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Name: Leonardo Enrique Vasquez
Age: Looks 27 Actual age: 35
Role: Empath in training
Face Claim: Tyler Posey
Goofy | Fun-Loving | Hard-Working
Short-Tempered | Cautious | Distrusting
Voted least likely to succeed in his high school yearbook. That just about summed up the life dealt to Leonardo Vasquez.
Leonardo was born in Jacksonville, Oregon. From the moment he was young he had a pretty rough childhood. Not that he was mistreated or particularly hard done by, but his family weren’t rich and his father lost his job and walked out on them before the young male could even remember him. So from the moment Leon was able to remember what was happening around him, his life consisted of him and his mom.
Because of the cards that were dealt to him, Leon had to learn to grow up fast and while his mother did everything she could to provide for him, that didn’t make for an easy life. He would do everything he could to make her day brighter and ensure she was less tired, anything he could just to get a few moments of bliss with her. His mother had to work two minimum wage jobs in order to provide for her family which left little time for quality time after all. Still, Leon was a patient and curious child who was happy with the little he was given.
Sometimes he would hear his mom talking to her friends, saying how she gave up the life she had back there to run away with her boyfriend, who she then had a child with, him and it made Leon wonder about the family he had back there. Back in Mexico. Would life had been better? Would there have been more time for him, a father that didn’t abandon his child before he even knew his face? He didn’t have the answers but what he did know was that life was just about him and his mom.
She did her best to be there for him, she taught him to read and write, she patched up his knees when he fell down, every night she could, she would sit by the side of his bed and sing him a lullaby until he fell asleep. And Leon was never ungrateful for the time they got to spend together, it was precious. Things did get easier for his mom after he started school, being able to send him off to learn every day meant there was more time for her to spend at work without having to pay for childcare. She put in a lot of hours, working both as a checkout girl at a local supermarket during the day and as a cocktail waitress during the evenings.
At school he was one of the poorer kids which naturally didn’t make him the most popular class member, when he was younger he often got teased for not having the newest things or sometimes having holes in his shoes or clothes but Leon didn’t let it get to him too much. Through his middle school he made a good group of friends who he remained close with for most of his schooling years, they took care of one another and stuck together, shutting out anyone who wanted to look down on them or judge them.
Leon was a caring soul who looked out for those who looked out for him, he was a goofy and funny kid who often got into trouble for talking too loud or making jokes which made everyone laugh. Despite his jokey and lighthearted nature, Leon also got decent enough grades at school, he did especially well at subjects which interested him such as music and sports and fell somewhat when it came to the academics such as maths and science. He was also decent at writing and averaged a B in English.
After school he would usually spend time with his friends, they tended to hang out in parks and just chat and mess around for hours on end. Sometimes the locals would complain about their large gatherings but they never really bothered anyone, usually they went cycling around on their bikes or spun one another on the roundabout until they were too dizzy to be able to see straight. In general, he was a happy teen but his reasons behind being out late often was because he didn’t want to return to an empty home, his mother was always out working so hard and he felt like a burden on her often, whenever he saw her she was tired out.
He tried to do everything he could to make her proud, he knew she had sacrificed near everything in her life to provide for him, he had heard the times where she would cry in her bedroom because she didn’t know how to make ends meet and provide for her son and yet she always managed to. It was then he knew if he wanted to go to college and make her proud he needed to work hard enough at something to get a scholarship. Knowing he wasn’t good at much Leon naturally gravitated to music, something which had always appealed to him.
He couldn’t afford lessons to learn to play an instrument so he decided to try teaching himself from online tutorials. It wasn’t easy and he played the beat up acoustic guitar from the music room until his fingers bled but he actually started getting good. Before long he found himself getting closer with the other musically inclined students and then forming a band named ‘Flight of the Night’ where he started as a the lead guitarist and backup vocals. They wrote a few songs together and spent a lot of time practicing in the garage of one of the member’s houses.
For once, Leon felt like he had his purpose going and he felt like his future was going somewhere. The band picked up attention in the local media giving the opportunity to play a few gigs is local bars. While the crowds were small, Leon fell in love with music and the way he could make people feel through it. Meeting fans after the show who told him how much their lyrics touched them or how they could just lose themselves in the songs they wrote was incredibly uplifting for him. Mostly because a part of him always wanted to make people happy, to bring joy to others and he had finally found his way to do so.
Before long, life started heading upwards for the band, they went from smaller venues to bigger ones and a scout came to one of their gigs and offered to sign the label. It became hard for Leon to balance his school with the rapid rolling success that was coming with music and after just about managing to scrape a pass in his exams and meet the needs for his diploma he was faced with the choice to stay in his hometown and go to college or move to LA and chance making it big in the music industry.
