Evan's Wardrobe 1

----------=BigCloset Retro Classic!=----------

When my father first met Gina, I was pleased. He had been down in the dumps for months.
Gina made him happy and that made me like her. Later, I developed a different view,

but mostly because of the things that happened to me.

Evan's Wardrobe
Part 1

by Ollie

Copyright © 2013 Ollie
All Rights Reserved.

Admin Note: Originally published on BigCloset TopShelf on Sunday 03-29-2013 at 11:19:58 am (-0400), this retro classic was pulled out of the closet, and re-presented for our newer readers. ~Sephrena
Part 1
My mum left my dad, suddenly one day in March two years ago. She left me, too! We haven’t heard from her from the day she left. It was clear that we weren’t enough for her to want to stay around so off she went. Dad went downhill from there. Granny thinks she went to London to seek her fortune but she doesn’t know either. “Daniel, if I knew where she was, you would be the first to know,” she told me on many occasions. Don’t get me wrong, I was sad, especially when I didn’t hear from her on my ninth or tenth birthdays but I was more concerned about my dad. Keeping his spirits up was my number one priority. So, when Gina came on the scene I was so pleased; pleased and relieved and I was dead keen that Gina stayed around as well.

Dad was besotted, happier than I had seen him for the two years since Mum left. To be honest he was even happier than I remember him being with mum around. So, my biggest worry was that she would lose interest and go, too. I didn’t want to put a foot wrong where she was concerned. I even put up with her son, Evan, a boy a year older than me and in the year above me at school. I knew who he was when we met. I’d seen him around school and everything but he was a bit too tough for my liking. He was part of the football crowd and not my sort of person. My friends were the song and dance crew. We made up dance routines during playtime in the small space that wasn’t taken over by the soccer players. Mostly, we kept out of the way of people like Evan.

At first, Dad went out with Gina to different places and I had a sitter. Then, Gina came to our house a few times before it was agreed that the four of us should go out and get to know each other. I wasn’t keen but I did not dare object; as I said, keeping dad happy was the most important thing. Evan was never horrible to me. I just didn’t understand him. Why would you want your head shaved? Who thinks that football tops are the height of fashion these days?

I knew my dad was keen to move on (and in) with Gina and I wondered if this meant I, too, would end up with a shaved head and a football top! Obviously, I had no idea that Gina had other plans for me!

The first weekend we spent together was at their house. When dad mentioned it, I was relieved. The thought of Evan sneering at my stuff wasn’t pleasant and I couldn’t face trying to hide all the posters of the musicals I loved for the duration of their stay. So, their house was easier and we rolled up one Friday night, had a take away and watched a film together. By the time we went to bed, I was so tired the fact that I was on a mattress on the floor in Evan’s room was no big deal. I could even say that Evan was quite nice to me; welcoming and everything.

The next morning I woke up to find that dad and Evan had gone out together. They went fishing! Dad had never taken me fishing. I said so.

“Oh, do you like fishing, Danny?” Gina asked.

“I’ve never been,” I replied trying not to sound sulky. In my mind I added “and my name is Daniel!”

“Evan loves it. ‘Loved it’ I should say. He hasn’t been for years. His dad used to take him so I’m so grateful that your daddy was so kind and took him this morning. Evan was thrilled at the thought.”

I hated the idea of fishing. On the other hand, here was dad spending time with Evan and abandoning me. She seemed to read my mind.

“I hope you don’t feel abandoned,” she said. “I was pleased, actually, as it gives us time to be together and get to know each other better.”

I gave my best available smile, which was honestly not that bright. I felt a bit bad at being resentful but it felt as if they had sneaked out on purpose.

Gina leaned over and brushed the hair out of my eyes. That felt strange. Dad wasn’t a touchy sort of person and it was ages since I had had a mum to do that sort of thing.

“Your hair is a lovely length,” She said to me.

“I’m due a haircut,” I said, not even sure when dad planned to take me. Compared with Evan, my hair was long but I didn’t think it was unusual. My hair covered my ears and it brushed over the front of my face but the style was the same as many boys at our school.

“But I love it long,” she replied. “I wish Evan would have a different hairstyle. I’m not keen on the bovver boy look but you know what boys are like!”

