Four days after this encounter in the prole quarters, Winston ran into the girl in the corridors of the Ministry of Truth while on his way to the toilet. She had hurt her arm in some accident and while he was trying to pass without looking at her, tripped and fell, hitting the injured arm. It was evident that she was in pain and even though he believed her to be his enemy, he felt an instinctive human sympathy. He helped her up and she disappeared after thanking him briefly, but in that brief minute she had pressed a small piece of paper into his hand.
Winston was deeply agitated by this event; obviously the paper contained some sort of message, but it was almost impossible to open and read it without being observed from the telescreens. He was also not sure if she was an agent provocateur delivering a message for the thought police or someone who could be trusted. When he finally managed to get the paper opened in what he hoped was an unobserved fashion, he saw written on it the message “I Love You.”
This was momentous for Winston, who saw his chance for the kind of relationship he had only dreamt about, warm and loving. But the path was full of difficulties; even to try and speak to her in private would invite suspicion. It was after four days that he was finally able to sit at the same table as her for lunch and manage to arrange a meeting. They meet publicly in a crowd where there is less danger of being noticed than in a more secluded atmosphere and under cover of a procession of prisoners of war she manages to give Winston directions to a rendezvous. Ironically the venue they have to choose for their first meeting is a procession of war criminals on a crowded square and their first exchanges of love are made in at atmosphere pervaded by hate.
They have to exercise such extreme caution that they cannot even look directly at each other and though they are able to briefly touch each other’s hands in the crowd Winston realizes that he still does not even know the color of her eyes! Instead of looking into her eyes, Winston has to stare straight ahead and finds himself gazing directly into the miserable eyes of an aged Eurasian prisoner of war.