She wants to die. She considers her suicide attempts to be conscious, rational,well-thought-out decisions. After a miserable and abusive childhood, and her grown-up years filled with pain and emotional torment, Taren just doesn’t want to deal with it anymore. Having failed twice, however, she doesn’t intend to try again and feels trapped in the observation facility until she can be released and figure out what to do with herself. But in talking about her life with Dr. Kepler, and getting to know the other patients, she considers that there may be more to life than what she’s been through. She doesn’t see the bright side, but she begins to believe it may be there.
The most vocal patient Taren encounters. Heavy-set, light-hearted, always ready with a goofy joke to mask the pain, which he can’t bring himself to share with anyone. He knows everyone there and they all know him, this being his fourth attempt. Sometimes his advice and attention help Taren, other times it’s the last thing she wants to hear. But Carlos is who he is, and doesn’t have it in him to change that just to please others.
A patient in the Elder Care facility adjacent to Observation. She befriends Taren, even though she doesn’t always recognize her, but never judges her. Taren sometimes opens up to Mrs. Kelly, expresses her fears and insecurities, partly because there’s a chance the old woman may not remember a word she says - but more than that, Mrs. Kelly is a trustworthy friend with a very loving heart.
A lively, energetic patient who brings youth and laughter into the dreary world of the facility. She doesn’t speak much English, but she connects with Taren emotionally, and her impact on the group of patients convinces Taren she herself has conquered her issues. But when Maria’s dark side surfaces after a visit from her family, Taren realizes she may yet have more demons of her own to face.
Thin, tense, high-strung and jittery. Doesn’t say much. Her third attempt, casual and unplanned, has returned her to the one place she feels normal and accepted.
An artistic young man with a weary soul. Sees himself as a burden to his family, but finds the hope of someday experiencing true happiness.
Intellectual, analytical, observant. Disfigured from his attempt, his injuries are the outward expression of the damaged psyche he’d kept hidden all his life.
Runs the group therapy sessions. Caring, attentive, and warm-hearted, though a bit naive.
DR. ANGELA KEPLER
A psychiatrist in the observation facility. Her job is to determine if the patients are no longer a danger to themselves, so they can be released after three days. While she considers this job important, she also wants to help her patients - and helping someone like Taren poses a challenge. The more they talk, the more Dr. Kepler’s personal life and loss plays a part in her desire to see Taren’s life improve.
A sad and confused young woman still making the transition from teenager to adult. Considers her attempts half-hearted, has yet to fully contemplate her depression.
Shy, withdrawn, approaching middle-age but still awkward in any kind of company. Feels controlled by his wife, his attempt was meant to punish her for mistreating him.
A teenager caught up in her own emotions. One night she’s crying her eyes out, the next day she goes home in her mother’s arms. Not a serious attempt.
Observation attendant. Decent, friendly, interacts with patients. A nice, honest guy.
Elder Care attendant. Disconnected from his patients, has no love for his job. Rude and condescending.
In charge of the nurses’ station. Businesslike, yet kind and compassionate.
Depression = PRESS ON