Seattle. Lang. How many times had he tried to call her by now? He had to be really pissed.
Let him be. He didn’t deserve her. And Harry sure didn’t deserve the way Lang had treated him. She was glad she’d left. Glad.
Except she was sad, too. And she ached a little for what she’d had with Lang when they were first together and everything was good. And she half wished she could have that back.
She was a mess.
But she wasn’t going to stay a mess. She was going to fix her head and fix her life. She and Harry would be just fine.
What if this Pearl Edwards didn’t give her a job?
No, no. Don’t go there. “We’re gonna be fine, Harry. Don’t you worry.”
Harry let out another pitiful mew. I don’t believe you.
She didn’t blame him. She wasn’t so sure believed herself either.
Arlene had left, and Pearl had just finished trimming Jo’s hair when the bell over the door of Waves Salon jingled, and in walked Edie Patterson, followed by a woman who was the image of young and hip, holding a cat carrier.
“Whoa,” said Jo, looking at her.
Whoa was right. The girl wore the latest style in jeans. Her jacket and gray sweater, while not high-end quality, were equally stylish. She had a tiny gold hoop threaded through one nostril, and when she flipped her hair aside, part of a butterfly tattoo showed on her neck. Her features were pretty, and her make-up beautifully done. And that hair. She had glorious hair—long, shimmery, and luminescent like a pearl or the inside of an oyster shell. The colors were magical.
This had to be the woman Michael had sent down. Either that or she was a gift from the hair gods. She looked around the salon, taking it all in.
Pearl saw the flash of disappointment in her eyes and suddenly knew how exposed Adam and Eve must have felt after they ate that forbidden fruit. Adam, we’re naked! Looking at her little salon through the newcomer’s eyes, she saw all the things that had become invisible to her over the years: the pink shampoo bowls, old Formica styling stations, posters on the walls showing dated hair styles like mullets and feathered bangs. The walls were the same dull cream color they’d been when Pearl first bought the place. And the ancient Linoleum floor… ugh. The place looked tired and old. With the exception of Chastity and Tyrella Lamb, who was getting her nails done, so did the women in it.
The newcomer quickly covered her disappointment with an uncertain smile.
“Hello, Pearl,” said Edie. “I met this nice young lady at Nora’s. She’s come here looking for a job.”
The woman barely waited for Edie to finish before walking up to Pearl and holding out her hand. “Hi. I’m Moira Wellman.”
Determined and polite. It made a good first impression. “I’m Pearl Edwards. Michael told me you were coming.”
Insecurity surfaced. The girl caught her lower lip between her teeth. “Do you have an opening? I’m good with hair,” she added.
“I’m sure you are or Michael wouldn’t have sent you,” Pearl said. She was aware of Jo seated in her chair, taking in every word. “I tell you what. I’ve got a Keurig in the back room. Help yourself to some coffee and I’ll be with you in just a few minutes. Okay?”
Moira nodded, picked up the cat carrier, and slipped through the curtain that separated the salon from the back area, where Pearl kept her supplies and washer and dryer and a small break area.
“I didn’t know you were hiring someone,” Jo said as Pearl returned to finish with her hair.
Pearl hadn’t known she was hiring anyone either.
Before she could speak, Chastity said, “I love her hair. I wonder if she could do that to mine.”
That decided it. “I think it’s time I did some updating,” Pearl said.