What happened to Miss Kitty’s salon

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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 daughter 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.

”What’s up, miss”,a man in what seemed like a biker outfit approached the girl with a smile,”How are ya?”

”What happened to the salon?!”Cara blurted,”Where’s Miss Kitty?!”

”Oh”,the man rubbed his neck,”She retired a year ago. I’m sorry, she was a good stylist but she felt it was her time to hang up the smock. Her niece is taking care of her in Michigan”

”Then why… why didn’t she tear down the place as she left”,Cara was still angry.

”Hey”,the dude countered,”She allowed me to buy the place. Look, I’m really sorry about the loss of Miss Kitty but what happened happened. I can’t do anything about it”

”I know, I’m sorry”,Cara apologized,”It’s just she’s been cutting my hair since I was a little girl”

”Well, I can cut your hair now miss”,the man replied.

Cara didn’t know what to do. She decided to get a haircut at the barbershop. The man took her back to the barber chairs. Slowly, she began to sit in the leather, barber’s chair. Her eyes looked around. Everything she remembered was gone. It was now for a manly demographic.

The man gathered up Cara’s hair and pinned it to the top of her head with a clamp. He then wrapped a piece of Barber’s tissue around her neck and secured it snugly. Next, a striped cape was swung across Cara’s body and its buttons were snapped together.

”Alrighty”,the man let Cara’s hair down,”What’ll it be”

”I want a bob with wispy bangs”,Cara requested.

Her request was met with opposition as the man replied,”Uh… we don’t do those kinds of haircuts here. If you would refer to the board”,he pointed to a poster adjacent to the mirror,”These are cuts that I can do”

”This is ridiculous”,Cara replied indignantly.

”Don’t shoot the messenger”,the man threw up his hands,”You can walk out of here at anytime, you know”

”Well…”Cara’s eyes scanned the poster for a style that was, at least, a little bit feminine. She thought for a moment. It had been years since Miss Kitty had cut her hair short and maybe she needed an equally short style to keep her occupied while she searched for a new place to get her hair done.

”I’ll have the number six”,she said defiantly to the man. He looked at the board for reference and nodded,”Good choice”

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. There, she was mortified at what she saw. Her little girl’s hair covered the floor liberally. In the barber’s chair, Cara sat with the sides of her head being bare. The barber trimming the already short hair into a high n’ tight-crew cut hybrid style. Cara turned her head and saw her mom standing there, shook to the bone. Blushing, Cara said,”Hi, mom”

”What have you done”,Cara’s mom asked the barber as well as her daughter.

”I’m sorry ma’am”,the barber smiled sheepishly,”I guess I should’ve asked you first”

Cara’s mom nodded slowly.

”But, mom”,Cara rubbed the back of her stubbly head as the barber removed the cape and tissue and turned the chair around,”I wanted this. I like this haircut. It’s the best haircut I’ve had in years. Please, don’t get mad”

”Oh honey”,Cara’s mom caressed her face,”I just wished you asked beforehand”

”I’m sorry, mom”,the girl rose from the chair and hugged her mom,”I love you”

”I love you too, sweetie”,her mother began to stroke the short, chestnut tufts on top of her little girl’s head.

Over the years, Cara would return to the barbershop to have her hair cut. The barber and her became good friends and he attended her graduation from high school. The proms were a crazy time in Cara’s memory. It was so fun to experiment with her hair as soon as she grew back some length.

After high school, Cara attended a barber’s college and got her license. She worked at the barbershop where her life changed and welcomed new comers with a hearty smile on her face.

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