Character Spotlight: Shaunna Hennessy (Hiding Behind The Couch)

Another CV / character profile from the Hiding Behind The Couch series.

Profiles posted so far:

Hiding Behind The Couch is an ongoing series about a group of friends—‘The Circle’ (the original main characters in the series), which has expanded and changed over time to include the ‘extended circle’ (additional main characters, below the circle on the right).

Today, we’re stopping off for a cup of tea and a gossip with Shaunna. If there is such a thing as someone who is in charge of The Circle, it’s definitely Shaunna.

I should also add credit for the images at this point. Those which aren’t from book covers are from Pixabay, and this one is a good likeness for what Shaunna looks like in my head (or how she’d have looked in her late-twenties, at least).

You can find both the writing and suggested reading order for the series on this page:

Shaunna Hennessy
Name: Shaunna Hennessy (aka Shaunna Johansson)
Eyes: Green
Hair: Red, curly/wavy, long
Complexion: Freckly and pale
Height: 5’ 6"
Weight: next question
Build: voluptuous
Tattoos/Piercings: Both ears x 1
Education: Local technical college day release - Hairdressing Level 4
Accent: Northwest English.
Languages: English

Quickfire Questions:
Place of Birth: Northwest England
Siblings: None
Children: Krissi, Rosie and Sorsha
Places lived: Northwest England.
Jobs: Mum, Housewife, salon assistant, stylist
Interests: Homemaking, TV, studying (a little), sex. ;)
Pets: None…at the moment.
Greatest Success: Krissi
Worst thing you've ever done to someone: Mocking Zak at school. In my defence, he stalked me.
Biggest Trauma: Losing my mum to cancer.
Do you have a secret: What you see is what you get!
Favourite Book: Something by Jackie Collins? I read magazines more than books.
Favourite Food: Any breakfast I don't have to cook.
Favourite Drink: Red wine, tea.
Strength: Mentally strong.
Weakness: Lazy.
Best way to spend a weekend: Chilling with friends.
Closest Friends: Adele, Sean, Josh.
Love of your life: My daughters.

And here are some excerpts featuring Shaunna.

Chain of Secrets

(Setting: with Josh in the playground on the last day of primary school, aged 10.)

“I like your pencil,” Josh said, holding the page close to his face so he could study the way the colours intertwined through each letter.

“Thanks!” Shaunna said. “Your turn.”

Securing his diary between his thighs, he took Shaunna’s autograph book, and flicked through to the first blank page; it was almost at the end of the book.

“You have a lot of friends,” he said.

“I have a lot of autographs, but I only have two real friends.”

Josh wrote, To Shaunna—

“Do you want to know who they are?”

“Hold on a minute. I’m thinking what to write.”

“OK.” Shaunna stood quietly and watched.
To Shaunna,

Thank you for being kind to me after my dad died. You—
“Can I tell you yet?” She bounced up and down on the spot.

“Do you need the toilet?”

“No. I just want to tell you who my two friends are. It’s good.” She nodded to emphasise how good it was.

Josh narrowed his eyes and made a prediction in his head before he asked the question. “Who are your two friends?”

“Adele, which you know, because we always sit together and stuff. And the other one is you.”

“Me?” He blinked in surprise. He’d thought she was going to say Adele and one of the other girls in their class.

“Yes, you,” she confirmed.

“But…” He frowned. “Why?”

“Because you were kind to me when my grandma died, and you read stories to me, even though I got fed up and kept asking you questions. And I know George is your best friend, and I’m not jealous. That’s good he’s your best friend, like Adele is my best friend. Sometimes she can be really annoying, though. You’re not annoying. When the others say you’re a snob, I say, ‘No he’s not. He’s shy.’ Because you are shy, aren’t you?”

“Erm, yes, but—”

“I knew it. You should try football, you know. It’s fun. And George plays it.” She pointed across the playground, to where George and the rest of the fourth-year boys were enjoying their last game of football in primary school. She turned back to Josh. “Have you finished yet?”

He shook his head and returned to his writing.



(Setting: Adele’s bedroom; her parents are arguing downstairs.)

Adele skipped across the room to her tiny, pink dressing table, and looked at the postcard from Shaunna. She was on holiday for all of the summer, at her aunty’s farm in Ireland.
To Adele,

I am having a good time.

I miss you.

There are horses and we are going to ride on them tomorrow my Aunty Pammy said.

I have a new cousin and he is three weeks old.

Don’t forget my birthday present.

Mum says we can go to the fair when we get back.

Love and kisses,

Shaunna xxx

NOTE: From here on, there are spoilers for anyone who hasn’t read up to whichever instalment the excerpt is taken from.

