Nate primarily exists within himself. He likes being by himself, and thinking things through by himself, and fixing things by himself. He doesn’t have much faith in other people, and relies on himself to do anything. Nate likes exploring and is irredeemably curious about the world around him, but doesn’t really want to learn from someone else or by word of mouth -- he wants to have the experience himself. He’s a quiet kid, preferring to go it alone most of the time. He is extremely realistic and literal, and he doesn’t do well within the realm of emotions or things that aren’t black or white. However, through this sort of stony and stubborn personality lies a very large caring streak. Nate doesn’t mention it, because he doesn’t think anything really needs to be mentioned, but he believes very strongly in fairness and taking care of things that have no ability to take care of themselves -- mainly animals. He’s very much a deal with it type of kid, and for him, no shades of grey exist -- he sees the answer to problems clearly and almost too simplistically. Nate has a strong dislike of authority figures, especially wealthy ones. He will snap at them uncharacteristically, and rebel as much as possible. He believes respect has to be earned, and he dislikes whenever people tell him to respect someone that, in his eyes, still hasn’t gained it. Even though he doesn’t come from a decorated background nor has exceptional academic abilities, Nate carries an instinctive pride and quietly self-assured demeanor.
Nate has an oval face, with an angular jaw and high cheekbones that give too much solemnity to his expression. His hooded eyes are a dark hunter green, and are perpetually squinting from under his brow bone. Nate’s eyebrows are thick, straight, and dark, and always seem to be furrowed. His lips are nearly always bitten and chapped to death, and are just a fraction too full for his face, just like his toothy, slightly gap-toothed smile. He has extremely unkempt and knotted, dirty blonde hair that hasn’t seen a pair of scissors in years, and if it ever did, was cut into a lopsided bowl cut that grew out far too quick to fix. He’s wiry and skinny for his age, made only for running and climbing trees endlessly. Nate is nearly always slouching, feet and fingers fidgeting and eyes darting wary. He wears outdated, unfashionable and baggy hand-me-downs that are patched up heavily on the knees, and rarely wears shoes. His hands are quick and steady, good for untangling knots and catching grasshoppers.
As far as Nate was concerned, his family had always been a bunch of poor, backwoods, rusty-trailer, moldy-couch-on-the-front-porch type of folk, and that was just fine. It’s not like it mattered, right? Nearly everyone he knew was like that, for as far back as he could remember. And, in any case, it’s tough to judge your neighbor’s broken-down truck when your beat-up car’s transmission acts up with any gust of wind. Nate can’t remember much about his life when he was younger -- it’s mostly a river of swirling grey blankness, with islands of memories standing stark against the murky waters. Memories like running wild in the woods with his older siblings, the twins, Kat-and-Alex, and chasing down frogs and salamanders and possum’s tails. He liked those the best, because he didn’t have to remember the pervasive cigarette and beer smell that creeped into every facet of his home, down to his hair. It’s not like his parents were bad people, he always thought, they just shouldn’t have had kids, is all. Nate didn’t really understand much of the fighting anyways, something about how his no-good-bastard-looking-cheating-I-should-have-left-with-John-because-he-loves-me dad wasn’t the nicest to his uppity-prissy-stuck-up-manipulative-cheating-dry-and-useless mom. Kat-and-Alex were always there for him in any case, and whenever they’d hear anything fragile start breaking, they’d usher Nate out into the woods by the creek. He preferred it that way -- muddy riverbed dirt slipping between his toes, eyes blearily focusing on any hint of silver that flashed underneath the wavering moonlight. As he got older, the fighting was less with mom and dad, and more with one half of Kat-and-Alex. Alex wanted to leave, Alex wanted to go off to some school, Alex this and Alex that and one day Nate heard the door slam so hard he would’ve sworn the glass broke and then it was just Kat-and. Nobody really talked much after that. Nate spent most of his time after that in the woods by his house, whispering quietly to some strange green frogs with curly tails that he swore talked back. It didn’t take long for RMI to notice, and Nate last remembers his mom maybe glancing at him when he rolled his beat-up suitcase out of the door and creaked it shut.