Leon loved the life in LA, he and his bandmates lived in a beat up old apartment, 4 of them to the small space and spent almost all their time practicing and writing music. Leon got especially good at writing for the band and even began some vocal training so that he could take the lead in some of the songs. Everything he made he put his everything into and that seemed to be what their fans loved so much about them.
It was many years of struggling, working with the label, trying to perfect the songs, releasing them, gaining more fans, touring the country and meeting them all backstage after the shows. It filled Leon with a rush to know the things he wrote and the music he shared was so important to other people and it was something he wanted to do forever. He missed his mother a lot when he was away and he often flew her out to see the shows but he definitely felt a certain distance between himself and everyone from his life before then. Still, he remained the fun loving and energetic person he had always been.
Things were better than they had ever been, their music only seemed to get better, even peaking in the charts gaining them even more fans, it allowed the band to be able to travel to other countries around the world to share their music there. Leon was excited for it, to be able to share everything he had learned with more and more people, to look out into the crowd and feel connected to them as they sang back the words he had written. Many of the people in the industry around him were out partying every night after their shows, trashing hotel rooms, doing those crazy outrageous things but Leon was that kind of person, every night he would head back to the tour bus, so he could work on more songs or get enough rest for the show the next day.
It was the day of their final show of the tour, they had arranged to tour around the world and then end it with a show in Jacksonville as a salute to the place where the band first came together and got their original loyal fanbase from. Leon was feeling a little lightheaded that day so he stayed sitting most of the time before prepping for the show, drinking lots of water and trying to figure out if he ate something strange the day before. He put it down to nerves because of the significance of the show and the fact they were revealing their next album, which had been recorded while they were on tour, tonight.
But as Leon entered the tunnel which he would walk to the stage, he felt a sharp pain in his chest. He could hear the cheering of the crowd as they anticipated the band’s arrival on the stage but he couldn’t make his feet move. He clutched a hand against his chest, feeling like his lungs were gasping for air as he felt his body collapse from underneath him. He didn’t know what happening but he was very aware of the fact that he suddenly couldn’t see anything and that everything hurt, it hurt so bad that he was gasping every time and whenever he tried to move his body wouldn’t respond. He could hear people calling for help around him and the everything just went silent.
The silence was the worst part and it felt like it was going to last forever. He laid there in the darkness, there was nowhere around and he couldn’t make a single sound, it felt like torture as he searched for something, anything which wasn’t just a dark and empty chamber. He wanted to scream for help, he kept telling himself he needed to wake up and yet it never happened. Instead, after some time passed, or perhaps no time at all passed, a light appeared, a figure who offered their hand out to Leon and when he took it, he felt himself being propelled forward until he was in a place much brighter.
He didn’t want to hear what they told him but they said it anyway. He had collapsed and died that day just before he headed out onto the stage. A freak heart attack on a perfectly healthy person, almost impossible, there hadn’t been any time for him to even process what was happening to him before he died. He didn’t want to accept it, there were still so many things he was supposed to do, what about the album and all the fans who relied on him. What about his band mates, what were they supposed to do with the music they were supposed to perform together without him. His mother, he didn’t even get to say goodbye to his mother.
It took Leon a while to process what had happened to him and to finally accept that there was no going back. He went into his shell for the first while which made training difficult, he didn’t know how he was supposed to face the world knowing that he was no longer a part of it, that he could only watch from a distance and help others. But there was a certain peace that could be found in that. He talked to one of the elder Aurazin, Arcadia, who told Leonardo about what he could do with his singing voice and musical talent, how music was often a key way to soothe those who were in pain and how he could share that gift to help them.
He hesitantly agreed to try it out and see how he felt about doing those duties. He began to go out on missions bit by bit, it was strange for him, having to mask himself as someone else but Arcadia was right when she said that he could use his ability to help bring peace to those who needed it. One he remembered clearly was being able to sing the song an elderly lady remembered dancing to with her late husband, as he held her hands and twirled her around the room, she was laughing as though she was right there all over again, the smile on her face reminded him of the exact times in his life when he looked out into the crowd and saw people taking in his music.
After that, he decided he wanted to continue with the training as an empath, he wanted to be able to help people to feel alive again, he wanted to save their lives so that they could live out the best moments in their lives. He realized with time that he had a really good one, one where he could name so many happy memories, he knew he touched so many people with his songs and even though he was no longer there to share them, that they would remain in the memories of those who enjoyed them. In that sense, in a way he would live forever.
He, Arcadia and one other trainee were out on a mission together when something felt incredibly wrong. Leon had no idea what was happening but to see his mentor suddenly feeling so off balance and panicked told him all he needed to know about the dangers of what was happening. He didn’t ask questions when she said they needed to relocate to Evermore. Because of the recognizability of his face, Leon remained in his shift from the mission, he couldn’t risk people spotting who he was and outing him and his kind. When they reached Evermore City though, it seemed like no one had any answers for why they had been locked out of the veil. All they knew for now was that they needed to keep a low profile and figure everything out.