Katrina takes over the story to describe Lou’s comatose state during the first three days after Lou returns from the holiday. Lou’s parents wonder if Lou is finally mourning her breakup with Patrick, or has caught some tropical disease, but Treena assures them that Lou is just jet-lagged. Treena then goes in to Lou’s room to talk to Lou, and finds out that Will did not reconsider his end of life plan. Treena crawls in bed with her sister, unable to think of how to help Lou deal with this pain.
Lou’s parents give both an emotional reason and a physical reason for Lou’s current distress, but they are unaware of the real reason she is so upset. Treena is aware, but has no idea how to help Lou with this emotional pain. Moyes points out that emotional pain is often much harder to soothe than physical pain.
The next day, Lou manages to come out of her room. Treena takes Lou and Thomas to go feed ducks at the castle pond, and Lou can’t keep her eyes off the Traynor’s house down the street. Treena tells Lou to go talk to Will, but Lou says there is no point. Treena then tells Lou that Lou received a letter from the college program she applied to and has an interview tomorrow. Lou mournfully sniffs that she can’t go, but Treena insists that now is the time that Lou should finally get her life together. The argument is cut short when Thomas runs out of duck food, but it looks like Treena has won.
Lou wants to give up on her new ambitions to go to school now that Will has officially given up, but Treena won’t let her. Lou needs the help and support of those who love her in order to succeed. With or without Will, Lou now has to live her best life for herself. Yet these concerns have to take a back seat to Thomas – Lou and Treena can never escape their obligations to their family.
Treena gets Lou ready for her college interview and sends her off on the bus. At dinner that night, Lou is despondent, even though the interview actually went really well. As her family congratulates her on the college news, Lou burst into tears and tells her family the whole story of what she has been through with Will. Bernard assures Lou that she did everything she possibly could for Will, while Josie criticizes Camilla for letting her son even think of this plan. Lou tries to defend the impossible position that Camilla is in, and the complicated situation that Will’s life has become, but Josie will hear none of it.
Lou cannot fully enjoy the success in her professional life due to the trouble in her personal life, another nod to the interconnected nature of physical and emotional health. Lou’s family acts out a mini debate of all the perspectives in the right-to-die debate, with Josie advocating for the sanctity of all life no matter the circumstances while Bernard and Lou are more willing to look at the specific situation.
The thirteenth of August arrives, the day of Will’s Dignitas appointment. Treena tries to convince Lou to come out of the house, but Lou only sits and worries whether she made the right choice not accompanying Will to Switzerland. Treena realizes that she has never loved a man the way that Lou seems to love Will. The only comparison Treena can make is how she would feel if Thomas were about to die.
Moyes points out the similarities between the depth of emotion that Lou feels for Will and that Treena feels for her son. The bond between mother and child is perhaps the most sacred bond, and adds major emotional weight to Lou and Will’s relationship.
The doorbell rings, and Lou jumps up to answer it on the off-chance that it is Will. However, it is a reporter from the Globe who wants Louisa’s side of the very sensitive William Traynor story. Lou slams the door in the reporter’s face and Treena tells everyone not to answer the door for anyone. The phone starts to ring too, and reporters congregate on the Clarks’ lawn. Treena realizes that Patrick must have tipped off the media about Louisa and Will. Treena calls Patrick to tell him off and fits in an insult over his sad 157th place in the Xtreme Viking Triathlon.
Lou is still willing to believe the best for Will, despite all indication that she should give up hope. Yet Lou’s support of Will has caused problems for her life in the media attention that now plagues the Clarks. Patrick has seemingly lashed out due to his jealousy over Lou – he gave up their relationship because of his obsession with physical fitness, but he was not even successful at those pursuits.
Around 7 pm, the reporters finally leave and Treena asks Lou to go give Thomas a bath so that Lou won’t be able to check all the messages from the telephone. Treena starts to delete all of the reporter’s messages, but stops when she hears a message from Camilla Traynor. Treena rushes up to the bathroom and forces Lou to call Camilla back. Lou has a short, tense conversation with Camilla. It turns out, Will is still alive and Camilla has booked Lou the last flight out that day to Switzerland.
Lou is able to put aside her emotional pain in order to care for her family, and she finds meaning in these acts of love. Camilla’s call gives Lou one last chance to be with the man she loves.