by Erin M
Apparently, there comes a time in every grandmother's life when the apron should be exchanged for a nice, form-fitting pair of leather pants, some combat boots, and vampiric make-up.
For Evelyn Ryan, it seemed that today was that day.
Opening her closet, she'd seen row after row of dowdy floral print dresses, none of which seemed appropriate on such an...important...day. After all, it's not every day that you wake up with a dead husband, kids, grandkids, and decide that it's high time you came out of the closet.
She started raiding her grand daughter's closet instead.
Kitted out in what could only be described as appropriate get-up for the monumental occasion, Evelyn teased her hair a little, observed herself in the mirror, and clomped downstairs in a most ungraceful manner. Armed with her car keys and a wad of cash in her bra, she clomped out of the kitchen and into the pouring rain. She was Evelyn Ryan; serial lady-killer.
Fuck being a lady. It was time to be a lady.
Sitting at the bar at Leery's Fresh Fish, she let the empty glasses pile up around her. There was one problem with waking up gay in Capeside -- the avenues open to you making such a fabulous announcement to the community at large were, to be kind, quite restricted. So, here she was, sitting at the only restaurant in Capeside, downing glass after glass of Old-Fashioneds. She'd never noticed how dull the place was before -- if it got any duller, she might have to switch to doing shots to keep herself awake.
"Ah, Evelyn," Mr Brooks said, sidling up beside her. "You look quite...different today. That Jennifer running riot again?"
"Arthur," she smiled. "Why do you assume that everything in this town revolves around those children? I had a life before them, and damned if I'm going to give that up because it's appropriate. I'm sick of hiding myself for the sake of the children. When is it ever about me?"
"Well, I..." Mr Brooks stuttered, confused beyond belief.
"I'll tell you, Arthur. Today, it's about me. You might want to play lackey to that Leery child, but if you ask me, it's high time they learnt that other people have lives too, and that they don't necessarily revolve around them.."
"Well, that may be true, but it is our job to guide them in life, and too..."
"If you will excuse me, Mr Brooks, my mission right now is to guide a few more of these Old-Fashioneds into my bloodstream."
Too taken back to comment on her apparent change of attitude, not to mention her change of clothing, Mr Brooks slipped back into the scenery of the restaurant as quickly as he'd appeared. Nothing like a dowdy old fool to try and put a dampener on the best day of your life. It was definitely time for another drink. And maybe a cigarette or two.
"I must say, Mrs. Ryan," Gale smiled, pouring another drink. "I don't think I've ever seen this side of you before. You look so much....younger."
"Isn't that the point, dear?" Evelyn replied, rolling a cigarette on the surface of the counter. "Time to live life, I say. You're only old if you make yourself old. Don't you agree?"
"Oh, absolutely," Gale nodded. "I mean, taking care of Dawson and Mitch is my life. I feel lucky to be living it, but sometimes I feel so old."
"They're big boys, Mrs. Leery," Evelyn shrugged. "Perhaps it's time that you concentrated on yourself for once?"
"I wouldn't even know where to start!" Gale exclaimed, looking over at the older woman. "I mean, you seem so...together today. I love it. The hair, the clothes...it just becomes you. Me, on the other hand, what would I be without my big hair?"
"A lot more attractive," Evelyn smiled, finishing her drink. "You know, if you're interested, I could help you out with that. A look that is so....homely might be what your husband wants, but is it really you? I bet you were a real vixen in your day, Mrs. Leery. No need to stop being one just because you've seen a few more years."
"You think?" Mrs. Leery beamed hesitantly.
"Of course. I know there's a young woman waiting to get out and show this town what she's made of."
"Well, I'm not working tomorrow. Perhaps you could come over? I have cookies to bake, but I suppose you can help me with this new look? I really would like to see what you think."
Evelyn nodded, and stubbed her cigarette out in the ashtray.
"Very well, Mrs. Leery. I shall drop by tomorrow. Thank you kindly for the drinks."
"My pleasure," the younger woman smiled, drawn in by the energy Evelyn seemed to radiate. Overnight, the woman had gone from looking 70 to practically 17. There was no harm in trying it herself. The words left her mouth before she had a chance to even think them, catching Evelyn just before she opened the door to leave.
"Mrs. Ryan," Mrs. Leery called. "You can...you can call me Gale."