“How does that look, Mrs. Butler?” I ask one of our best clients. She supported Alexis and me from the beginning when we opened this beauty salon. The A&D salon. Alexis and I have been best friends since kindergarten from the first day that some boys teased me because I had a little more weight on me. Alexis got caught in the middle, and she supported me. Since that day, she has got my back, and I have her. When we finished high school, we entered a beauty school college. I graduated as a hairdresser and makeup artist, and Alexis was into nails, and she took a class as a masseuse. We moved from our town, finished school and we didn’t come back. Alexis's aunt told us to move to her city in North Karolina, and we opened here a beauty salon. And she will help us as more as she can. I didn’t want to go back to my hometown, and of course, Alexis understood and followed me here.
My parents were never by my side. They have more love for my sister Amanda. The skinny, beautiful, tall, and blonde Amanda. Always she was their favorite daughter. Everything she does is perfect. She is perfect. I was the ugly, chubby girl. My dull brown hair and my fat ass were always topics in the house. And, of course, my return wasn’t an option. I have accepted my body the way it is. I do exercise not to lose more weight but to be fit and healthy that way. Because of my job, I like to change haircuts and hairstyles on my hair. I have tried short, medium, and long hair. Now the length of my hair is a little lower than my shoulders, and I have changed color from brown to ginger. I am so in love with that color.
“Perfect. Can you show me a few hairstyles for my daughter’s engagement party”
“Sure, Mrs. Butler,” I tell her some ideas. She paid, we arranged a new appointment to do and her nails, and she left the salon. Alexis is busy with Mrs. Lee, a friend of her aunt's. So I sit at the cash desk, and I look at magazines with haircuts. My next appointment is in half a half-hour, so I have time. The rest of the day goes by as all the days. We close the night, and we go home. We live together in a two-bedroom house, well the last few months, Alexis sleeps over at her boyfriend's, and that night is one of those nights. Scott is already outside, waiting for her.
“Hey, Danielle. How are you?”
“I’m fine. Thanks. How is work?” I ask, and Alexis kisses me for goodnight.
“Do you want us to drop you off?” Alexis asks
“No. I’m good. I will walk. I won't stop at Mrs. Lee's to take a few things. Thanks anyway” she enters the car
“Goodnight. See you tomorrow,” I say, and they also goodnight, and they leave. I walk to Mrs. Lee's market to take chicken breasts to make for dinner.
“Hi Mrs. Lee”
“Hi, sweetie. How are you?”
“I’m good. You?”
“Excited. My daughter is coming for Christmas. I will see her in a month”
“That’s wonderful. I know you miss her a lot. You haven't seen her in two years, right?”
“Yes. I can't wait to hug her again,” she says as we put my stuff in my bag. I wish my parents loved me as much. My mom barely talks to me when I am with them. And when she does it to insult me about my weight. The same goes for my dad. Amanda, my sister the most of the time she was ignoring me. I don’t blame her, and she was the popular one, she doesn’t have the time for me. She's one year younger than me. When she finished high school, she moved to New York to study acting. She has talent. She called me, and she said she was sorry if she hurt me, and she wanted to be on good terms. I accepted. My problem is not with her anyway. I visited her in New York, and we have been very close since then. We talk once a week. This year she has booked a role in a theatre, and I promise to see her.
“That is it, sweetie” Mrs. Lee wake me up from my thoughts.
“Yea. Mrs. Lee” I pay we say goodnight, and I left for home. I put the chicken in the oven to cook, and I go for a quick shower. I ate, and I watched a movie. Then I started to get sleepy and go to bed—all my days as more like this. Work the home and the subsequent day work again. When I first moved here, I had a boyfriend, Eric, a perfect guy. He was my first. But he wanted to continue his studies in medical school in Canada. So we broke up on excellent terms. We still communicate. We call each other for birthdays, Christmas. He is getting married after Christmas with Carol, and they meet at the hospital that they work together. He sounds so happy, and I couldn’t be happier for him.
For the last three years, I have been alone. Most guys want a body like Alexis and Amanda’s. I don’t have a problem with that. My grandma used to tell me before I lost her that ‘there is one person in the world for all of us.’ So I’m sure mine is somewhere out there. I have to be patient.
At the end of the week, nothing changed. The same as always, and I like that routine. Me and Alexis, I clean the salon for close.
“I have something to tell you, but don’t get mad, please.” Oh, when she says that she has done something already
“Okay. What did you do again?” She looks shocked
“Why do you say that?”
“Alex, I have known you for more than twenty years. I know exactly when you have done something.”
“True. As I know you,” she smiles
“Ok, what happened.”
“Tomorrow, you have a date. With one of Scott's colleagues,” she says, and she takes a step back
“What? Why didn’t you do that?” I say, and I try to hold back my anger
“You are alone for so long, sweetie.”
“So? Maybe I like to be alone. And if I want someone, I will go out to find them. I don’t need you to find him for me.”
“Please. One night maybe he is the one. For me,” my God, when she uses that ‘for me,’ I could kill for her. I take deep breaths
“I’m sorry, Alex. I can’t. Every time you set me up a date, it ends up a disaster.”
“Please, please. Stephen is a perfect guy.”
“did you tell him about my appearance?”
“No. What's wrong with it” I glare at her
“You have a great curvy body with an amazing personality. He will love you.”
“Alex, most guys want an amazing personality a good slim body.”
“Nonsense. Please for me,” she says and plays with her eyes
“My God. Fine, but if he is a jerk I’m leaving.”
“He is not. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Tomorrow night I will tell you the place” we finish cleaning, and we head home. We choose what I’m going to wear—a royal blue-fit dress with black heels and a clutch. I hope I do not regret this.