I couldn’t place why that made me feel odd, but my stomach stretched when she said it. I did know what boys were like; I was one. Why would she say that to me?

“I’m due a haircut,” I said again, meekly.
Gina sat up quickly, as if an idea had just struck her. “Well, if the boys are having fun, so should we!” I looked at her. Why did she say ‘boys’ like that as if we were excluded from their group? “We should go into town and have a good time. I’m going to spend some of your daddy’s money on you and me!”

I tried telling her that I called him dad rather than daddy but she was up and clearing things away. She didn’t seem to hear me.

“We can have a really good time together and have lunch out. The boys will be so jealous when they hear what a good time we’ve had.”

Once again, my stomach stretched.

“Why not get changed into something suitable and I’ll clear up!”

What wasn’t suitable about my jeans and hoody? I’d even picked out the hoody because I was convinced Evan would have one. Maybe, he would think I was just a bit cool. I had another shirt but not much else.

“I’ll get you something,” Gina said noticing my hesitation.
I followed her up the stairs and waited while she took out a pair of jeans and a grey top from Evan’s wardrobe. The top was like a vest but had silver stars across the top right hand side. They sort of faded into the grey and I only noticed them when the light caught them. I was surprised that Evan would wear something like this. It was a bit more song and dance than soccer but if it was his then it must be cool.
I didn’t expect that Gina would try and help me get dressed. I was ten after all. I tried to suggest that I could dress myself but Gina spoke over me and kept up a running commentary on the excitements of the day ahead. She was also clever. She pulled my trousers down while I was pulling off my hoody. I felt the draft before I realised what she had done. How glad was I that I didn’t need to change my underwear!

I struggled to get into the jeans and realised that they were very tight, skinny jeans I think they were called. Gina helped me pull them up and sort of tucked me in which involved her hand traveling around and patting down my underpants. She then did up the zip. It was as if I were a toddler!

She then pulled off my t shirt and pulled the grey top over me. It was longer than I thought and came further down than any t shirt or top I usually wore. I supposed that as Evan was taller than me his clothes would be bigger, except his jeans were a perfect fit. Boy, were they tight, though!
I tried to get a look at myself but Gina wasn’t finished with me. Out came a brush and she worked on my hair. I was like a model she worked on as she turned me this way and that. ! I tried to picture Evan wearing such clothes.

“Oh, he’s such a scruff,” Gina replied when I mentioned it. “Not like you. You’ve got style!”

I blushed. It was sort of affectionate the way she paid me so much attention, and the things she talked about were not things my dad thought were important. I’m not complaining, or rather I wasn’t at the time. Nobody had made a fuss of me like this before. Dad was good at checking that my school uniform was ready and that I wasn’t a mess; at the start of the day at least. He kept a close eye on the condition of my clothes because he did the laundry but he didn’t take a close interest in what I wore and he never combed my hair or dressed me.

So, with Gina showering me with attention, I began to think I could get to like it… and for sure, she knew more about fashion than my dad did.
Gina stood back and admired her work. Her smile seemed to grow, if that were possible. I was keen to look in the mirror but Gina was ahead of me there. With her hands on my shoulders she guided me over to her room and her full length mirror. What I saw made my stomach do another of those stretches.

It wasn’t actually panic but it wasn’t joy either. I was intrigued, but I was also worried. What if people I knew saw me? I looked again at the mirror. I looked so much younger and I was worried that people would think I was a girl. There was something feminine about the whole outfit. I really couldn’t see Evan dressed like this.
As we drove into town, I couldn’t help looking at myself in the wing mirror. On the one hand, I didn’t look very different but, on the other, there was something about the way Gina brushed my hair that made me look less of a boy.

“Do you think Evan will mind me wearing these?” I asked.

“He won’t mind at all!” Gina said. “He’ll be in his scruffy old clothes, just like your dad and here we are looking fabulous.”

I sunk back in the seat and hoped, again, that nobody I knew would see me.
The best thing to be said about shopping in town was that I survived. We went in and out of clothes shops and Gina pulled item after item off the shelves to show me.

“Look at this Danny,” she would say holding up a girly top that I couldn’t help thinking was much to small for her.

