David is making himself a sandwich when his parents join him in the kitchen, they look very serious and for a split second he wonders if they've discovered something they weren't supposed to know.
"Hey mom, hey dad, what are you both doing here? What's wrong?" he asks with concern in his voice.
He knows that, despite the divorce, his folks are still in quite good terms but his mother has never set foot in his dad's apartment, like ever. So for her to be here… well something is definitely off.
His father puts a hand on his shoulders and he gently leads him towards the little sofa in the living room. His mother follows them without saying a word.
His father is clearly struggling to find the right words to tell him whatever he needs to tell him so he simply says, "Dad, it's okay. Whatever you have to tell me, you can."
Jack smiles, proud of his son who's in way too much mess than a guy of his age should be. He looks at his ex-wife and she is nodding, encouraging him to tell their son the truth.
"Before I tell you what you need to know, I just want to remind you that your mother and I love you very much and nothing of what we'll say next we'll change that. Promise me that you'll remember these words," Jack says.
"Okay, dad, I promise," his kid replies.
Juliet takes her son's hands in hers and starts talking. "Tonight there was a bit of situation, for both me and your dad. I'll cover my part and he'll cover his and after that, we'll cover what came next."
Her son nods, waiting for her to start talking again.
"Do you remember that I was paged back at the hospital and I had to leave the concert?" she asks. He just nods so she keeps talking. "Well in the hospital, I bumped into a man who was having an hard time with a vending machine…" David raises a hand to stop her. "Mom, I don't want to hear about you flirting with some man! Dad's here!"
She smiles calmly. "That's the thing David. He's not 'some man'. I knew him. I loved him."
David is puzzled. He had always known that his parents met at med school and got together right away. They married and they divorced. He never had the idea that his mother has known some man in between.
"You met him before dad?" he simply asks.
Juliet shakes her head and adds, "No, honey, I met him after. But not in the way you think. I think you might understand if you let me finish, alright?"
David encourages her to go on, so she says, "Where I was? Oh, right. I met James at the vending machine, only I had no idea who he was. I thought he was just a cute cop flirting with me. Then something happened. The minute our hands touched I started getting flashes, about things I didn't remember at first. The more flashes I got, the more I understood. I was remembering."
David dares to ask. "Remembering what, mom?"
"My life, my love for James, my death…" she replies, dead serious.
"Your…dea…th?" ask a more than shocked David.
"Yes. I died on an island, which was my home for almost six years, in the arms of the man I loved, James. I don't expect you to understand yet, baby, you must hear your father's side too," she says, tearing up.
David suddenly turns to Jack and asks him, "Dad, what is mom talking about? This is making my head hurt."
Jack wishes he could tell David that it's all a joke and that they can laugh about it. But this is no joke, this is real.
"Your mother just told you the truth, David. But you haven't heard mine yet."
David gets up and announces, "I just need a glass of water and I'll be back." Juliet tells him, "Maybe a glass of juice is better."
He goes to the kitchen and pours himself a glass of juice. He slowly drinks it then he massages his temples. His head is hurting like hell and he still doesn't have a clue about what his parents are rambling about. His mother made it sound like she had two lives or something. He's now fearing what his father's about to say.
He returns to his seat and waits for his father to start talking.
"After I finished my surgery I got to the concert but it was too late, it was over. I tried to call you but your cell phone was off. I was interrupted by a beautiful woman. She was vaguely familiar but I couldn't put my finger on it."
David rolls his eyes. He had no idea his parents' stories were all about other women and men. Luckily, he was not one of those kids who wanted their parents to get back together after a divorce. Otherwise, this would have been ten times worse.
Jack ignores the eye roll and keeps talking. "I asked where I remember her from and she told me a funny story about stealing my pen when we met on the Oceanic 815 plane a couple of weeks ago. But that was not it. The flight was not where I remembered from."
David is intrigued during this point and asks, "So where did you remember her from, dad?"
"She puts her hands on my face, telling me she had missed me so much, and I started getting flashes too," he explains with a happy look on his face.
David realizes he hasn't asked his mom what she saw flashed about… what she actually saw, so he decides to ask his dad. "What did you see exactly?"
