As Connie sat looking in the mirror, Valerie walked over to her and started brushing her hair. “So do you like this place as much as the other place you were at Val?”
“Oh yeah, this place is class. I charge my new clients almost twice as much as I did at the old place. And look at this place it’s awesome. Very progressive, I love doing progressive cuts, and everyone’s so nice and helpful”, Valerie replied.
Valerie’s only been at the “Your New Image Salon’ for about two months now. She’s tallish, maybe 5 feet 8 inches tall. Has a sweet innocent cheerleader look. Medium figure and blond hair cut a little below her shoulders. She did die the underneath part of her hair is dark brown to have a bit more progressive look after starting at the salon, and it hangs out below in contrast to the light golden blond. Her look is very sleek, very silky, a modern conservative look. She was concerned when she first started at the salon, thinking they were going to make her cut her hair into some crazy style like some of the stylists have, but no one has said anything to her about it and she’s very happy about that.
“Val, only 10 more days, 10 more days and I’ll be Mrs. Tom McNabb. I can’t wait.”
“I know, I know, I’m so excited for you and I get to be the “maid of honor’. We’ll get you highlighted and trimmed up and then all we’ll have to do is put it up for you next Saturday,” Valerie responded while still brushing Connie’s beautiful below the bra length auburn hair.
“Your hair is just beautiful” Valerie comments. “I could just brush it for hours.”
Connie has only let Valerie take care of her hair since Valerie started cosmetology school right out of high school. To say Connie’s hair is auburn really doesn’t do it justice. It is the richest most beautiful natural red you’ve ever seen with soft curls that gently rest on her breasts. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. Connie’s pride and joy and one of the things that first attracted Tom to her.
Connie was having Valerie add just a hint of blond highlights to her hair for the wedding. Something she’s had done from time to time for special occasions.
“So, I take it everything all set for next week”, Valerie asks, while the two of them walk over to the shampoo station.
“Yeah I’m ready, but boy is everything expensive. Even with my parents paying for most everything. This is really put me, us, in the hole.”
Valerie grabs Connie’s arm and stops. “Connie, why didn’t I think of this before? Why didn’t I think of this before?”
“I’ve got to be in a hair show Sunday. I was told to be ready to do someone’s hair. Why don’t you come and let me do your hair. I can highlight it and trim it there and you’ll get paid. I think their paying $200 for backstage models and $500 if you’re done on stage.”
“Sweet, but what exactly does that mean. I don’t want anything done to my hair except what we talked about and I don’t want anyone touching my hair but you,” Connie replied curiously.
“But Conn, think about it I’m doing your hair there just like I would here and your getting paid for it.”
“Wellllll, what’s a backstage model got to do and is that what I would be or would I be on stage,” Connie asked.
“A backstage model just gets there hair done in the back room area and parades around on stage with other models, showing off your hair. They usually walk around a couple times during the show.” Valerie answers “and I am pretty sure you would be a “Backstage’ model. I can’t imagine them putting me on stage doing hair just yet. I’m too new. But, they told me to be there, ready to do hair, but it has to be for backstage.” Valerie says questioning herself. “But as far as you’re concerned, it shouldn’t matter. If I do you on stage, it’s more money for you.”
“And you can do what I want,” Connie asks to assure herself.
“Absolutely, I’ve heard you always try to please the model especially in front of a large audience and besides you want the model to model for you again”.
“Are you sure”? Connie asks looking for some reassurance.
“Look, what here a second,” Valerie says as she hurries up to the front desk.
She comes back a couple minutes later. “OK I just called Anthony, he’s owns this place. He confirmed everything we talked about. He says if you want to be a model, be at the Convention Center by 10:00. Find Room C and ask for Angelo. Tell him you’re with “Your New Image Salon’ and he’ll tell you what to do. You don’t need to wear anything special. They’ll take care of your total look.”
“Two hundred dollars?” Connie repeats.
“Anthony says they may even use you as a stage model â€“ that’s five hundred dollars”.
“All for getting my hair done, like you were going to do tonight anyway,” Connie asks while beginning to turn toward the door?
“That’s it, that’s all you got to do,” Valerie assures her.