Why she thought I would be interested I don’t know? But I followed her into every clothes shop and believe me she went into every clothes shop! I hadn’t spent much time in these shops before, mostly because they were for women and girls. I spent ages trailing behind Gina wondering while she didn’t buy anything. Then in one shop, she spotted a necklace that she said would be just the thing for me. I wasn’t so sure and I backed away a bit but she insisted, paid for it and put it on me there in the shop. I couldn’t help but think it just added to a more girly look. I knew Evan wore jewelery because I had seen a teacher tell him off about it at school.

I couldn’t work out why he looked so cool and I looked… well, more girly.
I was feeling more self- conscious as we stepped out onto the street. I kept looking around to see if anyone I knew could see me. I was dreading being spotted and I was sure people would wonder why a boy was dressed as I was. Gina hurried me up. Honestly, her enthusiasm never wavered. I was almost relieved when we got off the street into the next shop but then I had a shock. Emily, a friend of mine from school and one of our song and dance crew was stood in front of me. I did a short jump with glee when I saw her; our usual way of greeting each other. Then, I remembered what I was wearing and I withdrew a little.

“Hi, Daniel,” she trilled. I gave a half-hearted wave. She was carrying a purple long sleeved top on a hanger. It had ‘Keep Calm and Boogie On’ written across the front.

“Look what I’ve found,” she said.

“Fantastic,” I replied, trying to think of something to say. “Those words are just right for you.”

“All our gang should have one. We could all dance wearing this as a uniform!”

Emily was taking a careful look at me as she spoke. I could tell she wanted to ask why I was wearing what I was wearing. Instead, she asked me why I was in a shop selling girls’ clothes. I pointed over to Gina and then explained who she was when the puzzled look came over her face.

“Evan’s mum?” she whispered. “What, bone head Evan?”

“Shush,” I said. “She’s really nice. She’s looking after me while my dad is out fishing with Evan.” I could tell that this information was sinking in. “My dad and Evan’s mum- they are an item!”

“Evan’s going to be your brother?” Her voice was rising each time she spoke.

“It hasn’t got that far yet,” I reassured her. “Anyway, she has been kind. She let me borrow these clothes of Evan’s.”
Emily looked me up and down again. “Trust me, those clothes aren’t Evan’s.”

“They are,” I assured her. She leaned over and read the label of my grey top.

“They’re not!” she said. I was going to argue some more but Gina came over and Emily introduced herself. Gina gushed over Emily’s style which I really hadn’t noticed before. When she looked at the top in her hands she turned to me.

“We need to get you one of these,” she stated.

I felt the blood rush to my face. I was going to protest but Gina was halfway across the shop with Emily in tow, obviously enjoying herself.
Ten minutes later, with Emily and Gina having said goodbye at the shop exit, I was the proud owner of a red top of the same design as Emily’s from ‘Miss Second Glance’. Worse I was holding the bag which showed everyone where I had bought it. I tried handing it over to Gina but she insisted I carry my purchase, which I did all over town.

We stopped twice to say hello to friends of Evan’s that Gina knew. Each time we stopped to talk, she stood slightly behind me with her hands on my shoulders. I knew the boys from school but I had nothing to do with them. They were all the soccer playing tough guys of our school. I could see they were amused to see me in my skinny jeans and grey top and things weren’t helped by the way she called me ‘Danny’.

Dad never called me that!

It was agony, standing there with me holding one arm with the other, hoping the ground would open and swallow me up. The boys smirked at me but didn’t dare say anything in front of Evan’s mum. That would probably wait for school on Monday!
Over coffee, after several more shops during which time I became the owner of a new bracelet which I didn’t want but couldn’t seem to stop Gina buying, she told me she had one more surprise for me. I played with the bracelet. Gina insisted I wear it and I wondered what else she had in store for me. I saw her looking down at my trainers.

“What?” I asked.

“Well,” she replied. “They aren’t the best thing for that outfit.”

Maybe it was the word ‘outfit’ that got to me, or the way I seemed to have become a walking doll of her but I was becoming fed up.

“No,” I said, folding my arms. “I like these trainers. They are comfortable.”

