Hinalei

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Hinalei
Full name Hinalei Abigail Wade
Age 16
Pronouns She/her or they/them
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From my novel, Revolving Door. I use alternating pronouns in different sections of this profile to reflect their preferences.
Personality

Hinalei is always on the move: places to be, people to see, etc. If you want to have a chat, you'd better catch them fast because they'll be somewhere else in 5 minutes. An athlete on the track and field team and a hardworking student, they still manage to find the time to join beach care activities on Saturdays, and keep up with friends from two different schools, all of these with the same level of sincerity and drive. They're so cool. So driven. So on top of it all.

The fact of the matter is, this image is held up by consistent practice and arduous efforts at "faking it till they make it". Hinalei is, at all times, deliberately affecting an image of effortlessness. They are absolutely more stressed out than they look, and afraid that someone will see through it someday.

For someone so serious about doing things well and punctually, they aren't very good at asserting themself, seeming to hold others' needs in the same regard as their own. This causes problems when others take advantage of their good-heartedness.

Hinalei doesn't think looking like a bookish nerd will earn them many friends, but a nerd they absolutely are, with particular interests in Havaiki history and the history of the region. Their tendency not to express emotions outwardly belies their niceness, and how given they are to making silly quips in response to the teacher's questions.

Story

Hinalei's parents immigrated from Hawai'i (an independent nation in this universe) and the United States. The two met on the plane ride there and never lost touch thereafter. She was born during a visit to her mother's hometown of Kapa'a.

From youth she enjoyed the good fortune of considerable wealth (for Havaiki residents) and parents interested in her happiness and wellbeing. This meant that she had lots of room to explore wildly diverging interests growing up: when she wanted to learn the violin, they took her to lessons till she decided she was done, and when she decided she wanted to try karate, they paid for all her gear and classes.

She was enrolled at the "upper class" South Town School through elementary and middle school, but she missed the high school sign-up date, and by that fluke, was forced to go for the second-best option.

Hinalei didn't mind starting over from the ground up, but outside of Teruo, her partner-in-crime, none of her old friends from STS returned her efforts at maintaining friendship with enough enthusiasm to make it worthwhile.

Relationships
Teruo (friend) Hinalei's old friend Teruo is the only friend from South Town School who still makes an effort to keep contact with them. They used to go boating together, and they had plans to start a band, but they couldn't interest anyone else enough in the idea.
Vijay (friend) New best friend? Maybe. Their classmates tried to pit them against each other when they both ran for positions in the student council. Eventually Hinalei forfeited and Vijay was disqualified for breaking school rules (he wore purple shoelaces, oops), but they both got a friendship out of it. They help out on the school garden together sometimes and are good friends with Marcus, keeper of the grounds.
Si-hyeon They're close, but they used to be closer, often staying after school to do homework together—until the day she confessed to having a crush on them and tried to ask them out. Hinalei felt so awkward and uncertain of what to do that they went mute and walked off. Si-hyeon was so embarrassed that all interaction between them evaporated for months. They're patching it up now.
Other classmates They're the subject of great respect from their classmates. If there's anyone you can count on, it's Hinalei! They're much too aware of maintaining good relations with others to clearly assert their boundaries, where taking on others' work is concerned. Truly a recipe for crushing stress.
Facts
  • Hinalei usually runs the 400m and 800m events and while she's not the best in the country, she has won quite a few medals.
  • Havaiki society may be forward-thinking about gender, but Hinalei's gender-switching still trips some people up. While she's cool with being called anything most of the time, people have come to see her attire choices as code for what she's feeling like that day. This isn't necessarily true, but it caught on anyway.
  • As mentioned in an earlier part of the profile, she does know how to play the violin (though she's rusty) and has had some basic self-defence training.