“Gone From Daylight”
Collective Empathy – Jenna has the ability to pick up on the emotions of the people around her and feel them as her own. Whether they be positive feelings of love and joy, or negative feelings of pain and sorrow, Jenna seems to be susceptible to them in a major way. Even though she has studied extensively to keep these emotional flare ups under control, she appears to have a lot of trouble keeping her extra from becoming ‘unstable’. Not only does she often feel the intensity of these emotions, but on occasion, she has been known to amplify those feelings in ways that are surprising, even to her. Because of this, Bryson and the others have trying to teach Jenna methods of consciously shielding herself from some of these emotional outbursts…but none of those methods have been foolproof. After all, she can’t keep her guard up all the time. Her training is ongoing. But in times of stress or when backed into a corner, Jenna has been known to use her abilities in new and exciting ways that even she, herself, was never aware of. Including broadcasting her own emotions to other people and making them feel what she’s feeling, absorbing someone else’s emotional pain to block it from them and taking it into herself, and even ‘weaponizing’ it to confuse and bewilder opponents.
“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be honorable, to be compassionate. It is, after all, to matter: to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.” -Leo C. Rosten
When it comes to most of the people who know Jenna personally, very few would have ever expected that she came from a very wealthy background. For some reason, she doesn’t fit the often over generalized vision of the prim and proper, designer clothes wearing, party girl, wearing 500 dollar shades and talking on a cell phone as she strolls through the local shopping mall, her hands full of name brand bags. People’s judgements might have reached out even further in that direction due to the fact that Jenna is, without a doubt, ‘beauty queen’ beautiful. But the truth of the matter is that Jenna has always been more a girl of heart and spirit than of anything material. She never made the connection between expensive tastes and actual, fulfilling, joy. So with a toss of her light blond hair and an easy smile, Jenna is the champion sweetheart of the entire car lot. The one that causes all of the others to fall into ‘big brother’ habits whenever she is around. Jenna and Jun are two lot members that have no problems crossing the barriers and differences of all the others, Jenna even more so, and instantly connecting with whomever they talk to. It was a gift she had long before crossing over into darkness. And thankfully, she kept it with her.
Jenna’s parents in her human life, however, did not share her emotional warmth. Certainly not because they didn’t care, but because they had different values and motivations from their cheerful offspring. Overworked in business dealings, and consumed by the judgments and unforgiving views of their social circle…Jenna’s parents attempted to buy he security and happiness and provide for her well being by giving her everything she could ever want…except affection. Feeling detached and severely limited in her search for a real connection, Jenna later developed a rather unhealthy crush on an older boy…one who unfortunately saw a vulnerability in her desperation to be loved and appreciated by another person. He took advantage of her weakness, and after a long road trip and a series of lies, the boy attempted to ‘sell’ Jenna as private entertainment to a convention of much older businessmen in Chicago. When she refused, she was abandoned on the streets of Chicago with no one to call and no way to get back home. Heartbroken and betrayed…not to mention profoundly disappointed in her own gullibility in the situation, she wandered the city streets alone. It wasn’t until she met Dion and was offered something to eat to fill her stomach, that she finally found a part of the joy that she was looking for. A friend that made her feel necessary.
When she learned the truth about Dion and what he was…she later made the decision to join him in darkness. If for no other reason than she didn’t want to go back to the lifeless cold of her family back home. Both Jenna and Dion later found a home with Bryson and his group, and they’ve been happy there ever since.
Jenna’s crossover was a difficult one, as her emotional extra began to develop and mature, her excessive need for love and attention had created an emotional storm that no one at the lot was safe from. It took many long months for her to get some level of control over herself, an she still slips from time to time. Because of this, Jenna fears getting ‘too’ close, as the intense emotional attachment pushes her empathic abilities into a state of pure chaos…making it difficult to pursue the one thing she wanted most.
Still, ask any one of her companions, and they will all tell you that Jenna had definitely played a major role in helping them adjust to darkness. Even those that came before her. In fact, if not for her assistance, even Trevor’sfirst awkward attempts at hunting for donors would have been much more difficult. But it’s more than just Jenna’s good nature and golden heart that made her this way. She’s extending her hand in order to gain some higher level of self value. Without the addiction to helping the others and offering her ear, her hand, or her shoulder to lean on…Jenna fears that she may lose her purpose for being there altogether. She’s ‘working’ for their acceptance, hoping to make herself a worthy part of the family. That way…she’ll never have to go back to being used, taken for granted, or ignored, ever again.
Jenna is now so tightly wrapped up in the emotional needs and expressions of others, that she has completely forgotten about her own. Even worse, she pretends that her needs don’t exist…and that they wouldn’t matter if they did. That is the one flaw in the diamond that is her charming personality and unmatched beauty. Jenna can be easily blinded by emotion. Become TOO sympathetic, to the point where her own feelings cease to matter anymore. The others greatly appreciate her help and wisdom, but would undoubtedly love her just the same without her continuous servitude. Unfortunately, while Jenna may see that as a possibility, she is much too afraid to take that chance. So her exhausting level of ‘help’ continues on and on without end. Without being of ‘use’ to someone else in a major way, she feels useless. That is a pain she can’t accept. Not again. She clings on, especially to the duty of playing the role of an adopted mother to one of the lot’s youngest members, Kid. It was Jenna’s deep need to take careof the boy that made the final decision to let him stay in the first place. It’s a cycle that won’t stop, not for a moment.
So, while sweet as sugar and honey, and blessed with a nurturing spirit that can overcome almost any problem (that’s not her own)…Jenna has to learn to take a few precious moments for herself as well from time to time. Something that Bryson practically forcesupon her when she looks like she needs the break.
It’s on those nights when you can see Jenna once again the coolness of the night air, the churning waves of the Lake, memories of home, and the awesome fragrance of a well prepared chili dog!