by Tairish
It took quite a bit of time for all the rollers to come out, but it was worth it for the result.  The special sized rollers were part of the trick, plus the strong setting gel, plus not putting too much hair on each roller.  The result was a beautiful old fashioned barrel curl.  Actually nearly 100 of them.  And each was a solid roll from root to end.  All of Mandy’s length seemed to shrink up.  The furthest any strand now reached was halfway down her back.  Of course the masses of curls lying one on top of another also made it look like Mandy had ten times the amount of hair she really had.

Now came the tricky part.  This style would have no hairpins.  Instead, Mandy relied on the holding power of each individual curl.  She took some of the front strands and started weaving them in and out of others, allowing them to work their way to the back of her head.  When done, the entire front section was drawn back in what looked like an intricate maze of curls.  These then were reformed into the individual barrel curls, which now only reached down to just below her shoulders.  This made it look like the volume of hair had just been double again.   It didn’t look possible that one woman could have so much hair.  It looked like it had to be a wig, yet it was impossible to see where a wig could be attached.  It was a style that had to be impossible yet, there it was.   It was a true wonder.  A long thick layer of spray held the marvel all in place.

Her dress was black, much of it lace, with some sheerness to it.  Not a lot, but just enough to make someone wonder.  The thin black bra and thong she wore underneath were not even noticeable.  Not that she looked naked, but the dress definitely made you take a second look, or a third, and fooled you into thinking you were seeing something that you weren’t.  It was also definitely the sexiest dress she had ever owned.

Four inch heels, open toed, were an obvious choice, as was the heavy makeup with eyes that popped and wet, moist lips.  The expression “dressed to kill” could easily have been invented just for the way Mandy Harper looked at that very moment.

She also took a nice warm, but dressy jacket, having been warned that temperatures on top of the mountain were in the 50’s or less in the evening.  Two miles up in altitude make quite a difference.

Matt couldn’t wait for this date.  He had ridden the tram once, amazed at the view from the top though he hadn’t seen the sunset up there that particular day.  He knew the moment he saw the restaurant at the top that he wanted to take Mandy there if he could ever get her out west.

He dressed quite nicely, in jacket and tie.  His hair had been cut that morning and he wasn’t too keen on it, allowing his barber to taper the back rather than block it.  It looked and felt much too short to him, and hoped Mandy wouldn’t mind.  That was the last time he would listen to his barber’s advice.  He also brought Mandy a beautiful vase with a lovely arrangement in yellows and oranges.  He hoped she would like it, not minding something other than his usual red rose he liked to bring her.

There were numerous times in his courtship with Mandy where first sight of her had literally taken his breath away.  Tonight made all those other nights seem miniscule.  She was, for lack of any other word, positively gorgeous.  It wasn’t the hair that struck him first, though the countless barrel curls were amazing to look at.  Nor was it the dress, which was a dress belonging to an actress on the red carpet.  Nor was it her makeup, which was positively flawless and brought her features out in a way that simply melted him.  It was the way she was looking at him which really sold it all.  A look of absolute confidence that she was the most enticing, amazing, and desirable woman in the world.  And he believed it too.  She had never looked better.

He was speechless as he just stood there.  She did a few runway turns allowing him to see her dress from the side, from the back (where it was cut quite low, several inches below where her barrel curls stopped), and to marvel at the mass that was her hair.
“I’m afraid to touch you.”
“Don’t be, I won’t break.”
He cautiously drew her into his arms, delicately kissing her afraid to mess up her lips.  His hand gently touched her curls, the feel of them immediately making him throb.

