Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Mayor's Wife

Pen and I've been best friends since my family moved to Amaryllis just before I started high school. What makes best friends? Who knows? Pen and I don't always agree on everything, but we're always there for each other.

She got a bum deal when she married Travis. I was her maid of honor, of course. That was right before I left for college. She should've come with me instead of marrying him and going to live on that antiquated pre-Civil War plantation. Old Mrs. Pembroke was a good mother-in-law, but she couldn't make up for that philandering son of hers.

Didn't Pen know about Travis? I think she didn't want to know. She never really said so, but I think she'd have backed out of the whole thing if she hadn't felt it would be such a scandal. Yes, small towns still take scandals very seriously. But she got Brad, my godson, out of the deal. And a good divorce settlement when she finay got the guts to leave Travis and go home to her parents when Brad was twelve.

What about me? Well, I went off to college. Vasser, would you believe? My mother was an alum. I majored in English and thought maybe I wanted to teach. I gave Miss Maude Pendleton a bad time in senior English, but she made me love literature all the same. But then I graduated and came home and started going with Harry Hargrove.

Harry was second-string everything in high school, but he finished UA with honors. We had a sort of whirlwind courtship and got married just before he started his second year of law school. I worked as a teaching assistant at the University until he finished. Then we came home to Amaryllis, and Harry hung out his shingle.

My parents moved back East and died within a year of each other. Harry and I wanted kids, but it just didn't happen. We have a good marriage though, not like Travis and Pen. Harry's got too much paunch and not enough hair, and people look at him and think he's not the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but they don't know Harry. He knows how to work people--all for the good, of course--and he'd never look at another woman.

When Tobin Textiles pulled the rug out from under the town's economy by leaving almost overnight, Harry single-handedly saved this town with a brilliant plan. He doesn't care whether or not he gets credit for it, but I do.

I'm Mrs. Mayor--and I'm a lucky woman.

No comments: