The door to the Blue Door Café was not blue, actually, nor did it lead to a café. The door itself was teal with flecks of gold that shimmered in the light from the lamps in the parking lot, and it led into one of the hottest, and least known to outsiders, lesbian bars in the tri-county area.
The two women who entered the Blue Door Café on that rainy night, for instance, were just looking for a phone…and maybe a place to wait for the tow truck. They had no idea…
"I can't believe you haven't gotten your oil changed in almost a year!" Tracy Quartermaine shook herself fiercely as she pushed through the door into the foyer. Her short brown hair, besides being desperately overdue for a cut and color, was drenched, with all thought of style lay tragically waste by the thunderstorm.
"That's Alan's responsibility…" Monica began as she brushed her hands through her own mass of blonde hair as she tried to regain her composure. The walk from the car had been grueling—through almost two miles of torrential rain, bad shoes, and Tracy bitching at her all the while. "He said…"
"Alan is not your father, and you are not an irresponsible seventeen year old." Tracy cut her off, looking around for a pay phone. The hostess stand was vacant, although they could hear sounds of loud music from behind one of the several doorways that surrounded the small, rectangular foyer. The room, had either of them been in the mood to notice, was tastefully decorated in 30s deco style—refined and sophisticated and just waiting for the glamoratti to arrive.
Monica grabbed Tracy's arm as she headed behind the hostess stand for a better look. "Do you have your AAA card?"
"I told you, Monica, Triple-A dropped me. Something about putting too many cars in the lake, or whatever…" She shrugged off Monica, yet again. "Why don't we use yours?"
"I told you, I changed purses before we left home, and my card is in my other purse."
"Along with your cell phone…"
"We've already had this conversation, Tracy…three times…."
"Oh, wait! I remember," Tracy peeked behind the hostess stand for maybe a call button or an intercom. "You own the house, but Big Strong Husband got custody of the brain!"
"This from a woman who can't remember to keep her cell battery charged—"
"It's new, and I need to buy a different recharger—where is everybody?"
"You could have done it today, instead of tagging along and ticking off the contractors…" Monica reached out to stop her when Tracy started flipping through the hostess book.
"You don't truly think I was going to idly stand by and let you oversee the construction of a monument to my mother, do you?" Tracy shrugged off Monica's hand, but stayed put. There was a long moment of silence before she added. "I know it's just a gazebo in a little park, but she used to take me and Alan to that park when we were young. She loved it there, and she always donated to the beautification fund. I wanted to make sure her memorial was dignified and worthy of her," she sighed as the door to one of the rooms finally opened. "Not some K-Mart knock-off with a bike rack and advertising on the benches. Finally, a drone with a phone."
"Just be nice, Tracy. Please don't get us kicked out into the rain."
"Excuse me," Tracy headed straight for the sharply dressed young woman walking towards the hostess stand. She had that look in her eye, and Monica thought it best to intervene.
"Excuse me," Monica interrupted in the most pleasant voice she could muster under the circumstances. "Could we use your phone? Our car died, and her cell is dead."
"Yes," Tracy said in a tone of overly sweet sarcasm. "Because I'm incompetent."
"Well…" the hostess began. The girl seemed to be in her mid-twenties, taller than both Monica and Tracy, with distinct features and a lanky frame. Her coal-black hair fell just below her shoulders, and her make-up was applied in a vaguely Egyptian manner to emphasize her dark brown eyes and pale skin. She wore those androgynous dark clothes that women of a certain temperament seemed to fancy, and glanced up and down for a long moment at the two drenched women before continuing. "There's a phone in the smokers lounge, but it's out of order. I can see let you use the one in the office, but it's going to be a second. Do you mind waiting in the bar?"
"Not at all," Monica said in voice of perfect sincerity. "We really appreciate it."
Tracy glared at her and rolled her eyes. "You have no idea how much I need a drink."
Coming in chapter two: Tracy learns a secret.