Fairytale Dress Up
Fairy Tale Dress Up
My father asked me to check out the cop that has been looking into him, which I didn’t understand why because Gaelan knew every crooked cop in the area, including my half-brother Evan; but it was mostly to see if James was a rat. That happened pretty often, and, of course, Gaelan asked me to look into it and do what I do best. He called it doing ‘research’ for the business, although, many people once called me a whore, a prostitute, a tramp. I may have been seen as some piece of ass, but hey, I made more money in a month than most business men do in a year. Yes, it wasn’t doing something fun or interesting, but I still was able to snap my fingers and have whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.
I liked mixing things up a bit, wearing wigs, having different accents, it gave the job something more than what it was. I guess one could say it didn’t make me want to hate my life as much. I felt like I was playing dress up, like I was becoming another person. Someone who wasn’t me. I didn’t play dress up as a child, aside for Halloween, though even then, we couldn’t afford costumes and I would usually end up putting a garbage bag on me, pretending I was: “Plastic Girl: saver of the recyclables,” or some such nonsense. I may have hated my job, but I enjoyed being someone other than myself.
I walked into the bureau where all the local cops hung out; FBI, detectives, security guards, PD, you name it, they were there. Twenty floors of rats. I had a blonde wig on, and a navy blue trench coat covering up what I had on underneath. A cigarette dangled from my mouth as I cat-walked my way to the elevator. The door opened instantly and a woman appeared with a shocked, yet disgusted look on her face. In Europe, we could’ve smoked anywhere and everywhere we wanted—well, maybe not in a federal bureau, but I made a point.
“You aren’t allowed to smoke in here, this is a non-smoking environment.” I walked up to her, took a drag out of the cigarette, and dropped it in her coffee.
“Blow me,” I said in my best Russian accent, letting the smoke trickle from my lips. Her face was just priceless. The doors closed before she could even begin to think of something to say, and I was on my way up. The elevator was full of mirrors, I stood in front of one and there were a million of me, as if each one were a different version of myself. There was the real me, there was the me I wanted to be, there was a version of me that was doing so much better than who I was at that moment, a version of someone who was probably married to a wonderful man, maybe a couple of kids. Someone happy, but I saw me, a woman wanting to be free.
The doors opened at the floor I needed to be at. Before I even thought of walking out, there were people running back and forth, they looked like lab rats lost in their own maze. I walked to the nearest desk that was unused and sat down. I looked around me, paranoid someone might catch me, but to everyone, I was invisible. I opened the search engine and typed in James’ name. My heart beat so fast, I felt it in my ears. James’ name popped up, though I was unable to open the file. A rat? I banged my fist on the desk. “James is a fucking rat!” I silently said to myself. I clicked on his name hoping that some type of information would pop up. Nothing but a photograph, which was not James. It was an older gentleman with salt and pepper hair. I sighed in relief and I decided to keep that information to myself and get on with my task. Though something did not feel right.
I knew which room to go to, all I had to do was make sure no one noticed me, which wouldn’t be that hard seeing as how everyone there was acting like they had their head shoved so far up their ass, they could see food sliding down their throats. Everyone was so busy at their desks, solving cases, and what not. I walked to the end of the hall then headed toward the conference room, which was surrounded by glass windows. Most of which had been covered by blinds. I took off my trench coat, which revealed a very low cut red dress, and pushed opened the door, letting the coat fall to the ground. Everyone had their eyes on me the instant I stepped in as though I was the lab rat who knew where the cheese was.
A short dark haired man looked at me with rage for interrupting the meeting. “Can I help you?” I continued walking into the room toward the table, which I leaned on facing the dark haired man. “I said, can I help you?”
“It’s ‘may I help you’ and yes you may,” I put my arms behind me and leaned on them.
“I think you got the wrong place here. Y’see, we don’t like house calls,” the rest of the men in the conference room chuckled.
“Mm,” I smiled.
“What do you want?” he asked, sly grin as he checked me out.
“I want to talk to you about James Costa,” my Russian accent was gold. I didn’t know why I chose Russian, but it suited the look.
“Look lady, you got the wrong place. I don’t know this James Costa you’re talking about. But I surely would like to get to know you a little better.” The entire conference room laughed, I felt humiliated, annoyed, angry, and wanted to take that man by the throat. I knew that if my dress were maybe more conservative, I wouldn’t get treated that way, though I sucked it up, and knew I’d be rid of that job someday. Someday I’d make my own rules, instead of following the devil’s.
