Friday, November 30, 2007

The Haircut: Another First-Person Narrative in the Third Person

She was terrified, and that was putting it into simple terms. From the moment her friend had told her "Sorry, I can't come with you" Her day had been shot and the terror had clutched at her stomach, not letting go for anything. Her heart had begun to pound at the slightest thought of what she was going to have to do. Completely on her own. Sure, her friend had told her what to say, even shown her where to go, but she was still terrified. At least she'd been able to expresses that thought in her host country's languge.

"I'm scared," she had said, and then tried to worm her way out of it. She was short on money, couldn't they reschedule? Alas, no. The appointment had been made a week ago, and couldn't be backed out of. And so she tried to deal with it, tried to tell herself that "vso budet horosho, everything's gonna be all right"

She was telling herself that now even as she was praying that the bus ride would last forever. Normally, when she rode the bus it was a pleasant ride, one that took quite a while. Not today. She'd heard stories of convicts taking that "last long walk" She had a feeling though that it wasn't nearly as long as people were lead to believe.

Even as these thoughts were going through her head, the bus pulled up to her stop, and she found her feet hitting the snow-covered pavement. Oh she really didn't want to do this, but at the same time was resigned to it. She needed to use her still budding language skills. But what if they didn't understand? What if something went wrong? She didn't have anyone to step in and make it all okay. She had to rely completely on herself.

She started the short walk to her destination, noticing as she went that there were New Year's lights on several buildings, shining beautifully in the darkness. She noticed them, but in an abstract way, her mind was still rather pre-occupied.

She glanced at her cell. 20 after four. She was going to be there early. Crud. Yet she also knew there was no way she would've been able to sit in that apartment another ten minutes. She'd kept getting more and more nervous the closer 4 o'clock came. No chance she would've been able to sit any longer.

She was halfway there, when her nose went numb. She put a hand over that part of her face and wondered for a moment whether or not it hearalded some forthcoming doom, because surely when your nose goes numb it's not a good thing.

Just as she feared, she arrived early. 4:30 on the dot. She went inside the building and debated for a moment on what to do, She spent the moments of indicision staring into a glass case filled with really expensive shampoo. She then gritted her teeth, and her resolve and turned toward the woman behind the counter.

"Did you want something?" The woman asked. Before she could loose her resolve, she blurted out, "no, but I have an appointment at 5"
"And the name?"
She gave the name and the woman behind the counter's countenance softened. "Alright, follow me please"
She swallowed down the lump of fear in her throat and did as the woman said. The worst was over now, right?
vso budet horosho...

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