The drive into Albuquerque was quite difficult for Matt, as all he wanted to do was look at Mandy and not the road.  And she knew what effect she was having on him too, not letting up at all.  Instead it was almost like she was trying to make him crash the car.  She positioned herself in such ways that her dress rose up high on one leg, or so he could note how low cut it was in front.  With her left hand she would take turns, occasionally playing with some of her barrel curls, stretching them down and then watching them return into shape as if nothing had happened (which was driving Matt wild with desire) or gently stroking the short tapered back of Matt’s fresh haircut.  While he wasn’t crazy about how short it was, the feel of her nails against the short stubble was a new and surprisingly erotic experience.
“You cut your hair today, didn’t you?”
“I wanted to look my best for tonight.  I think it’s a bit too short in back though.  I think the barber went a little scissor happy.”
It was actually at least an inch shorter than Mandy had ever seen on Matt, but for some reason she really liked it, both the look but even more the feel.  “I don’t think so at all.  In fact I quite like it.”
“Really?!”  He hadn’t expected this.  “You don’t think the back is way too short?”
She ran her nails across it again.  “Actually, I think that is my favorite part.”

Matt silently thanked his barber for encouraging him to try something new.  “OK then.  It’ll be easy enough to ask for it like this again in the future.”
Now she was really driving him wild, leaning into him, tugging at her curls with her right hand, stroking the back of his head with her left.  How he kept his car on the road was a total mystery.

The tram ride up Sandia Mountain takes about 18 minutes, and each car can hold around 50 people.  Their car wasn’t full, with perhaps 30 passengers.  Usually everyone would be looking out the windows at the fabulous scenery unfolding in front of their eyes.  On this particular trip Matt wondered if anyone, besides Mandy, was looking out a window.  He knew all he wanted to look at was her, and anytime he looked around the car saw heads (male and female alike) quickly turn hoping not to be caught staring at his girlfriend.

Mandy certainly was staring out the window, marveling at the rugged mountain that seemed even bigger the higher the tram car climbed.  She spotted a mountain goat, plus numerous hikers on a trail by one of the midpoint towers.  But it was the mountain itself that was fantastic, as well as the views from the other direction as she could overlook the entire city and well beyond in every direction.  It made her momentarily forget what she was wearing, and how she looked, and what she was doing to Matt.  But when the car docked at the top and the passengers left, each trying to sneak a last peek close-up to Mandy, she refocused on her efforts of sweeping her boyfriend off his feet.
As they were led to their seat in the restaurant Matt could hear the whispers of the other dinner guests, much as he had heard so long ago in The Winery at Penn State, pointing out the beautiful woman with the amazing hair who had just entered the room.
As they sat and looked at the menu, Matt was speechless.  Mandy knew exactly how to play her cards at this moment, not trying to say anything.  Instead she would subtly wet her lips, or play with one of her barrel curls, or shake her head a bit so more of the barrels fell forward of her shoulder.
Finally he had to say something.  “You look absolutely amazing!”
“Thank you.  I’m glad you like it.”
“I’d almost forgotten how you look when you dress up.”
“I’m happy to refresh your memory.”
“You’re welcome to do so any time you wish.”

