Title: Remembrance

Author: Kate Anderson

Email: sam_loves_jack@yahoo.ca

Disclaimer: I don't own any of the characters from Third Watch. They are the product of someone else's over-active imagination, not mine.

Rating: R

Spoilers: nothing major, just general knowledge of the series

Summary: What if you couldn't remember anything from your former life? Would you remember the most important person from it if you met him again?



Have you ever met someone one day and felt as though you've known that person for your entire life? A complete stranger, someone you met while standing in line at the store, or taking a walk in the park? I suppose that I might have known him Before. He could have been my friend, my lover, my husband even and we'd never have known.

I don't remember anything from Before, no one does. At least they claim to know something. Someone out there must. With one billion people on the planet, the odds are that someone remembers.

Sometimes I close my eyes and try to remember my life Before but it's blank. My memories begin from the moment I opened my eyes in the shelter.

We were all given identities, small mementos from our former lives. Most of us had personal information on us or near us when it happened. I know that my name is Faith Boscorelli and I'm 34 years old.

_____________

The sky's dark today, darker than usual. There are books and photographs from Before on display at the memorial downtown. The sky used to be a brilliant blue, like the colour of my eyes. But now it's a constant grey, distorted by the plastic dome that keeps us all safe.

I leave my apartment on 1st Avenue with my son in my arms. Jamie was born After. I was pregnant when it happened. I don't know who his father is, or was, they told me that I was found alone.

Jamie must take after his father because he's nothing like me. His blue eyes might be mine, but the rest of his features aren't. He can be hard to handle at times and other times he's the perfect little angel.

Jamie starts wiggling around in my arms, begging me to put him down so he can walk. "I'm a big boy mama!" he informs me, so I set him down and runs ahead.

I'm going to the store, Jamie and I received our goods stamps yesterday and he desperately needs new clothes. He's growing up so fast.

"Hurry up mama!" Jamie calls back to me and laughs. We pass a few families on our walk. Most families have formed After but a few are still together from Before. If they were together when it happened, they were lucky.

"Can I get new shoes?" Jamie asks me as he tries to pull open the heavy doors that lead into the store. The store is one of the few surviving buildings from Before. I reach out and help him pull.

"You bet sweetie, we'll get you new everything." Jamie grins at me what must have been his father's grin. "Yay!" he screams with joy and wraps his small arms around my legs for a quick hug.

Jamie releases my legs and grabs my hand. "Come on mama, the shoes are this way." He tugs on my hand and I'm dragged across the store by a four year old. The shoes are on the fourth floor and we take a set of stairs up. The stairs are called an escalator and some have speculated that they're supposed to move, but no one can get them working. We must have all been lazy Before if we couldn't walk up stairs.

I look around and see the store is busy today. A lot of other people must have received their goods stamps yesterday as well. I just hope that not all the good pairs of shoes in Jamie's size are taken.

"Mama! Look!" Jamie points to a large framed painting that's hanging on the wall. "What is that?"

I look at the painting and hold my son's hand tighter. "I don't know sweetie, but I hope that they don't live in New York." The painting depicts a large animal with a mass of fur around its neck. It's snarling and showing a mouthful of razor sharp looking teeth. The animal probably lived Before and is now gone, not many animals survived.

As I stare at the picture, Jamie lets go of my hand and runs off through the crowd. I figure he's just anxious to get to shoes so I follow him, expecting to find him pawing through the sale bins. When I get there, Jamie is no where in sight. "Jamie!" I call out, hoping that he'll hear my voice above the hum of the others.

A young woman glances over in my direction. She's holding the hand of a small dark haired boy. "Did you lose your son?" she asks me.

I nod. "Did you see a little boy with brown hair, wearing a red shirt and overalls run by here?"

The woman shakes her head and mumbles sorry. I notice that she clasps her own child's hand tighter and pulls him away from me. As if just being near me, the careless mother, will cause her to lose the boy. "Jamie!" I call out again.

My heart thuds in my chest, thinking that I've lost my child. My only companion. My only family. "Jamie!" I sound hysterical now and tears have started to run down my face.

"Excuse me, did you lose something?" A voice from behind me manages to break through my frantic thoughts of someone stealing Jamie. I turn around and through my veil of tears, I see a man holding my son out to me.

"Oh my God Jamie! Don't you ever do that to me again!" I say and snatch my son from the arm's arms. Jamie wraps his arms around my neck and nuzzles me.

"Sorry mama," he whispers. "I wanted to look at the toys."

I look at the man who rescued my son for me closely for the first time. He's smiling at me and I feel my heart skip a beat. His smile is Jamie's.

"Glad that I could help out ma'am." the man says and nods. He turns to leave. My mind is going a mile a minute, wondering who this man is.

"Wait!" I call out and the man stops. "I don't even know your name and I want to thank you!"

