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Evelyn looks at the clock. Oh no, she thinks. Two pm. Is today Thursday?

The bell on the door chimes and sure enough. It’s her. Jolene.

“Hey sugar, how yah doin’?”

“…Hello, Jolene.”

“I have so much to tell you, you would not BEE-LIEVE the things I’ve seen this week!”

Jolene makes her way across the room, making it a point to touch all of Evelyn’s supplies.

Evelyn cringes, forcing herself not to pull Jolene’s hands away from her things. She sets down her scissors, not noticing when the client she was about to help flinches as the shears go past his face. “Jolene, did you sign up for an appointment this time?”

“Honey, you don’t really expect your dear Great Auntie to have to pay to see you?” Jolene bats her fake eyelashes and pouts.

“My brothers pay to see me,” Evelyn responds dryly, dodging a wet kiss on the cheek.

“Well I’m just special. You love me.”

“My parents did always tell me you were special,” Evelyn agreed. “But whatever the case, you still have to sign in and pay.”

“Fine,” Jolene digs through her oversized purse and pulls out a quarter, “This should cover it.”

Evelyn closes her eyes and sighs deeply, again not noticing as her other client surreptitiously tries to shuffle away nervously. “Janessa?” she calls. No response. Of all the days my intern decides not to show up. “Can you come back another time?” she asks the client, finally returning her attention to the nervous man.

The client nods rapidly and takes off the hair cloth before bolting past Jolene and out the door, the bell ringing merrily behind them.

“Darling, have I told you about my newest boy toy?” Jolene asks after the client is gone.

“I’m pretty sure I don’t want to hear about it.”

“Oh, you’ll love him, his name is Julio and he is quite a looker.”

Julio? “Wait. What does his hair look like?” A sense of dread creeps up on Evelyn.

“His hair? Oh, it’s black and rather thick. I just love running my hands through it.”

Evelyn grimaces. “Does he have an afro?”

“Are you familiar with him?”

Evelyn hates hairdressing, no matter how good at it she is, and she would never forget having to style an afro— especially not on Julio, if he is who she suspects he is. “Oh, I think I know him.”

Jolene attempts a smile, but her botox prohibits it. “Then you should know all about him. Hairdressers do have the gift of gab.”

Evelyn moves to the front of her shop and turns off the bright, flashing “OPEN” sign. She would be busy for a while. “Of course,” she agrees, not knowing what else to say. Not that she had to say anything; “Great Auntie Jolene” would take care of that.

“We met at the pool. He was a lifeguard and I just had to get to know him better. So, I pretended to drown.”

Evelyn picks up her scissors and inspects the blades, frowning. “You can’t just do things like that. Don’t you know that could cause problems?”

“Well, it worked, didn’t it? Now I have a new handsome man in my life. He likes me for my looks.” She fluffs up her bleach damaged hair with a crunching sound.

Not even my eight high school interns are this bad, Evelyn thinks with a sigh. Hoping to change the subject, she asks pointedly, “Do you want me to do anything with your hair today?”

“Dear, my roots are starting to show. You know I don’t want people to know how old I am.”

Evelyn doesn’t even know how old Jolene is, honestly. But it wasn’t young enough to be picking up lifeguards at a public swimming pool— that much she was sure of, even if she wasn’t much of a social person herself. “Well, there are multiple techniques I can use to take care of—”

“I don’t really care, honey. Just cover them up.”

“This might be hard for you, but you’re going to have to put this cape on and sit down first.”

Jolene sighs and struggles to put the cape on over her obviously plastic chest.

“Aaand sit down…”

Jolene obeys, reluctantly.

Evelyn looks over her tools, considering, when suddenly the door swings open hard enough to make the bell fall down with a clang, scaring her little tabby cat out of the room.

“Hey Jolene, you ready to— Heyyy, Evelyn.” It’s Julio.

This is too much. Evelyn isn’t going to remind him once again that there has never been and never will be anything between them. “You two— just don’t touch anything. I’m leaving.”

Author Notes: This is a random short story that I wrote with a classmate for an assignment in twelfth grade. It entertains me, so I thought I would share. You're welcome.

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11 Jun, 2021
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3 mins
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