Grew Up… in Syracuse, New York.
Living… in silence. Melinda has just started high school, which can be difficult for anyone, but she also struggles to speak aloud, even about casual subjects.
Profession… high school freshman. Many of her classmates hate her, though, because she accidentally busted a party during the summer and the police got involved. She doesn’t always go to classes because of the social pressure, and her parents and guidance counselors are concerned.
Interests… art and literature. Melinda’s only release is through art, and she draws furiously. She’s especially interested in Cubism. She also likes reading, and connects with works like The Scarlet Letter and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Relationship Status… single, and friendless. Melinda’s former friends dropped her after the party incident, and while she’s made sort-of friends with a girl named Heather, it’s not exactly a true-blue-buds situation.
Challenge… coming to terms with what really happened at the party – and with what made her stop speaking. Melinda doesn’t deserve the shunning of her classmates or the confusion of her family, but she needs to sort out her own trauma before she can explain it to others.
Personality… intelligent, artistic, and reserved. Melinda can be quite witty and eloquent in her own head, but now has trouble expressing herself to others. Instead, she uses sarcasm, nicknames, and nail-biting to distance herself from the pain she feels.
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