Some walk-in customers had followed the lady luvs in, and soon appointments arrived. The salon was packed all day. Conor left soon after everyone started working to do some of his own work. Charisse interviewed the manicurist Letti had found, while she gave Charisse a simple French manicure. Her name was Kari, and she was in her thirties. She had her shiny black hair cut in a stylish bob that was longer in the front than in the back. Her nails had a pearlescent polish with a few gems to be glitzy without being too flashy. The French manicure she gave Charisse showed her skills, and Charisse told her if she kept the customers happy that day, the position was hers.
Finally at her own station, Charisse was glad to be shampooing and styling hair once again. Chatter and the roar of hairdryers filled her ears. Her longest standing customer, Tanya, insisted she get an invitation to the wedding that was sure to happen. Charisse tried to laugh it off but couldn’t help showing off the jewelry Conor had had made for her.
Though the snacking kept the dizziness away, she was exhausted during the afternoon. She had a break from scheduled appointments and told Mei not to send her any walk-ins.
Marie had stayed, helping Raul with the champagne fountain and handing out the gift bags to customers. The loveseat had just opened up, and Charisse grabbed it for a chance to catch her breath and take some pictures. When Charisse sat down, Marie sat down next to her.
“Are you okay?” asked Marie. “You suddenly look really tired.”
“I’m crazy tired,” said Charisse. She didn’t want to blurt the news out in the middle of the re-opening. “But I’ll be okay after getting off my feet for a few minutes.”
Marie clutched her hands in her lap. “I have a favor to ask,” she said. Her hair was done in beautiful beach waves, and her makeup was classic—nothing brassy today.
Charisse slid her phone into her purse and immediately worried it was about Mother. She’d tried not to think about her all day, but the thought of her showing up unannounced slipped in now and then.
“Of course,” said Charisse. “You did so much work for this, and everything looks beautiful. What do you need?”
“Daddy and Mother would really like to come by.”
“They let Daddy out?”
“Yes, this morning.”
“Marie, I can’t handle seeing Mother right now.”
“Believe me, I understand. She said all the wrong things to you. She was just really nervous, and when you hear why she left, I think you’ll understand better.”
“Why have you forgiven her? You blame Daddy for everything, but she shows up, and it’s all peachy.” Charisse tried to keep her voice down, but her emotions were running high. Fortunately, the hairdryers masked most of what she said.
Marie put a hand on her arm. “Until recently, you’ve forgiven anything Daddy’s ever done wrong. Please give her a chance.”
Charisse sighed. She felt like she’d always been the loyal daughter, but with Mother, their roles were reversed.
“All right,” said Charisse. “But have them come at the end of the day.”
Marie lit up. “Thank you. I’ll call her now.”
“I’m going back to get some coffee. Maybe you could tell Mother to pretend she’s happy to see me, and things might go better.” She went back to the breakroom, hoping her family didn’t put on a show for all the customers to see.