Platinum Blonde is tall, tanned, lovely, and in her late thirties or forties—it’s difficult to tell. She’s wearing the same uniform as Greta, but in black. She looks stunning. Her hair shines like a halo, cut in sharp bob. As she turns, she catches sight of Christian and smiles at him, a dazzling smile of warm recognition. “Excuse me,” Christian mumbles hurriedly. He strides quickly through the salon, past the hair stylists all in white, past the apprentices at the sinks, and over to her, too far away for me to hear their conversation. Platinum Blonde greets him with obvious affection, kissing both his cheeks, her hands resting on his upper arms, and they talk animatedly together. “Miss Steele?” Greta the receptionist is trying to get my attention. “Hang on a moment, please.” I watch Christian, fascinated. Platinum Blonde turns and looks at me, and gives me the same dazzling smile, as if she knows me. I smile politely back. Christian looks upset about something. He’s reasoning with her, and she’s acquiescing, holding her hands up and smiling at him. He’s smiling at her—clearly they know each other well. Perhaps they’ve worked together for a long time? Maybe she runs the place; after all, she has a certain look of authority.
Then it hits me like a wrecking ball, and I know, deep down in my gut on a visceral level, I know who it is. It’s her. Stunning, older, beautiful.