Rated Teen (13+)
The Life of Evalyne Adams
January 16, 1920: New York City. The Christmas season had just come to a close and already people had forgotten their resolutions. By now, everyone had gone back to work, for the exception of the respectable, wealthy housewives.
Evalyne Adams was one of the lucky ones. Her husband was a well-known stockbroker on Wall-Street, and she was the envy of society. She didn't have to bother with finances, worry about the housekeeping, or spend her Sundays at mass. She lived well, and she knew it.
Now this happened six months ago, but perhaps the details will come later.
Her husband, Peter, woke up at six, had his coffee and eggs, and read the newspaper until seven. When Evalyne entered the kitchen he kissed her good morning, and promptly left for work. He returned at five o'clock sharp and had supper and spent the evenings with her in leisure.
She was allowed to stay home, which was fine by her, and spent her afternoons with Margret Riverstein.
Margret was an old friend of Evalyne's back in Chicago, but ever since she married Peter, Margret stopped by more often.
When Peter and Evalyne moved to New York, Margret had thought it was such a grand idea that she convinced her own husband to get into the stock business as well. When she had told Evalyne the news, she was ecstatic.
New York was better with Margret. She was always good with flattery and kept Evalyne up to date on the best gossip. Every afternoon they would sit in the kitchen and talk for hours about the social columns, the 5th Avenue shops, or who had heard about the trashy woman down on 8th street.
Margret came by only after she had finished her household duties. Like Evalyne, she was a dutiful wife, but it was on this particular afternoon in January that Evalyne received a special gift from Margret.
The doorbell rang loudly inside Adams' penthouse, and the missus called for Nelly the housemaid, to answer it. Evalyne was sitting in the kitchen waiting for Margret to arrive. It had been several weeks since she had stopped by, and Evalyne was beginning to worry.
Nelly walked through the doorway, insisting that she hadn't heard the doorbell, and that no one had indeed called upon Evalyne. Just then Margret pushed passed her, with a long white box.
"What do I look like to you, air?" Margret began in a harassed tone. "Evalyne darling, how good it is to see you again, I've missed you terribly!" Margret embraced her good friend affectionately as Nelly stood respectfully, by the doorway.
"Margret what happened? I haven't seen or heard from you in weeks!" Evalyne wanted an explanation.
"I am so very sorry, Charlie and I were having our bathroom remodeled and I had to stay home and supervise. You know how those people like to look at my silverware. He's a darling husband, my Charlie, but when it comes to the house he is an absolute nitwit," she stated firmly. Evalyne smiled knowing what Margret's silverware meant to her.
"But I have been calling, and the operator told me that the number didn't exist," Evalyne protested. Margret could have at least given her the correct number, or at least phoned her. Margret laughed loudly.
"You wouldn't believe it, but one of those ignorant workers cut the telephone wire 'by mistake' and I didn't realize until this very morning!" Evalyne stared at her shocked, no wonder she hadn't heard from Margret!
"Anyway, as soon as I found out what those rats had down I rushed right over! But not before I bought you this." Margret held out the white box, and Evalyne took it shyly.
Margret always had something to give her and insisted that she receive nothing in return. She declared that it was always enough just to see Evalyne, and it made her proud to be considered such a close friend.
Evalyne lifted the lid and gasped at the beautiful, leather belt inside. She had seen it displayed in one of the glass windows of a 5th Avenue shop last week.
"Why Margret how did you know?" Evalyne asked in surprised.
"I know you," she said with a care free laugh. Out of the corner of her eye, Evalyne spotted Nelly shaking her head.
"Why Nelly what's the matter?" Evalyne asked concerned. Did she not like Margret's gift?
"Why ma'am I just don't know what's gone wrong with you no more," she said sadly. The missus let her mouth drop in surprise.
"Nelly, I haven't the slightest idea of what you are referring to!" Evalyne declared.
"Ma'am who are you always talking to?" asked Nelly with wide eyes.
