She had just been a pretty face to him the first time they met. No, more than that; a strange dark vision of beauty on a dark night that until then had been a night like any other. He had just brought a man to the prison – who would have expected to see a woman there? But there she was, with her dark hair, her dark eyes…

It was strange. He did not know her then and he didn't have any reason to think he could ever get to know her. What in the world had possessed him to make him speak to her?

She had been older than he was then, but she is younger now; how strange that is!

No. Emerson corrects himself. She has not aged significantly since that day, but he has. So many things have changed.

He had not known anything that night at Alcatraz about what was to come and how he was going to get to know her. She had been a vision in the night and he had brought her home – quietly, secretly, and with almost no shame – in his head. He had pictured her in his mind that night; dreamed about her so that she almost became real between his empty hands and his body. He thought of her as a beautiful memory for lonely nights of imagined pleasures.

Emerson shakes his head and turns around in his bed. He really should sleep and not waste time thinking about the past. Or if he can't sleep, he should do something useful, like thinking of a way to help her wake up from her coma.

But he doesn't know how to do that. Emerson Hauser can do a lot of things, but that sort of thing is beyond him.

Isn't there a way to go back in time? There should be! If he could find out the way, he would get her back and then make sure that she never left his side again. But the only way he can 'go back' is through his memories.

He needs her! He can't save her! And thinking only makes the pain worse. The pain is hot in his chest and suddenly there is a new kind of fear: What if I have a heart attack? That would certainly not be helpful to anyone!

No, but his heart is strong and healthy. It's not that kind of pain.

It makes him feel stupid – ashamed of himself, even – but the only thing he is capable of doing is to let himself drown in the memory from long ago when he was very young and she was exactly the same.

Emerson is young again, a young boy who would never admit to believing in love at first sight – the concept is mysterious, but lust and longing on the other hand are tangible. His body is on fire and it has been ever since he saw her for the first time out on Alcatraz, a dark vision of beauty in the night.