One more night. It was amazing how such a small revelation had made such a huge difference. She had pushed them away. She regretted it now, as she sat alone.
Alone. She wondered if they had even remembered. They had to have. Maybe they had counted the days. But they hadn't come. Not that she had told them where she was going. No, that would be logical. She knew she shouldn't, but she wished they were here. If they had forgotten, she had pushed them away better than she had thought. She knew it would make it easier for them to get over her leaving. It was inevitable. Why didn't they understand that?
She had to come back here before she left. It was where she had come before, when she had first figured out she was Lucy. It was a beach, but instead of being covered with sand, small, cold stones coated the ground. The sky was overcast. The clouds made it impossible to see the moon and stars. The next night the Hunter meteor shower would come bursting through that sky, and she wouldn't see the next day. She wouldn't be back for another 27 years, and even then, not as Audrey. She wondered who she would be then.
Her disappearance wasn't the important part. The troubles would disappear. It was worth it. It would save lives and fix lives that the troubles had broken. People would be able to get back to their daily lives. The lives that their troubles prevented them from living how they wanted to. There were so many people who would be helped. Jordan who couldn't touch anyone. Dwight who had gotten so many bullet holes. Nathan who couldn't feel anything. Out of those names and faces, she knew who she was fighting for. He would understand when she was gone. How it really did help people. How she did the right thing.
There he was. Though the dense fog and clouds made it nearly black out, she could see him clear as day. He was making his way across the rocky coastline. Nathan. He had come. She'd hoped he would.
"You didn't really thing I'd leave you out here all alone, did you?" He put his coat over her shoulders because he noticed she was shivering. He sat down with her, then gave her a more serious look and continued.
"Tomorrow, Audrey. The Hunter is tomorrow. What will you do?" Did he think she had forgotten? She would have laughed if it weren't so serious. He should've known she had counted down since the day she found out. She could see the concern in his face and voice, but she knew she had to tell him the truth, no matter how painful it would be for him.
"I'll go into the barn. I know you don't approve, but I need to. The troubles will be gone. Imagine what that means. You would be able to feel again. It will save lives and help so many people."
"I can feel you. That's enough. The troubles will come back. Besides, do you really think I'll let you get away? I'd protect you with my life, Audrey. Why won't you protect yourself?" She stood up, still shaking from the cold, and took a step away from him.
"Do you know how many deaths we can prevent? Besides, I don't think it's really your choice. Why can't you see the big picture? I have to do this. I've seen this town and its people suffer every day because of their troubles, and now I can just end it. All their suffering. I can't understand why Lucy would've run away from that." She hated being mad at him, especially with so little time left, but she needed him to understand.
"I've seen you. You fight for these people and help them every day. Now you're talking about dying for them, and maybe I think that's going a little too far. You're my partner, but you're more than that. You have things to live for other than the troubles now. Maybe that's why Lucy ran away." She sighed and gave up a little. She leaned against him and he squeezed her tight against his chest. She looked into his eyes.
"I wish there was another way. If you've got any other ideas, I'd like to hear them." She held her gaze. Their faces were close now, only an inch or two apart. She covered the distance in less than a second, and they shared a brief kiss. She pulled away and pressed her face into his chest to hide her tears. He felt strong, like he would hold her upright. She knew better. She knew he pulled her so close because he was afraid that this might be the last time.
"I won't let them take you away. I'll hole you close and the meteor shower will come and go, but you won't." She nodded, desperately holding on to the crazy idea that both knew wouldn't work.
"Come on. It's cold out. We should get to my house." His voice was commanding, like he knew what to do. She followed him. She didn't want him to leave her alone out here.
They drove for a short while. The sky had now turned orange and pink. Her last sunrise. The realization almost managed to panic her, but Nathan's presence kept her calm. This was her last day. It felt like such a short time. She wondered if a sudden death would've been better. She wouldn't be counting the days. She wouldn't have pushed them both away. Ruined her last few weeks. But she also wouldn't be here, in Nathan's car. Going to his house for the first time. She hated causing him so much pain, but she was glad he was here.
They went in. There were no pleasantries, like beverage offering. They knew they didn't have the time. They climbed into his bed. He held her close. They didn't talk, though there was so much they needed to say. The silence offered a kind of comfort that no amount of talking could. Evening came so fast. The meteors were beautiful. They rained down faster than you could count.
The barn showed up. He didn't have to ask her if she was leaving. He already knew. He bundled her up in his jacket, but went out without one himself. She kissed him. It was longer than there one earlier. She could tell he didn't want it to end, but she knew it had to. Again, she was the one who pulled away. It felt like a last kiss.
"You're unforgettable, Audrey Parker!" he yelled after her.
She started at a jog, but she needed to move faster or she would turn back or collapse. By the time she reached the barn, she was charging at top speed. She burst through the doors.