What happened to Miss Kitty’s salon? (retouched)

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Growing up in rural Kansas, Cara’s outlets for excitement were limited: very limited. The only time her heart was ecstatic was when she and her mother would go to the big town nearby. It was a wonderland to Cara. She hated to leave the place when the day was coming to an end.

Her favorite place to go was the salon. It was a colorful place where all the popular girls got their hair done. The place was run by an older lady named Kitty. Miss Kitty was a woman who was lengthy and jovial. She never forgot a face and knew what each of her customers wanted.

She seemed to always know what Cara wanted done. A bob with wispy bangs was Cara’s go-to style. It made her look young but older, in a sense. No one did it like Miss Kitty.

Over the years, as Cara got older, the girl didn’t go to the salon as often. She let her chestnut tresses grow longer and longer. The strands became thicker as Miss Kitty wasn’t there to thin the hair. Cara noticed that her hair looked overgrown and unkempt and that she needed a haircut. Still being young, hence not having a car, Cara asked her mum to drive her to Miss Kitty’s salon to get her hair cut.

The duo got into the car and drove into town. Strangely, Cara’s mom couldn’t see Miss Kitty’s salon. The place seemed to just have disappeared into thin air. Going to the plot where Miss Kitty’s salon was before, Cara and her mom saw a a very different establishment. It was a men’s barbershop!!!

”This can’t be right”,Cara rubbed her eyes again and again, hoping that Miss Kitty’s place would shed the illusion of a Men’s barbershop. But reality couldn’t be shaken. Cara looked at her mom and said,”I’m going in”

Her mom just nodded and let her go. Cara entered the barbershop cautiously. There used to be a sweet aroma of strawberries, pop music playing, and a feminine touch. But now, there was rock music playing, a smell of cologne in the air, and a masculine style decorating the man cave. Boys of all sizes sat their respective barbers who were, indeed, women.

”Cara”,a familiar voice called from behind the counter. The girl looked to see and there stood Miss Kitty. She had not changed a bit since Cara was a little girl.

”Miss Kitty”,Cara briskly walked over to the counter, fumbling her words in a way to try and make a sentence that encapsulated all the emotions she was having in the moment,”What… what happened to the salon?!”,she blurted.

”Oh, honey”,the elderly barberette comforted the girl by wrapping her arm around the girl’s shoulders tenderly,”This is just a way to make more money”

”More money- I don’t understand”,Cara sniffled,”What about everything you have built. It’s all gone”

”I know, sweetie”,Miss Kitty nodded,”But this is a new chapter for me. I like it like this”

”But why?”Cara somberly pressed,”This is so new, what throw everything out”

”I recycled most of it”,Miss Kitty giggled heartily,”But, won’t you please come sit down. I surmise that you are in need of a trim”

”More like a haircut”,Cara allowed herself to be escorted to a barber chair. She slowly sank into the leather-bound chair that replaced the cushy styling chair of the old days and said,”Like the one you always gave me when I was young”

”Well, to tell the truth to ya”,Miss Kitty replied after she had the girl all prepped for the haircut and was brushing Cara’s chestnut tresses to its length,”I don’t really do bobs and bangs or any type of lady’s haircut anymore”

”What?!”Cara gasped,”But you always gave a bob and wispy bangs when I came in”

”I know, I know”,Miss Kitty directed one of her fingers to a board that was posted adjacent to the mirror. The board was filled with masculine haircuts.

”But- I’m a girl”,Cara protested.

”Well then”,Miss Kitty shrugged her shoulders,”I’m afraid you can leave without a haircut”

”But I need a haircut. I guess I’ll have to get one of these”,Cara scanned the board for a haircut that looked a bit feminine,”A number five looks good”

”Okay”,Miss Kitty smiled and nodded,”Let’s get started”

All the time that the girl was in the barbershop, Cara’s mom was still in the car. She knew her daughter was inside the barbershop but surmised that her little girl would be back in the car by this point. A bit concerned, Cara’s mom exited the car and went inside the barbershop. What she saw mortified her. Cara’s chestnut locks were covering the floor thickly. The girl herself had the sides of her head almost shaved. Her crown was in very tight curls. When the girl turned her head, she was startled to see her mom standing there, horrified at the site.

”Miss Kitty”,Cara’s mom fumbled her words,”What have you done to do my daughter”

”Oh, I’m very sorry love”,Miss Kitty replied,”I guess I should have checked with you to make sure it was okay”

Cara’s mom nodded slowly.

”But mom”,Cara vouched for the haircut,”I like this style. I really do”

”I know, sweetheart”,Cara’s mom composed herself as the cape was removed from her daughter,”It’s just… I wish you told me first”

”I’m sorry, mom”,Cara jumped from the chair and embraced her mom,”I love you”

”I love you too”,Cara’s mom stroked the girl’s tight curls tenderly.

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