McKenna Reid hasn't used her legal name since she ran away from home at age 18. Now 22, she's renting a cozy apartment in LoHi and working as a waitress to make ends meet, rebuilding her life while her friends are none the wiser — but getting to this point hasn't been easy.
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, McKenna was the product of a one-night stand between D-List musician, Colin Ludlow, and retail manager, Emily Guthrie. Because Colin was never made aware of Emily's pregnancy, McKenna was raised solely by her mother, and was a happy child despite growing up without a father figure. For much of her adolescence, McKenna and Emily lived in a cramped, one-bedroom apartment in Williamsburg, isolated from the rest of the world and entirely dependent upon one another. McKenna, who had difficulty relating to her peers as a teen, grew accustomed to this way of life and took comfort in her closeness with Emily, looking up to her not only as her mother but also as her best friend. This made it difficult for her to accept anyone else, especially the men Emily dated, into their lives, but it wasn't until Emily agreed to marry Vince D'Amato that a man's presence made her feel unsafe.
Vince was a wolf in sheep's clothing, as prickly on the inside as he was charming on the outside, and while her mother had a blind spot for him, McKenna did not. For years, he leered at her, slurring crude language in her ear and making her feel uncomfortable whenever they were in close proximity to each other. Emily's denial that his behavior was inappropriate caused a rift between her and McKenna, and when McKenna started to spend more and more time out of the apartment to avoid Vince, their relationship began to deteriorate. McKenna evaded Vince's unwanted sexual advances until the night of her high school graduation, when he cornered her in her mother's bedroom and attempted to rape her. She managed to fight him off by knocking him unconscious with a lamp, but was so shaken up by the assault — and so terrified of what she presumed would be a second attempt later on — that she packed a bag and fled Brooklyn, using what little money she had to travel toward Denver, where her father was last known to have lived.
The money ran out shortly after she reached the city, and she spent several months sleeping in unlocked cars before she met Nate Rydell, a 25-year-old graduate student who offered to let her stay with him and his wife, Haley, until she got back on her feet. Hoping that it would reduce the chances of Vince finding her, McKenna assumed a new identity, working odd jobs and getting paid under the table until she could save up enough money to live on her own. As a gift to her on her twenty-first birthday, just before they announced they were moving to Los Angeles, Nate and Haley leased and paid the first six months' rent on a new apartment for her, providing her with some semblance of security as she started over.
Since then, McKenna has been living as best as she can. Still determined to find her father, she posts regular anonymous ads on Craigslist and obsessively tracks any news regarding his long-disbanded 90's rock group. Thus far, all roads have led to dead ends, but she's holding out hope for their meeting, when the time is right. Despite having to fight the urge to call her every day, she hasn't spoken to her mother in four years.