Dinner conversation went well, though Matt avoided talking about dancing or Jolene.  Mandy finally introduced the subject as their main course arrived.
“I never realized how good of a dancer you were until I saw those videos of you and Jolene dancing.”
“I’ve been working at it a lot, let me tell you.”
“I’m sure you have.”  She left it at that.
“So do you think we look good together?  Jolene and I?  Dancing, that is?”
Mandy tried to contain her emotions.  “I’m no expert, but you two look fantastic together.”
“My mom and dad taught me that there are three important things for a couple to have if they want to win over an audience and judges, besides just being good dancers.”
“And what are those?”
“First, they need to be pleasant to look at.  They don’t have to be gorgeous or have great bodies, but easy on the eyes doesn’t hurt.  If they look too fake, too made up, or too outrageous that doesn’t help.  Basically like the kind of people you’d want to get to know and want to look like on the dance floor.”
“OK, I’ll buy that.  And the second?”
“They need to look like they are having fun on the floor.  If it looks too serious or like work, than what is the point?”
“I can’t wait to her the third.”
 He said it softly so only Mandy could hear.
“They need to look like they would be great in bed together.”
Mandy didn’t have any reply to that.  She just sat wide eyed wondering where this conversation was leading.  She had to agree that the video she saw that morning had such an effect on her.
“A little over a week ago Tony came down and watched us rehearse.  I’ve told both he and Jolene my parents’ theory, which I quite agree with by the way.  They agree too.  So anyway he watches us dance and says we are really missing in that third area.”
Mandy almost choked on her dinner.  “Missing?!  You mean like…. Lacking?!”
“Yeah.  We watched the films and had to agree.  So for the past week we’ve really tried to turn up the heat.  The other day Tony came down again and watched, and was laughing so hard he had to watch from the next room so as not to ruin our practice.  Jolene was really hamming it up for him.  I’ve got the video in my VCR at home right now if you want to see it.”
Mandy was looking down at the table now, unable to make eye contact.  “No, that won’t be necessary.”
“It just felt so strange trying to be that way with her.  I really had to work at it.  The only person I want to be that way with is you.”
Mandy fought back tears.
“So anyway, after Tony left we practiced some more, and just couldn’t do it.  I wish we got it on video so you could see the difference.  Apparently the only time she can behave that way is if her husband is watching, like she’s trying to turn him on or something.  And I couldn’t get into it that way at all.”
This time Mandy couldn’t hold back the tears and they started rolling down her cheeks.
“Hey, are you all right?”
“Yeah, fine.”  She fumbled in her purse for a tissue.  “I’m just….I don’t know….stupid.”
“I saw that film this morning and thought you two were…., well, doing more than just dancing.”
“Really?!”  Matt was smiling, but then realized how inappropriate that was and wiped it off.  “I mean…, were we really convincing?”
“Totally.”  Her mascara was now running.
“You don’t know how hard that was for me to do.  The only way I could even fake it was to imagine that I had you in my arms.”
The tears flowed even faster now.  “If you’ll excuse me, I really need to find a restroom.”
“Of course.”  He stood as she left the table.  Couples around them peeked over, wondering what was so wrong with the woman with the amazing hair.

The mystery party was in full swing.  Since it was a full moon and a beautiful summer evening, it was held out on the patio by the pool.  Jolene and Tony (Betty Beehive and Sleazy Rider) were very much the most outrageously dressed for the party, but not by a lot.  All the 8 guests had spent a great deal of time and effort to at least look the part.  Teresa and Mark Antonio had obviously spent a great deal of money on their costumes as Barbie and Ken Doll, the hosts.  Teresa had bought a bouffant blonde wig and had a pink jumpsuit designed just for the occasion.  Her makeup artist did a great job of making her look anything but Hispanic.  Ken too wore a blonde wig, and spent his share of time at the makeup table making him look totally Caucasian.  The other guests (also all from the neighborhood), who’s names were Dean James, Sandra ‘E’, Pelvis Wesley and Flower Child, all obviously put similar effort in their costumes. But Jolene’s bouffant stole the show, and all the ladies had to at least touch it to really assure themselves it was real (the men wanted to do so too, but didn’t ask though were quite attentive to the conversation), plus ask if she were worried that it might have damaged her hair.  She replied “No”, successfully hiding her concerns from all.

As the evening plot unveiled itself, all the couples were busy taking notes and playing up their parts, trying to be the first to determine the killer of Flower Child’s boyfriend, Tattoo Jones.  It was proving quite the challenge which was a pleasant surprise to all of them.  Alcohol flowed freely as the party went several hours longer than anticipated.

Mandy returned to the table, her eyes dried and her makeup once again pristine.
“Are you OK?” Matt asked once again, genuinely concerned.
“Actually yes.  In fact much better than I was earlier.”
“Was it something I said?”
“No, something I let myself believe.  I was….jealous, of you and Jolene.  OK I said it.  I actually thought there was something going on between the two of you.”

Matt started laughing hard, then quickly tried to calm himself.
“It’s just she is such a good dancer, and beautiful, and refined, and I’ve been gone and she’s been here and when I saw that tape….well, my concerns got the best of me.”
Matt reach out and grasped both her hands.  “You are the only person I want to be with.  Only you.  You bring the magic into my life.”
 If they weren’t so focused on each other, they would have noticed the smiles, and sighs, and tears of joy on the faces of all the other customers within earshot.

