This week was kind of manageable. I’m still not speaking to my mom despite her incessant calling. Adam and I hadn’t gotten in touch since our last text, and I think it’s for the best considering what happened last time I was with him. Distance is good for me. Want to know what isn’t good for me though? Crying at the hair salon while getting my hair done.
Long story short, Daniel thought it’d be good if I were to get myself back on track.
“Yes, you missed the mourning period,” he said, “you had a part of your life stolen from you, but that doesn’t mean you have to let life go by right before your eyes.”
Call him a tough lover, but he was right. I couldn’t keep sulking. I couldn’t stay at home. I needed to get back on my feet. To help me, Daniel got me an appointment with a hair dresser. I’ve been telling him that I’ve been wanting to go blonde for a long time and I guess he heard or read enough about beauty therapy to know that getting my hair done might be a good idea. Downside is that I hadn’t cried yet and I picked the worst possible moment to let the waterworks out. I got a haircut and a light brown colour—I couldn’t switch to blonde quickly because the hairdresser kept saying it’s unhealthy for my hair—and the entire time I started sobbing and whimpering like one of those girls on the makeover episode of America’s Next Top Model.
(Random sidenote: congrats to Tyra a.k.a Bank of Top Model on her baby!).
Continuing on…the hairstylist was soooo confused and I had to blubber through spit and salty, hot tears that it was the drastic change that was making me cry.
“Oh, honey,” he said, tipping his hand low, “I totes understand. It’s like giving birth! But you’re going to love your new bay-beeeee.” He grinned brightly.
“(T)Hank yo-oh-oh-ohhhh…” I trailed off to focus on composing myself.
Good news is, I finally let it out of my system. I’d rather have it out at the salon than work, so I guess I should look on the bright side.
“You look good,” Daniel smiled as I walked into his apartment.
Oh yeah, we still haven’t set up a new appointment with the realtor and I’m hoping that apartment Daniel loves, and thinks I’ll love, is still available. With how things in New York are, I don’t think that’s a good hope to hold on to.
(And not to sound indecisive or dismissive of New York—I love New York—but I’m kind of missing California. I get these random spouts of longing and I just think back to all the good times there. Is that weird?).
I feigned a smile that didn’t reach my eyes. “Thanks.”
Daniel stood from the dining room table. It’s been the place where we work now. Apparently the new apartment actually has a study. I keep picturing Daniel and I being detectives in a movie and having desks connected, and us facing each other solving a case. Probably the only feeble make-believe that has been entertaining me and keeping me somewhat cheerful this past week or so.
“No really,” he circled me, “I think it looks good. I was expecting it to be more blonde though.”
I twirled around to face him. “It doesn’t all happen in one go.”
“Did you feel okay?”
I shrugged. “Sure.”
“I’m only trying—”
“To help, I know. I know.”
Daniel smiled and cupped my face to pull me into a light kiss. We parted, and he was about to say something before I smothered him with my lips again. With my hands at the base of his neck at the back, I pulled him closer. Wanting more of him.
“Sorry,” I said when we pulled back. “I just feel like we haven’t kissed in a long time.”
“We kissed before you left,” he said, elongating the ‘we’ quizzically.
I smiled, this time I meant it. I started tracing love hearts with my forefinger in the middle of his chest. “I know. I just feel like I haven’t been held by you in a while. You’ve been very careful around me and I appreciate that. But I want you to stop acting like I’m a fragile egg shell. I’m—” I lifted my shoulders in sigh— “okay. Or at least getting there.”
“Okay,” Daniel said. “Good. Just promise me one thing.”
“Mmm?” I kissed his neck.
“Don’t go seeing Adam again. I hate that guy.” I pulled back and looked at Daniel. He chuckled. “Why do I get the feeling that won’t happen?”
I gulped. “I can’t make any promises but I’ll try. It’s the best I can do.”
I leaned down to kiss me. “I’ll take it.”
I was spacing out in the kitchen, waiting for my tea to boil, when Justin walked in. why my dad instead of him?
“Goooood morning!” he roared brightly.
The greeting blasted my ears like a sonic boom. I cringed and replied in a monotone, “Good morning.”
“Well someone’s in a grand mood.”
“How perceptive,” I mumbled. I don’t think he heard because it sounded like ‘hsldjnglfnls’.
“How was your week off? Did you and Daniel get to some banging sessions? Kama Sutra for beginners?” he wriggled his brows.
“No, I was too busy being sad about my dad being dead and all.”
“Oh,” he lifted his brows.
“Yeah, you should feel so bad.”
“How come I never heard anything about it?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Maybe because I didn’t know he died last year.”
Justin, to my surprise, grinned. “And you’re still whining about it?”
“For your information!” I cut my voice short and started to whisper. “For your information I didn’t know.”
“You know what it sounds like to me?”
“I don’t care.”
“It sounds like, ‘his aunt just died three years ago’.”
I narrowed my eyes. “Did you just quote White Chicks?”
“Well, anyway, I better be off.”
“Oh, and before I go…”
I rolled my eyes. “What?”
“Have you spoken to Stella for a catch up on everything?”
I nodded. “Not that it’s any of your business but she said nothing’s changed.”
Justin laughed. “Oh really?” he pointed to a ledger on the counter. “I jot down some notes on her in your absence. We both know she’s sneaky, but she doesn’t know that.” His eyes glimmered with deviance.
I opened the ledger when he left and in it were notes he took down that Stella had made. Things she said to David. Additions she’s made to the marketing of Brad’s book and Brad’s overall aesthetic. Out of everything, the most confusing thing standing out on the page was a question: why is Justin helping me out?