By: Amee Eliza
It was December eighteenth in the year nineteen-ninety three.
The inside of the house was a bit chilly from the bad weather they has received the last few days.
The lawns of the community were almost flooding. Everyone took as much time off work as possible to relax and prepare for Christmas.
Alex was only five then and she was impatient to finish her daily two pages from her book: Dharma Mathematics book 2.
Ben was heading to the bathroom when his little one came to him. It stopped him.
He wore jeans, a boring white T-shirt, and a coat to keep him warm. Still, he rubbed his arms now and then because he was cold.
He was suffering from a carrot cake he had just baked this morning.
Alex made the frosting (with Ben nervously looking back to make sure she did not mess things up too badly) and he made the cake.
Alex loved it. She asked him: "Dad, where do we get recipes?"
Ben squinted unsure of how to answer, but then he took in air and said: "Your mother's side of the family were very good bakers."
It almost hurt to tell her this, but he knew it was better to mention her mom's death now, then to just pop up unexpectedly and tell her. The problem was, she wasn't dead.
A shadow came to his face, because he recalled what happened. They had the French woman's position nailed and her baby daughter was the goal.
"Did you get her?" Ben recalled asking. Danielle was suppose to be retrieved but the woman had escaped their grasp.
Ethan's face looked almost devilish in his hoodie. The trek through the jungle towards Danielle's hideout had been a planned one, but Ethan was chosen to be the medical consultant; if in any case the mother or the child was harmed.
Ben thought he might tell him about his appearance, but he steered clear from it.
"Stop it, Ethan." Ben told him with a strong tone lined with pity.
Ethan looked at Ben in disdain.
"What?" Ethan muttered, knowing what he was directing towards.
"I know what you are thinking about. It does no good to keep thinking about it." Ben knew exactly why he had said this statement.
The doctor's eyes were weary and he had obviously been in a tumult of feelings. He trashed his house looking for a picture just the other morning looking for a picture of her. His wife and his child had been lost. Never to be discovered by the sun again.
When it came time to burying her he could barely look to the earth, because that is where she would be. Down there, in the deep. It reminded him of some base corny poem that he had brushed over long ago. He didn't have a lot of patience for Old English.
"Ben, I'll try." Ethan said leaving Ben in one of the operating rooms. Ben did not have a chance to speak again.
"Why is this happening Jacob?" He had requested that day in his heart.
Those thoughts had come, but Jacob made no reasoning and Ben did not appeal to the court's judge.
"A worthless day." Ben thought upon looking outside, but then he looked back to his little one.
"Dad there's nothing I can find to do." Alex's voice was so small it made Ben's eyes watery.
"Let me go to the restroom and we'll talk about it then. Okay?"
Alex made no reply; but was rushed by and left in the wind of Ben's quick movement towards the bathroom.
Ben has eaten two hunks of the cake and he was suffering. His lower stomach hurt and churned. He felt as if barf could come at any moment as he burped a stinging crept up his throat.
Ben thought of what he and Alex could do. A smile played on his face.
"Shove the kid in the rain, she'll have a blast."
A less amiable subject approached him. He almost shook.
Images of his father telling him things skipped in his mind. Ben was relieved to have his desired result: to eliminate the force that drove him to the cold lands that his heart inhabited.
"You killed your mom."
Those fours words that equaled an accusation stayed with him. Like a bacteria that lives in a person for years upon years but never does enough damage to kill, only to slowly penetrate into your defense system and take it over.
"I really wasn't thinking." Ben uttered out loud as he washed his hands. A cold wind was whipping outside and he turned to see the trees lashing about.
He disturbed himself with those words but then brushed them off.
He had to come he reminded himself. Privately, he was in no mood for a child.
"Alex, where are you?" Ben called.
The front door was open and Alex stood on the porch.
"I thought I heard something daddy."
"Just the wind-" He stopped in the formation of his sentence to look about him.
He then immediately knew what to do.
"I'll tell you what kiddo, if you promise not to take those raisins anymore, then we'll do something fun and new." The words "fun" and "new" even excited him.