Despite the fact the killer had been uncovered (Sandra ‘E’ wasn’t the model of propriety she made herself out to be) all eight of the guests stayed in character much longer, not wanting the evening to end.  Champagne was now being served, and everyone was pretty well intoxicated.  Somehow Pelvis Wesley fell into the pool, which started a chain reaction.  Soon everyone was completely drenched, and everyone took turns dunking one another.  All were amazed that Jolene’s huge beehive, though noticeably sagging, took quite some time before it started sagging.  But finally the water started bringing the tower down, and though the two rollers held fast with much of the hair around it, some of her length started to fall down her back, clumped in a huge mass about halfway down her back.  It was not a pretty scene though Jolene was a little to inebriated to think about it.  Finally the party broke up, as everyone’s teeth were chattering too much to continue.  The Ramirez’s walked home giggling and shivering.  They had just enough time to change out of their wet clothes, dry off and climb into bed before they were out like a light.  They slept, naked, wrapped in one another’s arms.  Jolene’s majestic Beehive was now in total disarray, a huge mass of snarls with no obvious shape.  The rollers were being tugged every which way, but she made no effort at taking it down.  That was up to Mandy in the morning.

The dinner had been scrumptious, and combined with the stunning sunset over the city, and the tram ride both up, during the day, and down to the lights of the city below made it as memorable and romantic an evening as Mandy could imagine.  By the time Matt pulled into the driveway and they went inside the Johnson home (Richard and Elaine had long since gone to bed) Mandy could hardly contain her want for her boyfriend.  They went to her room, the guestroom, which was furthest from the master bedroom in the split wing house, and quickly were in each others arms.  Then Mandy basically through Matt onto her bed and climbed on top of him.  The sight of looking up at her, as she teased him by having her curls bounce off his chest and face, was probably as close to heaven as he had ever been.  It wasn’t until nearly 4 a.m. that Matt and Mandy finally fell asleep.  They had made love to each other numerous times, and just spent time reintroducing their bodies to each other the rest.  It was gentle, it was romantic, it was a perfect evening.  Neither could imagine a better date.

Mandy woke to the sound of her phone by her bed.  Her hair was wrapped all around her, the barrel curls only showing the first signs of loosing their bounce.  It was all dishevel on top though, as most of the intricate interweaving had somehow come undone.
“Hello Sleepyhead. How did your evening go?”  It was Jolene.  She sounded every bit as tired as Mandy.
“Marvelous.  And yours?”
“We had way too much fun.  Way too much.”
“What time is it?”
“Believe it or not it’s almost noon.”
Mandy sat up, in disbelief that she had slept in so late.
“I was wondering if you could come over soon and restore my hair.  I’m more than ready to say goodbye to Betty Beehive.”
“Is it still holding it’s shape?”  Mandy didn’t expect any answer but a definitive yes.  She had put enough spray in the creation to hold for weeks.  Probably overkill in fact, which was saying a lot for Mandy.
“Actually it looks pretty odd right now.”
“How’s that?”
“Well, everyone ended up taking an unscripted swim in the pool.”
“You mean you got it wet?”  She tried to mask her concern.
“Well, yeah.  In fact I got dunked probably as much as everyone else put together.  Everyone was amazed it just wouldn’t fall apart.  It sure doesn’t look like a Beehive now though.”
“Is it dry now?”  Mandy was totally awake now.
“I should hope so.  I towel dried it a bit at first when I got out of the pool.  Teresa even started hitting it with a blow dryer for a few minutes until I suggested that might not be such a good idea.”
Indeed it wasn’t, Mandy thought to herself.  This was a predicament she hadn’t considered.  With all Jolene’s length, plus the amount it had been teased, it was also a problem.
“Don’t do anything with it yourself.  I’ll be over as quick as I can.”  She immediately got dressed, pulling her mass of barrel curls back into a pony tail (it still only would reach to just below midback.  These curls were going to stay until washed out).  Then she brought along a big bottle of conditioner, a wide tooth comb. She also needed to visit Wall-Mart real quick to buy a pair of knitting needles and a magnifying glass.  These just might be needed if Jolene’s hair was as bad off as she feared.  She knew this might be a long afternoon.

