BIOGRAPHYsamantha therese bowen was born to two proud parents during a heatwave in the middle of june in 1990. lucas was a thirtysomething firefighter married to valerie, an almost-thirtysomething bank teller, and from the moment they'd said 'i do,' he had claimed several times over again that he couldn't imagine loving anyone more. when their daughter was born about a year after the wedding, luke voluntarily admitted that he'd lied. he couldn't chalk it up to sentimentality, either. little samantha, while unexpected, was the light of her do-gooding, blue-collar parents' lives.
money was tight; it always was for the little family of three. they lived in their vancouver apartment for about three years, waiting and hoping for job promotions or the metaphoric 'right time' to make a move. 'a move' was approximately ten miles away from their newlywed apartment, into something of a glorified cottage. still, it was theirs, out of the city, and somewhere that little samantha could safely learn how to ride a bike or do a cartwheel. unfortunately, despite all of the wonderful home-building and child-rearing that took place there, impermanence was starting to become a theme in the bowens' lives, for better and for worse.
this time, it was for the better (so they said), and sam was taught about sacrifice for the first time. she'd never wanted for nothing, had understood the values of money and time, but when lucas was called to work in california during a wildfire season, the promise of more money and more time with his family was too much to pass up and too much for sam to comprehend. when she was eleven, samantha cried for a full day when she and valerie pulled away in the old honda sedan, followed by lucas in the moving truck. she cried, and then she'd made herself stop when she saw the california shore. things were going to be alright, she told herself. and they were just that.
through her middle-school career, samantha became something of an odd, little duckling. she believed in being kind over all else, she didn't experiment with boys, and she studied hard. lucas and valerie's respective moral compasses had been thoroughly impressed upon her, and for a while, she didn't feel like anything was out of the ordinary. samantha swam, played piano, did ballet, and participated in nature club; all innocent and naive activities that earned her a fair bit of ostracizing from her more-adventurous peers. most of this, she'd come to know, had to do with the fact that she was an only child, under the constant supervision of two steely-eyed and warm-hearted parents. it wasn't all bad, she'd learn eventually, not without her own share of typical bumps and bruises.
when middle school came to an end, as did the lengthy listening sessions that valerie and lucas had to endure from their daughter, the 'leave the world better than you found it' mentality kept up; that strong, little voice, staunch individuality, and sense of purpose got samantha accepted into mater dei high school, a private, expensive high school. this was something that the bowen family knew they'd never be able to afford. the merit scholarship the admissions' office had offered her made both lucas and valerie cry.
per canadian custom, the first thing that flew out of thirteen-year-old sam's mouth was a desperate apology.
apart from the initial shock, high school went much better than middle. it came with unusual groups of friends that ended up more like family, with less-than-usual interests and many a secret road-trip. her parents never found out about the latter, nor about the panic attack that'd initially come with the first. thank-you, casey. things had changed again, and for the better. sam came out of high-school with a best friend that had come to know her better than anyone else, a voice she now had courage to use, and the kind of confidence that'd get her considered for, and accepted into a university.
college was great, for the most part. sam studied biology; she tried new things, she traveled, she fell in love. all was good and wonderful during her time of self-discovery at california state university [long beach]; she had the grades and the rapport with her instructors to earn more scholarships left and right — her post-graduate career, her own life seemed to be setting itself up. the church mouse reputation that samantha bowen had incidentally built was breaking down bit by bit. she genuinely came into her own, and grew up while she was on her own at university. little did she know, she'd need the maturity late in her sophomore year.
while lucas and valerie had eagerly let their daughter leave the nest and had watched her fly, sam eventually came back when valerie was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer. sam could do nothing but watch as her mother's condition rapidly deteriorated. valerie passed away that year, and it devastated sam. sam broke off the what-would-be-long-term-relationship she'd been so happily involved in; she buried herself in her studies, and graduated fourth in her class. lucas knew it wasn't fair, but a peep never came from his daughter. she'd planted her feet and stood strong as best she could. it was impressive, to say the least.
a biology degree, down-payment on a condominium, and two dogs later, samantha's pulled both her own and her family's lives together. she's currently living on her own in huntington beach, where she's an assistant park-ranger, based at the nix nature center in the laguna coast wilderness park. she organizes nature walks and workshops, focusing her time on educating parkgoers. occasionally, she's got to get the odd hooligan removed, but she doesn't mind. in her spare time; sam teaches yoga, loves rock climbing/bouldering and spending time with her dogs. she's an introvert, and enjoys time spent alone/with smaller groups of people more than she does with entertaining large groups; sometimes, this is mistaken for being standoffish, which (unfortunately) she hasn't done much to counter. for better and for worse, she's an altruistic, warm-hearted, empathetic person with a hard-won sense of self.