“All right, I guess it’s like that then,” I pushed myself up and grabbed a marker off the table, winking at my half-brother Evan. Gaelan didn’t trust him as much as he trusted me since Evan’s mother was still alive and Evan decided to become a cop. He had that look on his face of pure hatred toward me, he knew exactly what I was doing there. Though, I loved my brother, I didn’t even know he existed until maybe a couple of years or so ago. Gaelan refused to tell me about him, he hated Evan’s mother, and Evan was an FBI agent. We may have all been very proud of him, however, we were also very hesitant on what we said to him.
I remember walking into Mario’s pub and a man was sitting there next to Gaelan. He looked at me and stood. Gaelan kicked out the chair in front of him and told me to sit. Evan sat down as I did, though as he sat down I noticed a badge on his belt.
“What the fuck is that?” I asked and stood straight up.
My father put his hands up and laughed. “Lylie, baby, this is my son, Evan. He helps me be a foot ahead of all the dumb ass fuckers out there. Those rats! You can smell them a mile away, but some times…you’re not so sure.”
“Lylie, I’m Evan, I’ve been—”
“Could you not for a second. Gaelan, what the fuck? A cop seriously?
“Actually, I’m FBI,” Evan said.
“Lylie, please, he’s been helping for a long time, even before you started helping us out,” Gaelan said and motioned for me to sit. I was speechless. I sat down and shook my head. Evan continued talking to my father about the cocaine deal. He was giving us dates and locations. Telling us to set a specified location so that the feds would believe the deal was going on there. They’d set up cameras, microphones, the works, and when my father and his crew showed up, they wouldn’t be at the same location, and the feds could do nothing about it. I thought it was an interesting idea, though I still hated the fact that he was a fed. Rat shit mother fucker!
On the glass table, as I wrote out a number to a prepaid phone, I also quickly scanned my eyes over some files, there was surveillance at the bar, why didn’t Evan say anything? I turned to face the short dark haired man. Facing him, I raised my hand in salute. “Good day to you sir!” I smiled and headed for the door but stopped as I opened it. “By the way,” I pointed to the photograph projected on the wall. “Gaelan. He’s my father.” I then, walked out.
I picked up my coat and headed to the hallway I came from, and walked toward the elevator, as fast as I could. I pressed the button. I knew that they would be after me and that was the one thing Gaelan asked of me, get the information, and don’t get caught. I could hear the short dark haired man calling out from the end of the hallway. He spotted me and started running towards me followed by Evan and a few other of his colleagues. “Hey! Stop!” the short dark haired man yelled.
I bolted for the stairs and stood at the top of them preparing myself. Twenty floors to run down in heels. Nothing was going through my mind as I ran, solely the same sentence on repeat: “don’t get caught, don’t get caught.” I made it to the sixteenth floor, skipping steps as I did. I took a breath and took off the shoes leaving them behind as I continued my way down. I wonder now, why I didn’t just take them off when I got to the top of the stairs, then again they were Jimmy Choo’s and I didn’t want to say bye to those precious things.
I could hear them not too far behind me, huffing, grunting, swearing. I knew I couldn’t get caught. I continued down the stairs. With every step, my breath quickened, sharp pains pierced my throat with every breath that I took, my heart pounded in my ears, my head started to spin. I needed air, I needed rest, I needed out.
I stopped again at the fifth floor, I took my coat off and turned it inside out to the beige side. I also took off my wig, letting my dark hair fall on my chest. I tried to catch my breath, though there was a sharp pain in my side. That was the only moment in my life where I wished I never picked up smoking, or was in better shape. I heard them catch up to me, so I continued. I felt like I had been pushed underwater and forced to hold my breath for as long as I could, and when I was released, that instant moment of trying to breathe, that moment of gasping for air, was what I was going through.
I pushed opened the fire escape and ran out into the pouring rain. I walked briskly, barefoot, splashing puddles. Surrounding onlookers were watching me under their umbrellas, as I made my way down the street. I could hear the dark haired man and his posse yelling out of failure. As I turned the corner and was out of sight, I sat down in an alley, looking up at the rain trying to breathe. I reached into my pocket and took out my phone to call Gaelan.
“Lylie, how’d it go?” he answered.
“Fine, just fine. Hiding from them as we speak,” I said, still out of breath. “You think you can pick me up?”
“Did you find out anything I need to know?” he spoke over me.
“Um, yeah, I saw something to do with surveillance or camera’s rather at the pub, that’s about all I could find,” I lied. I didn’t want to say anything about whatever it was I found on James. Good or bad, I didn’t want to believe it.