"I saw myself and the woman, Kate, smiling and sitting before a bonfire. Then I saw her face. She had scratches and she looked so scared. Then I saw us kissing in a jungle. But then I interrupted the contact. I freaked out."
David simply cracks, "I would have freaked out too, dad. So is this Kate what that James guy is to mom?"
Jack smiles and says, "Yeah, you can say that".
David frowns and adds, "But I still don't get it. What's the death about? Were those deja vus? Or what?"
Jack pats his son's shoulder and adds, "I haven't gotten to that part yet. So Kate asks me to follow her, promising me answers to all the questions I had… very similar to yours, David, and we went to your church for your grandfather's funeral. She instructed me to go through the back and she told she would wait for me there."
David interrupts him again. "There was something in the back, wasn't there?"
Jack and Juliet look at each other and smile. Their son is really smart and they couldn't be more proud.
Jack patiently replies, "Yes, there was. It was my father coffin. As soon as I touched it I started to have those flashes again".
His soon doesn't let him finish and asks him "So what did you see this time, dad? Kate again?" He doesn't know why, but he likes this Kate girl.
Jack's reply is instant. "Not quite. My first flash was my eye opening and observing some trees over me. Then I got away from the coffin, shocked. After a few seconds I tried again and this time I didn't let go of it. I watched myself running through those trees, then me running in what seemed like the aftermath of a plane crash, me with Claire, your aunt, me doing a CPR on a black woman, Rose, and on Charlie, me shouting to Hurley, examing Boone, talking to Sayid, taking care of Shannon, laughing with Sun, being saved by Locke, talking to James, your mother's guy, then me making a call from the island. And finally I started flashing about Kate, we were on a chopper, looking at each other, then her almost shooting me and laughing about it, us being separated by a glass wall, me observing her coming out of bush when I needed her the most, and our last kiss on the island".
David is shocked. "That must have been intense."
Jack nods. "Yes, it was. But I also started to understand. Those flashes were my life. They were real. I wasn't going crazy, but it didn't add up with the present you know? So I opened the coffin and your grandfather wasn't in it. He was standing right behind me, very much alive."
At this point David completely loses it and yells "WHAT? HOW CAN GRAMPA BE ALIVE?"
Jack tries to calm him down. He gently pushes him back on the sofa and makes him listen. "That's the thing David. He is not alive. He's dad. Just like me, your mom, Kate, James and… you."
David tears up. He didn't see this coming. How could he be dead and be here? How is it possible? What's this life then? Why didn't he have any flashes?
Juliet steps in. "David, honey, I know you must have a thousand questions but you've to wait a little bit longer so your dad can finish, okay?" Her son nods and covers his face with his hands in frustration.
Jack continues his tale. "I asked him the same question David. How could he be there while he was dead and he simply turned the question back to me. That's when I realized I had died. He explained that he was real, I was real and all the people I saw in my flashes were real and that we were all dead and that this place is timeless and that's a place that we created together to find each other after death so that we could remember our lives and move on."
David interrupts him again to ask "Why them, dad? Why did you have to move on specifically with these people? Why not grandpa and grandma and your old friends?"
Jack can't keep down his smile. "Because when I was alive, the most important part of my life was the time I spent on that island where I met all those people. We needed each other to move on."
"Move on where?" his son asks.
"We found out about that ourselves. We went to the church where I found all the people from the island. Kate and I took our place on a pew and your grandpa opened the door of the church and a big white light filled the room."
"What happened next, dad?" David asks, once more.
"When the light went away, we were still there. So I guessed that moving on meant starting this life with our newfound memories and making the most of it. We got a chance at living again with the people we lost," he finishes.
"Dad you keep mentioning an island, what's this story?" his son asks, curious.
"In 2004, my plane crashed on a deserted island. All those people I mentioned were survivors like me."
"Even mom?" David asks, turning to his mother.
She replies quietly, "No, I wasn't on the plane, but I was on the island too."
Jack stands up and motions toward the door. "I know I've put you under a lot of pressure and you still have unanswered question but there's someone who is waiting for us downstairs and I can't leave her alone any longer. Do you mind?"
David shakes his head. "No, dad, you can let your Kate up."