Her father throws her into the ocean when she is small. It’s during one of the few times he manages to get off work (or wants to get off work) and the four of them drive to the sea coast. Johnny still speaks then, yells and splashes in the water and her mother sits on the beach with a hat and dark shades that cover a good half of her face.
Audrey plays near the water, away from Johnny and her mother, until she feels a hand clasped around her leg and looks up to see her father picking her up. She yells, more out of instinct than anything else and she’s in the water before she has time to register it.
She hardly knows what’s happening for a minute. She thrashes and flails, her lungs constricting and then she feels hands around her waist, her father picking her up and putting her on a rock. She blinks for a moment. She thinks Johnny is laughing somewhere in the distance. Her father is laughing too.
“My father taught me how to swim like that,” he says, putting a hand down on her shoulder, “It terrified me at first, you know. But I learned.”
He laughs again after that and again, and it is so loud.
When she is young, they talk about one day. When Johnny runs the business and Audrey finds a husband and sits with a paste-paper smile. One day.
Sometimes her father talks to her about business the way he used to talk to Johnny. Always reluctantly. Always as a second choice.
She and Donna and Laura play jump rope in first grade, chant through the alphabet until one of them trips. Bobby Briggs teases them and sometimes Donna cries and Laura corners him until he apologizes. She's friends with all of them, in her way and then she isn't at all.
Donna and Laura turn into their own unit, something fixed between the two of them that none of the boys (or anyone, for that matter) can seem to break through. Bobby Briggs remains as he was, loud and wild.
Audrey’s wild herself, she guesses, but in a different way. Nobody seems to listen.
After a certain age, she stops having friends.
Her father only hits her once, when she is twelve years old. It’s hard enough to shake the teeth in her mouth and he never apologizes.
Discipline is discipline in Twin Peaks. These kind of things aren’t questioned. The rest of the time it is words, admonishments, the occasional shake by her shoulders.
(The time up at One Eyed Jack's, that isn’t questioned either. It was a misunderstanding, he'd say, nothing more.)
She kisses one of her father’s colleagues when she is seventeen. He is drunk (she is drunk too), all hands and the two of them are alone in the lobby to the Great Northern, long after everyone else has left. He's more handsome than most of her father’s friends, dark haired and square jawed, not quite one of the men from the movies but close enough. There is a heavy gold ring on his finger but she decides not to notice that.
Audrey kisses him clumsily, all inexperience. It is no effort at all making him kiss her back - he’s nearly as sloppy at this as she is. Audrey has kissed boys before but only boys, Bobby Briggs once, in eighth grade, on a dare, a few in between then. High schoolers, boys too excited to know what they're doing. She’d expect him to be different, to know how to kiss her but he isn't, not really.
Her head spins. She's dizzy, from a mixture of the alcohol and the kissing and she's not sure why she's here, what she's going to gain from this. His hands move to her shirt next and she bats them away. She pulls back, plucks his hands off her and stands up. He clings a little but his hands are useless and clumsy and it isn't hard to slip out. He struggles to his feet after he sees she really is leaving, weakly attempts to follow after her.
“Hey. Hey, what are you doing?” he asks.
“Going upstairs. Going to bed. By myself.”
“I didn’t make you mad, did I?” A pause. “Tell me what I did, sweetie.”
“You didn’t do anything.”
“Don’t be scared,” he half-whines, “come on, sit back down.”
Audrey is halfway through the door before she speaks.
“You’re a pig.”
She tells Donna she slept with him, that he took her back to his room and the maid found them there naked in the morning. They’re sitting in the Double R Diner - Donna's alone (Laura is probably off somewhere, drifting) and Audrey sits next to her, recounts the whole thing without being prompted.
“My father was just livid,” she says, “he nearly called off the deal.”
Donna stares at her, incredulous. Audrey can't tell whether or not she believes her.
“Well, he wasn’t going to on my account.”
“I see,” says Donna, looking down into her soda.
“I think I prefer older men,” Audrey says, “boys our age just doesn’t have any idea what they’re doing, do they?”
“I think they’re all right.”
“Oh, I forgot. You’re seeing Mike, aren’t you?”
“That must be fun.”
“Well, it’s no wild hotel night with a businessman from New York.”
“Well, that’s why I don’t bother with boys,” Audrey says.
Donna laughs in her face.
Laura dies and it eats a hole in everyone. Not her. Not the same way.
Laura dies and something in the town dies with her, some sense of complacency, of pretense. It’s replaced with something urgent, a ringing in all their ears or maybe only hers.
Run run run run.
When she meets Dale Cooper, she's not sure what she expects him to be.
(Did she think he would be like other men? Did she think she could fool him?)
She shows up naked in his bed and he tells her to put her clothes on, hardly looks at her body (it's with a certain care, though, a kind of self-containment, he'd like to look and that's comforting, in a way). She is not sure whether she loves him more for that (love is an easy word to grasp onto when there’s never been anything like that before) or if it only makes her bitter.
They sit on his bed and drink malts and she tells him what she feels she can tell him, about her father and Catherine and Johnny. She asks him about himself and he tells her he was born in North Carolina, that he was recruited for the FBI out of college, that he’s lived and worked all over the country for the last ten years.
“That can’t be all,” she says.
“It’s the major points, I guess.” He smiles a little.
“You said you didn’t have secrets,” she says.
Dale asks her once if she is planning on college, casually, over one of their breakfasts.
“I don’t know,” she says, “I think they want to keep me here forever, really. I wouldn’t be surprised if thorns shot up around the town limits as soon as I tried to leave.”
“Well, it’s a good place, as far as I can tell,” he says, sipping his coffee.
She giggles, wondering what good it is he can possibly see in Twin Peaks.
“It’s a good place,” he continues, “but if you don’t want to stay, Audrey, you should go. Places aren’t always right for different people. I’m sure everyone will understand.”
She hasn’t met anyone like Dale Cooper before and it is no time at all before he’s gone. He falls away like smoke she’s trying to grab at.
She isn’t sure of the sense in wanting things. Not here. Maybe not anywhere.
She steals her father’s car and splits town with it on her nineteenth birthday. She’s sure he’d have bought her one of her own if she asked but she doesn’t ask, she just runs. She takes the savings her father put away from her out of the bank too.
She drives south alone with the radio on, drives and drives and wonders if they will forget her name.