Melinda had always wanted something special for her future children. Since she was a little girl herself, she'd spent hours upon hours dreaming of a beautiful fairy princess wedding, and at least ten children running around in the house. She'd be barefoot and pregnant, a stay-at-home mother, a good and faithful wife. Well, she did give something special to her children--or, at least the one child she had.
Cletus Kingsley Ravencroft was brought in to the world on Christmas Eve in the year 1989. Devastated that she would have neither a Christmas baby, a New Years Eve baby, nor a New Years Day baby, she was immediately disappointed in her only child. He was named after his father, someone with whom he would never be acquainted--the elder Cletus had walked out on Melinda after finding out that she was pregnant. Still blind with infatuation, Melinda named the baby after its father, damning him to a childhood filled with jeers.
Throughout his childhood, he insisted upon being called CJ...partially because he hated how hillbilly the name Cletus was, but also because he hated the man he was named after. Friends, teachers, acquaintances alike all agreed to call him CJ, except his mother, who would forever be in love with the man that walked out on her. Though, most days she was higher than a kite on a combination of Jack Daniels and methamphetamine; the older CJ got, the more she would mistake him for his father. He'd never once seen a picture of his father (he'd likely never invested in a camera, even a disposable one) but he could only imagine he was the spitting image of him. It was one of the many reasons why he wanted to escape Alabama as quickly as he could. To get away from his father's reputation, to get away from his mother's delusional infatuation, to get away from how completely ignorant everyone around him was. He preferred the company of books to his mother, and he didn't have many cousins to speak of. At least, that he knew about. He had dreams of being a doctor--which was a profession he hadn't seen up close and in person until he was well into his teenage years.
The minute he turned 18, he stuffed a trash bag full of clothes and books, and took the first bus up north. Unbeknownst to his mother, he'd been accepted into Harvard University. If his mother had known, she'd have leeched his student loan money for drugs and booze, all the while she didn't work a day in her life. For all she knew, he'd run away with some pretty girl to have more beautiful Ravencroft children, just the way she'd wanted. Instead, he was studying pediatric medicine--he wanted to help children, the way he should've been helped. The more he learned at school, the more he began to realize just how lucky he was to have escaped his childhood remotely unscathed.
After recently receiving his medical degree, CJ has not yet left Massachusetts. He's been there long enough to have almost completely erased his accent--he's worked hard to at least drop some of his R's. He's considered changing his name legally, but simply hasn't made time to do it--not to mention the potential consequences regarding his medical license. He wouldn't know the first thing to do to change the name on that as well. Rather, he just avoids answering anyone when they ask what CJ stands for, and sometimes even makes up silly names instead. He's a fairly happy man now, being away from his soul-sucking mother. He's learned recently that she had gotten back together with his father--but both parents died shortly after, both from drug overdose. He regrets not having a normal childhood with his mother, who could have amounted to a lot more than she did, but tries to not dwell on the past. Instead, he feels as though his demons have been exorcised--at least, for now.