Shawn stared out the window. He pulled his beat-up baseball cap down lower over his eyes. Clouds gathered in the sky. A storm was coming. It might even delay his escape.
Shawn descended the steps of the city bus and walked down the sidewalk. He thrust his hands in his pockets, trying to thaw his freezing fingers. He looked ahead, barely taking notice of anyone or anything around him. Everything felt like a blur.
Shards of recent memories burned in his mind. He never had the best relationship with his father, but tonight, things changed for good. Shawn couldn't stand to live with the man who drove his mother out of their family, the man who arrested his own son, the man who worked tirelessly to ruin his son's life.
Shawn fought any emotion. He didn't want to feel, so he didn't. He felt nothing at all. Nothing but a lingering desire to get the hell out of Santa Barbara.
"You can't run from your life, Shawn."
Henry's voice echoed in Shawn's head, but Shawn forced it away. He clutched his drawstring bag tighter. Shawn walked into the airport and weaved through the crowd of people. Shawn flinched as echoes of the argument with his dad flitted through his mind.
Somewhere in the back of Shawn's mind, he had a fleeting realization that there were twenty-four hats in the airport terminal. A certain anger crept into Shawn. What did that gift even mean anymore? What did it ever mean?
Approaching the ticket desk, Shawn handed the woman his credit card and asked for the next flight to Miami. The woman's gaze flicked down at him and back to his eyes. Her eyebrow slowly hitched upward.
"What?" snapped Shawn.
"Luggage?" the woman asked hesitantly.
"Don't need any." muttered Shawn as the woman handed him a ticket. When he took it, she didn't let go. He met her eyes.
"Didn't anyone ever tell you that running away doesn't fix anything?" Her gaze was genuine. Her kind, innocent eyes searched his. Maybe under normal circumstances, he would have considered her words. Maybe he would have pushed aside his anger and flirted with her. Maybe he would have changed his mind about leaving.
Under normal circumstances, he would have done a lot of things differently.
Shawn tugged on the ticket and she let it go. He averted his eyes. "Maybe not," said Shawn quietly, but firm. "But there's just some things that can't be fixed."
Shawn left the desk, strung his bag over his shoulder and handed his ticket to the man waiting at the door. Shawn boarded the plane without a single look back.
Shawn stared out the window. He watched the rain hit the glass of the Psych office window. Shawn reached a hand to his right shoulder, mindlessly massaging the stab wound.
"If I just didn't give you my jacket… Then everything would still be okay."
"But you did, Shawn. You did."
Shawn sighed. He looked around the darkening room. He felt numb. Empty. Shawn looked back at his computer screen at the photo of himself and Juliet at Lassiter's wedding. Him. Juliet.
And that damned jacket.
A rush of anger suddenly rose in Shawn's chest. He slammed the laptop shut, tired of looking at his greatest mistake. He sank into his desk chair.
"Shawn, I think—I know… I need space."
Space. Shawn propped his elbows on the desk and held his head in his hands, feeling his headache from the concussion creep back. He sighed.
Shawn pulled out his phone and scrolled the Yellowpages. He found a number and made a quick call then he stood. Juliet was right. Space might not be such a bad idea.
But the last time Shawn needed space, he didn't come back for over ten years.
Nearly twenty minutes later, Shawn looked up as a horn sounded outside. A yellow cab waited in the street. Shawn grabbed his wallet and phone. He didn't need anything else. He left the office and got into the cab. He slid across the backseat. The driver, an Indian man a few years older than Shawn himself, gave Shawn a smile.
"Mr. Spencer?" asked the driver.
"Yeah," said Shawn absentmindedly. "Airport, please."
"My name's Juan," said the driver. He backed the cab up and pulled into the street. Shawn didn't respond. He just stared out the window and watched the rain.
"What you need the airport for?" asked Juan. Shawn slowly shifted his gaze to the rearview mirror, seeing the eagerness in Juan's eyes staring back at him.
"I need some… space," said Shawn quietly, hating to be repeating the words Juliet spoke, the words that felt like a knife in his heart.
"I think you should move out."