Wall Mart seemed ill prepared for the heavy volume of customers that morning.  Kyle Roberts found that even the express lane had a hefty wait. That would normally perturb him, since all he was buying was a jumbo sized bottle of aspirin for the amazing hangover he had from the previous evening.  But today he didn’t mind, because of the beautiful woman in front of him in line.  At least he figured she was beautiful though all he had really looked at thus far was her ponytail.  It was a haphazardly thrown together one, but her hair was a seemingly endless number of precise barrel curls.  And long ones at that.  Her ponytail reached to just past midback, meaning her hair had to at least be down to her waist.  Probably longer by his opinion.  And his opinion meant something too, especially since he had been a hairdresser for nearly 15 years now.  He had never seen so many barrel curls reaching from root to end.  He actually never thought it possible with such long hair.

Finally, as the woman would soon be to the cashier, he had to say something.
“I was wondering if you could tell me what kind of perm you get?”
Mandy Harper turned to see the gentleman behind her.  “Excuse me?”
“I’m sorry.  I’m a hairdresser and just love your curls.  I was wondering what kind of perm you have to produce such perfect ones?”
“Oh, well, thank you but….I don’t have a perm.”
“Is your hair naturally curly then?”
“No, not really. It’s actually pretty straight.”
“Would you at least tell me who your hairdresser is?”
“Sure, it’s me.”
Kyle was dumbstruck.  “You did your own hair?”
“Uh huh.”  As she nodded her head her pony tail fell forward of her shoulder.  Some curls bounced off her face.  She gently pushed them behind her.   “I know a few tricks to get it to hold a curl.”
“Obviously. Would you consider sharing them with me?”
Mandy looked at him wondering if this was a pick-up line or what.
“I’m sorry, but I do have a serious boyfriend.”

Kyle just froze, trying to put two and two together.  What did her having a boyfriend have to do with anything?  There was also something familiar about this woman though he was quite sure he had never met her.  He never would forget a head of hair like hers.  He finally figured out his error.

“No, no, no!  I’m not asking you out on a date.  I’m serious!  Professionally, I’d like to be able to achieve results like you get.”
 Mandy smiled kindly.  All those times she tried to get hairdressers to be open to her ideas only to be rudely shoved aside, and then all she does is show up with curls and she has one begging for help.  Right now she had a friend, Jolene, who badly needed her help more.  She really didn’t have time to think of anything else.
“I don’t mean to be rude, but I’m really in a hurry.  It’s kind of an emergency.”
Kyle Roberts handed her a business card.  “If you find you have the time, I’d pay you for your efforts.”

Mandy took the card without looking at it.  She was at the cashier getting ready to pay.  Diane, the cashier, had noticed the curls too with both interest and envy, and was eavesdropping the conversation.  Something about this woman looked familiar to her too, though she was quite sure she had never seen her in the store before.
Kyle Roberts was desperate now.  The woman had paid cash and would soon be gone.  “Could you at least tell me your name?”
“Sure.  It’s Mandy.  Mandy Harper.”  And with that she picked up her bag and left at a sprint.  The wonderful full curls bouncing behind her.  Both Kyle, and Diane, and indeed the other ladies waiting in line all stopped to watch the head full of curls bounce out of the store.
 Kyle started to pay for his aspirin, but the cashier seemed lost in thought.  “I know where I’ve seen her before.  She was the girl who was on the Today Show.  The one who got that quarterback cleared of a rape charge.  She was almost murdered too.  Now she makes hairstyle CD’s.”

A lady further down in the line chimed out.  “I thought she looked familiar.  My daughter bought one of those CD’s.  It was absolutely fantastic!  She only wishes she made more than just that one.”
Kyle now remembered the show.  He watched the Today Show religiously in the morning at his shop.  He had never even considered purchasing one of her CD’s though.  That would be beneath him. He was a professional after all.   Maybe he made a mistake.  He made a mental note to look on the internet if he might still be able to purchase one of her CD’s.

