Louise is nearing 40 and she’s at a bit of a crossroads in her life. The last time she felt this way she had just left Hamilton at the age of 20 to study graphic design at Ryerson University. For the last six years she has been working at Hexagone, an event agency. She lives alone in a one bedroom apartment in Toronto but lately she dreams of leaving the city. All that concrete is starting to weigh her down – along with everything else. Louise lives with anxiety but doesn’t know it yet.
John loves working with wood in his workshop. Or, as he likes to call it, his ‘hideaway’. It’s a relaxing activity and it allows him to have his own space away from Diana. He can’t imagine life without her but she can be a little controlling. Louise has never understood how her pops could fall in love with someone so cold. She would love to see him stand up for himself… and for her.
Diana has never been very ‘maternal’ but she always made sure her children had everything they needed. It was her way of saying “I love you”. Louise would have preferred to hear her say it but she has long since stopped expecting it. When her mother calls, it’s either to ask for a favour, to talk about her dear David, or to tell her a story about her corner store, "Diana's Pantry".
David’s catchphrase is ‘the sky’s the limit’. Not surprising for someone who has achieved a string of successes at just 33. An MBA from York University’s Schulich School of Business, a six-figure company, a beautiful home in Muskoka, a ring on his finger and a child… Louise has always found him to be a walking stereotype. Mr. Perfect.
Louise often feels protective of her younger sister, and yet Olivia does very well on her own. She has self-confidence that Louise never had at her age. When Olivia isn’t hanging out with her sister, her friends or her girlfriend, she studies Religion and Society at the University of Toronto.
Ericka joined the team at Hexagone in April 2020, at the height of the pandemic. From their very first virtual meeting, Louise knew they would become friends. They share the same frustrations at work, the only difference being that Ericka is bold enough to express herself to her employer. She is direct but insightful, always with a touch of humour. Ericka voices out loud the things that Louise thinks quietly.
Steven is the director of growth and marketing at Hexagone – emphasis on the word ‘growth’. He works 60 hours a week and hasn’t had a real vacation in two years. He suffered through a burnout once but doesn’t like to talk about it because he sees it as a sign of weakness. He likes to keep the ball rolling, something Louise was quick to understand. As long as she is a high performer, Steven is happy.
Karim owns a company that specializes in kitchen renovations – but that’s just one of the 63 ideas he has floating around. He lives in the same triplex as Louise, on the ground floor. Louise often sees him in his backyard with his dog, chatting to neighbours. He’s the kind of person who instantly makes friends, but he really enjoys chatting to one of his neighbours in particular.
Louise can’t think about him without feeling a knot in her stomach. He was her longest relationship. Her family and friends never understood what she saw in him. Admittedly, Max was a man of few words and a master of monosyllabic responses. But Louise was able to see a different side of him. That is, until routine set in.