He had a lot of work to catch up on and presents to wrap, but why not cheat? No polar bear would jump our of nowhere and eat his skull from existence.
Alex timidly said: "But I love your raisins."
"You can't eat so many. You will get sick. Don't you understand?"
Alex sighed (which was hilarious to Ben): "Okay, I won't. But can I have some sometimes?"
Ben hair became disarrayed in the mist and winds that blew past his head.
"Sure, Alex." Ben told her.
He tried not to smile, but it was hard. Sometimes the subjects children held as important gave him the giggles.
He remembered clearly the day he and Alex sat at the table trying to go over her alphabet.
He held up the card C.
"C as in what?"
Alex sniffled: "Is it said cuh?"
"Yes, but what word can C make?" Ben quizzed running his hand through his hair. The lack of stimulation made him rub his head, shoulders, and arms as if he had some ache.
"Like the word kite?" Alex said taking a raisin from Ben's pile.
"Alex, those are daddy's raisins. Can't you get some in the kitchen."
Alex whined: "I don't know where they are."
"Seek and you will find." Ben said without explanation shooing her to the kitchen quarters.
He called over his shoulder: "I think they're on the counter."
He hoped Alex had heard him.
"Dad are they in the red box?" Alex squeaked.
"Yes, sunmaid, I think." He called over his shoulder.
Alex came in with the whole carton.
"Alex are you going to eat those all?"
"Not now." Alex said with a serious face.
Now that Alex was five she had learned all her alphabet but was not aware that people were too busy at times to play with her.
Alex and Ben trudged inside the house, where it was quite warmer. Ben had turned on the heat, but he didn't see why: it didn't help much.
The house had a lot of cracks in the windows and some even were presents in the foundation. So, it was in no way insulated to keep the heat from escaping.
A cup that had held the little girl's orange juice still lay on the counter top and the man's bacon grease still existed in the pan that had been used to cook sausage earlier that morning.
Ben overlooked the mess and bundled her in her raincoat and boots.
The rubber boots were the color of bananas and had pictures of a monkey on sole of the foot.
Why it had the vivacious outline of a monkey on the sole, Ben didn't know. If the manufactures wanted the child to see this decoration, "Shouldn't it be on the top, so that the child could see it?"
Little questions such as that came to his head at times. Raising the child was easy. He knew the only way to raise the child was to give her what he had never received. Love and devotion had marked him and he almost could be mistaken as a true father (except if it hadn't been for his bouts of wanting a little space).
"Okay, out we go."
"Out where dad?"
"We are going to play a little game." Ben announced. What was this game? He knew he would have to make it up as he went along.
"The only way I am going to make this fun is if I play the villain and she plays the hero." He mused.
They trudged out the door: Ben in front and Alex wondering behind. She trailed his feet for a while then tried to get ahead.
Ben stopped her when they came to the miserably dead grass.
"Here is the ocean." He indicated the watery beds of grass.
"You can go in the ocean, but I can go too. Now the object of the game is to find the rocks of gold in the ocean-"
Alex interrupted. "Treasure? Like Captain Hook?"
Ben paused trying to remember that particular tale of Peter Pan.
"Pan." She answered.
"No, not like a treasure as in a person. An object. Like money, gold, jewelry."
Alex looked away from him. Ben's flags of warning came up.
"So, you need to find the rocks in the sea before the villain does. When you arrive out of the ocean, then the bad guy can't hurt you."
Ben gathered three stones. He hid them in the grassy field.
"I'll be the bad guy and you will be the adventurer."
Ben made sure that she had payed attention but the rain came once more. She ran around like an ape on steroids.
Ben smiled and grasped her arms.
She wiggled away and found a rock. She ran out from the sea and threw it on the walkway.
A couple snails were stepped on and the game was paused. Ben looked at their squirming as they died. Alex poked them.
She started to cry.
"I killed the snails." She said silently.
"Alex, let's go inside."
Alex didn't want to go inside, so he had to command her.
"It was an accident." He reminded her concerning the snail victims.
