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26 - BURLESQUE DANCER - HIBA ABOUK
meet Inés Esmeralda Dubois. Preferring to go by her middle name, Esme spent the first few years of her life living in a Romani community in rural Pennsylvania. Her father was always out of the picture -- some one time fling who has remained anonymous to her. Her mother got involved in drugs, which led to her expulsion from the community. Her mother bounced around from boyfriend to boyfriend, slipping in and out of recovery multiple times before she passed away when Esme was seventeen. Dropping out of high school, Esme set out on her own, usually begging on the street for her next meal. She then met Cesar, another Romani street dancer who took her in and re-established her connection with her culture, encouraged her to take her G.E.D. and helped her feel grounded and confident once more. Tragedy struck again when Cesar met a violent end, yet again leaving Esme alone to fend for herself. Cesar had left her a stronger person, however, and she's been working hard ever since to make a better life for herself. She found her way to San Diego and has been working as a burlesque dancer for six months now. She goes by the stage name Jewel and, while it's not ideal, at least it's a steady gig.
friends. Due to her upbringing and lifestyle, Esmeralda is initially wary of people and tries not to get too attached since she never knows how long she's going to stay in one place. She values deep relationships where a person can be considered part of her family, and she longs to have that again, but she's simply hesitant to break down her walls for fear of getting hurt. That being said, I would love to see people challenge this! When she does finally warm up to someone and feel like she can trust them, then she'll be the most fiercely loyal friend a person could ask for.
enemies. Esme isn't afraid to speak her mind, and will often say things in anger without thinking of the consequences. This has led to problems in the past with law enforcement, of which she has become incredibly distrustful. She won't shy away from a heated debate, especially if she's going head to head with someone she believes to be bigoted. She's very liberal and considers herself a feminist, so she will immediately have a problem with anyone who shows themselves to be misogynistic, racist, or homophobic in any way.
lovers. Currently, I have her listed as heterosexual, but in reality she's bisexual and heavily repressed. Her faith and upbringing never allowed her to explore that part of her identity, and just like friendships, she never allows herself to get too close to people, so she's never had the opportunity to properly sort out her feelings. She isn't interested in flings, but she does occasionally enjoy some light, flirtatious banter. If someone did wish to pursue her romantically, they would have to chip away at her walls for quite some time before she felt as though she could fully trust them.
family. Esme is constantly (and subconsciously) searching for a father figure. I would love to see someone take on that mentor role for her, or even fill the role of her real father. I'd also love to see anyone show up from her old community so they could reconnect.
FUN TO TAKE DANCING
WHAT KATY DID