Character Spotlight- Jean Randall


(From the view of the journalist)

I made my way up the hall to the kitchen. Mrs. Randall, the person I am supposed to interview next, is getting ready for lunch and I think I smell cookies. As I turned the corner, I see a woman in her forties with her brown hair pulled back in a loose ponytail. She was shooing a boy out who had a cookie in his hand.

“That’s all you get for now, Kevyn, the rest is going to be your dessert.”
”Okay, but you know need I two to make sure they still taste alright.”
She rubbed his dirty blonde mess of hair, “I know, but one is all you get. If you don’t hurry, Nigel is going to get you for not being in English.”
He scrunched his face up, “I don’t see why I have to study it. I already speaks it.”
Chuckling she looks up and sees me, “You must be the reporter.”
I watched the boy walk out the kitchen door and pointed as he went up the hall, “He seems like a handful.”
She smiled, “He can be, but he’s sweet at heart, and that’s what matters.”

She returned to taking bread loaves out of the oven.
I was a little puzzled,”Wouldn’t it be easier to buy the loaves?”
”Easier? Most definitely, but it’s cheaper in the long run to make your own when you have to feed five floors full of people.”
”I can understand that. What is your role in the house?”
”I am a house mother. This means I over see the everyday kitchen and chore schedules.”
I pointed to just outside the kitchen door, “The bulletin board outside the door?”
”That board serves three purposes, chores, menus for each floor, and odd jobs for those who want a little extra money.”
She sliced bread as I looked at the cookies, “Chocolate chunk?”
”Yes, but I doubt you’re here to discuss desserts.”
”Other than your house mother duties, do you help elsewhere?”
”Yes, I help Robin with new admissions, her scheduling, and making sure she takes a break.”
”You need to remind her to take breaks?”
She nodded, “Mmmhmm, and eat, too, she gets so involved in what she’s doing, she forgets to take breaks and eat.”
”I see. How long have you been here in the house?”
”Since it began.”
”Did she ask you to come?”
”Oh no, Mr. Randall got let go from his  construction work, and the temp jobs I had all dried up. We came here to give our children a place to stay.”
”How many children do you have?”
A frown flashed on her face briefly, “Two, we have two.”
I decided it was best not to follow that one up. I had seen that face before with parents who had lost a child. I’ve done enough of these interviews to know when not to press in issue.
”Do they go to school outside the house?”
”No, they go to the co-op classes in the house. This way we can be more involved in their education.”
”I can tell you have a lot to do on a daily basis. How do you handle it all without stressing out?”
”I used to be an Admin officer in the military. You learn to manage stress.”
”I see. Thank you for your service.”
”You’re welcome. I would do it again in a heart beat.”
”How did you react the first time you met Kriten and Kara?”
”I have to admit I was in shock when I first saw Kriten. I had never seen so many muscles one person before nor had I ever seen such a look of anger. It was intimidating, and quite frankly I wondered how Kara kept a brute like that calm. I was afraid he was going to rip someone’s head off.”
”Yeah, I met him briefly before interviewing Mrs. Tygnow.”
Mrs. Randall smiled, “Gave you that ‘Touch her and I kill you” speech?”
She waved her hand dismissively in the air, “Don’t worry. Kara can usually reign him in.”
”Is there anything else you wanted to ask me?”
”Nope, I can’t think of anything.”
She walked over to me with a folded napkin, “Who is next on your list, Dear?”
I looked at my schedule, “Mr. Randall.”
”Oh, my husband, you may want to skip down one. He is teaching a woodworking class today.”
”Okay, how about Tithan?”
”That’s Kriten’s father. He’s sweet and funny. You’ll have a blast interviewing him.”
I unfolded the napkin to find two cookies in it.


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