Study Guide

The Forest of Hands and Teeth Chapter 29

By Carrie Ryan

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Chapter 29

  • Mary wakes up in a blanket nest and starts flinging the blankets off, but a hand stops her.
  • She relaxes when she realizes it's her lover-boy, safe and sound, but then she remembers his leg.
  • Travis tells her it's all right though, just scratched up; there's a bandage on his footsie.
  • She asks how long they'll hang out (literally) in the treetops, and he tells her that the gang is thinking of rigging another sheet-rope to get everyone back to the paths.
  • But there's a catch: To make it work, one person will need to run for it and tie off the rope.
  • Mary knows that's just not possible.
  • Travis says they'll wait until winter to do it, when the zombies are zombiesicles. This is months away, and Mary's pretty bummed.
  • So she decides to have a DTR (Define the Relationship) moment with the Travster and says she wonders "what that means for the two of us" (29.19).
  • She can tell there's something up.
  • Travis tells her that when the zombies were crawling all over her in the house, he just wanted to keel over and die, that he wanted to take her place so that she could survive.
  • In that moment, he says, he realized something: He realized that he should've told Mary some stuff that Gabby told him about the ocean.
  • Mary feels like she and Travis are in a vacuum, and all she can hear is her thudding heart.
  • Travis is standing at the window, and he tells her that Gabby had been to the ocean.
  • Happiness crashes into Mary like a wave, and she scrambles out of bed and stumbles over to Travis. She realizes that if Gabrielle went there, they can too, and it's all beach balls and sunshine in her mind.
  • Travis grabs her arms and lifts her up. He's all business as he tells her that the Gabbymeister told him that the ocean is not a happy place, that it's dangerous and that the zombies come up out of the water.
  • Mary refuses to believe him.
  • Travis tries to convince her that zombies are everywhere, that there are no safe places anymore, and that "nothing in the world is deep enough to withstand the Unconsecrated […] not even us" (29.46-47).
  • Mary will have none of it. She's super mad now and she asks Travis why he didn't tell her everything before.
  • He says he wanted to protect her, that he thought he'd be enough for her.
  • This doesn't work for Mary, though, and she tells him she thought they both wanted the ocean. She also tells him she thought he was going to come for her.
  • The Travster shakes his head.
  • Mary feels like she's spiraling into nothingness as she realizes that he was never going to come for her.
  • She feels like she's exploding into a million pieces, so she curls up in a ball and asks Travis why he decided now was a good time to break all this to her.
  • He tells her that he "wanted you too much" (29.58), that on the hill he thought he could break his vows and everything would be fine and dandy, but then he saw super-zombie Gabby and realized that Mary (and he) would suffer the same fate if he came for her.
  • He felt like he was watching a bad YouTube video of red-vested, super-zombie Mary over and over in his head, and he wasn't about to let that happen.
  • Mary tells him that they could have made a run for it.
  • He reminds her that he's got a bum leg, so that would still have landed them in Zombieland; plus he says he's just been protecting her the whole time so she wouldn't become a super-zombie herself.
  • Mary still doesn't get why he's downloading all this on her right now.
  • He explains that when he saw her battle with the Unconsecrated, he realized that she didn't need him after all, that she's just fine on her own without him.
  • Mary's still stuck on the he-was-never-coming-for-me part though, and she asks him why he let her wait for him.
  • He says that he always knew that he wouldn't be enough for Mary, that he knew that the ocean always came first for her. He tells her he doesn't want to be her "second-choice dream" (29.69).
  • Mary heads to the window and thinks about the ocean. She never thought that she'd have to choose Travis or the ocean—she thought they were a package deal.
  • She starts to hate herself because her gut tells her Travis is right. As she walks to the door, Travis asks if she would give up the ocean for him. She knows the answer is no, so she leaves him hanging and walks out the door.

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