Despite the fact that Mandy had very ambitiously backcombed Jolene’s hair, the systematic way she had done it, and the step by step construction of the hairstyle was done intentionally so it would make restoring her hair quite uneventful.  Each teased section could be unwound individually, detangled, and then set aside to work with the next.  One section was never at risk of getting entwined with another.  It was quite easy, and quite safe.  Thus she hadn’t thought twice about really going big with Jolene’s long mane, especially since Jolene didn’t have a mirror to watch the whole process and stress over.  Her own hair had been teased just as severely countless times, both by Gail and by her own hand, with no negative consequences ever.   But then she’d never even considered the possibility that Jolene might go swimming with her hair up, nor to even warn her against such a thing.  Unfortunately hair is at its most fragile when wet, and the combination of the backcombing, the wet hair, and the weight of the water pulling it all down could drastically alter the situation.  Indeed that dip in the pool could have been one of the worst things Jolene could have possibly done with her hair.  The trick now was for her to relax and not panic, and not allow Jolene to panic.  She just hoped what she was about to deal with wasn’t too bad of a mess.

When Mandy finally saw the condition of Jolene’s hair she immediately realized it wasn’t a bad mess.  It was worse.  Far, far, worse.  It took her best acting job just to hold back the feeling of dread that was going through her mind.  Tony was helplessly watching the whole scene.  He knew this was a problem, but he also knew Mandy could work miracles with hair.  He was hoping she had another such miracle up her sleeve.

Jolene’s Beehive was now just a huge mass of knots.  They reached from the two rollers still trying to hold it all up, to a vast clump around the top of her shoulders, to another rolled wad hanging to about midback.  All the areas where totally entwined with each other.  It was impossible to see where one started and the other ended.  It was almost impossible to find the end of any of the hairs, and certainly not an entire, intact section.  There was no systematic, organized way to deal with this.  This would take a great deal of patience, a great deal of time, and a great deal of luck to restore. Mandy had dealt with some real messes in her time before.  The tree branch incident was one such example.  But none of those could even come close to this predicament.  This was a disaster.  This one possibly, or even probably, would require the use of scissors, the extensive use of scissors, to get out of.  Even if she could get all the tangles out, the damage might already have been done.  A major trim….No!  A major CUT might be necessary anyway.

 Jolene wasn’t dumb, and she was now sober.  She recognized that her hair was in dire shape.  Her eyes were red from trying to hold back the tears.
“Going for a swim was a big mistake, wasn’t it?”
Mandy tried to relax her.  “Yeah, it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do.”
“I don’t see how you could possibly get all these tangles out.  Shit!!!  I really fucked up this time.”
So much for trying to keep Jolene from panicking.
“Let’s not give up before we’ve started.  Let’s find a place with good lighting that we can be comfortable.  Maybe put on some nice easy music.  Maybe have Tony fix up a plate of munchies and something to drink.  Something non-alcoholic to drink.  I won’t kid you, this is going to take a while.”

She started by gently lifting the tangled mass a little each way, careful not to tug but trying to find some place to start, or at least get it into a position where it was putting the least amount of stress on it all.  Though it was extremely tempting to take them out, the two rollers at her crown needed to stay in.  They were maintaining some kind of shape and hold, and unpinning them could just make it even harder to dissect.
Mandy couldn’t find any definite starting spot, so she just started working a bit here and there with the ends of any section she could identify.  After a good 20 minutes some of the stress was starting to be relieved, but there was still no sections she could start separating and smoothing.  After another 20 minutes she hit a wall.  There was nothing she could single out to work on.  At this point moist stylists (if they even bothered to try) would just give up and break out the scissors.  Both Jolene and Tony seemed ready to give up too.  But Mandy was just starting to fight.  She took out the knitting needles and started working on one particular section hair by hair.  It took over an hour of painstaking effort to do seemingly nothing.  She let her eyes and hands rest for about 15 minutes and then put in another hour of work.  At times she needed the magnifying glass to continue the progress.  By mid-afternoon Mandy herself was starting to give up.  All her efforts hadn’t even begun to make a difference.  Jolene started inquiring about where she should start with the scissors.  Would she even have hair going halfway down her back?
“Stop talking like that!  I haven’t given up yet.”  Mandy was getting her second wind, or was it her third, or possibly her fourth?