Gina’s face fell for the first time that day. She turned away from me and sipped her coffee. I felt awkward. My stomach did those stretches again. I hated the idea of getting more stuff that made me feel less like my usual self but I was desperate that I didn’t spoil things with Gina and risk her leaving dad. Her face had gone from sunny and smiley to stern and icy.

“Okay,” I said, resigning myself to more fuss and shopping. She immediately brightened.

“With that look, you need Converse,” she said. I practically raced her to the shoe shop; not because I agreed but because my only hope of getting home was to go along with her as quickly as possible.
“They’re all uni-sex really but these are the favourites with the girls,” said the sales assistant handing over several boxes. I blushed but I noticed that Gina didn’t correct her and I was sort of glad. I couldn’t explain to myself what was happening so I wouldn’t be able to start explaining to this stranger that I was a boy out of his depth.
I chose red ones. I needed to avoid the pink and silver ones that the assistant was telling Gina were most on trend; red seemed the best choice. Gina insisted I wore them. So, when I left the shop, I had not only clothes of a type I had never worn before and a necklace and bracelet that I was oh so aware of but also the flash of red every time I took a step. I think it was true to say that I wasn’t the same boy I was when I woke up that morning.
The walk back to the car was agony. At every shop window we passed I got a glimpse of what looked like a young girl walking past with her mum. I tried to walk a bit taller and to emphasize my ‘boyness’ but I wasn’t fooling anyone. I couldn’t help but wonder what my dad would say.

I thought he might be a bit upset.
I was wrong!

He didn’t notice how different I looked.

At first, he was too busy telling Gina what a great day he and Evan had had and Evan kept butting in on his stories adding details. Worse, dad beamed at Evan every time he added some pathetic little detail which, to be honest, was very boring but dad treated everything Evan said as funny or important or both. The trip had obviously been a big success, except that he seemed to have forgotten he had a son he had left behind with his girlfriend.

“Why didn’t you take me?” I asked, but that got lost in the face of another boring anecdote from Evan. Gina told them what a great day we had had and looked to me to add some details. I didn’t have much to say but Gina carried on regardless, except in her version I was the one who insisted on going into every clothes shop in town. Dad would have known that was rubbish but he listened intently to Gina tell him how fussy I was about what I chose. I had to show off my necklace, bracelet, red top and new Converse.

I watched to see dad’s reaction. Was he annoyed? Did he think it was weird?

At one point he said I looked great but, apart from that, he didn’t seem bothered. Neither did Evan. They were only interested in fish!
When dad and Gina started cooking, Evan and me were told to go and watch television. I didn’t know what to say to him and he didn’t talk to me. What did we have in common?

I wanted to get changed back into my own clothes but I thought he might be insulted so, instead, I said “Thanks for letting me wear your clothes.”

Evan turned his head slowly and stared at me. The disgust was clear to see.

“Are you having a laugh?” he said, slowly.

“Your mum suggested I wear them,” I replied weakly.

He kept staring at me. “They’re not mine,” he said, slowly to make sure I understood. “Why would I wear girly clothes?”

I sat up and hugged my arms. “Your mum said…” I started. I didn’t continue.

“What?” he demanded. I hesitated. I wasn’t sure. She hadn’t actually said they were his clothes. On the other hand they came from his wardrobe. Perhaps he was embarrassed and that’s why he denied they were his.

I decided not to say anything else but sneaked upstairs, instead.

In the bedroom, with the door shut, I pulled the grey top with silver stars over my head and read the label. ‘Miss Sparkle’ it said. That was why Emily had been adamant that it didn’t belong to Evan. I was sure too, now. I put it back on and then decided to look at the label on the jeans. I only had to pull them half way down to see the ‘Princess’ label clearly.

I had been walking around town in girl’s jeans and a girl’s top!
I walked slowly downstairs where a happy family scene was forming. Gina and dad had joined Evan to watch television. They were laughing at whatever was on. Gina sat across the room and dad sat with Evan on the sofa. I took the chair opposite Gina and looked at them all. I was trying to work out what was going on. I found that playing with the necklace on my mouth helped and I pulled up my legs and folded them under me to help me think. I pushed some strands of hair behind my ears and let the bracelet roll down my arm slightly.

Something was going on.

To Be Continued...

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