"Why Margret of course! Who else in this room would I be speaking to?" Nelly was always rude in front of Margret. Evalyne turned to her apologetically as Margret clicked her tongue.
"Nelly dear, I thought you had given up on this silly little game of yours," began Margret in a disapproving voice, "I'm ashamed to even acknowledge your existence," she sighed and faced Evalyne. "Evalyne darling, I'm so sorry that you have to put up with such terrible help
Well, no matter, I have to rush home now! The bathroom was finished this morning and I want to recommend Charlie's favorite meal to the cook, to surprise him. Goodbye dear!" Margret hugged her briefly as Evalyne escorted her down the stairs and to the outside of the building. She watched as Margret hailed a cab and left. Sighing quietly to herself, Evalyne walked back to the penthouse to confront Nelly.
"Nelly!" Evalyne called loudly when she returned. Nelly walked out of the kitchen and into the foyer, staring at her as if she were diseased.
"Yes ma'am?" She answered in a high voice.
"I want to know why you were so rude to Margret today, it's so unlike you to be cold and yet every time Margret comes for a visit you are act as if she were a stranger!" Nelly's behavior toward Margret always left Evalyne mystified. Nelly always liked to play little games with her, but this time it had gone on far enough.
"Ma'am, I is worried about you. You never used to talk to yourself all the time before, but now it's every day. And why did you wrap up that belt this morning if you was only gonna open it later?" Nelly had tears in her eyes as she gazed at her mistress sadly. Evalyne shook her head in disbelief.
"Nelly what is the matter with you? If you keep this type of insane behavior I shall tell my husband about it when he arrives. I'll have him fire you if this continues, mark my words Nelly." Just then Peter walked in through the front door. "Peter dear," Evalyne began when she spotted him, "Nelly has been awfully cold today in her attitude with Margret. She was absolutely dreadful to her."
"Mr. Adams I swear I wasn't harsh with Mrs. Adams, but she started talking to herself in the kitchen again to someone named Margret!" cried Nelly loudly. Peter cleared his throat and opened the front door widely. Behind him was a short, stout man, wearing a pinstriped suit. He held a small, black bag in his hands.
"Evalyne, I want you to meet Dr. Fletcher. I've known him for several years and I think this performance of yours has gone on quite enough," Evalyne shook her head slowly. Peter had never mentioned that he was bringing a client home for supper. Why if he had said something to Evalyne that morning she would have made sure to put on her new blue dress. She also would have had Nelly cook up a nice large ham with potatoes.
Sometimes, Evalyne didn't know where Peter's head was these days.
"Peter you should have said you were bringing home a client for supper. I would have fixed myself up," said Evalyne, slightly frustrated.
"Sweetheart, he is not a client of mine he is a doctor from the local hospital. He's very good and I think he may be able to help you," for some reason, Peter sounded desperate. He probably wished he had told his wife that he had brought a client home for supper. Evalyne turned to Dr Fletcher.
"Dr. Fletcher, I do wish for you to feel at home here. Any client of Peter's is welcomed in my house. Nelly why don't you rustle something up for dinner, quickly, I'm sure these two boys are starving after a long days work. You know, someone has to know what to do when the stocks start pouring in on those tickets. They don't calculate themselves you know," Evalyne began conversationally, Peter was very good at his job, and she was very proud of him.
"Evalyne," said Peter in a stern voice, "I have never worked in the stock market, and I don't work on Wall-Street. I'm a mechanic, remember? I go to the shop everyday to work on automobiles." For the first time, Evalyne noticed a look panic in her husband's eyes. He looked more anxious than usual.
Perhaps there was a drop in the stocks. He always wanted everything to skyrocket in the market so he could buy her pretty things. She was still proud of him, even if the stocks had dropped today.
"Doctor, please tell me, is there anything you can do?" Peter asked desperately.
"This looks very serious. I'm going to have to take her to the institution immediately for observation." Evalyne nodded her head at Dr. Fletcher and walked into the kitchen to show Peter her new belt. From around the corner, she heard her husband's voice in a whispered rush.
"Does this mean she'll have to go through shock treatments?"
