Character Interview: Catherine

A couple of weeks ago we sneaked up on one of my characters from The Kraesinia Trilogy, Kevin, and asked him some questions about himself.  Continuing in a series of character interviews, today I’m going to find and talk to his sister, Catherine…

Catherine concept sketch

An old, rough sketch of Catherine. Argh, I always draw people’s noses too big!

I’ll probably find her at the DMV, since Aunt Mariah drops her off there every week for a driving lesson.  And she drops her off early, so maybe we’ll have a few minutes to talk to her before her instructor gets here!

Sure enough, I see a small, blond-headed figure in denim capris and a pastel pink tee-shirt, sitting at the end of a row of plastic chairs.  She’s looking down, hands busily occupied.  As I approach, the click of knitting needles reaches my ears.  Catherine has her yarn bag tucked between her crossed ankles and her hair is plaited in a soft, wide French braid.  A persistent air of gentle sadness hangs over her.

I see her glance at my feet as I approach.

“Mind if I sit here?” I ask, motioning to the seat beside her.

She finally looks up to my face, with a shy smile.  “That’s okay.”

“Thanks.”  I sink into the chair.  Ah, let the questions begin.  A tiny, half-formed purple sweater flops and dangles from Catherine’s knitting needles – a perfect conversation starter.

“Who’s that for?  A baby?”

“It’s for my cousin.”  Catherine’s lip twitches in a smile and she holds the sweater out to take a broader look at it.  “I mean, it’s for her dolls.  She’s eight.”

“That’s a lot of work for doll clothes!”

Catherine shrugs.  “I guess so.  It’s a Christmas gift.  I know she likes my knitting, and this will match the scarf I made her last year…she loved that.  She lives in New York so I don’t get to see her very often.  I like to send her handmade things.”

“It’s really nice work.  Have you ever thought about selling them, like on Etsy?”

Her face lights up.  “Yes!  I really want to do that, someday, after I build up a stash of things to sell.  That’s something I’m working on.  I keep getting sidetracked by gifts I want to make for people.  But someday I plan to have an Etsy shop and sell my knitting.  My aunt doesn’t think it’s a good idea…she’s trying to discourage me.  She wants me to go to college.”  She sighs.  “I just want to stay at home and make pretty things.”

“Do you have any other hobbies?”

“Pretty much just knitting…but I guess I like to cook too.  I don’t know what my aunt would do if I wasn’t there!” she laughs.  “I do most of the cooking.  She doesn’t enjoy it and tends to buy pre-made food.  Awhile ago she started letting me plan meals and so my brother Kevin drives me to the grocery store every week and we shop together.  I like feeding them…it makes me happy.”

“You’re pretty close, then…you and your brother?”

Catherine’s sweet face smiles so easily, even when her joy seems bittersweet.  “We’re really close.  Our mom and dad died when we were little, so we only have each other…and my aunt.  I don’t know what I’d do without him, really!  He was the only person that made school bearable enough for me to survive all those years.  We were homeschooled as kids,” she said, “so I never got used to public school.  It was torture.  Nobody liked me, and some of the kids were absolutely cruel.”  She pauses, looking down at her knitting to check a loop, and gives a small breath of a laugh.  “I’m not sure why I’m telling you about all that.  Ugh.  I’ve got to backtrack here.”  She starts undoing her most recent work.  “I guess being here reminds me of school.  I hate driver’s ed,” she says with sudden bitter passion.

“Why?”

“There’s just too much pressure.  One wrong move and wham, you could be dead.”  She pushes a stray wisp of her light blond hair back behind her ear and resumes knitting again.  “My instructor’s not very patient with me, either.  Every tiny thing I do wrong is another reason to snap at me.”  She pinches her mouth shut, as if she’s afraid she shouldn’t talk, and glances around the room with large brown eyes.

“Why are you here?  I mean, did you come over here just to talk to me?” she asks after a moment, shooting me an uneasy look.

“You looked sad.  I wanted to know if there was something I could help you with.”

Catherine bites her lower lip and lets her knitting hands hang limp across her knees.  “Not really.  Sorry to disappoint you.  You can’t exactly make my aunt and my brother get along better, or bring my parents back from the dead, so I guess I’m a hopeless case.”

“No!  Of course you’re not a hopeless case!  I’m sure you’ll figure out ways to make peace, and you know, God is using all things for good…so it’s not hopeless at all.”  I have plans for your good too! I add mentally.

She seems bolstered by the mention of God, and smiles at me again, tucking her knitting away in the bag.  “Thanks.  I’m just trying to be faithful with all the things I have to do.  I know I can’t fix everything…and maybe God won’t fix everything either, and I guess I have to be okay with that.”

Suddenly a dark-haired man built like Arnold Shwarzenegger comes through a glass door at the side of the room and raps on a clipboard in his hand, looking around as if he doesn’t even see her there, right across from him.  Maybe he doesn’t.  “Catherine Leansmith?” he yells.

I see all the tension go back into Catherine’s narrow shoulders as she leaps to her feet.  “Nice talking to you,” she whispers sincerely, then scurries in the direction of her teacher.

You better be nice to her today, I think at him as he leads her through the door.  I can plan for some future student to smash your car into a tree or something!

When Catherine comes back and is waiting for Kevin to pick her up after her lesson, I can ask her some more questions!  (I’ll have to high-tail it out of here before he arrives, though.  He wouldn’t be happy to find that strange girl from the bookstore interrogating his sister, too.  I told him I was interviewing Trusted, but she’s not even Trusted…yet…)

Do you have any questions for Catherine?  We can find out if the teacher yelled at her, too, so I can determine his fate…hehe.  😉

*

If you haven’t already, read Kevin’s interview here!

An old sketch I drew of Kevin.

An old sketch I drew of Kevin.

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3 Comments

  1. Very cute!
    She’s definitely ISFJ. 😀
    I want to ask what makes her the most angry and what makes her the most happy. 🙂

    Reply
    • ISFJ then…okay! Aw, I thought it was cute because Kevin was ENTJ and she was ISFP, total opposites! But now their types are shifting a bit, especially in this current draft. 🙂

      Just checked the ISFJ type description – yep, yep, fits her very well!

      I want to ask what makes her the most angry and what makes her the most happy.

      Catherine says: “I guess I’m happiest when everyone’s having fun together, when we’re all at home, enjoying a movie, or having dinner…just spending time together and enjoying one another’s company. I’m not angry very often…I’m sad or anxious more often than angry.” *thinks* “But the times I’ve really been angry are when people accuse other people wrongly or unfairly. Sometimes my aunt makes unfair assumptions about Kevin, that he’s lazy or that he’s going to ruin his life and my life…that just makes me so mad. Or when people hint that maybe our parents weren’t all they seemed they were and actually ran away and left us. I will NEVER believe that. Mom and Dad would never abandon us. They must truly be dead, because if they weren’t, they would be here with us. I hate that anyone would insinuate otherwise.”

      Reply
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