“All right, good work darling. I would pick you up, but I am currently doing something better with my time, as is everyone else,” he hung up before I could even respond.
I stood up and continued walking. Heading for the nearest clothing store, I walked in and everyone turned around. “Um…I’m all wet. I need someth—help?” A man cat-walked over to me.
“Oh honey, come here we will get you all cleaned up.”
The gay man took me into one of the changing rooms and asked me to strip down, so I did. I stood in the tiny room, solely hidden by a black curtain, naked, exposed. The mirror showed every truth, every detail about a person, very different from a photograph. A photograph, though a moment in time, can be altered, changed to someone or something that wasn’t there when it was taken. But a mirror, a mirror showed all the truths, the scars that revealed a secret, the curves that can be hidden by what was being worn; but a face, the expressed emotion, remains lifeless.
“Knock-knock,” the gay man said. “I guessed your size honey so here are a few things to try.” I opened the curtain enough for him to hand me some clothes. I didn’t pay much attention to what they were, I just put them on and opened the curtain to find the gay man standing there, one hip out, arms crossed. “Darling, darling, darling, what on earth did you get yourself into to show up here, wet, shoeless, spill to Jeffrey baby. Spill to Jeffrey.”
“Um, it’s a long story. I’d rather not.”
“You beautiful Brit you. Who hurt you baby?” he stepped closer to me.
“My boyfriend kicked me out. Says he found someone new. Not like I really have a choice in the matter, he brought me here, so,” that was the only thing I could think of that sounded kind of realistic.
“Oh no, honey,” Jeffrey stepped closer and hugged me. “Let me hook you up with these. They’re on me baby.”
“You really don’t have to do that—”
“Don’t worry about it. I’ve been in your position before. It sucks. I know. Only difference, I never had someone to help me out. Now go grab a pair of shoes and I’ll give you my umbrella. You set that bastard straight.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. That man actually wanted to help me. Not because of my looks either. I took one of the pens from the counter and wrote down my number.
“Thank you, really.” I grabbed a new pair of heels and his umbrella, and stood by the door. “I’ll see you around Jeffrey.” He hugged me and held the door for me.
The rain seemed like it was coming down harder than it was before. Yet, I didn’t hail a cab nor did I call my father, again. For some reason, my feet led me to James’ house. The streets were practically empty as I walked. My feet were cold, wet, and hurt, but I didn’t stop, I continued. I felt like I was walking home. His place felt so familiar to me, as though all my life before that moment, did not exist.
I stopped at the foot of the driveway and listened to the sound of the rain as it hit the tree above me. I smiled and continued walking toward the front door.
I woke up in the middle of the night to thunder clapping once more. The rain still hadn’t let up. The television was still on, some late night paid programming. We were cuddled on the couch together, my head on his chest, his arm around me. I slowly got up, without waking him, and headed for the washroom.
That night was actually a fun night. All we did was talk and watch movies. I haven’t had a night like that since Damon and I were teenagers, before the sex went and ruined everything. James and I didn’t have sex that night, nor not at all yet, we just talked. It felt nice to be able to talk to someone who actually wanted to hear what I had to say. We talked about life, love, and how I’ve never experienced it. He had told me that he thought he may have experienced it once, but then he walked in on her with another man, so he knew right then, that it wasn’t love. He asked me if what I did bothered me at all. To be honest, I sat there wondering the same thing and unable to come up with a valid answer. Sometimes it did bother me having to sleep with random men I had no idea about, but other times I liked going on a drive by, or doing deals. The criminal life was fun in its own way. Although, I had thought of possibly ending it or even taking over. Ending it seemed like the more logical route, cut ties with everything without being the suspect, or something, in a job gone awry. James believed that I was better than that. However, I had a hard time realizing that and looked at myself in the mirror. Maybe he was right? Maybe I was better than being the crew’s messenger, the crew’s slut. Then again, I have never slept with anyone in the crew. That was a rule of my father’s. I was to just get to know them and see if they check out. That being said, I wanted to break that rule so badly with James. I have never opened up to someone about my feelings without sleeping with them first. James told me he felt that same way.
“Hey, where’re you going?” James said as I walked toward my shoes near the front door.
“I’m sorry I didn’t mean to wake you. It’s kind of late, I do believe I should be on my way.”
“You can stay ’til morning you know. I promise I won’t do anything. Come, we’ll watch TV or something,” James moved the blankets off of him. I stood there looking at the front door then back at James. I smiled and walked over to him. For once I felt at home.