Friday, May 19, 2017

Character Study: Trey

The first time Trey Montgomery fell in love, he was in kindergarten and her name was MacKenzie Bissett. MacKenzie had the same white blonde hair and startling blue eyes as Trey's own mother, Nona did, and he swore while standing on a playground swing, that he would marry MacKenzier when they were old, like eleven, and he would love her forever.

Three years later Nona Montgomery said she was going to the country club for some tennis and a massage and would be home by cocktail hour. She didn't return home by cocktail hour that night or any other night following. Trey's daddy, William Montgomery II, got notification from his lawyers that his wife was in Tennessee shacking up with an eighteen year old grocery store bag boy and she filed for divorce long distance.

William Montgomery II took great pride in claiming that no Montgomery man ever paid for cooze and none ever would. He sent his lawyers after Nona the way a hunter would send a hound after prey and he delighted in not only refusing her any settlements but in stripping away her maternal rights and keeping all her possessions left behind and destroying them during a summer lawn party in a spectacular bonfire where later fireworks exploded overhead and Zinnia Plum auditioned for the role of Mrs. Montgomery in a spectacular private show of her own which produced a different type of firework explosion at the end.

William Montgomery never did marry Zinnia or any other woman and Trey Montgomery broke MacKenzie Bissett's heart by stating (again on the playground but thankfully away from prying eyes) that his tastes ran more toward dark haired women now that he was older but he wished her the best of luck finding someone to love. 

MacKenzie did find someone to love a few more times in her life. It was at Johannsen's Drug Store in the make-up aisle where she met Paris Pols, the granddaughter of Margie Pols who had worked as a housekeeper for the Montgomery's for most of her adult life, that MacKenzie finally discovered the one great love of her life. She liked to tell the story that she found true love while trying to find Firehouse Red nail polish and Paris was seeking a pale peach lip gloss.

"I love the taste of peaches," MacKenzie would say with the satisfaction of a well loved woman and Paris would feel her wife's smile deep in her heart and quietly thank Johanssen's for carrying any make-up at all.

Trey wouldn't have remembered MacKenzie and if he had ever met Paris, she wasn't even a distant memory.

Trey found his true love on the football field. Growing up without a mother or a woman to keep his household from sinking into a masculine oblivion, William took to drinking with a quiet studiousness that he didn't devote to anything else in his life and Trey discovered that he could catch a ball. Even if he could never make his father happy he could make his coach almost giddy with his prowess and that gave him a feeling he hadn't know previously. 

Trey was a perfect high school jock. He was big without being beefy, smart without being intellectual, hard working on the field and hardly working in the classroom. He flirted with pretty girls and would take as much as any of them was willing to offer but he remained emotionally aloof.

It was at the high school assembly, where Trey and his teammates were slapping books out of each other's hands and acting like younger boys than they were, that the school jazz band played and Maria Santos stepped forward to sing an old bluesy song, Summertime. Trey was immediately smitten by the sultry tempo of the song, the quiet building emotion and the dark eyes of the young woman who sang with her heart as well as her voice.

Maria never considered herself the kind of girl to attract the attention of a high school athletic star but she was. The mean girls, the popular girls, the cheerleaders all hated the dark haired girl who stole the golden's boy gaze. 

Even William didn't approve when he heard about his son's romance. "You're like royalty in this town," he told Trey, pointing at his son with a glass of scotch. "Royalty doesn't date wetbacks."

"I won't date her forever," Trey told his father, not adding 'because one day I'll marry her.' William, of course, assumed a secret message from his son that the sex would run its course and Trey would move on to an appropriate woman.

Maria got pregnant in their sophomore year of college and William threatened to disown his son. He refused to attend their wedding which was a justice of the peace quickie or their reception at the VFW Hall in downtown Three Pines. It was just as well since Maria's younger brother drank until he passed out, face down in a piece of chocolate cake and Maria's mother cried every few minutes because her daughter was married, was pregnant and was leaving college.

William continued to pay for Trey's schooling but he refused to pay anything to help the young married couple out. Trey continued attending college but his football career became a distant dream as one baby became two and both he and his wife struggled to meet the bills and continue moving forward.

Sometimes Trey wondered about his mother. Had she ever loved his father? Had she ever loved him? Walking out would be easy but staying when the times are hard took more strength than sometimes even an athlete felt he had. But he wasn't doing it alone and no doubt Nona always had. There was no way that William had supported his wife, just as he couldn't be bothered to support his son and his young family.

Trey graduated law school two years behind the rest of his class and used his family name to secure a job that was willing to pay him more than he was worth in hopes that the high school star athlete would be an attractive figure for clients. 

Trey tried reaching out to his father with invitations to social gatherings and carefully worded holiday cards. William never responded and when he died, alone, his liver no longer functioning properly and his heart tired of beating, William Montgomery II surprised his son by showing one last act of love. At the funeral service, Trey allowed himself tears for a family that had been so lost to each other they never found a way together.

6 comments:

  1. Why would you make me cry like this?

    ::hug::

    ReplyDelete
  2. Well, bugger... *sniff sniff*

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. She does have hte way of making you do that, and not even realize it. And yet we come back for more lol. Can you pass the tissues please... :)

      Delete
  3. I loved this. Can't wait to read the other character studies. This is gonna be one hell of a book!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is going to be a book? *squee* :)

      Delete