“OK, I’m in. I’ll be there by 10. Look for me. That’s room C Angelo.”
“Alright Conn, I’ll see you then,” Valerie answers walking her out to her car.
When Connie told Tom the story and about the hair show and all the money, he was all for it. He couldn’t believe it. $500 or even if its just $200 for just getting your hair done and wow that money would certainly help out with all those unexpected wedding bills.
On Sunday, Connie got to the Convention Center had no problem finding Angelo.
“You’re Angelo? I’m Connie. I’m here with “Your New Image Salon’. I’m looking for Valerie, I’m supposed to be with Valerie,” Connie tells the very handsome tall man.
“Yes, yes, I see. Hmmm. Brandi, take care of Miss Connie. Get her some wine and get her registered. Have her sign both forms. I think Marcus is going to like this one. Look at all this luscious red hair” Angelo says while grabbing Connie’s gorgeous mane with both hands while directing Connie to a beautiful blond with a severe below the chin a-line.
“This way Connie,” handing her a glass of wine and leading her to a registration table. “I’m Brandi. Let’s get you all set now, shall we?”
Connie takes a sip of wine and sets it down as Brandi lays three long forms in front of her.
“This one’s for your hair, this one’s for your mod’s and this one’s payment information,” Brandi explains handing Connie a pen.
The first thing Connie notices is the payment form said $500 on it.
“Oh my god, FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. I’m going to be on stage and get five hundred dollars,” Connie exclaimed while grabbing the pen from Brandi and signing all three forms.
“That’s right. You’ve got the perfect look. You’ll be a perfect stage model. It’s that red hair. Models with red hair are always best. OK, grab your wine and let’s get you some before pics and then it’s to the prep room. What size dress do you wear, about a 5?” Brandi asks, starting to hurry Connie around.
“Umm, umm, 5 or 6 it just depends. Before pictures?” What are those for? What’s the prep room and where’s Valerie?” Connie asks suddenly concerned.
“Yeah, everyone gets them and lets see 10:30 Valerie’s should be on stage by now and the prep room is where you get all ready before you go on stage.”
Brandi touched up Valerie’s makeup, brushed her long hair and had her put on a loose fitting knee length brown dress. Not really all that attractive. “Come on Valerie, time to be introduced to the crowd. All you’ve got to do is walk to that center runway, go down the middle of it to the end, turn around and exit on the other side of the stage.”
“Go, no time to discuss it. It’s your introduction walk to the audience. Finish your wine come on, go. Just go, they’re introducing you,” Brandi says as she’s pushing Connie toward the stage.
As she walks toward the runway she’s trying to glance around and find Valerie. The lights are so bright all she really can see are silhouettes, but none of the hair stylists looks like Valerie. On her return trip down the runway, she notices that one of the models. Just smiling, oblivious to what they’ve done to her.
“Wow, that poor girl. What are they doing to her? Wait until she sees herself. She has no idea she got herself into’ Connie thinks.
Her hair was black, real black, jet black. And it has short, maybe 1 inch, deep green bangs. The one side of her hair, the finished side is sticking out like a triangle, no like a pyramid. A black pyramid. And her hair is all kinky, like somebody gave her a bad perm,’ Connie’s continues to think, “a real bad perm.’ Her bangs are straight, no perm there. Just cut short, very short. And green, a deep green color. The finished side is tight at the top and juts out to about 6 inches out at chin level. The Stylist is still working on the other side and back, but it looks like he’s doing the same thing there too. Again, it goes from the top and goes out about 6-7 inches out at the bottom. Cut very straight across the bottom. A perfect pyramid. The hair itself was fuzzy, kinky, weird.
“Wow, I’m glad I’m just getting a trim, this girl will shit when she sees what they’ve done to her.’ Connie continues thinking.
Connie couldn’t see the details of the girl’s make-up, but she could tell she had a lot of black eye liner and her lips were red to match her bangs and shaped sort of like a pucker. Weird she thought. Who would allow anyone to do that to their hair? Her hair is ruined, just ruined.
Connie stroked her long hair as completed her walk. Brandi met her and handed her another glass of wine and escorted her to the prep room. There she met Marcus.
