"So if you see here in this column, the use of welfare in industrial societies raises as the morale of the general public goes down." Mira French patiently explained to her class as she pointed to the blackboard. The class looked like they're rather be anywhere but there. Mira grunted, adjusting her round glasses.
"It's like when a natural disaster happens, there's the tone of 'why bother?' Why bother trying if we're just going to be in this cycle. Well, as we can see here-"
"Very good, Ms. French." Dr. Albourne said, making Mira jump. As Dr. Albourne's teacher's assistant for The Anthropology of poverty, she didn't get to teach class often and wanted to make this count. "If Ms. French is finished-"
"Actually sir, I'm not finished." She supplied quickly, going into the next slide.
"Yes, I believe you are." Dr. Albourne said, going to the front of the class, Mira's message to back off. Mira sighed, going to sit down at her usual spot. As Dr. Albourne once again lectured about how people on Welfare were simply lazy, Mira began to grade papers as usual. Sure, Dr. Albourne taught all the classes, but she was the one to grade all the papers. At Twenty Four years old, Mira was a young woman with long brown hair and bangs, a pair of clear blue eyes hidden by glasses. She also had a curvy, tall body that she covered with a lumpy cardigan and a long black skirt.
'Basterd' she thought to herself. As a child, Mira had been on welfare and didn't appreciate being told that her single mother working two jobs as 'lazy'.
"Class Dimissed." Dr. Albourne said. Now was his time to flirt with the undergrad hopefuls, his time to shine. Mira quickly gathered her things to go home. As she put her things into a briefcase, she looked up at the top of the lecture room. There was a middle aged man there in a sweater vest and khakis, watching her. With those big, wide eyes. Mira brushed it off. He wasn't an adult learner, he must be a homeless man in the building to warm up. She ignored him, leaving the lecture room, her Dr. Martens making a hollow sound as she walked. She had more pressing matters to worry about.
New York City at this time was Mira's favorite time of year. The sun began to weakly shine, the trees were beginning to show leaf buds, everything was growing again. Mira gave a small smile as she bought some fish at Chinatown, cringing at the fish heads. Since she and her fiancé were both graduate students, neither had much money to buy anything fancy but the vendors on Bowery Street knew her so well they always gave her a discount. Mira walked away from the stand, opening the bag to see not only the fish she asked for, but a bundle of Sugared Almonds sold at the same stand.
"Thank you" She called to the Chinese woman who sold her the fish, but the woman only ignored her with a slight smile.
Riding her bike down the blocks to her apartment, she carried the bike up to her 5th floor apartment, opening the door. It was a small cozy one bedroom, with secondhand furniture and various textbooks laying around. Mira went into the bedroom, smiling slightly. A large, heavy-set man was on the double bed, sleeping, a textbook on Micro-biology being used as a pillow. Mira sighed, kissing Vincent Auster on the cheek.
"Do you have to go?" Vincent said two hours later. He and Mira were on their old couch, Mira comfortably leaning against him and between his legs as she ate the fish she just cooked.
"Oh, I'll be fine. It's only for six weeks. Plus, the study is more than enough money to cover the cost of our honeymoon." Mira explained, feeding Vincent a piece as well. Vincent sighed, wrapping his legs around her waist. Vincent and Mira had met in a small college in Albany and had fallen in love within Mira's first year, Vincent had proposed to her during her graduation. In two months, they were to be married in Mira's hometown in Upstate New York. A white garment bag already was in the closet, holding Mira's wedding dress, an old 1950's prom dress she found in a thrift shop. The couple only wanted one thing from this wedding; an amazing honeymoon.
"But the wedding is in two months. What if you get held up?" Vincent begged as he took another piece of fish. Mira sighed, snuggling into his arms. "If I get held up, then….Oh well." She said, turning to him.
"I want to do this study more than anything. I want to show those stuffy professors that I can make something out of myself. Also, you can't see me before the wedding. Please Vinnie?" Mira begged. Vincent kissed her, his hand though her hair. Mira sighed into the kiss, loving the intimacy she had with this man more than anything. She considered herself the luckiest woman in the world to be marrying this beautiful man.
Hours later found Mira packing her things while Vincent slept, both of them having made love one last time before she left. She packed quickly, having become used to living her life out a suitcase. As a scholar, you had to travel for your knowledge, and Mira was more than used to it. She had been offered a job living on an island for six weeks and studying the people. It was an island run by the Dhrama Initiative, something Mira had never heard of, but they offered her a handsome amount of money for her work. Shouldering her bags, she slipped out of the room, taking a photo of her and Vincent as Coney Island that was on the bedside table.
"Ben Linus?" Mira said into the phone, looking around Sydney airport. The man who had hired her had a cell phone, something that Mira simply drooled over. But the thing is, she had never met her new employer. Here she was at the airport, all the way from New York City, though security, and had no idea where he was. All she knew was that he asked for her by name though her professor and Dr. Albourne was more than happy to hand her off to someone else.
"Right here." She heard into the phone.
"Where?" She said, leaning against the glass. She head a tapping on the other side. Mira screamed as she saw the man who was staring at her. His eyes loomed at her she screamed at him, hanging up to call the police.
"No, I'm Ben Linus." the man said though the glass. Mira clamed down, picking up her glasses. She stepped out of the booth, shaking his hand.
"I'm sorry. I thought that-"
"You thought I was a crazy homeless man." Ben supplied.
"Well yes. I guess I'm just still a little North Country girl on the inside." Mira said. Ben nodded, still holding on to her hand. Mira slowly withdrew her hand.
"So the island is off the coast of Sydney?" She said, trying to fill the awkward silence.
"Yes, and we'll be taking a boat down to the location. But because of the island's need for privacy, you will be blindfolded into we reach the compound." Ben explained as they left the airport.
"This is a little unorthodox, but I'm sure it's necessary." Mira said, going into a taxi with Ben.
"Why did you watch my class?" Mira asked as Ben was firmly tying a blindfold around her eyes, both of them on a small speed boat.
"I wanted to see if your professor would miss you. Obviously he didn't." Ben said, giving one final check to see if she couldn't see.
"Can't we just-" Mira tried to grope for a better option to get on to the island.
"No. We can't." Ben was quite firm as he started the boat. Mira huffed, her hands on her lap as she let herself be taken to this island.