A Shameless Imagined - set in the future with Yevgeny
looking back at how far he and his family have come. Thank you for your
kudos and comments and as always please let me know what you think.
I really love the idea of Gallavich having the chance to be a normal(ish), loving and supportive family. xx
The young man peered
around the thick velvet curtain and his blue eyes located the four
seats he had reserved for his family with practiced ease – he had
been checking them every five minutes since the doors opened.
He felt the weight
which had been resting on his shoulders for the last forty minutes
evaporate and a smile touched the corner of his lips. His mother,
father and both his step-father’s were there, all of them dressed
in their finest. His grin widened as he saw his Dad shrug his
shoulders against the fitted material of his suit jacket and tug
irritably at the knot of his tie, only to be scolded and from the
look on his face, told to sit still.
Yev slipped his
phone out of his shoulder bag and tapped the screen a few times
before switching his gaze back to his family. His Dad patted his
chest and reached inside his suit jacket pocket, drawing out his
phone and squinting at it before nudging Ian and asking him to read
it. Yev rolled his eyes, Dad refused to admit he needed glasses now
and preferred to get Ian to read things instead. He saw Ian laugh and
lean close to whisper the message to his father, who grinned, said
something Yev really hope no one else in the audience heard and
looked around, as if expecting his son to pop up from behind him.
Unable to locate Yev, he murmured something to Ian who obligingly
began tapping the phone screen.
Yev felt his mobile
vibrate and looked down at it.
“Dad says Fuck
u. Also that he is really proud of u and u r gonna be great.”
saw his mom lean across to Ian and after a very brief exchange his
phone buzzed again
says she loves u. Good luck kiddo – from all of us.”
Yev typed out a quick thank you and put his phone away. He needed to
get warmed up but allowed himself a minute more of watching his
family, he seldom saw them together like this since moving up state
for college and he missed it.
Not for the first
time Yevgeny Milkovich thought about what it had taken for his family
to get him here. His mother, young and courageous, travelling from
Russia to try her luck in the USA. His father, young and confused but
willing to see that both she and the baby had a roof over their
heads. Ian, gentle and kind, a second father rather than just a
step-father, always there and sometimes acting as a bridge of
understanding between Yev and his Dad when their tempers clashed.
Memories washed over
Yevgeny and he closed his eyes letting the flow of them sooth away
He remembered Little
League games, Mom and Ian cheering him on from the stands, his Dad
watching from outside the chain-link fence due to a previous
altercation with another parent who made the mistake of telling Yev
he sucked and making him cry. No other parents had ever heckled him
Then, when he no
longer wanted to play baseball, preferring to take an acting and
dance class, he remembered his Mom carefully ironing his costumes
before school plays and his Dad sat in the audience, always clapping
the loudest, especially the time Yev forgot his lines but pushed
through anyway, man, Dad had roared his approval of that at the
interval so loudly that little Yev was sure he’d break the windows,
but not caring because of how great that support had made him feel,
right when he needed it the most.
“That’s my kid
and he’s doing great! Keep going, Yevgeny!”
When he got older
and tried stealing condoms from his Mom’s purse to go and meet up
with Katie Ryder after school and she found out and dragged him into
a Walmart to buy him his own multi-pack and scared the shit out of
him by telling him about all the dick rotting diseases he could
catch, determined to keep him on the straight and narrow.
graduation, Ian helping him pin his little sash in place on the
stupid little gown the school made them wear, all the while beaming
with pride. He’d told Yev how smart he looked and helped him style
his hair with some of his Dad’s wax and it had been Ian who had
lead the standing ovation as the class threw their hats at the end of
He remembered the
time in High School that he had got caught selling weed for Uncle
Iggy and carrying a gun, and nearly got expelled. He had been so
scared he nearly peed his pants, sitting in the principles office,
listening to his Dad plead his case, practically begging for Yev to
be given a second chance and fuck the zero policy, excuse his
When they got home,
Ian had tried to play peace maker and had succeeded in talking Dad
out of killing Uncle Iggy but Dad had been so mad and then Yev had
told him to chill out … Shit! It was the only time in his life that
his Dad ever laid a hand on him and somehow it was that which finally
got through to Yev just how serious the situation really was.
Later that evening
both Dad and Ian telling him that he could do so much more, was so
much better, and then Dad telling him that if he ever fucked up that
hard again, he would personally drag Yev’s ass to juvie and leave
him there for a few weeks and see if he still wanted to be gangster.
Dad and Ian driving
him across town for tuition with Uncle Lip for months in the run up
to his senior class exams, every Thursday night. No matter how much
Yev said he didn’t want to go, no matter where he tried to hide out
to avoid the extra study, every time his Dad found him, bundled him
into the car and drove him over, waited, and then drove him home,
stopping for pizza or chicken or whatever else on the way back, never
acting mad about what a pain in ass Yev had been about going.
All of them,
including Mom’s new husband Gus, gathered around the mail box on
the day his college acceptance letters were due and the shrieking
excitement which had turned into a full Gallagher pool party when he
go accepted to every single one of his top choices for theatre
studies with critical theory.
Mom sending him off
to college, dry eyed and proud, shoving an envelope of money into his
hand and telling him that if he got a girl pregnant or fucked himself
up on drugs, she would kill him, then kissing him fiercely on both
cheeks and waving as Dad and Ian drove him away.
Dad and Ian lugging
his bags through the corridors to Yev’s dorm, setting them down and
Dad looking around like he had never seen a college room before,
which Yev guessed maybe he hadn’t.
“OK, well, yeah.
Be good, don’t fuck up and remember to call your Mom once a week.
Call me too if you got time. I fuckin’ love you.”
Then a crushing hug
and another envelope of money and an admonition to dust or something
because it was making Mickey’s eyes water in here.
Ian giving him a
much more gentle hug and telling him to call if he needed anything at
all, before following after Dad and driving back to the South Side.
All those memories
and so many more, all of them leading up to college graduation and a
Milkovich from Chicago’s South Side being valedictorian for his
classes ceremony. Yev hoped that they were half as proud of him as he
was of them.
The music started in
the hall and Yev picked up his cap and made his way back to his
classmates ready to open the next chapter of his life.
sent the picture on purpose, of course. He thought that the pretext
that he had set up for the “accident” had been pretty clever, but
it had been no accident. After all the conversations he’d had with
Ryder as Katie, all the intimate talks that they’d had, all the
intimate photos that Ryder had sent him – Jake
must have the greatest collection of dick pics that weren’t his own
of any heterosexual man in America – Jake had to admit that
something was going on in his head.
Katie, Jake had discovered that maybe Ryder had a
certain curiosity about him. About how they stacked
up against each other. Jake had thought that was pretty funny, and as
Katie, he encouraged it. But as the photos kept coming, and as Katie
– fairly successfully, it seemed – fanned the fires of Ryder’s
curiosity into something that he might actually want to act on, Jake
had realized an unintended side effect: he’d gotten his own damn
self curious, too.
the photos, he was pretty sure he would win. But perspective being
what it was – and camera phone quality being what it was
– he had to admit that “pretty sure” was not 100%. It had
started really getting into his head lately, and he’d found himself
stealing glimpses in the locker room. Not cool. And not helpful,
either; the glimpses were too fast and, anyway, who cared about
their soft size difference.
Jake had to admit that he did
and that he really wanted to have Ryder beat both ways. But having
him beat hard was, at least, more important.)
while Ryder had expressed interest to Katie, even as her, Jake had
been unable to actually goad him into actually going for it until
this perfect plan had arisen. He grinned to himself and he jogged up
Ryder’s block from the busstop and knocked on the door.