species: mostly human, female
age: early 30s
appearance: tall (5’8”?), long dark hair, brown eyes, fair skin
Kathleen is from the same place as Kaitey (planet, dimension, whatever), and was evacuated with Kaitey to be Kaitey Oliver’s guardian. She does this from the time Kaitey is three years old until Kaitey decides to go claim her adventure at age twelve. She is not Kaitey’s biological relative, but Kaitey doesn’t find that out for a while.
“Why don’t I have a daddy?” she asks her mother completely without preamble. She had only just woken up and come downstairs.
Kathleen very nearly betrays an emotion when she sets down her coffee mug—the slightest clatter sounds when the mug touches the table. Normally everything Kathleen accomplishes she does so in complete silence. “What brings this on?”
Kaitey stares at the mug, as if she thought it might give her a more satisfactory answer. “Everyone at school has a mom AND a dad,” she says, bringing up a hand to tug on one of her two braids— still mostly intact after being slept on. “Why don’t I have a dad?”
Kathleen picks up her mug again and takes a sip to delay replying.
Kaitey waits. She is a very patient girl, especially for a seven-year-old. “You do have a father,” Kathleen says finally, setting down her mug silently. “But he isn’t here. You’ll find out more about him when you’re older.”
Kaitey frowns, and pulls her braid again so that her head is leaning to the side.
Kathleen ignores this and takes another sip from her mug. “You should go comb your hair out and get ready for school. Breakfast will be ready when you get done with that.”
Kaitey nods her head— without letting go of the braid, which makes for a rather diagonal nod— and goes back upstairs to her bathroom. Kathleen watches her go and almost lets out an exhalation of breath that could be called a sigh. She has to hold back these things, these tiny expressions of emotion. Kaitey would probably come back down asking more questions about her father, who Kathleen had not know very well. Kaitey’s mother Kathleen had known quite well, for many years— but that was another secret that was to remain hidden from Kaitey.