Kathleen Brennan was born into an upper middle class family in Bellevue, WA. Her parents owned a successful law firm, with the two of them practicing together together in a small boutique firm specializing in intellectual property law.
When Kathleen was 15 years old, her father abruptly left home, saying he needed to travel and put his business-driven lifestyle behind him. Devastated, her mother struggled to keep the family (which included Kathleen’s 17 year old brother) afloat, but rapidly succumbed to a prescription pill habit. On the morning of Kathleen’s 16th birthday, she walked in to her mother laying on the bathroom floor, dead from overdose. Her brother, who was now legally an adult, couldn’t handle the idea of being responsible for anyone else, and their father had completely cut contact, and so Kathleen finished her high school years bouncing between foster homes.
Determined to be fully responsible for her own success, Kathleen attended college at Stanford (graduating in 2 1/2 years), and then pursued her MD at Yale. By the age of 24, she was hired as a research psychologist at John’s Hopkins, specializing in evolutionary psychology.
Kathleen’s intellect and aversions to forming close relationships have often caused those around her to be turned off by perceived pretentiousness, but in all reality Kathleen is merely matter-of-fact, and oblivious to the opinions of others. She has had only one serious romantic relationship, in which she almost married (a total of 5 years together), but eventually broke things off after realizing her desire to never have children was ultimately a deal-breaker. She has been single for the past four years, and has no desire to settle down.
Kathleen’s best friend, Emily, who could very much be described as her polar opposite (a spontaneous, free-spirited graphic artist) recently divorced and asked Kathleen to attend the cruise with her to “celebrate”.