No Time Like The Present

(Setting: Shaunna and Kris’s kitchen.)

Shaunna’s feelings were swinging from hating Kris and wanting him to suffer, to wanting him to be happy, even if it cost her the house she had worked so hard to turn into a home. With each cycle around these thoughts, the tears would start again, and then she’d pull herself back together. It had to end somewhere.

When she arrived home, she found him sitting in the kitchen, poring over the local paper, looking for accommodation to rent. He had already made her a cup of tea, and there was a meal waiting in the oven, but she wasn’t hungry. She sat in the chair opposite and unbuttoned her coat.

“How’s Dad?” Kris asked, circling another ad.

“He’s smashing. He’s been to a Christmas dance this afternoon and had way too many sherries, but you know what he’s like. That Florence, or whatever her name is, she’s a dreadful flirt. I didn’t know where to put my face. So what’ve you been up to?” It was a stupid question.

“I had no idea how expensive houses are. Flats aren’t much better, so now I’m going through the bedsit section.”

“Bedsits? Kris! You can’t live in a bedsit.”

“Why not?”

“I won’t let you, for one.”

“I don’t have much choice, really, do I?”

“You do. I want you to stay.”

Kris glanced up from the paper, briefly, and carried on. “Don’t be silly. You know that’s not going to work.”

“Not like it is now, no. But I was thinking.”

Kris exchanged the pencil for his tea and sat back so Shaunna could see she had his attention.

“All right. I wasn’t thinking. It just came to me then, when I saw you circling that bedsit. Do you even know what Drummond Street is like? One of the customers lives down there and the stories she tells! You can’t possibly live there, especially with—Jack.”

“I won’t be living anywhere with Jack. He’s staying with his wife.”

Shaunna instinctively reached out and took his hand.

“It’s fine,” he said. “Really. I don’t love him. I have never loved anyone but you, but I can’t be who I’ve tried to be any longer.”

“Which is exactly my point. We’ve got two bedrooms, haven’t we?”


“So we can still share the house and be friends. I know that sounds gooey, but I think we could actually make it work. On a selfish note, I can’t afford to live here on my own, and I can’t bear the thought of moving out.”

“No. Neither can I. Do you really think we can do it? What about if we start dating other people?”

“We can cross that bridge later. What do you say? Do we have a deal?”

Kris thought for a moment and closed the newspaper.

“We have a deal.”


In The Stars Part II

(Setting: a pub, with Andy.)

They reached the pub and broke apart to order drinks and find a quiet place to sit, right next to each other, not even tissue-paper space between them. Andy laced his fingers through hers and rubbed her thumb with his.

“So, what, then?” she asked.

“What then what?”

“You said that’s one way of putting it. Does Jess know?”

“I haven’t told her, if that’s what you mean.”

“But she knows how you feel?”

“About you?”

“Yeah.” Shaunna shifted slightly so she could look at him. “Is this a good idea? Our lives are so complicated already.”

“Are you saying you don’t want to?”

“No, not at all. I want to.” Now she blushed. “I really want to, but—damn, this is so much harder when we’re sober.”

Andy laughed. “You can say that again.” He picked up his drink, intermittently sipping and taking slow, deep breaths, each slightly less shaky than the last, as he fought and won over the urge to suggest they went somewhere more private, knowing that they’d likely get no further than the back seat of the Mustang.

“We’ll get busted in that car,” she said, as if she had read his mind exactly.


“The pap. They’re still tailing Kris, and if they see his ‘secret wife’ getting into a Mustang with a sexy hunk, they’ll bust us before we even get up to any shenanigans. I’m surprised we’re not in Heat magazine already.”

“A sexy hunk, huh?”

“Don’t fish.” She returned to her original position and leaned her head on his shoulder. “So we’ll have to be careful.”

Andy shook his head and laughed quietly. “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.”


“Planning an affair. It’s a bit—”


“And dangerous.”

“OK. What are the options?”

“We don’t do it.”

“Can you handle that?”

“If I never, ever, ever see you again.”

“So that’s out of the question. And if we don’t plan it, you know what’ll happen, don’t you?”

“I’m having quite a lot of fun imagining, actually.” Andy grinned.


Red Hot Christmas

(Setting: Hayley’s Hair Salon, where Shaunna works. She’s been counselling a bride through her pre-wedding jitters.)

They both stopped in the doorway between the stockroom and the salon, watching Andy flip Shu the right way up and return her to the floor.

“Go on, trouble.” Andy watched her toddle back to her ‘client’ and then lifted his eyes to meet Shaunna’s gaze. “I hear you’ve been having a problem with one of the dryers,” he said, a smile teasing his lips.

“Yeah,” Shaunna confirmed breathlessly. The bride was still standing next to her and grabbed her arm.

