Nick: "Because you gave it up. To me."
Carrie, nodding: "Completely."
To give up the self is to betray the self, and that is shameful.
It is also incredibly brave. And it is essential. It runs through the words and veins of anyone who has ever loved, and it is the act of every saint and martyr. To give up the self is the only duty any of us have: Some give to God, some to their children, some for war and some for love. We do ourselves this kindness for the world.