Margery stared at her reflection in the mirror and wondered if the hairstylist could read her thoughts. Naw…
Good thing, too.
At the moment, she was battling a strong desire to call her boss and quit her job. And then there was the issue about dating three guys at once. Who knew that would get so complicated? Eeney…meeney…miney…moe…
“So what’ll it be?”
Margery lifted her gaze and met Shasta’s piercing blue eyes.
“Same as usual. Just a trim.”
Shasta snipped the scissors, her eyes fixed on Margery. “I mean…the choice you’re trying to make. Come to a decision yet?”
A shiver ran down Margery’s spine. “Whatda’ you mean? What choice?”
“Look, honey, people come in here every day wanting a new look, a fresh style, a whole passel of unrealistic expectations. Hey, I cut hair, you know? But you, you come in and just want a trim…but I can see in your eyes…you’re contemplating something serious. Deep. You know what I mean?”
Yep. Margery knew. Uh-huh. She had been reading self-help books and posts with themes like “Managing Your Life, So You Can Fall In Love Without Regret.” But even though they often made sense, she had a hard time applying popular wisdom in her particular orbit.
Shasta started to snip. Apparently, she didn’t need answers to cut hair.
A woman with a model’s figure, holes in her jeans in all the right places, a glorious tan, a tank top that could knock Miss Universe off her pedestal, and a perfect pout swung onto the chair next to Margery.
Jealousy never reared its ugly head. A sudden desire to evaporate—maybe.
Shasta snapped her fingers in the newcomer’s direction. “Be with you in a minute. You’re early.”
The walking advertisement for beauty shrugged. “I’ve got nothing better to do. Thought I’d bug you for a while.” She dropped her head onto her sculptured hand. “Get so lonely sometimes…you know?”
Margery strangled the scream rising in her throat. She just managed to eke out the words, “Lonely? You?” She let her eyes roll over the woman’s figure to highlight her point.
Shasta tapped Margery’s shoulder. “Hey, don’t judge a book by its cover, hon. Gale here deals with a lot.”
Margery lowered her eyes and clasped her hands. “Sorry. That was rude. I just figured that with your body…lots of guys…”
“I try too hard. Scares men silly. Actually, I’ve got a degree in social work and a minor in Spanish, so I have a good job, and I make friends easy enough. I dunno…I just can’t seem to keep things going over the long haul. People get too serious or move away…or have a crisis of some kind.”
Shasta tapped Margery’s head to get her to tilt it to one side. “It’s this dang modern technology. Everybody’s so plugged in they forget to touch base…and they lose what’s really important.”
Gale wrinkled her nose like a rabbit about to sneeze. “That’s the trendy answer. But really, it’s the same ol’ same ol’. People don’t pay attention to anyone else. They want everyone to pay attention to them.”
Margery glanced in the mirror and stared into her own eyes. Yep. Convicted. She might as well have a sign with a number on it hanging around her neck. Though most prison photos didn’t look this good. She pursed her lips. Whoa. For a second there, she actually looked hot.
With a nudge, Shasta made it clear that her job was done.
Margery stood and brushed off her shoulders.
Gale slipped to the edge of her seat.
Shasta held up a finger. “Hang on one sec while I sweep up this mess. She reached for her broom and began to tidy up.
Gale climbed to her feet and faced Margery. “You’re a pretty gal. I bet you don’t get lonely.”
Margery ran her fingers through her hair, shaking off the cut ends. “Funny, but I do. Or at least, I get bewildered. If only someone really understood me…” She glanced from Shasta to Gale. “But that’s not really anyone else’s job, is it?”
Shasta laughed and dumped the dustpan full of clipped hair into the trash. “You know how it is…we search for what we’re afraid to find cause we love the chase more.”
Gale plopped down onto the waiting chair as Margery pulled a couple of bills out of her wallet and laid them on the table.
Shasta snipped her scissors. “What’ll you have today? A whole new look or—”
Gale glanced at Margery. “What did she have?”
“Just a trim.”
“Then give me a trim. It’s time I stick with something for once in my life.”
With a nod and a wave, Margery turned and strode out the door. The sun shone and the breeze rippled her hair. She didn’t need to look in a mirror to see that she looked almost exactly the same as when she went in.
She grinned. But then again, you can’t judge a book by its cover.
A. K. Frailey is the author of 15 books, a teacher for 35 years, and a homeschooling mother of 8.
Make the most of life’s journey.
For books by A. K. Frailey check out her Amazon Author Page
“There are many excellent stories in this collection.” ~McEvoy
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