“Hello my dear, I’m Marcus. We’re going to make you even more beautiful than you are right now.” Marcus spoke very softly and quickly. He was handsome, very handsome, and full of muscles, his arms, his chest, everywhere muscles. Gorgeous eyes and a heavy Latino accent.
“Make me what; I don’t want trim my wed” Connie bolts out almost spilling her wine.
“Yessss yes Perfect,” Marcus cuts her off and begins to sensuously caress her hair.
Connie looks right in his eyes, “Valerie, where’s Valerie? She’s ”
“Shhhh, your fine,” he says as he puts his finger on her mouth. “Shhhh”.
“Brandi, take Connie to Jeanie. Tell her to strip the hair. I’ll come down when that’s finished to help out. Tell her we need a left nostril, a Monroe on the right, and a large one in the right eyebrow. All in silver. Type “B’ makeup. Sea Green accent. Long silver earrings and put her in one of those short shimmering silver slinky dresses,” he orders now gently holding her hand and running his hand from her cheek through her gorgeous red mane.
Connie is somewhat mesmerized by his gentle touch and all that is going on. “But Valerie trim a few high liiiights, my weddi strip what?” as Connie speaks he continues to caress her and her voice fades to a whisper.
“Shhh, shhh”, Marcus says in his calming voice. “Valerie told us all about your wedding. Colors, dresses, everything. Don’t’ you worry. You will look exquisite. You will be a gorgeous modern bride. I promise you. Now, enough of your worry.” He then hands Brandi the hand he was holding and Brandi slowly leads Connie, still quite mesmerized or drunk, to the prep room.
The prep room was a large room with a lot of action. Everyone bustling around. More wine. Hair everywhere. Make-up being applied. Brandi goes up to an older woman who appears to be in charge and talks to her for a minute or two. The next thing Connie knew three girls were escorting her over to an open area with a styling chair.
One of them hands Connie a very small, beautiful silver dress. “Here before we get started put this on.”
Connie, who is beginning to get a buzz from the wine, obeys mindlessly.
The dress is very revealing, barely covering her bottom and very tight. But, it looks great on her; it hangs in all the right places and is tight in other and really makes her look very sensuous.
As soon as Connie returns she’s literally pushed into the chair and covered with a cape. One girl, no two girls start working on her face and the other two are all over her hair. Sectioning and tugging and applying wet stuff. Combing then washing, more goo applied not only to her hair but her face as well. Another girl comes over and starts doing her nails. Marcus even showed up for a while.
Connie loves the attention and with all the action going on is oblivious to any one detail of what’s happening. Her face is virtually numb, from the make-up remover although she can feel a prick here and yank there. But, that is no worse than the pain associated with that pulling of her hair.
Finally, what really seemed like minutes to Connie, Brandi returns. “Time for your big stage appearance. Now I’ll lead you to a chair on stage. When you get there the best thing to do is just stare out at a spot above the audience. Marcus will move your head in the position he needs it. Just relax. When he’s done, walk around just as you did before and I’ll meet you again at the side. You’ll then have more photos taken and possibly a modeling agency may ask you some questions. You know three or four girls get their pictures in a magazine or two every year after doing the show.”
“Wow, that’s sweet. I’d love that,” Connie replies walking with Brandi.
“Now, the dress will show off your legs and when your walking be sure to strut your stuff, and wiggle that ass,” Brandi directs.
“But, what happened to Valer ie? She wassss ,” Connie’s voice fades.
“She’s probably heading to her shoot right now. Now, don’t worry about her, you’re on. Come on, your on,” Brandi repeats walking her toward the stage.
As they enter the stage, Connie notices that girl that was getting her hair done on stage before. Connie was right her hair ended up like a black pyramid of tightly kinky hair. She’s wearing a deep dark green blouse which matches her short bangs and a black skirt that flairs out similar to her hair. As she gets closer Connie notices a lip ring with a green ball on it and diamond stud in her nose. “Poor girl,’ Connie thought. As they pass on stage the girl is smiling and whispers “Hey, Connie”.
