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They say he has magic in his hands. But he knows why they come to him. He knows it's because they know he knows. So when he sees her walking purposefully down the street, he knows that she's coming to him. Or rather for him.
Her hair's long, curly and bouncy. He's curious whether she's a natural. And as she walks closer he can see the light bounce off her shiny mane. She's gorgeous, he thinks to himself.
She opens the door and lets herself in. Looks around and inhales deeply, loudly. Rose water, caramel mixed with an acrid chemical smell sends her in a tizz. She smiles to herself, she missed this. She hasn't been here or anywhere else, for that matter, in a while. She wants this, she needs this. So she stands there observing the people who are helping others as her eyes stray towards him.
He, in turn, keeps himself busy. He doesn't want to look eager, but he knows he's the chosen one. Heck, he knew it from across the road. So when she spies him, he seems to look rather busy. As she continues staring at him, he looks up. And as their eyes meet, she walks up to him.
Would you have some time for me, she asks him. Ofcourse, he says. He asks her to sit down. He can't help himself, so he asks her while running his hand through her hair. Were you born with curly hair? She can't help but laugh. Yes, I was, she says and tells him that for most of her childhood she was called Afrojack.
But it's beautiful, he says, and so long. Yes, she says. That's why I need you to cut them off.
He looks at her, she can see he's perturbed by her statement. He wants to know why, she can see it in his eyes. She doesn't know whether she can tell him the real reason, or even a milder version of the truth. She decides to wait until he asks her. And instead, turns to him and says, can you straighten them out too and just perhaps highlight the roots a bit as well.
It's a big job, he knows she'll tip him well. But his hands are unable to move, they are unable to detangle themselves from bounce of her hair. She picks up a magazine of hairstyles, skims through glossy sheets and finally finds something she likes. This, she says, this is what I want, pointing at the girl in the picture.
He looks crestfallen, so she asks him if he's not feeling very well. No, he says, it just feels like I am going to commit a crime. She turns around, surprised at his choice of words and tells him, if you don't it'll be a bigger crime. He's still hesitant, so she strikes a deal with him. I'll tell you why, if you cut my hair like how I want. Afterall, I'm told, you have magic in your hands.
He picks up the spray bottle and dampens her hair. Steps back for a moment, mesmerized by the silhouette. As he picks up his scissors, he glances at the magazine and tells her it'll take a bit of time.
No problem, she says, I have all the time in the world.
Snip, snip, the scissors are doing their job. In less than 3 minutes, the tresses which feel nearly till her hip are at her shoulder. It feels odd, a ticklish feeling that she hasn't had since she was a child. He brings out the chemicals, he's going to use to straighten her hair. And as he applies the mixture, he tugs at her hair gently. A hair wash later, he cuts her hair again, this time to style them. I'm not sure if I should colour them right away, he says. She tells him she wants it done today.
As he mixes the colour, he sighs wistfully. I wish I'd taken a before and after shot, he thinks to himself. He starts with the roots, finding the locks that'll frame her face, make her look spunkier. So tell me, he says, what happened.
She smiles. You know, she says, like most stories, this too began as a love story. I was his neighbour and he said he'd loved me from the day he laid his eyes on me, 8 years ago. I instead, worshipped him and as soon as we were old enough, we got married.
Before you knew it, we were both working, trying to figure out out jobs, trying to run a household and keep the love for each other alive. He never wanted anything from me, except to keep my hair exactly this way, because he loved running his hand through my hair. We couldn't get enough of each other, we'd be together every where. It was like two bodies one soul, totally filmy-style.
She pauses. He looks at her, as he steers her to wash her hair again. A rinse and some conditioner later, he makes her sit back on the chair. As he towel-dries her hair, he prods her to go on. Oh, that, she says, well, he cheated on me. So you divorced him, he asks. No, she says. Are you leaving him? No, she says.
As he finally blow-dries her hair and styles it before placing the mirrors in front of her, he asks her once again - tell me why. She smiles, and looks at herself in the mirror. Gosh, she says, you really are a magician, it's like you've made sure that it's the end of my hair problems.
Oh, she says, how long will my hair be this way. Atleast three months, he tells her. Give me a shampoo and a conditioner to make sure that all my problems stay away. He hands her a Dove Intense Repair Shampoo and Conditioner. It'll keep it supple and glossy, he tells her, and if you ever run out of it, just look for the Nourishing range.
She gets up, gives herself a once-over and leans into her handbag to pay for her new haircut. As she walks out, she hands him his tip and a piece of paper. Read it in 10 minutes, she tell him, you'll know why.
She walks out the door. He looks at the handle wistfully. It is in any case a time for a break. As he unfolds the piece of paper, a tiny paper cutting falls out. The headline reads: Woman on the run after stabbing husband. He looks at the picture in the paper. It's her.
And then he glances at the other piece of paper, it reads in cursive: I killed him.