He turns around again and walks back towards me. Even his walk is familiar, the self assured, half swagger. "Maurice." he says and offers me his hand.

I shift Jamie around so that I have one hand free. "I'm Faith. Thank you for bringing my son back to me."

"Faith." The man whose name is Maurice repeats my name and then smiles Jamie's smile again. "That's a pretty name."

His name stirs nothing inside me, not like his smile or his walk do. I shrug it off and decide that must be nothing more than a coincidence. I couldn't possibly remember anything from Before, I'm just being silly. "It's nice meeting you Maurice." I say and then nod slightly at him.

Jamie's arms are still around my neck and he whispers into my ear, "I like Maurice, he smells nice."

Maurice, who won't stop smiling my son's smile, nods at me as well and then turns around again. This time I don't stop him.

_______________

"Look at me mama!" Jamie is trying on his new clothes.

"Do you like your new pants?" I ask him. I wasn't sure about the pants at the store, but Jamie insisted that we get them. 'They look like Maurice's pants mama' is what Jamie said to me.

"I love them!" Jamie shouts and begins to spin around in circles with his arms out to his side.

"You're going to make yourself sick." I warn my son, but he doesn't heed my warnings, he never does, so I put out an arm and stop him. He scowls at me and sits down on the floor and picks up a toy that we bought him.

"What do you think this is?" Jamie holds up his new toy.

"It's called a car sweetie." I reply. I know about those, they have pictures and information about them at the memorial. "People used them Before."

"What are these things on top of it?" Jamie points to the small objects set on top of the car.

I shrug. "They look like lights. Maybe it's a special kind of car. What does it say on the side?" I've been trying to teach Jamie how to read but he's been very stubborn about it so far.

"N...Y...P...D.." Jamie says, sticking out his bottom lip as he concentrates. "What does that mean mama?"

"I'm not sure sweetie." I say and I get a fluttery feeling in my chest. It's that same feeling that I got when I looked at Maurice today.

Jamie yawns and rubs his eyes. He pushes the car across the floor for a while before tiring of it and setting it aside. "I'm tired." he says and yawns again for emphasis.

"Bedtime?" I ask, wondering if Jamie will protest. He usually does, but if he's really tired, he'll go with no fuss. Tonight seems to be one of those no fuss nights as he nods. I pick him up and carry him into his room.

"Do you want to sleep with Mr Jubbles or Mr Hubbles tonight?" I look at the two stuffed toys that are set near Jamie's bed. Jamie crawls into the bed and pulls the covers up to his neck.

"Mr Jubbles, I slept with Mr Hubbles last night." Jamie replies and he sounds as though I should have known the answer without having to ask.

I set Mr Jubbles, a brightly coloured animal, down beside my son and then push the hair back from Jamie's forehead. I press a kiss onto him and Jamie kisses me back. "Night mama." he says sleepily.

"Goodnight Jamie." I reply and slowly leave his room.

With Jamie in bed there isn't much for me to do. I own a few books, relics from Before but I've read them all so many times that I have them memorized. They're all romance novels that involve a man sweeping the woman off her feet into a passionate love affair. Sometimes I wonder if it was like that between myself and Jamie's father.

I curl up on the small couch and rest my head on the arm. The neighbours are being noisy again tonight. They're constantly fighting. The man's name is Fred and though I've met him a few times, I don't like him. He has two kids, a girl and a boy. I get the girl, Emily to babysit Jamie sometimes.

"Shut up Fred." I mutter. "Just stop yelling at the kids." Fred, of course, doesn't listen to me, he never does.

I close my eyes and slowly drift off into sleep.

I'm standing in the middle of the street, looking at the back of someone's head. It's probably a man, judging by the short hair. He's running ahead of me, increasing the distance between us quickly. Looking around I can see one of the cars, like Jamie's toy. Except this one's not a toy, this one's real.

"Faith!" A voice calls my name and I look around.

"Where are you!? Talk to me!" I call out. My voice is frantic.

Another car pulls up and two men jump out. They're wearing hats and what looks like a uniform. I look down and see that I'm dressed exactly like them.

"What's going on here?" asks one of the men. He's looking at me with a worried expression on his face.

"He's not answering!" I reply.

Suddenly there's loud bangs and I jump. In the distance someone cries out in pain and I feel my heart jump and my stomach begins to twist. "Oh my God! Bosco!"

I wake up with sweat beaded on my brow. I wipe it off and try to slow my breathing down. I hope that I didn't cry out and disturb Jamie.

I get off the couch and tip-toe down the hall. Pushing open the door to Jamie's room just a crack, I look in and see that he's curled up with Mr Jubbles in his arms. I close the door again and walk back down the hall.

"Bosco..." I say under my breath. "Who's Bosco?" I couldn't see the face of the man who was running ahead of me. It doesn't matter though, it was just a dream. A dream brought on by Jamie's questions about his toy car.