"I like your face...sideways..."
He remembered every word he had said to her that night. Every stupid word that had poured out of his mouth during his little 'trip' on ecstasy. How could he be so dumb? How could he let that drug completely take him over? Although Harold was not strong in stature, his mind and will were. He could have easily kept the effects of the drug at bay, at least for a little while. Those effects that left him babbling like an idiot, uttering every phrase that popped into his head. Not to mention that most phrases that had crossed his mind at the time were at the intelligence level of a doped-up teenager. Just before the drug had completely taken over him, he remembered how to fight the effects. So why didn't he? In all truthfulness, he didn't want to tell himself why he didn't, considering that he already did know. It was plain as day, a firecracker thought standing out in the back of his mind where he had pushed it. It started with that strange feeling he got when he spoke to her in the book shop. The feeling spread across his chest and was comparable to what he felt when he finished a good book. It stimulated his mind and caught his interest. Not many things caught the interest of Harold Finch. He almost gave her his real (or as real as he would reveal to even his most trusted associates, like John Reese) identity. It was a sensation that was comparable to what he felt while he was on ecstasy. He felt weak, giddy, like he could give away anything...
No, stop. He couldn't think about what he could have done with her given time. He could have told her everything if he hadn't found out who she really was. He could've said the things that he almost said to John last night.
The situation with Tara made him realize that John was the only true connection he had. The Harold Finch he had turned into was a shell of what he used to be. A lonely man, literally limping through life, trying to find a permanent place of being. His experience with Leila Smith brought his attention to the fact that he may never have a domestic life. He would never get married or raise a family. It was long past his time to do that. John and the Machine were all he had.
But then, there was Tara. Dear, sweet Tara. The woman he had almost fallen in love with. Yes, love. He could find that word somewhere deep in his subconscious. He thought about all the things that could have happened, all the things he would have done. They clouded his mind immensely, like the drug had when it was still in his system. When he had woken up the next morning, all Harold could do was berate himself for all of the stupid things he had done in her company. He took her out to dinner and offered to buy her a hotel room. Of course, the hotel room was for her own safety when he believed that she was the victim and needed shelter from the drug dealers, but would he have stayed with her? Very likely. Not only for protection, but to keep her face in his mind. To keep him at ease. To hold onto the image of her sweet, gentle face for just a little longer...
Again, he stopped himself. He wanted so desperately to hold onto the innocence of believing that she was the victim. But it had been broken the very minute he realized that something was wrong. Normally, with any other perpetrator, he would have been angry for the betrayal of his trust. But he wasn't. And it all linked back to one thing. Why wasn't he angry? Why was he a hopeless mess right now? Why did he get so over involved with her? Why did he succumb to the drugs? Why?
Because dammit, Harold Finch was in love with her. He finally admitted his foolish, young feelings to himself and felt a sense of relief wash over him. A sense of relief that felt horribly wrong, yet so right at the same time. The connection he had made with her at the time made him believe that a woman like her was exactly what he needed. She was smart. She liked books. She was beautiful, cunning, and so much more. But when his logical side took over, he had to remind himself that he would never 'need' a woman in his life. After all, he had done so fine without one for so long. Technically speaking, he didn't even need John or The Machine. At times, his inner self said otherwise, but he knew that he didn't need them to survive. Just for morality. A relationship with Tara would've been so far away from that. He didn't need her for survival, Biology told him that. He didn't need her for morality either, his lawful side told him that. So why did he still feel that he needed her somehow? What could he possibly have needed her for? Would it be for the domestic life that he had craved through his experience with Leila? Possibly.
Unfortunately, that would create a contradiction. He knew from the ordeal with the baby that he could never have a domestic life. But having a relationship with Tara could bring him a step closer to that, but at the same time, a step away from the life he lived as the keeper of the numbers. A situation unfolded in his mind. Say that Tara was the victim like they had originally thought. Say that the two of them ended up in a relationship. How would she fit into his life with The Machine? Would she know? Would she inevitably drag him away from that? Who would watch over the numbers with John? Surely Mr. Reese couldn't do it alone. He didn't understand computers enough. The equation that had been created along with his ideal situation was uneven. He would have to choose between The Machine and Tara. And Finch didn't want to go there. He didn't want to think about what he would choose. All that he could think about was the fact that it had been chosen for him. And he was left with The Machine. A stressful life of running numbers, secrecy, and danger.
Ultimately, that's what he needed. Not to survive, but for his inner self to thrive. Not a woman. She would easily change them.
Although his powerful, logical side told him that The Machine was a better option for him than a girlfriend and eventually, a wife, inside, it felt like a missing piece that not even the company of another person, like John, could fill. Tara had unknowingly become a puzzle piece that tried to fit into Finch's life. She was a piece that just didn't fit. To fit her in, other pieces would have to be removed, changing the overall picture, distorting it beyond what he knew. But that brought up one final question.
If Tara, or even any romantic partner for that matter, wasn't the correct missing piece, what was?