Living… in Twin Peaks, Washington. Her father, Will Hayward, is the town doctor while her mother tends to the house. Donna is active in the community, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, meaning she’s increasingly aware of the town’s eerie and mysterious underbelly.
Profession… student at Twin Peaks High. Donna is devastated by the death of her best friend Laura and focuses all her attention on solving the case. As a student, she’s qualified for the honor roll all four years and was voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by her senior class. She’s a do-gooder and a go-getter, making her beloved by her superiors and inciting ambivalence from her peers.
Interests… finding clues to Laura’s murder. Donna inherits Laura’s old route as a volunteer for Meals on Wheels and befriends a man who has Laura’s diary, with hopes of stealing it from him. Once the authorities take possession of the diary, Laura’s troubled childhood and drug abuse is revealed, leading Dale Cooper closer to finding the killer. Donna’s actions have real repercussions on the case.
Relationship Status… in a relationship with James Hurley. The relationship is complicated as James was Laura’s secret boyfriend. Donna feels guilty over betraying Laura’s memory, yet it may be James’ and Donna’s shared loss of Laura that brings them together. The tense environment makes their relationship difficult to maintain, and James’s flighty emotional state keeps him with one foot out the door.
Challenge… finding closure and moving on. Donna was obsessed with Laura while she was alive, and that obsession has only grown with her death. At times, her continuing love for Laura is almost a burden that she’d rather be rid of. As Donna puts it while addressing her departed friend: “As much as I love you, Laura, most of the time we were trying to solve your problems. And you know what? We still are. Not mine or James' or Maddy's. Yours. You're dead, Laura, but your problems keep hanging around.”
Personality… pensive. Donna was already a reflective soul before Laura’s passing. She’s a romantic at heart and feels very deeply. She can often seem somber or internally conflicted. She takes everything to heart. But her inner nature is only a result of her complexity, as she definitely has a dark side that occasionally reveals itself: “I know I should be sad, and I am, part of me is. But it's like... it's like I'm having the most beautiful dream... and the most terrible nightmare, all at once.
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