The Rose Gold Salon was just on Main Street. A cute little boutique ran by Mr. Gianni and his three daughters who worked as the Rose Gold’s very own hairstylist crew. The sisters worked diligently, occasionally peeking out of the window of the salon, noticing the people walking down the sidewalk in the hot summer air.
A few clients had already stepped inside as a walk-on or if they had an appointment, this kept the girls very busy. Another customer walks in around twelve thirty-five, a well dressed elderly woman, gracefully strolls into the lobby. She was wearing a fine tailored pink dress suit with thick black sunglasses resting on her wrinkly face.
She moves the glasses above her forehead, the shades resting in her long white hair, which had been elegantly pinned up. As the woman walked into the building, Luna, Mr. Gianni’s youngest daughter, cheerfully cried out, “I’ll be with you in a minute ma’am.”
The old lady took a seat in the nearby waiting room and with a soft smile said, “take your time.” Roughly, five or six minutes later Luna calls to the waiting room, “next please.” While waiting for her turn the elderly woman removed the pins which held her hair neatly up. The lady slowly took a seat and removed her sunglasses, placing the shades on her lap as Luna dressed the elderly woman with a barber gown. She smiled at the lady, “what would you like today ma’am?”
With a moment of hesitation the aged woman replied, “I want it all off.”
Luna, thinking it would be a sin to cut the beautiful white hair, took a double look at the customer, “are you sure?” The woman simply nodded, confirming her decision. The stylist reluctantly followed orders.
However, she gently touched the scissors by the mirror and asked the lady, “I haven’t seen you in here before. Are you new to town?”
The woman softly chuckled, “well my husband and I lived here when we were both very young. Once we married we moved around a lot.”
Isabella, the oldest sister chimed in on the conversation, “what did your husband do?”
The woman slightly shrugged, “he was a sales director. We were able to travel a lot and see the world.”
Mia, the middle daughter mumbled under her breath to her client, “lucky.”
Luna picked up the scissors and stood behind the elderly woman, she took a deep breath and began clipping away at the long locks. She tried to distract herself from cutting away at the beautiful hair, so she attempted to engage in some small talk. “So, what brought you guys back here?”
The woman stiffened her wrinkled face a bit when she explained, “well recently my husband has passed away.” The sisters and their individual clients softly gasped at the statement, expecting the widow to depict a sign of grievance. Unfortunately for them, she showed no signs of sadness or regret. The woman continued, “there is no need to feel sorry for me,” she said while bearing a slight smile.
Luna stops clipping away to ask, “what is your name ma’am?”
She swiftly responded, “I’m Alana Bello.” The sisters introduced themselves quickly after Alana shared her name and business was resumed.
Mia politely asked, “do you mind telling us what he was like?”
Alana’s eyes wandered around the mirror in front of her, “his name was Leonardo, but I always called him Leo for short. We met in the fifth grade, but he didn’t really start talking to me until our first year of highschool. He was so quiet in crowds, but whenever it was just him and I, he was so outgoing. He was passionate over his work and family, and had the highest integrity of any person I’ve ever seen.” Alana thought for a moment then added, “Leo always worked hard in and out the classroom, and he was extremely sentimental. I can still remember the first time he began flirting with me. We were walking to English together and he simply told me, ‘I love your hair,’ except at the time I was a blonde. I still remember his smile from that day, but we agreed to our first date and hit it off. I made sure to wear my hair the same everyday for the next sixty plus years, because he loved it that way. It took time out of my day, but I didn’t mind. I’d always put in the extra effort for Leo.” Alana took a quick pause and resumed, “where was I, oh yes, after high school we got married, honeymooned in the Virgin Islands, and loved every moment.”
Isabella stopped what she was doing and adds, “how romantic, I’m speaking for myself and my sisters here but we’ve always wanted to travel and experience the world for ourselves.”
Luna chimes in, “mhm.”
Alana softly chuckles, “sometimes it's the little things in life that bring the most joy. I’ve been to every state and numerous countries. Seen some beautiful places, but it wouldn’t have been the same if I wasn’t with him.”
Mia curiously asked with no remorse, “Mrs. Bello, do you miss him?”
Luna snapped at her sister, “Mia!”
