“Next, please.” She stood up and followed the tall girl to the wide chair.
Choosing a bridal magazine from the pile in front of her, she settled into the soft white leather. She looked into the mirror and at the girl now standing behind her.
“What can I do for you, my love?” The girl smiled but didn’t look directly at her.
“Wash, trim and blow dry,” she answered and started to leaf through the magazine in her lap. She settled on an article titled ‘Setting A Date And Choosing The Right Venue’.
The girl roughly stuffed a large towel around her neck and into her jumper. The harsh motion of this made her lose the passage she had just begun to read. Before she could find the lost paragraph again, she was abruptly whirled around the salon to the washbasin station. There, the chair was lowered with a bang and her head was forcibly tilted back towards the basin.
“This could be a bit cold at first,” the girl said and held a stream of freezing cold water over her hairline. The water got into her eyes and she yelped while quickly shielding her wet face with her hands.
“Oops. Sorry,” the girl said coolly.
After bouncing her head up and down with vigorous shampooing, and banging it against the basin a couple of times, the girl yanked the towel from her neck and wrapped it as tightly around her hair as a Boa Constrictor would curl itself around its intended prey.
She just managed to hold on to the sliding magazine with her wet hands as she was whizzed back in front of the mirror, where she saw that her eye makeup had become a black panda-bear-like mess.
As she sat wordlessly staring at her reflection, the girl tore off the turban, nearly separating her hair from her scalp, making her eyes water.
Now the girl started to pull strands of her hair through a comb as if she was trying to re-string a guitar.
“You’re hurting me,” she cried out. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” the girl said, smirking.
She balled her hands into fists and scrunched up the magazine as the girl pulled a pair of sharp scissors from her apron and started to cut into her fine blond hair with fast, jerky movements.
“Not too short,” she squeaked. The girl looked up for a second and then hacked even harder into her hair, making her head wobble from side to side.
She leapt forward and called out, “What are you doing?”
The girl now looked directly into her eyes across the mirror. Then she came close to her ear and hissed, “How is he these days?”
She squinted through black eyes and saw bushels of her hair in the girl’s hands. She clung on to the wet and torn mess of what had been the shiny bridal magazine in her lap.
“So, you are Rita,” she said slowly, the awful truth dawning on her that the free haircut she had won was not so free after all.
As she fled from the salon, she turned to take a last glance through the window, where a victorious Rita was high-fiving her amused colleagues.
Caren is a qualified and experienced digital copy & content writer with both a corporate and small business owner background. She runs KreativeInc Agency, a web design, development and content creation agency with her autistic son Callum Gamble.
She specialises in creating Inbound Marketing content for business websites and blogs. Using her expert knowledge, skills and personal experience in business development, personal improvement and autism, she crafts content that makes people take action. Her work is found in retail publications, professional websites, on her writer’s platform StoryBlog and more.
She is also an active advocate of neurodiversity in the workplace and co-founder of the NeuroPool network, neuropool.co.uk. Here, she is organising free educational workshops for employers on how to utilise the extraordinary talent found in people with autism, ADHD, dyspraxia and dyslexia within their business.
When she isn’t typing away on her keyboard or spreading her mission, you can see her having her nose buried in a book or hiking up and down the steep hills of the Yorkshire countryside with her husband, son and daughter.
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