I have a lot of emotions about Tethered. we established this a long time ago. but one of things that makes me so gosh-dang emotional about this story is Neil's daddy issues. he's got a lot of them, and some of them couldn't be helped because of circumstances...but mostly, it's all Atachi's fault.
and if you can't tell from this odd little scribble I posted during the tethered files, I really really don't like him.
typically, I adore stories with strong family units, with good parents and happy normal feelings to spare...but Tethered was never a story about a happy family. even from the beginning, as soon as Neil popped into my head, I knew, deep down in my heart, that Atachi Ruthers was a dirtbag. among other things.
so without further ado (or more complaining about how much I hate this one character in particular), here's beautiful people, parental edition.
1. overall, how good is their relationship with their parents?
you know that scene of Lilo telling Stitch his badness level? well, picture Olive sitting Neil down post-Atachi's death and telling him "This is how terrible your relationship with your dad is. Even beyond the grave." that pretty much sums up how the men of the Ruthers family are. Now, Neil's mom? (who deplorably does not have a name yet whoops) she's a nice lady. she's just...a little out of the loop, and that is entirely Neil's fault. they're estranged because he made a few irreversible mistakes, and he would do anything to change this separation. throughout his childhood, she was all he had, and being apart from her is like being apart from himself.
2. do they know both of their biological parents?
yup yup yup.
3. how did their parents meet?
at college. Atachi was stationed at a campus in some suburban Massachusetts town, and he kept bumping into a very pretty TA. they had one horrible date at a overpriced coffee shop, and things took off from there.
4. how would they feel if they were told "you're turning out like your parents"?
honestly, if he were being a dramatic potato, Neil would simply burst into tears. but in everyday reality, he wouldn't react at all, because deep down, he believes he is turning into his father, and it's slowly eating him alive.
5. what were your character's parents doing when they were your character's age?
Atachi, age 21, was saving the world, if his ego can be trusted. in reality, he was living in a deserted basement, eating cheap ramen and trying to keep his head up. he was a sad college student, once. (aka this is me trying to find something lovable about this slippery man)
Neil's mom, age 21, (I NEED A NAME, GUYS. AHHHH) was in business school, studying hard, and not caring what people said about her.
6. is there something that they adamantly disagree on?
7. what did the parents find the hardest about raising your character?
Atachi doesn't really get a say in this, because he was literally gone all the time, and when he was home, he was a giant jerk. so yeah.
Neil's mom shouldered a lot of burden when it came to bringing her son up, but she did a good job, despite the fact that she feels as though she's failed. as he grew older, she worried about how quiet was, and about the bruises that appeared on his skin when he returned home each day.
8. what's their most vivid memory with their parental figures?
that one time Neil witnessed his father out on a date with someone other than his mother (I told you all that this dude is a terrible human being). and unfortunately, the day that his mother kicked him out of the house. Neil has more bad memories than pleasant ones, and he wishes his childhood could have normal, somehow.
9. what was your character like as a baby/toddler?
quiet around strangers, including his dad, but once it was just Neil and his mom together, it was like you couldn't get the kid to chill. he never stopped talking, never stopped moving, never stopped trying to make her laugh. to this day, making the people he loves laugh is his favourite hobby.
10. why and how did the parents choose your character's name?
honestly I don't know. I think the cliche thing to say is that Atachi wanted him to have a Western name so that he wouldn't be picked on at school, but nothing Atachi ever did in his life backs this up, so the story behind Neil's name is a mystery. let's just say it came to them, like it popped into my own head. names are like that, sometimes. there's no huge backstory or significance to them...they just fit so perfectly without planning.
*shivers* okay. now I want to go write happiness so I can stop thinking about Atachi and how much I hate him. and how happy I am that I killed him off before the story even began ehehehe.
do you have a character that is absolutely crucial to the story, but who you cannot stand because of who they are as a person? commiserate with me, please. I'm always fighting Atachi, 200% of the time. send help and gluten free donuts.
*photo credit to owners*