He sees her once over the course of that winter, just over two months after she’d left. She’s coming towards him on the other side of a crowded street, bundled against the cold in a thick scarf and a hat that’s pulled low.
She does not see him.
For Lockwood, who has spent much of the past two months either numbly detached or hyper focused, the sudden reappearance of Lucy Carlyle sends a painful jolt of electricity through his heart.
Lucy, eyes downcast, is moving too fast. Before Lockwood can even comprehend what’s happening, she is past him and gone, swept away from him in the churning sea of people. Lockwood stops in the center of the road, people pushing past him on either side, his eyes following Lucy until she’s gone.
His heart is stuttering, each beat sharper than the one before as it works its way back to life. It’s angry and raw, threatening to pull away from him altogether in a desperate attempt to be reunited with her. The work of months is undone in seconds; Lockwood goes from blanket apathy to a sudden, intense rush of everything he’s forced his heart to suppress.
Go. Follow her. Get her back.
Each thought is accompanied by a step; his heart, in all its angry rebellion, has managed at last to override his head, because whatever else Lockwood may think, this is what’s most important. Lucy is. She may always be.
Please. Make this right.
Standing in the middle of the crowded street, eyes searching in vain for a girl who is long gone, Lockwood realizes two things in quick succession: first, if he tried to go after Lucy now, with no preparation and no plan, she’d send him away as readily as she had shut him down when he’d tried to stop her from leaving.
Second, no matter how long it takes him to find the right reason to ask, Lockwood is going to try. At long last, his heart is awake, and forcing him to acknowledge the very large, aching hole that was driven through it the day she walked away. The thought of suppressing it all over again, of forcing it back into its place and stifling every thought or feeling that’s even remotely connected to Lucy until he’s safely enclosed in his prison of apathy again, suddenly both repulses and exhausts him.
Maybe that’s why, after suffering at his hands for so long, his heart offers one final thought:
You love her.
It’s quiet, but it resonates through him with a certainty that he knows he will never be able to deny or forget. He loves Lucy. It doesn’t dull his pain—if anything, being so completely separated from her hurts more this way—but Lockwood lets the ache fuel his resolve. If there’s any chance that Lucy might feel the same, that she might want to come back, he’s going to find it. Until Lucy herself tells him to, he won’t give up.
Lockwood is going to get her back.