Clean Cut: Part I


Photo by krosseel at

“Good morning, Pam!” I wave, pushing my newly purple bangs out of my face with the other hand.

After a hot second, she finally looks up from her phone her forehead creasing. “Emma, you’re late.”

“Just wanted to give you a few extra minutes with your dating app. Goodness knows you haven’t had a date in a month.”

“Keep your voice down!” She hisses.

I laugh her off and unlock the door to the salon, my salon, I should say. The one year anniversary of opening the Harry Mary was coming up in a week and I still hadn’t figured out how to celebrate. I need to get to it while the getting is still good. Who knows? One anniversary might be the only one I get.  

“Are Mindy, Ashley, and Trinity scheduled to work today?” I say.

Slipping behind the desk in the bright orange lobby, she grabs the scheduled print out from under the counter. “Yep. They’re all booked with back-to-back clients.”

I pinch the bridge of my nose. “Please tell me Mrs. Haffsted isn’t coming in to see Mindy today.”

With a few quick motions, she finds the client list. “I would if I could.”

“Switch her with one of my bookings. We both know Mrs. H never requests any certain one of us and if those two get within earshot of each other they’ll explode this place with political nonsense, and I am not cleaning up any more of Mindy’s ‘accidentally’ spilled hair dye.”

“You got it, boss.”

I start a pot of coffee brewing in the back, trying hard not to breathe in the fumes, and go about setting up my station. As the two hours left before we open pass, the other girls slowly trickle in, on by one taking their places for the day.

My first few clients come and go without much trouble with the exception of my aching knees, and then I hear her. Mrs. Haffsted’s tinny soprano blares in greeting to Pam and I cringe. Why in the world must that mulish woman insist on coming back here for her stupid wash and trim? There have to be five other salons in the area!

Looking in the mirror at my station, I use my finger to force the corners of my mouth upwards and wonder if I have the energy to keep them up on their own.

To be continued… 

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