5 Let“s Get Started
The high-class hair salon Jinghe usually frequented was often bustling with people and business. They had amazing stylists with surprisingly reasonable prices.
On this early, crisp, December morning, the shop was nearly deserted. Striding in confidently, Jinghe walked up to the receptionist and shot her a large smile.
The receptionist, Mrs. Xie, was a middle-aged woman who only looked half of her age. She always had a full face of makeup on, but she never looked tacky; she was the epitome of high-fashion. She was also co-owner of the salon, which a lot of people wouldn't expect from a receptionist. Contrary to her impeccable and stylish appearance, she was wonderfully sweet in a somewhat motherly way.
"Good morning, Mrs. Xie, how's your day going so far?" She said.
"I'm fine, what about you? Oh wait... it's a weekday morning; what are you doing here? Don't you have a café to work at?" Mrs. Xie replied questioningly.
"Oh, I just recently hired a new manager, and I'm looking into expanding downtown," <i> or at least I was, until that bastard...</i> Jinghe mentally grumbled that last part. She didn't want to unload all of her baggage and air all of her dirty laundry to the kind woman who was just asking a polite, conversational question.
"Ah, I see, well that's wonderful! I wish you the best of luck," Mrs. Xie beamed. "So what are you looking for today? You want me to call Hong over for a little chat about what you're going for?"
She pressed a button on the phone on her desk then murmured a few words.
A few minutes later, Hong, Jinghe's favorite hair stylist and best friend for the past few years, walked out of the back room with a small smile on his face. His hands hidden in his pockets, he wore a pair of black ripped jeans with a white band tee on top. A black, grey and white plaid was tied around his waist. His hair was longer than most guys', but not long enough for a ponytail. It was the perfect length for flipping. It also happened to be softer than her own hair, which drove Jinghe mad to no end.
He was effortlessly chic, and it didn't even look like he was trying that hard.
"Jingjing, what a surprise, you're back again! When we talked last time about 2 months ago, didn't you say you wanted to grow out your hair a little more before coming in for a trim? I think it was... Wulan? Yilan? The guy you were seeing? You said he liked long hair, so you wanted to grow it out, remember? What happened?"
At his unintended reference towards her lying, cheating, scumbag of an ex-boyfriend, Jinghe nearly broke into tears. She thought she'd been over this by now, but clearly not.
Hong noticed her eyes well up, and quickly shot a glance at Mrs. Xie. Placing his arm comfortingly around her, he led her to the sofa to sit down.
They had been friends ever since they first met in the salon. Jinghe was usually comfortable with telling Hong everything, so seeing her suddenly so upset didn't sit well with Hong. He wondered what was it that he said. Most likely her (ex-)boyfriend, he would guess. He hadn't liked that guy to begin with, when Jinghe first told him about the guy, and it was clear that something bad had happened. She had seemed so happy before though, so he hadn't felt like it was his place to say anything.
"Jingjing?" Patting her on the back soothingly, Hong brought her face up to his. He tilted her chin back so that they were staring eye to eye. Two streaks of glistening liquid were evident on her cheeks.
Then, without a word, he hugged her close. She needed someone, in that moment, and Hong was willing to be that someone. He'd get the story out of her later. Mentally however, he swore and cursed in every single way he knew how.
Looking over her shoulder at the concerned Mrs. Xie behind the receptionist counter, he mouthed, "Close the salon for today."
Seeing her nod in agreement, he relaxed and focused back on the task at hand; figuring out what that bastard had done to make such a strong willed person like Jinghe so fragile and hurt.