Robin tromped into the bathroom where Raven stood waiting for him. “Okay. For starters, I ain’t thinkin’ my hair looks all that bad. But I seen what you did to Ambrose’s head. So. Yeah. Let’s do this.”
“Very good, sir.” Raven flipped a clear plastic sheet around Robin. It went all the way down to his feet.
“Eh? What’s this?”
Raven fastened the snaps on the back of the sheet. “This is to protect your tuxedo. I will not have your clean white shirt be littered with little brown hairs.”
“Tch. Stupid Raven. You shoulda done this before you got me all dressed.”
Raven stepped in front of him and gave him a dead-eyed stare.
“What? It’s the truth.”
“Perhaps. Please sit, sir.”
Robin sat in the folding chair in the middle of the bathroom. “Okay. Work your mad crazy butler magic.”
“As you wish, sir.”
Sarah winced as the hairstylist brushed and brushed and brushed her hair, pulling through snarls and jerking through tangles.
Flames lurked inside her fingernails, turning them a deep red-orange.
“Mmm!” the hairstylist said. “I looooove your nailpolish. Looks just like flames in a fireplace.”
Sarah had a feeling that she was supposed to say something funny about that. But she remembered the fire at The Institute.
The way it crackled.
The way it bit and ate everything it could touch.
The way it ate everyone it could grab.
She remembered the panicked expression on MLO’s face just before the fire consumed him.
No. She would never be able to find something funny to say about fire.
Sarah looked over at Barbara, who was sitting in the next chair. Her hairdresser was having a good time, chatting it up with Barbara as she brushed her hair. Barbara giggled and responded to her questions.
Sarah rubbed her throat.
What would it be like to talk and laugh like everyone else? Would it feel nice? Would it be like breathing? Something she’d do without a thought. What would it sound like? Would it be deep like Ambrose’s? Would it be like Jeff’s and sound like music? Or would it be all soft and girly like Barbara’s voice?
Would she be able to hear her own voice inside her head? Would her thoughts speak in her voice? Or would they sound the way they had all of her life…like a distant narrator speaking for her?
“Okay! We got all of those nasty tangles out.” Sarah’s hairdresser said. “Now! Let’s see what we can do with it.”
Sarah smiled as the other hairdresser divided Barbara’s hair into sections. It was going to be a super fancy hairstyle. No doubt about it.
“Hmm. You’re too old for the whimsical braids, but too young for anything too elaborate. Hmmmm…Oh! I know just what to do.” Sarah’s hairdresser clapped her hands and rubbed them together. “This is going to be fabulous. Trust me.”
Sarah looked at her hairdresser’s reflection and thought about it.
She trusted her.