Another girl approaches me, and she asks friendly, “What are we doing for you today?”
Timidly I reply, “A colour and cut.”
“Have you chosen a style?”
“Not yet. I want it short though.”
She offers, “We have this new thing. I can scan your face into our computer and then we can choose a style to suit your face.” She sees me hesitate, so she continues, “It is not expensive.”
I decide to splurge. I have a good excuse anyway to be going on this rebellious emergency-spending spree.
She takes a digital photo of me and then she uploads it to her computer. Together we look for the perfect hairstyle to match my soon to be pitch-black hair. She colours my hair black on the screen and I realize it is a bit harsh and it will take a while for me to get used to it, but my mind is made up. My hair will be black when I leave this salon.
Short will definitely not suit me though, so we decide to only cut it shorter so the tips will brush my shoulders.
Angie, the girl cutting and colouring my hair is chatty and I enjoy the hour plus one I am stuck in the salon with her.
My hair looks beautiful when she is finished. It hangs dead straight, shiny black past my cheeks and barely touches my shoulders. I move my head from side to side and I love the way it moves. I feel a renewed sense of self-confidence.
When I pay, I cringe a little, anticipating my future troubles concerning this credit card bill.
I smile brightly when I walk out of the shop. It already feels as if I can take on the world. It is amazing what a new hairstyle can do for a person’s mood. I must definitely do it more often.
Impulsively, I decide to walk from the mall to the centre of the village. I will go to my favourite coffee shop and select the biggest slice of chocolate cake they have. I usually always eat their delicious Lasagne, but I predict from now on Lasagne will always leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
I walk out of the mall and notice the grey clouds have moved on, the sky is clear again. I consider taking off the unsightly jacket, but I am not sure what to do with my shopping bags. I do not want to put them down onto the still wet paving.
Outside the mall, I walk onto the pedestrian bridge, which crosses the Boyne River and is my shortest route into the village. Looking down, I see the grey, dark water swirling past under my feet. The bridge is always crowded with people so I look back up to avoid unnecessary impacts and rude mutters from the other people.
On my way to the coffee shop, I stop at the school uniform shop and I buy myself a new school skirt, a longer version of the one I have at home.
Eventually, I reach the noisy hustle and bustle of the coffee shop. I go to the counter and pick the fattest slice of cake. The chocolate cake is sold out, so I settle for vanilla instead. I ask the girl behind the counter for a large coffee as well. With my arms pushed into the carry handles of my shopping bags, I carry my food on a tray and then I navigate the stairs carefully. I go up to the next level and I pick a table by the window so I can look down on the people hurrying past.