“It’s okay darling,” Alana reassured, “Yes, I miss him. He was undoubtedly my soulmate. But, Knowing him, he would want me to be happy. And it’s easy to be happy after living a life well spent with your best friend…” Alana’s eyes began to drift around the room, “he was a romantic, always complimenting my personality and showing admiration for my time. Leo would always surprise me with beautiful gestures. When we lived in Sweden, I remember he prepared this candlelit picnic under the stars for our wedding anniversary. Or the time when we spent a few years in Brazil and he took me on a sailboat around the coast for my birthday.”
Isabella gave a soft laugh, “and your hair was perfectly fixed for every occasion?”
“Exactly,” Alana let out a warm smile.
While holding the metal scissors by her hip, Luna asked, “so why cut it? Why not just let it down?”
She shrugged softly, “I always fixed my hair for Leo. But, now that he is gone, there is really no reason for me to keep it this way. I stopped caring how my head looked when I got my first grey streak, yet Leo still said I was the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. He loved me for everything beyond my physical appearance, but there was something about my hair that drove his heart mad. He told me so himself.”
Isabella gawked at Alana’s recalling of her husband, “you two seem like the perfect couple.”
“There is no such thing as a perfect relationship my dear.” Alana sighed, “it’s all about patience, commitment, and sometimes in love, small sacrifices need to be made. Like fixing your hair nice every single day. I didn’t mind how my hair looked, but for my Leo I’d go to the ends of the Earth for him. Yet, since he’s gone, I see no point in spending so much time in my morning over hair anymore.
Luna frowned as she finished clipping the long white locks and placed her hand on the razor. “What if you want your hair back after I cut it all off?”
Alana shrugged in her seat, “I lived a long life filled with love and bliss, I’m not going to feel sorry or even shed a tear over this haircut.”
“Okay then,” Luna picks up the razor and stands behind Alana. She slowly begins shaving away the remaining hair on her head. Mia, Isabella, and their clients all watching in suspense. The razor buzzed loudly and the white strands falling gently on the tile floors of the salon. Luna sighed as she made the final cuts, leaving Mrs. Bello with a buzz cut, close to her scalp. Luna nervously removed the barber’s gown and asked questioningly, “what do you think?”
Alana takes a moment to examine her new hairstyle in the mirror in front of her. “I hate it.” A noticeable moment of silence passed until Alana continued with a smirk, “but, it was just what I needed.”
Luna let out a sigh of relief and finished brushing off some of the hair on Mrs. Bello’s shoulders. The two women walked to the front desk to pay for the hair cut. Luna prepared the cash register as Alana placed down several twenty dollar bills onto the counter.
The young Gianni girl was confused, “ma’am you’re hair cut was only fourteen dollars.”
Alana nodded her head confidently, “I know, I saw the sign by the front door when I walked in. The change is for you and your sisters.”
Luna hesitated, “I cannot accept this Mrs. Bello, it’s too much.”
“I insist,” Alana continued, “you and your sisters can use the change and go on a trip. Isabella did say you all wanted to see the world. Well, consider this your first step.”
“I don’t know what to say,” Luna walked around the counter and gave the elderly woman a sincere hug of gratitude. “Thank you so much. If you ever need anything stop by the salon.”
Alana smiled, “I won’t need another hair cut, but another talk would be nice.”
Luna walked back behind the cash register and placed the bills safely inside.
Mrs. Bello continued, “you can use the money to save up for plane tickets or just go on a quick road trip up the coast. Whatever you choose to do with it, make sure you enjoy every step of the way. You’ll never get these moments back, so make the most of them.”
Luna smiled, “of course, thank you once again Alana Bello.”
She puts on her thick black sunglasses and prepares to walk out of the Rose Gold Salon. Pulling the door open, as a young man with black messy hair walks in. Alana holds the door for the handsome individual and he thankfully comes into the boutique. Alana makes eye contact with the young Gianni girl, making sure she gives her a suspicious smile.
Luna slightly blushed and told the man, “please take a seat, I’ll be with you in a moment.” Luna watching the new customer walk all the way to the designated salon chair.
As the young man took a seat Alana quietly chuckled, “at the very least you can use a few dollars and try to do something new with your hair. You never know, he might love it.”
Alana turned around with a smile and walked out the door, stepping into the warm summer air.
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Great story. I love how her hair is symbolic/ reflects her relationship with Leo.
I love how the old woman describes her relationship with her husband, I also like her insight at the end.
There were some syntax issues, and it was distracting whenever the narration switched between tenses. I didn’t find the characters all that relatable. That didn’t really come out of their two dimensions.