The Beautician

Desmond waited impatiently for his next client.

“Slow day today,” he said to his fellow beauticians. They nodded, made idle comments about the weather, and leaned nonchalantly, affecting indifference. Desmond couldn’t adopt the same appearance. He felt compelled to pace, to move, to do something. He grabbed the glass cleaner and spritzed the mirror, then wiped it with a cloth. So shiny I can practical see myself, he thought with a smile.

The bell to the salon dinged, and a young woman walked in. The other three beauticians all looked up, trying to maintain their indifference while attracting her attention. Desmond set the cleaner down and smiled, saying, “Hello!” The young woman walked over to him, and the other beauticians all looked disappointed – usually their style worked, but not today, it would seem.

“Take a seat,” Desmond said. “What are you looking for today?”

The young woman looked nervous. “I’m not sure,” she said. “Maybe just…I dunno. Something to make me look good?”

Desmond stood behind her, meeting her eyes on the mirror. “No problem, it’s easy when we have so much to work with already. I’m Desmond, by the way.”
The woman smiled at his compliment, and said, “Sabine.”

“Nice to meet you Sabine. What’s the occasion?”

“A friend’s wedding. I need to look good, you know?”

“Gotcha. Are you a bridesmaid, guest, minister…?”

“Guest. Nothing special.”

“You’re plenty special. Lots of folks don’t even get invited to the wedding. I had this friend, we were close as peas in a pod in junior high, did everything together. Two years ago he updates his status on Facebook to say married, and then posts pictures. Like, everyone from junior high was there, except me. I find out through Facebook. Can you believe that?”

“Wow, cold.”

“I know, right?” Desmond took a comb and started working on Sabine’s hair. “What are you wearing to the shindig?”

“I have this dark blue dress. I don’t know if I’m going to wear it or not, actually, it’s a bit more daring than I’m used to…” Sabine trailed off, looking torn.

“Oh, do it!” Desmond said. “What’s the point of going to a wedding if you don’t turn a few heads? Hoping to meet someone there?”

“Maybe, I guess? I don’t know. It’s been a tough…couple of years, I guess. I haven’t been on a date in quite a while.”

“Well, I’ll make sure to accent everything you’ve got, which trust me when I say is a lot.” Desmond leaned in, and in a stage whisper said, “Most of the people who come in here, I have to pull out all the tricks to make them even presentable. But you, you’ll be easy.”

Sabine flushed. “Thanks,” she mumbled.

“Dark blue dress you say?” Desmond said. “Something like this?” he held up a navy blue eye shadow, and Sabine nodded. “Great. When’s the ceremony?” he asked, working away at her face.

“In about three hours,” she said.

“No problem. We’re just about done here. Now you go slip into that dress, be bold and daring, and knock ’em dead. You’ll probably outshine the bride.”

“Oh God! I’m not supposed to do that!”

Desmond laughed. “Hey, as long as you’re not wearing white, you can take every ounce of attention.”

Sabine blushed again, thanked him, and left. Desmond watched her stop at the front counter to pay, and was happy to see the confidence she moved with. A greater poise, more definitiveness in her step. She’ll kill them, he thought to himself.



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