Character interview: Jayden from Hapi by Cari Waites

1. Jayden, what was your first impression of Hapi?

Big, and scary, and intense. Like when he looked at me, I couldn’t even move, and all the breath had just got sucked out of my body.

2. If you had to compare Hapi to an animal, which animal would it be and why?

A cobra, or some other sort of predator that freezes its prey with just a look.

3. If you got a chance to turn the clock back to an earlier time, would you? When would you turn it back to?

To when I was 15, and my mum died. I don’t think there’s much I could have done to prevent that, but maybe I’d be smarter around this time, and make sure I did better at school, and maybe I could have gone to uni or something, or got an apprenticeship, instead of just kind of drifting.

4. If you could change one thing about Hapi what would it be?

I don’t know. I think that maybe I already did, but I don’t know for sure. But I wish he’d talk more. I wish he’d say what was going through his head—or maybe I don’t. Maybe it’s easier to sleep if I don’t know.

5. Do you have any regrets? If so, what?

I regret not doing more with my life when I had the chance. And I regret not trying to contact my dad earlier, just because I was too scared to find out for sure if he was a total deadbeat or not. I mean, if he is, so what? That’s not a reflection on me; that’s on him. I wish I’d figured that out earlier.

6. Jayden, what do you fear the most?

That everything Hapi says is true.

7. What makes you happy?

Waking up in the same place every morning. Knowing that Hapi has my back. Knowing that he chose me, when nobody else ever did.

8. What do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to read. I like spy novels and books like that. Ones with lots of action.

9. Name a song that you identify with in some way? What is it about that song?

“Take Yourself Home” by Troye Sivan. It’s all about being alone, and being tired of the city, and looking for a place, for a home, I guess. There’s this line in it—“If I’m gonna die, let’s die somewhere pretty.” It’s pretty here.

10. If you had to compare yourself to food? What would you choose and why?

Ha! Something cheap and shitty from the bain marie at a highway service station. Like a week old chiko roll or something. But Hapi looks at me like I’m a piece of grain-fed steak and he’s a starving man.

11. How do you deal with it if someone crosses you?

I used to fight a bit when I was a kid, but I guess I don’t have to do that anymore. If anyone crosses me, Hapi’s face will be the last thing they see. It’s also going to be the last thing I see, probably.

12. What do you want written on your gravestone?
Jayden Sanders was alive.

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