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March 13, 2018

It's Desi's Time

“My name is Desiree, but everyone calls me, Desi.”

Desi offered the woman her hand.

“Thinking of a master plan,” the woman said, reading the tattoo that ran the length of Desi’s forearm. “I bet you are.”

She chuckled.

You'd better know it...

Copyrighted Material 2017 - Vonna Ivory Joseph

The shop was locked up and dark. Desi pressed her hand against the glass and peered through to the back. She saw a sliver of light from beneath the closed door of one of the VIP suites.

“Goddang it! I ain’t got time for this mess today,” she said, banging against the cold plate glass. She checked her watch again. “For five years! Can her unprofessional behind be here on time for at least a percentage of the time? Hey!” she yelled, taking off a glove and pounding on the door again.

A door in the back opened, letting out a bright stream of light and the muffled sound of loud music.

“You gon’ let me in or what?” she yelled at the shadowy figure.

A short, stout woman dressed in all black came to the door and let her in.

“I’m sorry, I was washing towels and didn’t hear you out here. Come on in,” the stylist said. “Do you have an appointment?”

She walked around the peeling faux leather reception desk and leafed through the appointment book.

“Yes,” Desi said, rolling her big brown eyes. “With Tatiana’s late ass!” Desi slapped a hand over her, mouth. “Excuse my language. She makes me so mad being late all the damned time. Sorry,” she said again. “Do you have somebody back there with you?”

Desi craned her neck towards the back.

“No, I don’t. Because my client is running late, too. And, I only hold appointments for twenty minutes, so” she said closing the book. “What can I do for you?”

“I need my microlinks tightened.”

Desi removed the cable knit cap she was wearing and ran her long, pointy nails through her hair. The woman walked around the station and fingered through Desi’s hair, too.

“But, hold up.” Desi said grasping the woman’s wrist. “I can’t pay what VIP clients pay for sitting back there in that private room. So how much money we talking about?” Desi asked.

Desi’s frank talk brightened the woman’s round face. She laughed and waved Desi back to the VIP suite.

“Come on here, I ain’t got nothing going on. I’ll take care of you, Sister!” the stylist said laughing.

“I appreciate you! Tatiana’s got to learn to respect people’s time. And some money is always better than no money.”

Desi took off her coat and scarf, then plopped down into the woman’s chair.

“This real nice, back here,” she said, looking around

The suite. “My name is Desiree, but everyone calls me, Desi.”

Desi offered the woman her hand.

“Thinking of a master plan,” the woman said, reading the tattoo that ran the length of Desi’s forearm. “I bet you are.”

She chuckled.

“I’m Tonya. Now you sure it ain’t gon’ be no drama with Tatiana about you being back here?”

“Drama? Tatiana knows not to toy with me. She can’t handle her business, that’s her problem, but when it messes with mine—it’s my problem. And I’m a problem solver. Hell, I got to get to work. Ain’t nobody got time to be playing around here all doggone day,” Desi said. “We had an appointment. Where the hell she at? I wish she would!”

Desi was entertaining. She was quick witted and unfiltered. The women chatted easily. “Those your boys?” Desi asked, pointing at a picture of three little boys with a striking black woman and a handsome white man, on Tonya’s station.

“Yes, Ma’am, that’s them.” Tonya answered, pointing her comb at the frame. “That’s my oldest, Alexander, and that’s Garrett. The light skinned one is their cousin, Luca and those two are their grandparents. Their daddy’s people, not mine.”

Desi narrowed her eyes.

“Can I see it?”

Tonya handed the young woman the frame.

“Holy shit,” Desi drawled just above a whisper. “Is this old crackhead Tina? Tina Barnett?”

Tonya blinked hard. She turned the woman around in the chair to face her, with a hand on her hip.

“Her name is Valentina Barnett-Johannessen, but she ain’ no crackhead. And far from it. She’s rich and that’s her rich, doctor husband who is from Norway or some damn where,” Tonya said pointing at the tall white man in the picture. “His name is Mix.”

“Get the hell outta here! You sure about that?”

“Absolutely! She’s my boys’ grandma. They run a drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic, downtown.”

Desi’s jaw dropped open and her almond shaped eyes narrowed to slits.

“Who’s your boys’ daddy?” she asked, stammering over her words.