Chapter eight.

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New York. The Hotel.

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Jarod ran into the room, calling out Lydia's name. She had to be there, there was no time to loose.

"Lydia!" he shouted a second time.

Lydia hurried from the bedroom to see what was going on. She was afraid something was wrong. She had never seen Jarod act like this before. She gave him a searching look.

"The Centre knows where we are. I have to get out of here! Do you want to come with me?"

"Yes I do," Lydia didn't even think, of course she wanted to come with him.

"You're giving up everything, your career, your freedom, you know that don't you?"

"Yes, and I don't care. I want to be with you. Besides, I'm not Lydia, so this is not my life anyway."

Jarod gave her a quick smile. "Than c'mon, there's no time to waste."

Without looking back Lydia left her belongings and escaped with Jarod. It felt so strange; she had never been on the run before. It was also kind of exciting. She didn't care where they were going. All that mattered was that they were together.

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Next day. Blue Cove.

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Jarod woke up by the sun shining through the window. He yawned. Remembering where they were, he thought he must be insane. But he also knew it was the best he could have done. Lydia needed to remember, and this place was the only good place he could think of.

He couldn't help but smile at the irony of it all, Miss Parker had been chasing him for years, and now he was sleeping in her couch.

"Jarod!"

Jarod turned his head and saw Lydia entering the room.

"Morning! Slept well?" he asked.

"No, I couldn't sleep at all. I was thinking. I'm sorry… I've tried so hard to remember but I can't. The house doesn't help me at all. It looks familiar, but I can't remember anything."

"It's okay, it takes time."

"It's strange, you say this is my house, but I can't remember living here."

Jarod nodded, giving her an encouraging smile. He looked around. The house hadn't changed a bit in the last three years. Of course it looked like no one had been there in a long time, but furniture's and stuff was still there. Why didn't they sell the house?

Lydia sat down in the couch next to Jarod.

"This must feel strange for you," she stated.

"Yeah!" Jarod smiled.

She looked around. Her eyes stopped on a picture. She walked to get it then she returned to her seat.

"Is this Parker?" she asked, eyeing the woman who looked just like her.

"No, it's you mother."

Lydia's eyes widened. How was it possible? Her mother looked so much like she did… Lydia silently looked at the photo. As she watched the woman, a childish face suddenly flashed trough her mind. She closed her eyes and focused on the mental picture.

"Oh my god! I remember her! I remember her and me when I was a child!" Lydia looked at Jarod. She started to laugh. Jarod did the same. He gave her a warm hug.

"This means we can be sure you are Parker! Everything is gonna be alright. You'll remember!"

Lydia gave him a big smile. "Tell me about her, tell me everything I need to know," she pleaded.

Jarod made himself comfortable. Hesitating he held out his arm. He didn't really think she would do it, but to his surprise, Lydia crept up to him, leaning against him with her head on his chest. Smiling Jarod placed his arms around her and began to talk. He had no idea how long they were sitting like that. He didn't care either, he just enjoyed the moment!

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Jarod took his eyes off the building a while to look at Lydia. She seemed alright, but something in her eyes told him she wasn't. He reached out to take her hand. The other hand was still resting on the steering wheel.

"So this is what the Centre looks like. I mean I remember it from your computer. But I never realized it was so… big…" Lydia mumbled, still staring at the massive white building.

"Yeah."

"It feels so uncomfortable, so… frightening. And I don't even know why," Lydia gave Jarod a sad look. Why would it be so hard to remember? It was frustrating.

Jarod was quiet. He knew why she felt scared. Of course she was scared. Even though she wasn't aware of it, she knew what the Centre had done to her. Deep down inside she knew.

"There's another place we should go to," he said instead.

Lydia gave him a questioning look, raising an eyebrow.

"The cemetery."

"And of course that would feel less uncomfortable," Lydia said. Jarod smiled as he heard the sarcasm in her voice. Some parts of Miss Parker never changed after all.

"Yeah, but it might help you remember. We do that tonight and tomorrow we should find a hotel to stay at. Your house is too risky.

Lydia nodded. Jarod quickly drove away. Thinking this was the last time they saw the Centre. Ever!

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Next day.

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It was dark outside. Silently Jarod's black car stopped and he and Lydia sneaked out, hurrying to the door. Soon it opened and a shocked Broots peeked out. Jarod almost wanted to laugh as he saw the look on the mans face.

"Are you alone?" he whispered.

Broots nodded nervously. "Just me and Debbie," he added.

Without saying anything Jarod walked inside dragging Lydia with him. He took up his cell phone, dialling Sydney's number. He gestured to Broots to close the door.

Broots quickly did as he was told. Then he just stood there, didn't know what to do or say. He glanced at Lydia, thinking he should say something. He cleared his throat.

"Ehhh, are you… Miss Parker?"

"Yeah, I guess."

"Oh, you look… different…"

Before Lydia had a chance to answer, Jarod talked.

"Sydney is coming here," he said. He looked at Broots. "I'm sorry, I just wanted Lydia… I mean Parker to meet you," he added.

Broots nodded understandingly. "It's okay."

He turned to Lydia. "I'm glad you are okay. And… I… I missed you…"

"I'm sorry I can't say the same, I don't remember you," Lydia said, feeling a bit uneasy.

"I understand," Broots hurried to say.

The Hotel room. Blue Cove.

