Like the perfect cliché our story begins with a girl, a very simple girl, a girl without a family, very few friends and none that are actually her age. It seems, that when a story like this takes place there is always some kind of sidekick but this particular girl wasn’t confident enough to have a friend to be one. Ever since she could remember she always shied away from a conversation with someone she didn’t know and thus never met any new people, never brought anyone home, never dated and rejection was her fear. She always thought she was just socially challenged but the word was fear, she was afraid.
REJECTION, a horrible word, a thing a lot are afraid of, something that keeps a lot of people from running towards their dreams and anything else in their life, the only running they end up doing is away from what they truly desire in life.
She had already experienced the worst rejection in her life, and it happened at a very early stage in her life, so early she didn’t even remember it. Yet the pain was there, because remember or not, the knowledge that you have been rejected by the one person that is supposed to love you unconditionally is something that eats you from the inside even just knowing about it, it probably would have been worse if she had experienced it when she was older, at least that was what she told herself every time she thought about it and it got her down.
Angel Smith was a very pretty girl, even though like many other girls she didn’t see herself that way and even though she worked in the industry of making people look good, she never cared much to make herself look any better. She was a total pushover, she cared too much to make others happy but not a smidge about her own happiness.
Angel lost her mother when she was only five, she didn’t even remember her, she remembered a song and warm embraces but nothing else, her mother had severe cancer and died soon after hitting 30. Angel was told her mother was a very beautiful lady and she took after her, she never believed them but when she sometimes saw the pictures and videos, she did see some resemblance. Her father left her alone, not able to handle the responsibility of handling a daughter by his own, he rejected her, leaving her on a porch of a family friend and when Angel thought about it, there was nowhere else she would have rather been dropped.
Martha Biggs was like a mother, a sister and a friend moulded into one, for her. Martha could never have kids and she never actually wanted to settle with anyone so Angel was all she had ever wanted, she loved her as much as her best friend, which was Angel’s mother, would have. When her friend died she had secretly been afraid of a precious girl like Angel living with a volatile man like Jack, it didn’t matter that he was her own father.
Martha was not rich but she had a decent amount of money so that Angel always had a comfortable life, but being dropped by your own father wasn’t very easy on her, she always felt useless and shy and she had nearly no friends, since she wasn’t very social. She was the kind of girl with the amazing smile she never showed and the kind that if you got to know her, you would love to be around her and make her laugh, she hid behind hats and scarfs and baggy clothing and someone who always kept her head down.
She was graced with beautiful green eyes and tanned skin since she was half Mexican from her mother’s side, according to what she was told her mother was Mexican all the way and her father was British. Her mother had been living in England for about ten years when she met Jack. Angel was of average height and had a fit body since she always preferred to walk everywhere she went instead of getting Martha to take her and was never one to eat a lot. Her hair was long, down to her waist and it was a beautiful shade of jet black, wavy like a dark sea at night. Of course, no one could see all this about her, as she hid it quite well.
Ever since she was young she never cared much on how she looked so her usual morning routine was always to get up, put her hair into a messy bun, do her chores, put on sunglasses and go out, she never cared for herself except for eating healthy foods. She never had boyfriends since everyone thought she wouldn’t even talk to them if they asked, so her life was pretty secluded to home, school, home. Only now things had changed a little. She had finally gotten all the studying she could have and now she was working with Martha at her amazing salon. Martha was a great hairdresser and since Angel was always running around and absorbing everything Martha did, she had become very good with hair as well, it had become something she desired to do for as long as she could. In fact she was working as a hairdresser and makeup artist.
The shop had seven workers in it, Martha obviously, she was the boss, she took care of the hair, then there was Angel who took care of hair and makeup, Josephine the joke master who took care of mostly learning about all the new hair up styles, there was Arin the tiny one who took care of the blow dries when things got really busy which was often and then did their taxes and accounts when they were not, Mary who took care of nails and make up, then Alishia who was kind of like Martha’s partner, she was a great hairdresser but she also did stocktaking and took care of shopping for things and what not, then there was Lauren who was the cleaner and somewhat of an apprentice, learning more about cuts from Alishia. None of them had anything in common with Angel, and only Lauren was a little close to her age, yet she loved them anyway.
But now let’s forget all those boring introductions and get to our story.
Angel was taking care of a woman one day, she dyed her hair black and she was now blow drying it, the woman had been in the salon for over four hours now and Angel was getting tired of her. She was just that kind of client.
“You look really good like this Ms. Ashton” said Angel shyly.
“Yes yes, I always knew this colour would suit me” she said, she didn’t though of course, she had been searching for a new colour for ages and then Angel had suggested black and then there was a lot of searching done, which involved Angel entering in their system and checking how she would look with black hair, Angel was right though as always, it turned out that it made her look five years younger.
Angel just smiled, that was like her.
Martha gave Angel a look that said, “MHHMM”, and Angel looked down trying to hide the smile that was growing on her face. Ms. Ashton was not a very fun loving person, she didn’t think she would appreciate her smile at all.
“You’re ready Ms. Ashton” said Angel as she fluffed her hair one last time.
Ms. Ashton then nodded, went to the cash, paid and left.
“Finally she’s gone I thought she would stay here all day” said Angel as she ran a hand over her forehead.