Connie stops in her tracks and looks back. “Valllll Wha ” Brandi tugs on her arm and leads her to the styling chair where Marcus is waiting.
Connie sits in the chair, still stunned by what she thought may have been Valerie. “My god, was that’ Connie thinks. Before she can finish that thought she feels Marcus push her head to the side and she remembers what Brandi told her and finds a spot out in the audience to focus on.
In the mean time she hears Marcus directing the audience to view the side screens and see what his model looked like when she first arrived here.
Connie turns her head to see one of the screens and catches a glimpse of her video of her before walk with her long red hair flowing behind her. A second later, Marcus grabs her head again and gently turns it back toward the crowd.
“Oops’, Connie thought while Marcus took off the towel that was covering her head and started combing it out.
She thought she heard some gasps in the crowd, but it was really hard to hear anything on stage.
Connie was getting excited now. No, longer thinking of what may have been Val. After seeing that picture she was envisioning how highlights and maybe some bangs would look on her in her wedding dress.
While she’s day dreaming of her wedding, Marcus is working away and talking to the audience. Every now and then she can make out what he’s saying. She did hear enough to know he’s told them she’s getting married, her colors are sea green and silver and something about a modern bride. She continues to feel tugging, but the noise of music blaring, the audience’s constant hum and her wine buzz is keeping her from understanding everything that’s going on. She finally conceded to just enjoy the experience and day dream about her wedding.
In what seems to be no time at all, Marcus removes the cape revealing the completed Connie for the first time. He introduces her as the “tomorrows bride’ while escorting her to the center catwalk. Her dress shimmering in the lights barely long enough to cover her rear end and she feels long earnings almost brushing her shoulders. She doesn’t see her hair hanging down and figures he did a modern updo. As she starts down the runway the audience begins to rise and applaud. Whistles ring out, cheers. People shouting up to her, gorgeous, how cute, how brave love it’
Connie is really excited now. She must be gorgeous. She is truly going to be a beautiful bride. The people love her look. She continues to strut her stuff listening to this unbelievable the response. As she returns Marcus greets her kisses her on the cheek and walks off stage with her.
Brandi meets her while a crowd of photographers snap pictures. Brandi takes her over to a woman sitting at a table. “Hello, I’m Sally Jenson. You look exquisite, just what we’re looking for. I’m with “Tomorrow’s Bride’ and well pay you $5,000 if you’ll allow us to photograph your wedding. $15,000 if you’ll allow us to do an article on you each of your first six months of your marriage. What do you say?”
“Say what- $5,000 for just taking pictures of my wedding? And did you say $15,000 for a article a month.”
“That’s right,” Sally responds. “We just want to take pictures of you at your wedding â€“ “tomorrows look for tomorrow’s bride’. The hair, the make-up, the dress, the whole look is is is perfect. And Marcus said he’d be sure you looked just as you do now on your wedding day. Then if you want we’ll do a monthly article for 6 months about how you’ll adjusting to married life. Again, Marcus will maintain your look. What do you say – – – Fifteen Thousand Dollars?”
“Where do I sign,” Connie quickly answers, not even knowing what “tomorrow’s look’ even is.
After about a half an hour of consent excitement and the bustling began to wind down. Connie hears a familiar voice.
“Connie, Connie, I’m so sorry. Connie over here, Connie.”
Connie recognized the voice. It was Val. “Val where were you.” She replies turning and looking around. Then she notices the girl with the black pyramid hair coming toward her.
“My god Val, what did you have them do to you?” she asks while looking at Valerie from top to bottom. “My god, your hair. It’s, it’s, it’s, so different.”
No more blond hair, no more innocent cheerleader look. She now looks like something out of a freak show. Heavy make-up, kinky black pyramid hair, even what looks like piercings.
The bottom of her sticking out â€“ straight out. Straight short green micro bangs. A diamond stud in the left nostril. A green lip ring in the right side of her lower lip. Eye liner lining her eyes and cupie doll lips.
“I talked to Anthony. He loves my look, can you believe it. He loves my look. He insists I keep it until they come up with something better. Something better, are you kidding me. They’ve ruined my hair, feel it. It feels like a F!@&*N “Brillo’ pad. “A damn Brillo pad.” Valerie shouted.
