Could it have worked? Maybe. I'd been speaking with another of their signed authors for a week or so prior to receiving the contract, and I guess he negotiated a lot of the things I took issue with to work in his favor. Probably I could have, too, but I didn't even wait for them to reply with a counter before I bid them adieu. In the end, I decided it was a divine hint that it was not the right timing or maybe not the right opportunity. I haven't even really tried to land an agent yet, so, in a sense, everything is a possibility. Well, except for that publishing company.
There'll be more doors to open and look inside, more lessons to be learned. This I know for sure, though: I will be published, one way or another. Mark my words.