“Oh honey I would have kicked her out” said Martha looking at Ms. Ashton walking to her car.
“Yeah she would have and she would have had my help” said Josephine, they knew Ms. Ashton very well, she was the one that made everyone sigh when she entered the salon, and what was worse was that she was in the salon once a week.
Angel went to sit down for a while since there wasn’t much to do around and she listened to the music coming from the radio when she heard her favourite song was on.
“Oh my song” she squeaked, she looked around and no customer was there at the moment since it was near closing time, what the heck she thought and she cranked the music up, the workers were her only friends and she felt comfortable with them.
’You think you got the best of me
you think you had the last laugh
but you think that everything good is gone’ the stereo blared.
By the middle of the song they were all singing to it and jumping around, cleaning and bumping hips.
“What doesn’t kill you makes you strongeeerr” Angel sang.
“Oh honey you are nailing it” said Martha, well more like yelled.
Suddenly someone barged into the salon and Angel stopped immediately, she scrambled to turn the music down and hide behind the others somehow.
“I need help! Right now!” said a panicked woman, with blonde hair that seemed to have been perfect a long while ago.
“What can we help you with?” said Martha a brush in her hand as if it was the holy grail and she would punish anyone who dared stop them from their dancing and singing.
“I am Helen, and I work with X Factor, I am the stylist I’m just an assistant and my boss just called me while I was searching for dresses, she told me our hairdressers and everything just dropped everything and left, she was yelling and now I need someone to come with me, work for us, and when I say come with me I mean right now” she rambled without taking a breath.
“Okay calm down” said Josephine.
“I need someone a hairdresser at least just for now I’ll find a makeup artist later, I’ll calm down when I find her, I’ve been driving around and you are the first salon I’ve seen” Helen said.
Martha had something running around in her head and she decided to do something about it. She grabbed Angel and was about to take her into the other room, “Give us a minute” she told Helen.
Angel nearly fell over her own feet grabbing her beanie before it flew from her head, she had no idea what was going on with Martha.
“Angel you have to go with her, this could be a good opportunity for you” said Martha in hushed tones.
Angel just looked at her as if she had gone mental or was just joking, in fact she was about to smile but then she saw how serious Martha was and stepped back.
“Oh my God you’re serious, are you crazy, I am never going to do that, get Arin to go or...I don’t know.... you go, I am not cut out for this Martha and you know that” said Angel as she moved away from her.
“Angel you have been hiding in the corner for too long now, I can’t watch you do it anymore, I love you as if you were my own daughter and it hurts to see you like this” she said so that Angel wouldn’t leave.
“Yes, yes you can, there’s nothing wrong I’m perfectly fine but I am just not good enough to go work from frickin X Factor, I just can’t, it’s too big, I don’t know how you even thought about me, you go” Angel was about to leave but Martha took her arm and yanked her back.
“Angel I thought of you because I love you, you are my daughter for all intents and purposes, I want you to succeed and I bring your needs before anyone else’s for once, this is a Cinderella opportunity, take it, your mother wouldn’t want you to mope around here when you could have done this huge thing” explained Martha.
When Martha mentioned her mother, Angel froze, she had touched a spot. She didn’t know what to think she knew it would take long before she settled and actually talked to someone when she arrived there, she would be alone with no Martha to support her and push her to do things like this one. What to do?
“I am hardly a Cinderella” she mumbled.
“You know what I mean love” said Martha as she put a hand on her shoulder.
She looked up at Martha and Martha nodded, “You can do it” she said, and finally Angel gave up, “fine I’ll do it” she said.
Martha nearly jumped, “that’s my girl” she said and grabbed her face and kissed her cheek after which she had to clean her face from the lipstick mark she left, “now let’s go out there”.
When they went back out into the salon Helen was freaking out and she looked up at them expectantly.
“Helen is it?” asked Martha, walking to her with swaying hips in her boss stance, she took her hand and shook it.
“Yes” said Helen whipping her head at Martha in anticipation as she shook her hand.
“We can only give you one of us because if we gave you more we wouldn’t manage, we’re going to give you our best though she is very good in fashion, she is a certified hairdresser and make up artist, her name is Angel” said Martha pushing Angel Helen’s way.
“Hi” said Angel shyly with half a smile.
“Oh my God this is perfect, you’re a make up artist too, yes yes yes she’s going to love me, we will need more people but this is a good start” said Helen finally smiling, although even as she smiled she still looked like a crazy person.
Angel just nodded.
“Okay but you have to stay at the Corinthia with us” she said.
Angel immediately got scared and looked back at Martha, Martha just nudged her to accept.
Angel turned back and nodded again.
“Go pack up, I’ll wait for you” said Helen.
Angel froze for a while but then Martha nudged her and she ran to her house which was like two minutes away, packed a few things and ran back to the salon where she found Helen.
They got in a huge SUV full of clothes both for male and female, Angel looked around her trying to reassure herself that this was okay and that she could do it, she waved at the girls in the salon, Martha threw her a kiss and she reciprocated after which she put on her aviators and looked away as Helen drove off from the sidewalk and to the Corinthia, to her new life working for the big guys.
And all she could think about was ‘what would Simon Cowell say when I screw up?’ Then she felt stupid and she almost chuckled, what would Simon Cowell care if something happened to their hair and makeup girl.