As Nora firmly shut the door behind her for the last time, she heard the man who had until recently been her husband calling out to her. Shivering against the biting wind, Nora pulled her shawl tightly around herself and set of down the street.
It was only now that the full enormity of what she had undertaken sunk in, and her next shiver was not entirely caused by the cold. With no money, and a fierce independence, it seemed an impossibility that she would sleep indoors tonight. The thought of appealing of Christine flashed through her mind, as it had it her, no Torvalds's living room minutes previously, but she roughly subdued it. In her new life, she must be free from any type of dependency.
In the knowledge that it was too late to seek work, Nora started walking down towards the river; she had often seen the homeless sheltering under the great arches of the bridge, and it appeared she would be joining them for a night.
As she walked through the town, she was uncomfortably aware of the stares she was receiving, and a persistent awareness that no other women out unaccompanied in the early hours of the morning was dressed in so fine as clothes as she, and her concern that she may be mistaken for a lady of the night spurred her on to make her way every faster in the hope of finding refuge.
Nora stopped sharply as she turned the corner next to the embankment; she did not remember seeing nearly so many unfortunates huddled up as bedfellows when she had passed during her daily walk. Horrified both by the cramped conditions, and the women brazenly selling their bodies in the midst of those sleeping, Nora turned on her heel, resolving to find a doorway or some such to sleep in. She had taken few steps, when she felt a hand on her shoulder, and a drunken breath on her cheek. Full of fear, she turned to face this threat, becoming aware that he was speaking to her
'...you cost, you pretty little thing?'. The man, who was dressed in a suit which seemed incongruous in such a setting, and his face, which seemed vaguely familiar to Nora, suddenly turned pale. 'Oh! I... I do beg your pardon Mrs. Helmer, I meant no disrespect' stuttered the young man nervously. Nora, inwardly horrified at how this interaction may reflect on Torvald, forced a smile. Inwardly distraught, Nora gabbled out some meaningless forgiveness and reason for being out, before hastily departing.
After putting a respectably large distance between them, Nora found herself wandering through a backstreet alley, in a part of town she had never been. A notice caught her eye, which appeared to be an advertisement:
No Experience Required
This seemed perfect for Nora, as she had been wandering around the streets, she had come to the realisation that she had not been taught any of the crucial skills needed to be employed: she couldn't sew or cook well, she was poor at sums, and the thought of working in a factory made her shiver once again. Yes, it was definitely worth enquiring. So Nora curled up in the doorway, hopelessly optimistic, and blissfully ignorant of what was to come.