The narrator absorbs a new zest for life from his experiences with Zorba and the other people around him, but reversal and tragedy mark his stay on Crete. His one-night stand with a beautiful passionate widow is followed by her public decapitation. Alienated by the villagers' harshness and amorality, he eventually returns to the mainland once his and Zorba's ventures are completely financially spent. Having overcome one of his own demons (such as his internal "no," which the narrator equates with the Buddha, whose teachings he has been studying and about whom he has been writing for much of the narrative, and who he also equates with "the void") and having a sense that he is needed elsewhere (near the end of the novel, the narrator has a premonition of the death of his old friend Stavridakis, which plays a role in the timing of his departure to the mainland), the narrator takes his leave of Zorba for the mainland, which, despite the lack of any major outward burst of emotionality, is significantly emotionally wrenching for both Zorba and the narrator. It almost goes without saying that the two (the narrator and Zorba) will remember each other for the duration of their natural lives.