"Quite possibly," said an unfamiliar voice. "Try not to upset her when she walks back in, we need her to stay complacent. Just play along with whatever she says
If she becomes agitated then I will have to sedate her immediately before she harms herself."
Who was Peter talking to? Evalyne walked out of the kitchen door to show him the belt that Margret had bought. She was greeted by a strange face.
"Why Peter, I didn't know that you were bringing company!" Evalyne exclaimed. She smoothed her skirt and walked over to shake the gentleman's hand. "Hello, my name is Evalyne," she smiled brightly, wishing Peter had mentioned that he was bringing a client for supper. She would have asked Nelly to roast a ham and potatoes. The man smiled and said his name was Dr. Fletcher. Just then the front door swung open and Margret ran in looking frazzled.
"EVALYNE ADAMS!" she shouted, "DON'T LET HIM NEAR YOU! HE IS AFTER EVERYTHING YOU HAVE!" Margret shoved the doctor roughly, and Evalyne fell into a state of panic. She had never seen Margret so angry before, she seemed absolutely lethal. From somewhere far away, Evalyne heard Peter scream her name.
Suddenly an unfamiliar set of hands started grabbing her, and a strange voice called for his medical bag. Evalyne tried to ignore the noise for Margret had just began to tell her about the new belt she had bought her.
Nelly began to sob from somewhere and Evalyne felt Peter's hands forcing her to hold still. It didn't matter though
Margret had just arrived and was already asking for a cup of coffee.
Something pinched Evalyne's arm, and she looked down to find a silver mosquito poking at her vein. She had never seen a silver mosquito before. A fog began to thicken around her as she lost focus on the story that Margret had been telling her. She must have not had enough sleep last night.
Evalyne was so tired that not even Peter screaming for her to stay still, and Nelly's crying could keep her awake. It was then that Evalyne knew that she would miss the best part of Margret's story.
It was June now and the sun had just begun to shine through the little, barred window of Evalyne's hotel room. She looked around at the four, familiar white walls. She had a closet, a chair, and a nightstand from Bloomingdales. Peter was a darling when it came to buying Evalyne pretty things.
Margret had stopped by the night before and relayed to her all of the latest society gossip. It wasn't easy staying in a hotel for six months, waiting for the workers to finish re-doing the dry wall. Evalyne knew it was a big job, but she had disliked sleeping in a separate room away from Peter. But it didn't matter because last night Margret had shown Evalyne what a stunning necklace her new belt could make
especially if she hung it from the door just right.
Margret had said it was the latest fashion and that Peter was sure to love it. Thankfully, her husband told her that he was going to bring a client over to the hotel for supper tonight. Someone named Dr. Fletcher. Evalyne figured he must be a good client from Wall-Street for Peter to bring him for supper. So she had made up her mind.
She would call the hotel cook and have him bring ham and potatoes.
Evalyne pulled the chair over to the door to her room. A little re-arranging never hurt anyone, and she still had little time before Margret planned to stop by in the afternoon.
She was the one who had told Evalyne about feng shui, and how those in high class society do it all the time. The chair looked perfect, centered against the door and Evalyne stood back to better examine her handiwork. A thought had suddenly struck her! She had forgotten to place her new necktie on top of the door!
Evalyne tried on the leather accessory, and it truly looked stunning on her. Just as Margret said it would. She placed the end on top of the cracked door.
Margret was always buying Evalyne new things, never asking for anything in return. Except for last night
Margret asked her to try re-arranging the furniture inside the suite to better suit her tastes. And she was right of course; the chair did look perfect under her new necklace. And how lovely it hung from the door!
it was getting late and she would have to rush since she didn't have much time. She had an appointment with Margret this afternoon, they had plans to go shopping on 5th Avenue and if she didn't hurry and tighten the buckle of her leather necklace, she was going to be late. Evalyne didn't like to keep Margret waiting, so without hesitation she tightened the strap, push the door closed, and kicked the chair out from under her. After all
Evalyne Adams had important appointment.
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