A Girls' Day With A Girl's Gossip

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I can tell Lindsey is looking for Scott’s car, so I roll down the window and yell her name. It is loud enough to make her jump in surprise then ecstatically run over and hop into my car.

“Mitch! Why are you here?!”
Those gaps in her teeth get me every time.

“I’m taking you somewhere.”

“Does Dad know? Where are we going? Do I get ice cream?”

I laugh. “Maybe. Your dad knows, and you don’t get to know until we get there.”

“Then let’s go!” She exclaims.

I wish I still had the excitement in me that she does. Does that just magically disappear when you turn eighteen? “This car doesn’t move until you buckle up.”

She groans and fumbles to get her seatbelt on. “Is it Chuck E. Cheese? Or Build-A-Bear?”

“Not nearly that exciting,” I say, setting the car into motion. She makes a hmph sound as I drive carefully out of the school parking lot, making sure no kids are going to run in my path.

“How far away is it?”

“I don’t know, like, twenty minutes?” Kids her age can tell time?

I would be a terrible parent.

She doesn’t respond, just watches out the window, announcing when we enter a different town. “We’re in Hosper.”

“Yep.”

She shrugs and continues watching the houses we pass by. I wonder what she’s thinking about. I used to narrate what people were doing in my head. In fact, I still do. I’m that person at parties who makes up fake conversations of the people I’m watching. A girl might be holding up a glass giving a speech about living life to the fullest and in my head, from afar, I’m imagining (or saying out loud, depending on who I’m with) I have the worst bedhead in the morning, it’s insane. Do any of you get that? Also, I got wasted last night, but I’m still here for a second night of partying because I’m lonely.
Okay, yeah, I’m pretty sure Lindsey doesn’t do that.

When we pull in front of the hair salon, she looks at me confused.

“I told you it wasn’t that exciting.”

Her eyebrows unfurrow when it clicks in her head why we’re here. “A haircut?”

“A haircut. Probably your first one in ten years.”

“I’m eight.”

“Exactly.”

She smiles goofily, which reminds me of Scott, even though that’s genetically impossible. I can tell she’s excited. That makes me happy.

-

We’re told there’s a ten minute wait, so we spend that time looking looking at possible hairstyles. She can’t decide. She tells me she’s always had the same style.

“Do you trust me?” I ask, already picturing seven different cuts. Her face is just a little bit too chubby for a bob, and I don’t think a pixie fits her.

Lindsey nods, as if it’s obvious, and when the stylist calls us back, I quietly tell her what I’m picturing. I even ask her to straighten it because they have those nice, ceramic straighteners that will make Lindsey’s hair incredibly smooth. The stylist agrees, I wish Lindsey good luck, and I pull over a stool to watch the magic happen. I’m strangely nervous. The stylist begins by cutting off about two inches, and then keeps working her way up from there to make sure she doesn't chop off too much at a time. My heart is beating fast, and I can see Lindsey's eyes go wide as her hair begins dropping to the floor.

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