When he finds his best friend Trey Goodsby dead and almost completely submerged in a bathtub filled with bloody water, Sean McIntyre is determined to find out if it was an accident or suicide. If it was suicide, why did he do it? And, did his death accidental or intentional have anything to do with Madeline Edwards, the woman who came between them constantly through their thirteen-year friendship? Isosceles,a coming-of-age mystery romance begins with the death of Trey Goodsby, and explores his relationships with family, friends, his romances, and which of the circumstances he found himself in that led to the tragic event, and the repercussions for those he left behind.
“Go over to the play area. I’ll deal with you once I’m done with…ah…whatever his name is.” Carter nodded to where the rest of the kids kneeled, stood, or sat on a blue carpet, watching a boy building with wooden toy blocks. Right away, I could sense he intended on crafting something difficult, a scale model of the courthouse down the road from Footbridge. While the boy’s physical appearance seemed rather ordinary, his skills could not be beat. He hadn’t misused a single block. Without any hesitation or second-guessing himself, he knew what to do to put everything in the right place.
“That’s so cool, Trey,” I heard a soft voice like the melodious whisper of birdsong, my intuition revealing the identity before my eyes did. Madeline swayed from side to side, beaming with her pearly-whites.
Trey paid her no mind though, allowing himself to be distracted only by his overgrown dirty-blonde hair, which kept going in his face. Sometimes, he didn’t even push it away. His focus so intense, a few times, he almost knocked into other kids. He never apologized for it, nor did most get upset. They seemed to understand he was in a zone, one with his creation. He circled the perimeter to detect if it needed something. Whenever he snapped his fingers, he’d call out “cylinder,” “triangle,” or “rectangle.” Madeline would select it out of a decaying cardboard box, to present it to him like an obedient puppy bringing a tennis ball to its owner.
Mr. Carter, with Sheldon behind him, returned from their business in the hallway. They joined the rest of us, studying Trey’s handiwork. Before long, Mr. Carter became entranced, too. It felt frustrating. Being an only child, I was used to being the center of my parents’ universe. Here, someone else stole the attention so rightfully mine. Worst of all, watching Madeline fawn over him drove me crazy. His hair was messy, his shirt dirty, and he was just average. Why did he hold her interest? Shouldn’t she see me instead? Mom knitted me this nice sweater and combed my hair before I went to the bus stop. My head started pounding from over-thinking the situation when Madeline moved toward him, letting her pigtail accidentally brush against his head. He didn’t seem to notice, but I sure did. I needed to take action.
Creeping over to the box of blocks less than five feet from the audience, I reached in blindly selecting a triangle-shaped one with green crayon on the side facing up. With everyone so enamoured by the courthouse, they didn’t even notice my hands trembling at my side with rage. Giving one last furtive glance to Trey, Madeline, Mr. Carter, and then ending on my classmates, I felt ready to execute the plan.
Many of the other kids started to pick up on my actions, giving me a brief moment of satisfaction. Their jaws dropped as they watched the projectile block following a jagged path through their makeshift circle. Of course, motor coordination issues since birth and anger clouded my vision. Translation: my aim was inaccurate.
The block went careening through the air, never even coming close to its intended target. Trey knew no fear, however. He must’ve sensed my imprecise aim the moment it left my unsteady hand. Without raising an eyebrow, let alone diverting his eyes from his structure, his arm swatted the wooden toy away like a fly. It changed course to come crashing down onto the bridge of my Madeline’s button nose. I’m not sure what started to pour first, the blood from her nostrils or the tears from her green eyes.
The bloodstained triangle ricocheted off her face to the courthouse, knocking it down like dominoes. At the same time, Madeline wailed in pain. Trey’s eyes cast down at his destroyed masterpiece, over to her, and finally to the crowd of spectators, with a cold, soulless expression. He breathed heavily out of his nose, needing to know who ruined his work. Sheldon, along with two other snitches, fingered me for the crime.