It's 1985, Benjamin Linus lives in his house at the Dharma Initiave village with his father. What other members of the DI don't realize is Ben has secrets. There are days he sneaks away from the barracks. He goes into the jungle to meet with others...the Hostiles. These people have been on the Island for far longer than the DI. They live in small hut villages, they have many of them scattered across the Island. Ben longs for the day he will not need to sneak back and forth, but he's been told it isn't time yet.
His life at the DI is fairly miserable. His job is menial, and his father couldn't care less about what Ben does, thinks, or feels. Ben's father has always blamed him for the death of his mother. He's quick to remind his son what was lost when Ben came into the world.
The bright spot in Ben's life at the DI is Annie. She too lives in the village with her family. Her friendship is what helps Ben endure his time spent waiting for the day he will leave for a new life with the natives. Ben has never understood why Annie cares so much for him, but he is grateful.
This night, Ben is not sneaking away to the Hostiles. Tonight he is going to the Goodspeed's to help Annie babysit Ethan. Horace and Amy are spending some time at a cabin Horace built in the jungle. Annie has watched Ethan during the day, but never at night. Alone. She asked Ben to come over. She was worried the Hostiles may come, and it would only be her and Ethan in the house. Ben smiles to himself as he walks toward the front door.
"The Hostiles aren't hostile at all," he thinks, "but if I told her that...she'd never understand."
As Ben raises his hand to knock to door, it is swung open. He can see Ethan's blonde head peeking from behind.
"Hello, Ethan," Ben says, ruffling the boys hair.
"Hi Ben! Did I freak you out!" Ethan asks, his eyes wide.
"You scared me, Ethan," Annie says, coming out of the kitchen with a bowl of fresh popcorn, "I thought that someone from outside was bursting in. I thought..."
"The Hostiles!?!" Ethan yells, running at Annie with his arms stretched out like zombie.
"Very funny. Enough of that. Now, movie anyone?" Annie says, motioning the other two to follow her into the living room.
Ben looks at Ethan, giving him a look that says, "She isn't in the mood for jokes tonight!", and follows Annie to the couch with Ethan on his heels.
"I wish she didn't feel so scared," Ben thinks to himself, as he watches her put the movie into the VCR, "If I tell her, maybe...maybe she'd want to come too. Maybe she longs for the freedom as much as I do....maybe..."
But Ben lets the thought pass as Annie stands up to look warily out the window, and close the curtains.