Name: Mirabella "Mio" Harper-Lombardi
Age: 19
Neighborhood: Little Italy
School: Columbia
Background: Barely able to pay for rent and shelter, Mio knows what's it like to grow up in a gritty, dirty world. The daughter of immigrant Italian and Irish, she's a clash of both cultures. She is stubborn and realistic and knows what she wants, and that is to live a normal life. People are still amazed at how a girl like Mio ended up at Columbia, but surprisingly she kept a 4.0 GPA while working various part-time jobs. Her parents were never able to provide her with that, her father having a mental illness and her mother never taking responsibility for domestic tasks. That left Mio to support her older brother and three younger sisters on a combination of food stamps and late-night jobs. For Mio, it's always been this kind of life. She's just sick of it, that's all. However, her true passion lies in writing-- poetry, specifically. If only she had the connections, time, and resources to become a well-established poet...
Job: Makeup saleswoman, nightclub hostess, fishmonger, and poet
Likes: vintage pens, coffee, smart people, blue skies, coney island, hot dogs, her siblings
Model: esti ginzburg


Dante Lombardi {41} Father
Mio's father, Dante has fidelity problems. For one, he married his wife out of puppy love, despite obvious cultural barriers. He's also a drinker, spending all of his money {he works as a plumber} on booze to assuage his addiction. His wife has gotten to the point of not caring about his actions, even though Mio secretly cares very much about his well-being. She still doesn't understand why her father drinks though. 

Jordann Harper {38} Mother
Jordann, devout Catholic but not devout mother. She hates taking responsibility for domestic tasks, such as raising a family. She was once a pretty girl fresh from Ireland who used to be daring. She ran away from home when she was eighteen, originally to study in America until she met Dante. They fell in love and had a family, and soon Jordann forgot about her studies. She's cheated on Dante multiple times and Mio's parents are currently divorced. 

Gabriele Harper-Lombardi {21}
Gabriele is Mio's older brother. He's seen as a follower of the gang/mob life. Despite this, Mio tries to treat him without judgement. He often comes home with bloody wounds, which worries Mio. Mio doesn't know, however, that her brother sells drugs to high school students at the pizzaeria that he works at. However, he does keep on reappearing sporadically with fifty dollar bills, leaving Mio questioning. Despite his tough, manly exterior Gabriele is really just a sweetheart. 

Jaqueline Harper-Lombardi {18}
Jaqueline is the one who longs for something better. She displays gold-diggerish tendencies and is working hard to get accepted to one of the top schools, on full-scholarship of course. She tends to avoid staying home that much because she feels embarrassed within her family. She sometimes displays immature tendencies.

Gigi Harper-Lombardi (16)
Gigi is your typical high school girl who is obsessed with boys, boy-bands, and following idol groups. She's into following the trends and would do anything to own something brand name. She is full of sass and has an ambition to marry a rich man one day. She also has a part-time job as a busgirl... only shhhh, don't tell her classmates that.. or else they'd shun her for life.

Arabella Harper-Lombardi (14)
Ara is the perfect angel. Sweet, considerate, and easy-to-get-along with, she's the favorite out of all the siblings. Needless to say, the divorce hit little Ara hard. She started acting out this year, her grades began dropping {only nobody knows that}, and she has been sneaking out at night. Oh, and she might be pregnant... 


Jessie Foster {20}


Anthony "Tony" De Luca {20}
Fellow Italian, Tony is essentially the male version of Mio, only tanner and with darker hair and eyes. Growing up together, life was never easy. While Mio was allowed to succeed with her surprise acceptance to one of the greatest institutions, Tony watched her from behind, working as a car mechanic at his father's shop. He's afraid of letting her go, and seeing her leave him for greater dreams.

Ethan St. Sebastian {21}
Ethan is the overall overachiever, with impressive stats and big name law firms already looking at this wonderkind. Suave and handsome, Ethan knows the importance of leadership and education. He's charming, and despite his skyrocketing GPA he has excellent social skills. He comes from a preppy suburban New England family and has attended prep schools all his life. Sounds perfect, right? No, inside he's lonely and sadistic. He has dated many women, but none of them really love him but only for his outer image... because no one knows the real Ethan St. Sebastian. 

Kyle Hoffman {23}
The irresistibly enduring genius, Kyle is a junior at Columbia and is majoring in economics. He already has a job offer at Google, but plans on working for a Japanese company after graduating from Columbia to prove himself. He's cute, tall, and has dark, curly hair and adorable eyes. Graduated valedictorian of his tiny Catholic school in New Bedford, Massachusetts and has a penchant for reciting the Odyssey. He is genuinely kind and sensitive, and tries to be good for everyone. He is close friends with Mio despite their differences in upbringing, and he provides her with strong support and when she's with him she feels secure and calm, like another person.

Georgi Pinto {22}
The eccentric and cockyy DJ at the hottest nightclub in Manhattan, Georgi and Mio go way back. One-night stand, late-night fling. It was stupid, but Mio just can't resist the allure of this New York hotshot. He's using her alright, and Mio better grow some brains before she realizes its too late...


Welcome to my world.

It sucks.

Do you ever get the feeling that you're circling in a drain? It's the middle way between mediocrity and becoming a failure in life. Well, that's my sheer existence in this minuscule universe. Just another cog in the machine, an obsessive human with an over-reactive imagination. I drag myself to my next class all the way down the lecture hall, my eyes bleary. Not enough sleep. Probably dehydrated. I hear the taps of feet around me, settling down, their chatter lively and full of energy. I pull out my beaten-up laptop I found in the trash, turning on the battery as the screen lights up, making me feel uneasy at the fluorescence. 

/Bioethnics Lecture Series Part 4
Professor Hoffman
Columbia University
2012/ The slide on the projector reads. But that's all I see, as I doze off into a beautiful sleep.


So now I'm here. Painting a woman's toenails, feeling the hot humidity of a Mexican nail saloon all around me. It's the thousandth job I've done, painting using the same fuscia nail polish. "Gracias," the woman says with a lipstick smile, as she prepares to leave the door. It has already been fifteen minutes, but it seems that time has passed by too quickly. My mind zones out, as I try to say smile and say good-bye to her. Even the most simplest tasks seem hard to do.

"Mio" Grande says, as she enters closely to me. "You seem tired today. What has happened?"

I brush my blonde, greasy hair and look straight ahead. I bite into my words, trying to think of a way to rephrase my excuses to my employer, "M'am... I've been studying for seven hours each night, working four jobs to support my brothers and sisters, and never had an hour of sleep." I looked up to the ceiling. 

Now, Grande was an old Catholic soul. She simply smiled at me with her patient smile and let me early for the day, even though I swore never to excuse my self from work ever again.


I puffed on a cigarette, shivering as I walked home from Battery Park. Selling fish was never an easy task. I smelt like fish and sweat right after dark, as it was 9:00 right now. Just in time for my next part-time job at the overpriced nightclub. 

Why did I get that job in the first place? When the pay wasn't so great and the free drinks were overpriced. Well, one, I got to run around in my skimpy black dress all night, and was allowed to entertain my guests with drinking contests. I was just walking home one night from Battery Park when a tall, black man approached me and asked me if I wanted the job. I said yes, after all serving overpriced beer to a bunch of college babies wasn't so hard. But the thing was, when I worked at the night club I was a whole other person, a butterfly from a caterpillar. No longer was I Mio everyone knew, the gritty, intelligent, hard-working, reserved woman. I was a new person, a suave, graceful, feminine, almost vulnerable lady who had fun and lived to entertain.
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