Maysom is a 23 year old expatriate, living in Florence. He is originally from southern Michigan. Maysom is pansexual, but because of his family dynamic, has a difficult time accepting that. With the exception of rumors around school, his sister Allie is the only one that knows, and she accepts him. In his last year of high school, Maysom falls in love with George, who, for better or worse, will prove to be the love that changes his life forever.
Simon is Maysom’s roommate in Florence. Contacted through a church at which Maysom seeks refuge, Simon agrees to let Maysom live in his apartment with very few conditions. However, as time goes on, Simon’s deep obsession with the past surfaces, and Maysom realizes that he will not be able to remain a mystery forever.
Retta is the bartender at a place called La Campanella, a place that the group frequents on the weekends. Retta is intelligent and quick-witted, and takes a liking to Maysom right away. Their connection affords both of them a temporary reprieve from the past, but at a cost neither previously imagined.
Ponte Vecchio Girl
This is the girl that shows up every night that Maysom plays guitar at the Ponte Vecchio. Her demeanor has a quality that Maysom recognizes from his past, but he can’t recall what. It’s unclear to Maysom what it is she wants from him, but she makes it clear that he stands between her and losing herself completely, and he dutifully applies himself to the goal of saving her, perhaps because he finds the possibility of finally saving something instead of destroying it truly exhilarating.
Allie is Maysom’s sister. Even though she’s only a year younger, she still feels that she looks up to Maysom a lot. Their experiences through childhood and beyond shaped them as friends, as well as brother and sister, so Allie was devastated when Maysom left. In many ways, she was the only close relationship that Maysom has had through his entire life, but she is a part of Maysom’s past. His decision to be new means leaving her behind.
Uncle Max is the brother of Maysom’s father. He and Aunt Virginia take Allie and Maysom in after the accident. It’s an awkward fit, but they all make it work. Uncle Max is certainly more masculine than Maysom. He likes to drink beer and watch football with his friends on the weekends. Furthermore, he and Maysom’s dad created share a legacy of this masculinity, one that Maysom is apparently expected to continue, and that pressure only intensifies after Uncle Max loses his brother. This supposed legacy is also one of the most important reasons that Maysom doesn’t tell Uncle Max about George.
Aunt Virginia is the most religious of the family. Neither Maysom nor Allie is much into going to church, even though they both go to a church-owned school. Uncle Max goes to church every once in a while to avoid an argument, but never for a sustained period of time. Aunt Virginia only tacitly agreed to Maysom and Allie moving in, even after the accident. She would never approve of Maysom having a boyfriend, so it was obviously never in the plan to let her know. However, the interplay of her faith with Maysom’s identity comes to define their relationship…
George is the love of Maysom’s life. Before him, he had never met someone who was so alive, and that in itself, brought Maysom back to life after so long of not being so. He met him in the winter before his last semester in high school, and they fell in love so completely in the next 6 months that they contemplated marriage. George had a way of understanding the world, and had very few demands for Maysom, except one. He only asked Maysom to be honest. And for Maysom, that was the hardest thing he could’ve asked. For Maysom, George is synonymous with “the past”, and in an effort to run away from everything, Maysom ran away from the best thing he’s ever had.