Disclaimer: Those words written in italicized fonts are not mine, they're Tracy Chapman's although I can't remember the title of her song from which I took them. And oh yeah, don't own lost either.

Seconds apart

If you wait for me,

Then I'll come for you.

Although I've traveled far,

I always hold a place for you in my heart.

Today is a good day, she wants to tell him. The sun seems higher up in the sky. The sky's bluer than she'd ever seen. There's not a cloud in sight. Or at least, she can't see any from her small window. She imagines he'd agree with a slight nod and a smile gracing his lips.

He comes in bits and pieces to her, like cut-up pictures to a puzzle; she pictures his eyes first, brown and warm with mirth. Then his forehead which creases over his raised brows. His brown crop of hair, smooth to the touch. His ears. His sharp chin. The rough stubble along his jaw. His high cheekbones. His structured nose. His thin lips curled into a smile. This is all what memory could afford her – still pictures of a daydream. She is grateful, nonetheless. She has found out that if she flits through them fast enough with her mind's eyes, like the old-fashioned comic strips she'd grown up with, she could almost see him move, eyes dancing with a volume of emotions she had, time and again, tried to dissect. She'd fix these mental pictures with conversations and confessions. In them, he is always smiling, laughing, and sometimes crying, arguing, cursing. Today, she marvels at him about the nice weather. Later, she hopes to share with him a secret. But he's smiling an odd smile, one which tells her he's known it all along.

So she keeps the silence and, standing still, leans her back against the wall, dangerously resembling someone who's doing nothing he'd say. But she's hardly that she would tell him, continuing the light banter in her head – she's keeping track of time. By the height of the sun in the sky, and the ensuing heat, she guesses it's roughly about midday. And any moment now, they'd be let out for lunch, followed by a quick stroll around the court area. On any other day, she'd be one of those to line up for food in the mess hall. On any ordinary day, she'd be playing cards with her friends by one of the benches. But today is a good day. And she resolves she would spend it by counting down the seconds.

The sound of metal against metal distracts her from the task. "Katherine Austen," the voice seems to echo through the small, bare cell.

"That's me." She turns her head, her eyes immediately locked onto the cell door that's invitingly gaping open. She stifles instinct and remains still.

"Well, ain't it your lucky day?" The woman puts on a smile, which Kate promptly ignores.

"Do you think it would be possible to skip the crap?" She removes her back from the wall, puts all her weight on her feet, crossing her arms in front of her chest. "I can't stand to be here a minute longer."

"A bit cranky, aren't we?"

"Sorry, Ford." She sighs and her frown breaks into a slight smile. "But five years in this place could do that to you."

"Understandably so." She motions for her to walk out of the cell. Kate didn't need to be told twice.

"We'll have to finish your release papers first. It shouldn't take more than 30 minutes."

"Think I can handle that." As she walks past her cell door, into the long row of cells, she resumes her count.