New Character Study: Deanna

Assignment: Introduce another character and add some conflicting dialog.

Deanna is eighteen years old and recently graduated from high school. Her theme song is, I Am Not a Pretty Girl, she wrote it herself.

She has moved to an apartment across the street from Estrella. She and Estrella can see each other through their living room windows, and have created a language of their own, using flashlights. To get the other's attention, turn on the flashlight and wait for the other to notice. A question mark means "How are you doing?" A smile means okay, frown, not so good. Three short beams in a row means SOS, and a beam from waist to shoulder means "Come on over."

One evening Deanna flashed SOS from her apartment window. Estrella flashed "Come on over," rushed down the dingy beige hallway and stairwell, and met Deanna as she came in from the winter's cold.

"What's wrong?" Estrella ventured.

"I think Kurt Warner is trying to kill me," Deanna breathed, nervously.


Deanna repeated, "I think Kurt Warner is trying to kill me."

Kurt Warner is her sister's boyfriend, a farm boy who goes to the University of Minnesota, and recently helped Deanna move in to her new apartment.

"Why do you think that?" Estrella ventures.

"Because he..." (don't remember that yet)

They took the elevator to Estrella's apartment. After some cigarettes, beer, and chocolate ice cream, and talking it through, Deanna begins to calm down. She was afraid to go home and be alone, so she slept on the couch.

After a month or so living across from Estrella, her apartment is a sty. She never unpacked. Her mother and sister came to move Deanna out and clean up the mess. Estrella helped.

Deanna's defining moment is yet to come, when she is found in the middle of a busy street, waving her guitar menacingly at oncoming cars, and screaming at them. Her next several years are spent between psych hospitals and her mother's house, where Estrella sees her for the last time at her twenty-sixth birthday party. Estrella attempts to get their old soul connection back, but can't. Deanna says she is just trying to get her head on straight.

A few months later, Estrella receives notice that Deanna, after several attempts, has succeeded in suicide. At her funeral, which Estrella had to force herself to attend, she finds comfort in the pastor saying how hard and how long Deanna had fought the demons. Deanna's mom and sister are so grateful for Estrella's presence. She didn't know how important she was to her friend's family.

About DeMillo Design

Connie DeMillo is an arts educator and former graphic designer. I currently teach Design Basics and Online Drawing in Plymouth, MN.

This site is about sharing knowledge I find helpful on my journey through life, trying to improve as an artist and as a human being.