Ginnie Hempstock drives the boy home, and he asks her a bunch of questions. He wants to stay with them to wait for Lettie to be returned by the ocean, but Ginnie insists that he try to go on and live his life, and make it worth the sacrifice she made for him.
When his mother answers the door, Ginnie tells her that he's been at Lettie's going away party—she's gone off to Australia to be with her father.
All of a sudden, the boy starts to think that he's been at her going away party too.
His mother ushers him in the house and tells him the bad news: Ursula Monkton had to leave because of family matters. All he can remember is that he didn't like her, and he's not that bummed that she's gone.
Years later when they are adults, his sister confides in him that she thinks their mother fired Ursula because she'd been having an affair with their father. She's half-right, at least.
His memory has been more or less wiped out, and all he has are vague ideas of having known someone at the end of the lane. But a month or so after Lettie "dies," the kitten shows up at his doorstep. He names her Ocean, though he's not sure exactly why.