Another hour with the knitting needles made some headway, though at this rate it was going to take a week at least.  Jolene’s eyes were cried dry.  “Stop Mandy!  It’s not going to work!  Just start using the scissors.”
Jolene herself produced a pair and reached for a section.  If she made the first cut then Mandy would have no choice.  Seeing the scissors all of a sudden immersed Mandy into a flashback of the entire Janice Henderson incident.  She knocked them away, sending them clattering across the hardwood floor.
At the same time the knitting needles, now unattended, fell through a clump of hair and hit the floor.  Plus a fairly large section of teased hair a good three feet long fell to the floor too.
Everyone in the room just froze and stared at it.
It hadn’t been cut off, or broken off.  It just fell, giving into gravity, still very much attached to Jolene’s head.  It was one of the individual teased sections that Mandy was hoping to find.  All told this hairstyle had 23 separate such sections.  But this was the first one to finally be identified.

Mandy reached and grabbed it almost like she was afraid it would run away.  It was the first breakthrough.  In a matter of only a few minutes she was able to run a comb through its entire length.
She carefully studied the underside of the huge remaining mass of tangles, and with newfound energy again used the knitting needles.  In about five minutes a second section was freed, easily restored shortly thereafter.  And so for the next hour it went this way, isolating and smoothing an additional 4 sections.  About 25 percent of Jolene’s hair had been detangled.  The rest was putting up a huge fight, but Mandy had confidence on her side, plus a huge stubborn streak.  She did need some rest.  Tony made a delicious Oriental salad for dinner, and Mandy took a badly needed hour rest.  Her fingers were aching from the hours of delicate work, as was her back, neck and shoulders.  Tony gave her a bit of a massage and then Mandy set in for another round armed with her knitting needles.

The remaining mass was centered at the nape of her neck and quite tight.  Mandy worried that not only were the tangles an issue, breakage from stress was even more of a concern.  She had Jolene tilt her head back to ease some of the tugging, and then diligently went after the heart of the problem.  It took another 30 minutes to free up another section, but once that was smoothed another 6 followed quickly.  Only ten section remained, and when the nape knot was finally smoothed Mandy could see all the rest was basically where it should have been, lapping the two rollers, still attached.  Thankfully they were.  Mandy shuddered to think of the mess that would have happened, not to mention the additional stress and potential breakage, had she unpinned those rollers.

It still took another hour to do the last 10, but just as the sun was setting Mandy was running a wide toothed comb through the complete length of Jolene’s hair.  Both Jolene and Tony were jubilant, but Mandy knew she wasn’t out of the woods yet.  She smothered the hair with intense conditioner and told them both to leave it in all night wrapped in a towel.  Jolene was to leave it on all night until she arrived in the morning.   Then they’d  wash it.  It wouldn’t be until then that they could truly determine what damage, if any, this adventure had taken on her wondrous long locks.

The Ramirez’s couldn’t have been more grateful, and Jolene gave Mandy probably the longest, most sincere hugs she had even experienced before leaving.  Even though it wasn’t even eight o’clock, Mandy couldn’t wait to go to bed.  She was physically and emotionally drained, her eyes red and sore, her hands nearly felt arthritic, and she could barely stand up straight.  She couldn’t even remember her head hitting the pillow before she was fast asleep.

What she did remember was there was a very good chance that there was so much splitting and breakage from the day’s activities that Jolene would still be picking up those scissors.  A very good chance indeed.


So how did I do?  Please send me any comments, criticisms, ideas for the plot of part 9 or any other story ideas you might have.  Thank you to all who have written in the past.  Send any ideas for this or any other story to:

Back to Boy Meets Girl