This is the latest installment of our love story. For the rest of the story, click here.
I couldn't get rid of that love struck expression. I tried not to smile with sickening sweetness, but I was just so happy. He loved me! and everything was oh so perfect.
That Thursday, I was at work and had a few minutes before my next client would show up, so I decided to give him a call.
"Hi honey." He had stopped using my first name entirely. It was always honey, or love. But never my given name.
"Whatcha doing?" I asked.
"Oh, I'm just headed over to the Maytag store to get a part for my mom."
"What? For what?"
"Her fridge isn't working."
"Oh. You can't get it at Home Depot or Lowes or something?"
"No. It's a specialty part. We have to go all the way over to Scottsdale 'cause the store here in Chandler didn't have it in stock."
Then I heard another voice. A woman's voice.
"Oh. That's weird. So... who's with you?" Jealousy had already reared it's ugly head, but Reason was trying to contain it.
"Oh, umm. It's nobody."
I heard it again. That muffled voice. Most definitely belonging to a girl.
"DadGuy. I hear them. Who is with you?"
"Um, well, actually, it's my mom."
"And my brother..."
"Oh. You're all going to the Maytag store?"
"I don't know. That's kinda weird... Are you all in your truck?"
"Yeah. We're squeezed in here."
"Um, well. Sounds fun? I'll talk to you later."
We hung up. I couldn't figure out why three adults would choose to go all the way across town together to get a part. Especially squeezed into the front seat of a truck. It just didn't sound pleasant.
"Oh well," I thought, and went back in to work.
The next day, my mom called.
"Are you dating anyone?" My mom had never been one to waste time with chit chat.
Oh no, I thought. This wasn't good. I made a point to never mention whether or not I was dating anyone because I went through boys so quickly that if I mentioned a particular name, she would get it in her head that we were dating, when the fact was that I went on a date or two, and I just didn't like him. I'd have to explain why that one didn't work and how that one was SO annoying and how that other one was too touchy, ick. No, I did not talk to my mom about boys.
"MomBabe. I asked you a question. Are you dating anyone?"
"Uh, no. No Mom. I'm not dating anyone. Why?"
"Really? You're sure you're not dating anyone?"
"Yep. I'm sure. I'm not dating anyone."
"So, do you have a boyfriend?" She was on to me. I wasn't "dating" DadGuy. It was more serious than that. But, we hadn't ever defined whether we were "boyfriend/girlfriend" so...
"No. I don't have a boyfriend... Look, I have to go into work. I'll call you later."
I hung up. She's so weird! THIS is why I never tell her anything, I thought. If I had said, 'Yeah, I'm dating DadGuy,' then she would think we were getting married or something. Sheesh.
I walked into the salon and began setting up my station for the day. I put down my things, turned on my curling irons, then I went up front to double check the appointment book.
November is always a very busy month for salons. Women want to look their absolute best when they go back home for Thanksgiving and Christmas. They need touch ups before they have their family photos taken. Yes, November is a busy month in the hair world and yet....
My clients had magically disappeared from the books.
I turned the page. No appointments on Saturday.
I looked at the other stylists appointments. They were booked solid! And what's that? My clients were given to Sonya? And to Steve? Why would they do that! I was livid.
I turned to the receptionist. "Why are my clients booked with other stylists?"
"Wh-wh-what?" she stammered.
"Why. Are. My. Clients. BOOKED. With other stylists?"
"I don't know?" she offered meekly.
I shot her a dirty look and went back to my station.
No worries, I'll figure this out. She's new, she must not realize that I've been doing their hair every 4 weeks for the last two years. She must not KNOW that I come in early and stay late on Saturdays. She must not KNOW. I'll figure it out later. I have a break later... I'll straighten it all out.
I worked for a few hours, correcting DIY color jobs, cutting and shaping and styling my regulars. My clients. My people. That stupid girl just must not realize that this was MY salon. I skipped lunch, and when I finally had a break a few hours later, I stepped outside with my best friend and nail tech, a girl I'd worked with at two different salons, Jillian.
We chatted a little while, and Jill asked me how my Saturday was shaping up. I told her I had NOTHING on the books. She was taken aback.
"Really? You have nothing?"
"I know! Okay, well, maybe not. They moved my clients all over the place, and gave some of them to Steve and Sonya. Can you believe it? I swear, this new girl is driving me crazy."
"No way! I want to see."
We went back in and looked over the books.
I showed her. "See? Here and here? And look at this? Why would they move them to next week? And I ALWAYS do her hair at 10 on Saturdays. ALWAYS."
We turned the pages back and forth and back and forth.
"I swear. This is so lame. I'm not even going to come in tomorrow. What's the point?"
We went back outside to get some air before our last appointments arrived.
My phone rang.
It was DadGuy.
"Hello." I said wearily.
"Hey!" He paused. "Is something wrong?"
"No. Well, yeah! All my clients are canceling on me. And they're seeing different people! I have NOTHING tomorrow. Nothing! On a Saturday! I'm so pissed." I looked at Jillian and rolled my eyes.
"Oh, well... Guess where I'm at?"
I wasn't amused. Did he not hear me? Did he not understand that losing my clients was a big deal? I was losing money. And now he wants to play a game?
"Uh, I don't know." I checked my watch, "Aren't you at work?"
"Nope." I could hear him smiling. I could picture him bouncing around, thinking he was so cute.
"Nope. Guess again."
"I don't want to guess again. Why aren't you at work?"
"Fine... Are you at home?"
Jillian was staring at me. "Where is he?" she mouthed. I shrugged.
"Well then I don't know! If you're not at home, and you're not at school, and you're not at work, then I don't know. I don't know where you are and I don't want to guess anymore."
"I'm at my cousin's house!"
I was unimpressed.
"Did you hear me? I said I'm at my cousin's house!"
"Uh, that's great. Listen, I gotta get back inside."
Great. I'm losing my mind AND my clients and now my boyfriend/not boyfriend went out of town without telling me? This day was shaping up to be horrible.
"You went to Utah. So, I guess I'm not going to see you later tonight. Awesome. When are you gonna be back?"
Jillian was staring at me. I motioned her to come over and listen with me.
"Okay. Here's what I want you to do. After work, I want you to go to your mom's house and pick up your plane ticket..."
Jill and I looked at each other.
"Plane ticket?" I interrupted.
"Yeah!" He was enjoying himself. "You're plane ticket is at your mom's house. You need to pack your suitcase, make sure you bring some hiking shoes, and your mom has the rest of the instructions."
"What do you mean the rest of my instructions? DadGuy. DadGuy!"
"Yeah, I have to go. Just go to your mom's house after work. You have the weekend off. I took care of it."
The line went dead.