Her little face was sad. He ran down the hallway and got her towel.
He wrapped her up and took off her wet clothes. She sat on couch in her relatively dry underwear and towel; she shivered a little. Ben sat next to her unsure of how to react at the sudden silence.
"I wish I could have a stiff cup of coffee."
He didn't want to go to kitchen. He only wanted to be near her. What if a moment happened when he knew she would never be his again? This was too terrible to bring out as a possibility.
He took her because it was the right thing to do. Fate spoke that it was meant to be as the foundation, and the fact that her mother was insane:she has annulated her crew in no time flat.
This thoughts did not justify himself in his mind. Nothing seemed to give him credence these days. More problems would arise and bigger challenges would present themself to him. It could be Widmore, Jacob, Alex, his own people perhaps. What if he lost the game? Then the whole island would go down with him.
His eye's turned to Alex to catch her expression.
"Dad, do you remember when it was warm in the summertime?"
Ben tried to go where she was in her thoughts. He recalled going to the beaches and sipping lemonade. He never cared for it. He preferred plain water. It wasn't sour or too sweet, just right to satisfy the thirst.
"I had a beach towel with a whale. Remember?"
He shook his head negatively.
"I lost it." She said. He somehow could tell she felt bad about something.
"I told you that it was at home but it was in the waves."
Alex asked him: "Are you mad?"
He didn't know what to say. He struggled to say something with sense.
"I don't want you to lie anymore. I am not mad but I wish you would of told me."
Alex nodded and snuggled next to him.
He hoped she would never leave his side.
"Read me the story about Peter Pan." She suddenly said with tingling excitement.
The adventure, pirates, mermaids, and Indians all came back into her imagination.
He got out the leather bound book and read in a calm tone:
"All children, except one, grow up. They soon know that they will grow up, and the way Wendy knew was this. One day when she was two years old she was playing in a garden, and she plucked another flower and ran with it to her mother. I suppose she must have looked rather delightful, for Mrs. Darling put her hand to her heart and cried, "Oh, why can't you remain like this for ever!" This was all that passed between them on the subject, but henceforth Wendy knew that she must grow up. You always know after you are two. Two is the beginning of the end."
He read as far as he could, omitting the part where it spoke of Wendy's romantic mind and being in season for a kiss. He could not bear to read those words with comfort. The idea of romance truly sickened him, but he reasoned the main reason he did not read it aloud was because of her young age.
"If only childhood lasted." The thought was like light a deep unlighted well, that when one looked down they felt as if their heart would plop to the bottom or they would slip in with no push at all.
Alex fell asleep around four ten and Ben slowly put a blanket on her. She would wake up surely if he was not careful.
He miserably headed to wrapping the presents. He did not think of what he was wrapping or how they would give joy to Alex, nor did he worry as usual whether she would be happy with what she received.
He was worried that his own childhood would affect him as a parent. Wait- he didn't need help. He felt the rush of stinging pain for so long and he had survived. Foul memories were a part of him that caused him to rise up to defeat what his heart wept out.
He would not look into his own heart's sobs. He would not even try to distinguish them.
Tomorrow he would be thirty-three. How he wanted to forget it all.
He saw his mother's figure in his mind. Standing at the window and peering into his world. It scared him as a child but now he realized it was a comforting sight.
That day the hostiles had attacked and that day he had met one. He had taken his own road and taken the blows that came with it.
For now he must focus on daily life and not the corpse in the closet.
Jacob however was once corpse he could not ignore.
Author's note: This title could suggest what is left of Ben (i.e. physiologically, emotionally, etc.).
I also feel quite embaressed once I realized how young Ethan was when this really did happen, but I didn't know he was born in 1977. Take this as an Alternative story.
Or about Ben's past sins. I wanted to write this to convey Ben's sentiments and thoughts about being a father and his viewpoint on the past.
Dedicated to: My dear Lissie Belle. Isn't it great to be sisters? Alyssa, I feel as if this is no good! In fact I depsise it- and love it. Strange mix, eh?