The fire sparkled in front of them, giving the room a romantic glow. Lydia buried her toes in the soft carpet. Enjoying the heat of the fire and lying close to Jarod.

"I'm so glad I got to talk to Sydney. It helped me a lot and I got answers to a lot of my questions. He says there's a chance I'll remember these three years as Lydia when I get back to normal. I hope I do because then my feelings for you won't change. I'm so afraid that I will start to push you away or deny that I love you. I know Miss Parker did. And I didn't think of it, but now I realize I can never go back to my old life. I have to run from the Centre, just like you. That's why I need you so much. I promise you Jarod, I will never push you away again… I love you."

Jarod smiled to himself.

"That sounds good, and I, I love you to!"

Now it was Lydia's turn to smile. It felt so good to hear him say that. She was so happy.

"So, did Sydney make you realize all that?" Jarod asked.

"Yeah! He helped my remember things too. I hope this is over soon."

"So do I, than we can start a new life, together," Jarod said cheerfully. But secretly he wondered if it would ever be that easy. When Parker got her true self back, was it possible she wouldn't be like she used to? Lydia had promised him she would let her guard down, that she wouldn't fight him. He prayed she was right.

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A couple of days later. Blue Cove.

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As the days passed, Jarod started to feel more and more uncomfortable staying in Blue Cove. They had to leave; it was too dangerous staying there. When they'd been at Parker's place, picking up the stuff she needed, they went back to the hotel to check out.

Just as they'd got out on the street, heading for their car a few blocks away a black car showed up and several sweepers got out. Jarod and Lydia spotted them at the same time. They stiffened, giving each other terrified looks, not knowing what to do.

"NO!" Jarod quickly scanned the place. "C'mon, this way!" they started to run. The sweepers followed them like a tail.

Lydia was terrified. What would she do if they captured Jarod? She could never make it on her own, not as long as she wasn't herself. Suddenly she realized, the Centre must know about her now. They knew Jarod knew about her, about Miss Parker. Would that mean they have to kill her for real this time? She wondered if Jarod was thinking the same.

Suddenly Jarod turned into an empty alleyway. Lydia quickly followed him. The footsteps behind them disappeared and she threw a swift look backwards. The sweepers weren't there anymore.

"They're gone!" she called out. Jarod slowed down a little.

"We need to get to the car," he said, catching his breath. They continued until they came out on the main street again. Then they stopped for a while, scanning the area. They could see the car. Just as they were about to continue towards it, a dark voice sounded. They froze, turning their heads to see who it was. Lydia gave the man a searching look, she recognized him.

"Sam?" she asked, surprising both herself and Jarod.

"Lydia, he's a sweeper! C'mon," he said, starting to run. Lydia hesitated for a moment, then he followed him.

Sam looked back. The other sweepers weren't in sight. He looked at Lydia.

"Miss Parker!" he shouted. He repeated her name. Lydia slowed down, Jarod was screaming at her to not listen, but she didn't do as he said. She felt dizzy, her whole world was spinning. She looked at Sam, he told her to run, to get out of there. She didn't want anything more badly, but her legs refused to obey her. As she saw Sam getting closer, everything suddenly came back to her. The memories washed over her and she felt like she couldn't breathe, her legs gave way under her and she fell lifeless to the ground.

"Lydia!" Jarod screamed. He didn't know what to do; the sweeper was right in front on her. He didn't know if he would go for the car, or take her with him. If he did, he would risk getting caught. Maybe it was better if he had the car with him. But then Lydia could be hurt. What if they killed her?

As if Sam could read his mind, he screamed at him to get the car. That Lydia was safe. Jarod hesitated, giving her a long look before running for the vehicle.

Sam knelt next to Lydia. "Miss Parker," he shook her shoulder. Her eyes slowly opened.

"What happened? Where am I?" she asked confused.

"You'll be alright. Jarod's here soon," Sam said.

"Jarod?"

Than everything became clear. She realized she was back to normal, she was Miss Parker. She had no idea of what had triggered her memory, but she remembered everything, including Lydia and her new won relationship with Jarod.

She stared at Sam. "Thank you," she whispered.

"You're welcome. Miss Parker, I'm sorry. I never wanted this to happen, but you know the Centre… I couldn't stop them. Just promise me one thing, stay with Jarod and let him help you."

Miss Parker was quiet.

"You'll never go back to the Centre; you don't have to hide your emotions any longer, let your guard down… and let him love you. Please," Sam said.

Miss Parker nodded silently. She thought for a while. "You're right, I will," she said in a low voice.

The silence was broken as Jarod came with the car. He stopped next to Miss Parker and Sam.

"It's time," Sam said with a smile. He got up on his feet and helped Miss Parker to the passenger seat. Before he closed the door, he took her hand. She looked at him.

"I've always known you were different, you don't belong at the Centre," she said, looking into his eyes.

"Thanks, take care Miss Parker…"

"I will, goodbye," Miss Parker sighed. She never thought it would be so hard to say goodbye to her sweeper. But it was.

"Thank you for helping us," Jarod said.

Sam nodded. "Just take care of her!" he closed the door, giving Miss Parker one last look before he turned to walk back. He could hear the car drive off.

Just than the sweeper team came running.

"We just missed them," Sam lied. He smiled to himself, knowing that Miss Parker was on her way somewhere far away from the Centre. Together with the man she loved. Finally she'd found happiness. Finally she was free!

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The End.