NAME: Cara Anne Baines (nee Lehman) BIRTHDATE: March 8, 1982 BIRTHPLACE: Cary, North Carolina CURRENT AGE

: 26

BIOGRAPHY: Cara Anne Lehman was born on March 8, 1982 to Lily Rae Welsh and Jake David Lehman. She was an energetic child, always climbing and running around. She loved her parents more than anything. They lived in a modest home in Cary, North Carolina for her entire life. In their small backyard, Cara’s parents built her a swing set, so she could always have somewhere to go to feel safe and free and happy. When Cara was 13 years old, her parents went on a second honeymoon, leaving her with her maternal grandmother, Hannah Jean Welsh for the week. When their rental car was pushed off the side of a road in Kauai, Hawaii, the force of the crash against the mountainside killed them both instantly. Cara spent the rest of her teenage years living with grandmother. After her parents’ deaths, she became much more introverted, much quieter and less outgoing. So when she went off to college at the University of Tennessee, she clung to the first person she made a connection with—Thomas Aaron Baines. Cara was pursuing a double major in art history and business, while he was in law school, already having completed a double major in political science and

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public relations. They were both extremely driven and passionate about their courses of study and bonded instantly over that ambition. Cara clung even tighter to Tom when the summer after her sophomore year, her grandmother passed away from pancreatic cancer. But when Cara became pregnant with two months left of her senior year, the life she imagined for herself quickly disappeared. Tom was adamant about getting married and keeping the baby, and Cara didn’t want to lose the one person she could now rely on through anything. So, despite her desire to build her life, work in a gallery, and focus on just being happy, she agreed to marry Tom the summer after their graduation—her from undergrad, him from law. Somehow Cara found herself living in Nashville with a husband trying to climb the state political ladder with a newborn to care for and no real life of her own. She’s lonely and feels a bit empty inside, but she has the two people she loves most in the world. And she thinks that should be enough.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Cara is 5’6” and 135 pounds. She is always in shape, running four times a week and eating healthy (for the most part :-p). She never wanted to give the universe a reason to take her from this world before it was time, like her parents were. She has beautiful, dark, just past shoulder-length curly hair and emerald green eyes. Her style is simple but classic. Though she doesn’t really care what she looks like, she takes good care of her appearance for Tom’s sake.

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INSTINCTS: Cara has excellent control over her outward emotions. She typically restrains herself unless it’s necessary to express strong feelings— she certainly chooses her battles. She is caring, compassionate, and generous, albeit a little naïve in some ways when it comes to her own personal growth and well being. She can take care of everyone but herself; to her, she isn’t as important. She has a habit of tucking her curls behind her ear when she’s nervous, to help her keep control over at least her hair. She doesn’t like to rock the boat when she can avoid it, and she is always trying to make everyone else happy. When she does have time to herself, she wishes she could fill it with some more personal and independent activities, but she feels tied down to her family in a way that isn’t necessarily bad, in her opinion, but that is certainly constricting. She’s taken to small acts of rebellion, such as drinking when she knows Tom would disapprove, though she’s by no means an alcoholic. It’s just a way she can have some independence, her own little victory

DESIRES: Cara wants to have it all, but doesn’t believe it’s possible. She’d love to have a career, get back into her hobbies and make some friends. She loves that her neighbor, Kelsey, is such a good friend, but she craves a social circle of women who can support and understand one another. She wants Tom to relax, to not be so stressed all the time about his job. She believes

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that if he had more time to just be, rather than be working, he could get back to being the man she fell in love with instead of a workaholic politician who’s never around to help her with their home and son.

NEEDS: Cara doesn’t quite know what she needs. She knows she’s unhappy and lonely, but she’s not so sure there’s a way to fix it. She tries to have faith in her current situation, to trust that things will improve in time and life will change in positive ways, but she’s just denying what she truly needs—to get out of her present position, away from her abusive husband, and learn how to be herself again. © 2009 by Danielle Poiesz

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