“Val, Val, I signed a contract,” Connie interrupts excited about her own situation. “”Tomorrow’s Bride’ is giving me $15,000 to photograph my wedding and some articles about my marriage. Can you believe it, can you believe it,” Connie continues.
“Connie, do you see me, did you hear me. Anthony says I have to look like this for a long time.” Valerie says while gently shaking Connie.
“And you. What they do to you? My god, you’re wedding. I sorry, Connie. I thought I was going to do your hair. When I got here they just took me and the next thing I knew I was on stage. But you, how’d they ever talk you into that?”
“That?” Connie stands up slowly and starts walking hurriedly to a mirror with Valerie following. Marcus notices and walks over just about the time she reaches the full length mirror.
“MY HAIR! MY RED HAIR!” Her hands shooting up feeling for what’s left of her hair.
“I know, don’t you just love it. It’s a veil cut.” Marcus interjects.
Connie staring at a person in the mirror that doesn’t in anyway resemble anything like she used to look or ever would want to look like. Here hair color is white with a silvery sheen to it. Bangs just reaching the eyes. The sides are just mid earlobe in length. There’s a sea green hue peeking through. The white hair has been thinned out so it’s only just a few hairs thick. You can see through it, to a very short sea green undercut.
Marcus starts to describe the look to them. “You see, it’s undercut to here, pointing to about 3 inches above the ear, “clippered, just long enough so no skin show’s through and you get a nice solid green. Sea green to match you bridesmaids dresses. Then the top was colored white with a touch of silver so that it would pick up the light and was severely thinned out to just barely cover the undercut. Thinned out so that the way it lays over the undercut you can see the green behind it. The bangs are done the same” he explains, as he lifts the thin white bang revealing the 1 inch micro sea green bang underneath. We squared off the hairline in the back. And the piercings, they sparkle in the bright lights on stage.
Connie jerks her face to face the mirror again.
“Oh, they work with your make-up so well” he continues.
Sure enough her eyebrow had a shiny silver ball in it peeking through the thin layer of white bang.
“My god what’s this” she says touching the brow piercing. “And my eyebrows What happened to my F&%$#n eyebrows?”
“Don’t they compliment the bangs well? They’re dark enough to just peek through too.”
“Peek through, they, they, they look painted on.” Connie exclaims.
“Not painted, tattooed.”
“That was Sally’s, from “Tomorrow’s Brides’ idea. She’s seen it before and thought it would help finish the look. We couldn’t have those think shapeless red ones, now could we? So, we removed those and gave you some with some real shape. See how they are sort of a long sideways “S’ shape. They’re the perfect shape for your face and will compliment virtually any color and style you do with your hair.” Marcus proudly says.
Then she noticed her Monroe. The same, a large silver ball above her right lip.
“Don’t forget the nose” Marcus pointed out.
“There’s a small diamond stub in your left nostril to help reflect any light.”
Connie kept examining her look. Touching her new piercings. Rubbing her bristlely hair. Trying to figure out her new eyebrows. Her make-up was almost Egyptian. Black eyeliner on the upper lid and lower eyelids. Extending out about an inch beyond the end of the eye. Her eyelids were covered with a heavy application of sea green eye shadow all the way up to her eyebrows and finally her mouth had sea green lipstick covering the lips.
The entire time Marcus continues explaining the look and how awesome it is. Connie’s hands couldn’t get away from touching her hair or lack of it. Like she was searching for more. No more tugging at her long red locks, no more curing her hair around her finger. No more having Tom run his hand through her long red locks. Now just feeling the bristles, green bristles at that.
“I understand you signed with “Tomorrow’s Bride’. That’s great. I can’t wait to see the wedding. You be sure to be to the salon nice and early on Saturday so we can trim that undercut and touch up the color before your big magazine debut and oh yeah your wedding. You too Val” Marcus reminded the both of them.
Connie looked over at Valerie and they both grabbed each other.
In unison, almost like they rehearsed it, they both blurted out, “my hair it’s ruined, what am I going to do,” And burst into tears.