WARNING: This page contains SPOILERS! If you would like to avoid spoilers, please skip ahead to the “History” section of this profile and only read that 🙂
Name: Melanie Ainsworth (formerly Bouchard, neé Prescott)
Age (Current): 77 (Deceased)
Traits: Quick Learner, Genius, Cheerful, Bookworm, Geek, Loner
Aspiration: Computer Whiz
Occupation: Tech Guru
Spouse: Lucas Ainsworth
Children: Krystina Rosebrook (neé Ainsworth)
History: Melanie could never remember much about her parents, but she’d heard stories. Awful ones. Her grandmother always tried her best to shield Melanie and her twin brother, Sean, from the whole truth. The siblings had learned quickly that it was best not to ask too many questions about their mother and father. So they never did. But Mel always wondered.
The kids at school, of course, loved asking questions… and spreading rumors. From their very first years at school, there were always whispers – wondering why the twins always looked so sad on Mothers Day, why Sean never attended the annual father-son fishing derby, or why Melanie was always absent at every father-daughter dance. Sometimes – the worst times – the whispers would turn into mocking and teasing.
The siblings learned different ways of coping with the negative attention and ridicule. As for Sean, he learned to fight back, and stick up for himself. He channeled his aggression into fitness and sports, and eventually earned the respect of his peers.
Melanie had a very different method – she hid. Not under a bed or in a closet, but in her mind – in books, and science, and computers. The girl never had many friends, but that was fine by her. Sure, it was lonely, of course. But Mel had been lonely most of her life… She was used to it.
Mel’s one true friend was a beautiful, bubbly girl named Faith. Melanie secretly believed that Faith had first started talking to her on a dare, or as a joke – Even years later, she always remembered the way Faith would look over her shoulder at her other friends when they would play at recess, a strange, mocking smile on her lips. Or the way she would sometimes whisper to the other popular girls when Mel walked by, thinking she didn’t notice.
But Mel was desperate for friendship, so she put up with it. And the day Faith got suspended for punching the girl who’d called Mel a ‘crack baby’, Melanie knew she’d found a real friend. It didn’t matter how it began, she’d decided. All that mattered was where they’d ended up.
Thanks to Faith, Mel was able to come out of her shell a bit more as she got older, but her friend always liked to push her limits, often dragging her along to parties Mel had no interest in attending. And it was here, at one of these uncomfortable affairs (hosted by her own brother, no less) that Melanie met the love of her life – Christian Bouchard.
He was perfect, Mel thought. So cute, and funny, and kind. And smart. Smarter than anyone she’d ever met. They spent so many hours together, geeking-out over chess strategies or computer programming techniques, but also learning to do yoga or going to the museum or sitting and watching the stars.
But it wasn’t all about the good times – Christian was there for her through some of the most difficult times of her life too – like her grandmother’s death, or the disastrous attempt to meet her mother for the first time. But during the hardest, most painful thing Melanie would ever have to face, her husband could not be there for her – Losing him.
Five wonderful years as boyfriend and girlfriend, two incredible years as husband and wife – and then it was over. One sleep-deprived truck driver’s stupid mistake, and Christian was gone.
Without him, Melanie had nothing. Everything good, everything wonderful, everything that had made her life worth living was gone. She was back to the same lonely, sad existence she’d been trapped in before – and this time, she feared she would be stuck forever.
Faith and Sean did all they could to support her, but though she was eventually able to put on a brave face, they both knew that this was not the same Mel she had been before. And they started to fear they would never get her back.
And perhaps they never would, had it not been for Faith’s insistence that Melanie go out on the night of her 26th birthday…