Claire is inside a small suburban home, she is folding clothes and sheets that have just recently been washed. She looks up to someone sitting at the kitchen bench.
“Thanks for staying, Kate” Claire said kindly.
“I think he’s finally getting used to it. He almost called me mommy today, but then he stopped himself and called me ‘Aunty’” Kate smiled.
“Still feels weird.” Claire said uncomfortably.
“It’s only been a month… and he really does love you.” Kate assured her.
“Yeah, but it’s such a long way from home for you, you didn’t need to do this.” Claire said.
“Yes. I did. And please, you don’t need to thank me again.” Kate pleaded.
“I know, I know. But it’s not just that, it’s the whole thing, you know, you and Jack looking after Aaron, like your own, then coming back to the island. God knows what would have happened to me if I stayed.”
Kate just stared into emptiness, with a saddened look on her face.
“You miss him, don’t you.” Clair asked rhetorically.
She smiled, then took a deep breath and replied:
“Possibly as much as you miss Charlie”
They both smiled and let out a little laugh of relief.
“Besides” Kate continued, “Australia’s not that much different to home, it’s just a lot hotter here!”
“How long do you think you’ll stay in Sydney for?” Claire asked, then continued, “…you know you’re welcome to stay, for as long as you want.”
Kate just smiled and said:
“I think I’ll stay for his birthday and then, I was thinking of ‘going bush’ for a while.” Kate explained.
“I think Aaron would you around for his birthday. Can I get you another tea?” Claire asked.
“No thanks, I’m going to go down to the corner shop, would you like anything?”
“Ummm, maybe some milk for Aaron, if you could? There’s money on the counter.” Claire went back to folding her clothes and felt quietly comfortable.
Kate walks out of the front door, the house number 313, can be seen as she walks out the front. It’s a sunny day and there are some people walking around on the street.
Kate puts on her sunglasses, she prefers not to be seen, as there are still people who come up to her on the street to ask her questions about her ordeal.
She walks into a shop on the corner of two streets. The shop-keeper is reading a newspaper on the counter.
Kate looks around, everything in the shop seems so familiar and yet so different. She takes of her glasses to look at the items for sale.
In the centre of the shop is a metal basket full of junk. A sign above it reads ‘bargain bin’. She smiles to herself, then, is compelled to look inside.
Inside, she finds an old lunch box, with the letters NKOTB on it. She looks at it oddly.
Someone behind her suddenly talks to her, Kate is temporarily startled.
“You know they’re looking for it?” A young girl in her mid 20s said.
“I’m sorry, what?” Kate asked in a state of confusion.
“Don’t worry, they won’t find it” she assured Kate.
“Sorry, do I know you?” Kate asked.
“Oh brother!” The girl haughed, then continued, “Haven’t you read the newspapers?” she huffed.
“What?” Kate stammered, then instinctively went to look at the newspaper.
The headline read:
“The search for Oceanic Island.”
Kate turned back to the girl and asked:
“Who are you? Do I know you?”
The girl replied: “I’m Charlotte, Charlotte Malkin, but that’s not important. Don’t worry Kate, they won’t find it.”
Kate continued to read the newspaper. Then without looking up, she asked the girl:
“…but how do you know…” then when Kate looked up, the girl had gone. Kate stuck her head out the shop door to look for the girl, but there was no one there.
“Hey, lady!” The shopkeeper yelled. “You gonna pay for that?”
“Ah, yeah. Sorry, um, I need to buy some other things as well.” She replied.
“Well.” Said the shopkeeper. “Are you gonna sit there talking to ya self, or you shoppin?”
Kate just gave him an angry look, then walked back into the shop.
Inside a dimly lit room, with a desk and sitting on the corner of the desk is a desk lamp. There are folders on shelves, a sound of a CD playing in the background and books stacked up on the other side of the desk.
Hugo is sitting at a chair, trying to read through some folders.
There is a knock on the door.
“Yeah” Hugo sighs.
Someone walks through the door and Hugo looks sheepishly up at the person.
“How are you getting on?” Ben asks.
“I don’t get it. It’s just too much reading!” Hugo replies angrily.
“Yes, well, it is thousands of years old, Hugo. One would not expect to understand everything in a few days.” Ben assured him.
“Well, have you read it all?” Hugo asked.
Ben looked a little shameful, then replied. “Most of this is only every given to… well, people like you.” He sneered.
“I mean, do you even know what’s underneath this Island?” Hugo enquired.
Ben just looked blankly.
“I have, some understanding” He replied.
“You mean, all the time you’ve been here, you never got to see all these books and stuff?” Hugo asked.
“No, Hugo. I just always trusted what Jacob told me… you know, I never even met the man until… well, until he died. Before then, I just trusted his word.” Ben replied.
“But why would you trust someone you didn’t even know?” Hugo enquired.
“Oh, I don’t know Hugo, perhaps that’s why it’s called ‘blind faith’?” He huffed.
“Well, you know me, right?” Hugo asked rhetorically.
“Yes, I know you Hugo. You’re one of the good guys.” He said with confidence.
“Then, you can trust me, right?” Hugo asked.
“What are you getting at Hugo?” Ben questioned.
“Well, the thing is, I don’t think it was such a good idea to trust Jacob.” Hugo concluded.
Ben just looked up to the ceiling and said coldly:
“Well, it’s a good thing we have Walt then.”
“Yeah, he’s a good kid.” Hugo smiled.
“Then, when he’s ready, perhaps we can finally make up for all the damage that has been done.” Ben concluded.
“How will we know when he’s ready?” Hugo asked.
“I don’t know Hugo, why don’t you ask him?” Ben suggested.
“Well, it beats sitting around here all day.” Hugo said, closing the folders. Hugo then walked out, like a man with a mission.
Ben just stood there for a while, then walked over to the table, where the folders lay then stopped, touched the cover of one of the folders as if to open it.
He looked at them with curiosity and envy. He looked up at the ceiling, let go of the folder, then, just walked out the door.