The smell of cheap cigarettes on Suna’s hair every Friday evening had become the main conversation topic during her parent’s spare time.
Excelling at work was the only thing that kept them together.
– ” I told you we should have let her go to hairdressing school.”
– “I’ll think of something”, said the dad, with an idea in his head already.
Gloria was greatly relieved, even if sometimes his ideas were not so good.
– “Suna! Where are you? We’re going to dump the rubbish. Will you lend us a hand?”
– “Oh no, I just sprayed some perfume!”
– “Come on Suna, you smell more like an ashtray from the spa’s staff room…
She blushed and hurried to tie her trainers.
– “Did you get your grades?”
– ” No idea yet.”
– ” argh! You gave me the heaviest, stinkest bag!”
– “It’s the last one you carry.”
She turned pale.
– ” We’ve heard you’ve been doing your friends’ hair in exchange for cigarettes. …Very peculiar. .. Is this true?”
– ” Yep!”
– Well We’ve got two pieces of news for you. First, you have just dumped a carton of cigarettes a client brought me.
– er… what? Cigarettes?
– Yes, cigarettes. You can search through the rubbish for them. Your mum’s got a new perfume for you.
– Why did you do that? She sniffed her wrists, staring at the garbage heasitantly.
He gave her a couple of minutes to think. She stayed still.
– ” What? ”
– ” Second piece of news, and it’s good news- you just dumped your schoolpass, because …. you have been admitted at that cool hairdressing college you wanted to go to… beside the fact we ticked the “smokers” box when choosing a room….
– “Dad, mum! Is this true? ” A tear flew from her dark eyes.
– “As true as your cigarette scent.”
Uneasily she said “Thanks”, and had a quick glance at the garbage.
Gloria pulled a bag from the car and handed it to Suna.
– ” Perfume, cigarettes! I don’t want the Cigarettes! Let me dump them in the rubbish!”
– ” Ha, ha, ha Suna, with your old fashioned trading skills you can get a free treatment day at the Spa for that carton!
– ” No spa for me. I’ll give them to Annie for having messed up her braids last week…
– “You messed them up?
– “It’s a long story.”
– “In one sentence?”
– ” My boyfriend got her a few designer samples!… She smelt her hands again… ”
-” Does she smoke?”
– “Like a barbecue! but never infront of guys…. Gosh I’m gonna miss her… ” She smiled and asked her mum- “do you mind if I also give her the perfume?”
– “Excellent! We’re proud of you now! Now go upstairs to pack your stuff… you’re starting school on Monday!
– “Great… but one little thing- can you change my room for a non smokers one?”
Her parents kissed each other.
dedicated to Gloria, my Gloria from south London, Marcia, my Gloria from central london, and I can’t remember… . oh, LARA, my…..
to all children of God.