Andy took off his hard hat and shook his hair loose. “I guess I won’t be needing that.” He placed the hat on a shelf and slowly unzipped his jacket.

“Oh. My. God!” the bride whispered loudly into Shaunna’s ear. They both started giggling.

“Erm…” Adele said loudly, “Shaunna?”

“Yeah?” Shaunna answered without taking her eyes off the sexy vision before her.

“Do I need to blindfold my daughter?”

“No, hun.”

“OK. Just thought I’d check.”

Andy turned and gave Adele a cheeky wink. She started giggling, too, and blushed bright pink.

“It’s that dryer,” Shaunna said, pointing to her right somewhere. Andy nodded and whipped off his jacket, revealing a pair of heavy cargo pants, currently held up by braces, and a tight, white vest. Shaunna swallowed and tried to breathe slowly.

“That one?” Andy repeated.

Shaunna nodded, completely cut off from the activity going on around her, which consisted of eight women swooning, Shu singing to her ‘client’ and Hayley looking utterly delighted by the reception Andy was receiving. He moved away towards the dryers, all eyes on him, and Shaunna, incredibly, managed to snap herself out of it.


Two By Two

(Setting: Shaunna and Kris’s house, with Sean. Shaunna is moving out.)

Krissi left. Sean remained standing, car key in his hand, watching Shaunna fuss with straightening the tea towels, tipping the drainer on its side and pushing the chairs neatly under the table. She glanced up at him and he smiled. She closed her eyes, squeezing them tight to lock in the tears.

“I’m happy,” she said, “whatever it looks like.”

“I know, lovely.”

Shaunna opened her eyes again and Sean held out his arms. She went into them, burying her face in his shoulder.

“It’s just…” She sniffed but couldn’t go any further.

“It’s your home,” Sean finished. Shaunna nodded. “It’s a part of who you are.”

“Yes,” she sobbed. She withdrew and laughed tearily. Sean gave her a tissue. “Hormones,” she said, blowing her nose.

“If you’d rather believe that…”

“Yes, Doctor Tierney, because that’s what it is. It’s only a house when all’s said and done.” As quickly as she had fallen apart, she pulled herself together again and picked up the box on the floor.


(Setting: Milky’s Milk Bar, with Josh.)

Shaunna shuffled uncomfortably, and not because she was thirty-three weeks pregnant. “I need your opinion,” she said.

“On what?”

She chewed her lip for a moment, and then asked abruptly, “Do I look fat?”

Josh blinked, quite astounded. He’d anticipated something else entirely―advice on what module to study next, or maybe even what he thought of baby names. “You look pregnant with twins,” he said.


“No. Your breasts are noticeably larger, your hips are certainly wider, and your belly is enormous, but the rest of you looks just the same as always.”

Shaunna nervously twirled a lock of hair around her fingers. Josh leaned forward. She lowered her eyelids to avoid his gaze, and sighed. “I just feel so unattractive right now. Fat and ugly.”

“Oh, hey.” He reached across the table and squeezed her hand. It wasn’t like Shaunna to be self-critical and it was clearly getting her down. “What’s brought this on?” he asked.

“Charlie wants me and Andy to do a naked photo shoot.”


Those Jeffries Boys

(Setting: Hayley’s Hair Salon, with Hayley and Mike.)

Hayley approached Mike and held out her hand. Nervously, he shook it and said, “Hi. I’m Mike Jeffries.”

“Yah, sweedie. Andy’s brother?”

“That’s right.” Mike’s eyes flitted from Hayley to Shaunna.

“You OK?” Shaunna asked.

He nodded unconvincingly. “Nice place,” he said, glancing around the salon walls. His eyes widened when they reached the full-size print of Shaunna and Andy. He cleared his throat and turned his attention back to Hayley. “What did you have in mind?”

“How about I make you a nice cup of tea, sweedie, and I’ll tell you about whad I want.” Hayley fluttered her eyelashes at him. “How d’you take it?”

“White, one sugar, cheers.”

“OK, then. Be right back.” Hayley tottered off to make another cup of tea. When she was out of sight, Mike looked to Shaunna in bewilderment.

“She’s harmless,” Shaunna whispered. “Just a flirt.”

Mike nodded, a sigh of relief escaping. He looked around him again, properly this time, rather than merely to avoid Hayley’s gaze. “That photo of you and our Andy is spectacular.” He walked over to get a closer look.

“Aw, thanks, Mike. Haven’t you seen it before?”

“Well, yeah, but it was Andy who showed me, and I felt a bit weird looking at the pair of you with no kit on while he was standing there.”

Shaunna laughed. “I see your point.”


Thanks for reading!
Deb x


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