I was ready. I was so ready. I was more prepared than usual. I was more prepared for life, love, heartbreak, and disappointment, more so than any other ordinary, plain, monotonous day. Would that be a bad thing? Is that a bad thing? Was it a bad thing? (Give me a moment.) Like I said before, it was a dull mindset that never changed. I was always in anticipation of something big because who knew? Today had to be better than yesterday, I was constantly fantasizing. Always ambitious and always let down. I should really be used to this expectant verdict that my unchanging life held within Thomaston, Georgia. The most beautiful cerulean blue was my shade in the sky. The most aqua and seemingly Irish shade of green was what my feet lie on in the grass. It was perfect. It was what people dreamed of, I assumed. Why wasn’t I counting my blessings? Maybe I got tired of the little cute rusty red-bricked houses too quickly. The forever seemingly forever green trees that were ushering the streets that were just far enough apart were seemingly always brown to my mundane eyes. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you say. Disgusting. I was ready to live somewhere else, anywhere else.
My name is Maribelle Wilson and I’ve always been a bird on migration, for as long as I can remember. Always on my way somewhere else. Always tired of the scenic beauty of a place before I’ve ever seen. Everywhere is just yet another stamp on my dusty, seemingly old passport, just another checkmark I can put on my to-do list that is always lengthening. I never wrote it down. Length always frightened me. That was one of the reasons that I never stayed anywhere for that extended amount of time. I was born to Brady and Addison in the early 1990s on May 3 in Kensington, Maryland. Skies that only get darker the higher up high green lying on the ground with a yellowish tint, along with a beautiful green plus yellow chevron sign that presented the city. I don’t care much for the beautiful and simple things of life, I never did, until that day. (Oh, wait, what am I saying?) Yes, this is the tale of that day.
In my mission to always be changing, and never let anything remain the same as it was previously, I was going to the salon to change my hairstyle, yet again. I was thinking of bangs to surround the pale frame of my pale forehead or outline it with chocolate-chestnut hair. The hairdressers that worked at Salon Twenty One were probably the closest thing that I had to friends in that dull, beautiful Georgia town. Maybe it just is a hairdresser’s tendency to earth-shattering kindness for the sake of keeping a job, but I appreciated it. First, there was Ada Williams, who I met at the front desk with her blonde hair, highlighted with a darker brown hair. She highlighted her hair to give herself the younger look, but the gathering crinkles behind her purple glasses-covered eyes. I didn’t care. Neither did any of her customers, I swear that she was the nicest person in the world with the kindest of smiles to greet me, and the rest of Thomaston, no matter how many times we may have come there on repeat. Her greeting for me was like it was on copy from last time, as she said in her musically friendly voice,
“Good morning, Belle. What would you like us to do to your hair today?” I almost giggled as I looked down at the clothes I had chosen for the day, which clearly presented that I really had no plans for the rest of the day. Holey, Denim blue jeans shielded my legs above dark sea-blue sneakers with white duct tape covering the toes, showing that I didn’t plan to do very much walking that day because the shoes had already walked their holes in them. I had a slack yellow Tommy Jeans sweatshirt on that my ex-boyfriend, Aiden Neill had let me wear too much so I had adopted it before he could break up with my unstable body (I didn’t even cry, I saw it coming, that was only back in Roberta) that I sheathed with a baggy blue jean jacket that hadn’t had its story yet. I said with a little grin to her in reply,
“Morning, Ada. I was wondering if Kasey could possibly add bangs to the style that she did recently to my hair. I was thinking of moving to Alabama…so I need a new hairstyle, please.” Kasey gave a loud laugh at something that wasn’t what I said (she was a hairdresser, what should I expect?). Ada gave her green eyes a squint in her not that far direction (I loved her and always would, no matter how old she got) before answering me,
“It looks like Kasey is currently with someone else. Would you be willing to let someone new that we hired work on you today? Her name is Birdie. She is so nice.” It was like I was struck with lightning in a spring thunderstorm in that moment. Yes, I enjoyed my life with a constant element of change before I got too comfortable with one aspect. I was stunned. I didn’t know what to say. Before I changed in my usual flashes, I apparently liked mundanity for a split second. Since Ada was still waiting for a response, I cast my blue eyes to the side of her face, as if I was looking for something else, though I was doing the direct opposite. Kasey knew me, I mean, she knew my hair and I had done the unthinkable. I had become comfortable with her doing my hair. Before I knew it, I was before Birdie’s mirror, she didn’t look new to this type of market at all with the way her long, thin, nails covered with pink nail polish to make her seem more inviting, along with her greeting,
“What will we be doing with your lovely hair today, doll?” I didn’t bother being shocked at her absence of comment for my horribly casual outfit, it sounded like this wasn’t her first rodeo (yes, I had been to Houston, Texas, with my semi-boyfriend, semi-friend John Jones. My life was confusing, and I liked it that way…except for right now.) after I told her what I wanted to be done with my hair, expecting displeasure, I received the exact opposite. The professional way that she trimmed with and handled my hair in an effortless way, and how easy she was to talk to shockingly was in a way that if it were possible, more professional than professional. I liked it. I loved it. Maybe, just maybe, I would stay in this unchanging, beautiful Thomaston, Georgia with its blue skies, chevron sign, but mostly the people, particularly the friendly hairdressers of Ada, Kasey, and even Birdie and who knew, maybe someday attractive, dark-haired, brown-eyed Greer Martinez would finally talk to me and I would have something to gab about with the wonderful hairdressers. It was the people that made me wish to stay. With their help, I had finally discovered how to make a friend and it was beautiful.
Beauty isn’t always something you can see. (If everything they said to me in grins was just a play, it was working.)