It was as if the wind had been knocked out of him. Shawn's gaze fell back to the window of the cab, watching the rain pick up, the drops spilling in a mess of rivulets on the glass. He couldn't help noticing the appropriateness of the weather, considering his mood.
"Space from…?" prompted Juan, making a right down the next street.
Shawn shut his eyes, irritation growing. Under normal circumstances, he would have indulged the driver. But this wasn't a normal circumstance. He didn't have patience for anything at the moment. "I appreciate the concern, Juan, I really do. But I'd really rather we have a quiet trip."
"Yes, I understand, I understand," said Juan, nodding. Shawn and Juan sat in silence for about thirty seconds before Juan said, "You know, I'm a big fan."
Shawn looked back at the rearview mirror. "I'm sorry?"
"Well, you're Shawn Spencer!" exclaimed Juan. "I read about you and that Gurton Buster in the paper. You're the psychic!"
"Yeah," said Shawn, about to correct Gus' name, but instead just said, "Well, thanks, Juan." Shawn leaned his head against the window. It was either his mild, day-old concussion or the weather that was killing his head. He let the chilled glass sooth the dull throb. Shawn shut his eyes, wondering what he was doing. Where was he going to go? Back to Miami? He sighed. He didn't want to go to Miami. Was he really going to leave? Make the same mistake he made years ago? He wanted to be with Juliet. That's all he's wanted ever since she found out the truth.
Ever since he lost her.
Shawn kicked himself. How could he have been so stupid? Lifting a hand, Shawn rubbed his tired eyes. He hadn't slept in nearly two days. Juliet hadn't been returning his calls. Shawn hadn't contacted anyone. Gus had tried calling Shawn a few times, but Shawn didn't want to talk to him. He didn't want to talk to anyone. There was nothing he wanted to say.
He just wanted Juliet back in his arms.
Shawn opened his eyes. The passing buildings and houses came back into focus and Shawn watched them slide in and out of his vision. He watched as Juan made a left—
"Hang on," said Shawn, lifting his head. "You made a wrong turn. The airport is back that way," said Shawn, pointing in the opposite direction.
Juan didn't reply. He kept driving. Shawn sat up. "Juan, you made a wrong turn," repeated Shawn slowly. "Turn the car around."
"I can't do that," said Juan in a quiet voice. Shawn's heart skipped a beat. His hand shot toward the door and he tried to open it, but it was locked. The unlock button was busted. How hadn't he noticed that when he got in? He notices everything.
Heart picking up more speed, Shawn looked at Juan. "Where are you taking me? Who are you?"
"Oh, my name really is Juan!" said Juan quickly. "But, see… I'm in a little trouble here, Shawn Spencer…"
"What kind of trouble?" demanded Shawn, removing his seatbelt, trying to think of the smartest way out. He glanced around the car. He yanked on the door again.
"People are looking for me," said Juan, stepping on the gas suddenly. The car lurched forward, throwing Shawn backward.
"Who?" asked Shawn through clenched teeth as pain radiated from his stab wound.
"I lost his money—I didn't think he'd find me—!" exclaimed Juan, looking cautiously behind him. Shawn followed his gaze. The road behind them was clear.
"Stop the car!" yelled Shawn.
"You're a psychic," said Juan quickly. "You can find it, right?"
"Juan, stop the car!" repeated Shawn. Shawn pushed off the backseat and reached for the wheel and pulled it to the left, almost hitting the car passing by.
"I had the money at the taxi station—swear! Maybe it was someone at the station… Maybe they switched the cabs—" continued Juan, yanking the wheel back his way, making Shawn fall forward, narrowly avoiding smacking his head on the dashboard. He grabbed the wheel again, and tried to steady the car.
"You're going to crash it!" yelled Shawn, trying to pry off Juan's hand. Juan held tight. They came dangerously close to another car beside them, and Shawn threw himself forward, grabbing the wheel and twisting it back to the right. The car blared its horn. Shawn saw something out the corner of his eye and was suddenly paralyzed, watching the SUV, black as night, driving straight at him.
He didn't even feel it strike.