*A Conversation with Life: Part 2
As the nail lady sat down with Sofie she asked her what color she wanted for her first time. Given that Sofie was wearing a red beret, a red coat and bright red lipstick, the nail lady was certain she knew what color Sofie wanted.
“So Sofie, what color would you like your nails to be today sweetie? Oh wait can I guess or would you like to tell me?”
The nail lady smiled as Sofie looked up to her with a smile and a light giggle.
“Bright red please ma'am, as bright and red as you can get it please.”
“As you wish ma'am, they will be as bright and pretty as you are”
Sofie giggled at the nail lady and watched intently as she began working on her delicate little fingers. Sofie sat still as instructed by her mother and watched as her nails became longer and a perfect bright red.
Once the lady was done and they were sufficiently dry, Sofie kept holding up her hand looking at them, so proud of her new nails. Gwen sat down for her turn as Sofie took a seat behind her in the waiting area.
The nail lady and Gwen struck up a conversation as if they had been friends forever, Sofie wasn't too sure but pretty sure that they had known each other for a long time. As people were coming and going in the salon, a bell would ring each time. This somewhat annoyed Sofie but she learned to deal with it.
Sofie kept holding up her hands to admire her pretty nails. Turning to the front window she put her hand up in front of her face to block the sun and get a different view of her fingernails. It was at this moment that she could see the homeless man again. Sofie leaned against the window seal and watched as he woke up and started looking around at the things around him. The bell rang out several more times as people kept coming and going from the salon. Gwen was too deep into conversation to notice until it was too late.
Sofie walked over to the man and stood looking down at him as he struggled with a plastic bag. Sofie was having a very hard time trying to understand how to deal with what she was seeing. She's taken in stray cats and stray dogs, but he was a stray human as far as she could tell. This confused her greatly. After a minute or two the homeless man looked up at Sofie, the sun was directly behind her which caused him to hold up his hand to block the sun so he could see who it was that was standing in his space. Once his eyes focused he could tell it was but a young girl that had a fascination with the color red.
“What do you want red?”
Sofie didn't really expect a warm response when she was standing there so she shrugged off the abrupt response and sat down a few feet away.
“Your homeless, what happened to your home? Did it float away in a flood or burn down? And you couldn't afford to buy another one cause you don't have a job?”
“Not that it's any business of yours, but I ain't never had one. I just been staying at people's places here and there.”
“So why aren't you at someone's house now instead of sitting here? Were you just to tired to make it there?”
“Look here red, your mommy know your out here talking to complete strangers?”
“I'm a big girl you know. I even got my nails painted, see?”
Sofie sticks both hands out and shows the stranger her freshly red painted and extended fingernails. The stranger looks at Sofie and then her nails. Glancing back up at Sofie again her see her smiling brightly.
“You seem pretty happy about them fingers. Look red perhaps you should scoot back to that salon over there before your mommy comes out and tans yet hide for runnin off.”
“Tan my hide? What's that mean sir?”
“You ain't never been spanked?”
“Spanked? I don't know what that is”
“You ain't never been in trouble red?”
Sofie sat thinking for a while. She knew what he meant by trouble but wasn't sure what really qualified as trouble and what didn't.
“Well there was this one time I got in trouble for bringing home a black and white kitty cat that smelled funny”
“Well what happened red? How did they punish you?”
“Punish? I don't understand”
The stranger was confused how a girl her age had never been in trouble. Unable to come up with a response he just sat quietly looking at Sofie
Gwen, so caught up In her conversation with the nail lady, she never noticed Sofie had slipped out the door. One of the ladies stood up and asked Gwen,
“Gwen, isn't that Sofie out there talking to that homeless man?”
Gwen spins around and looks down at the spot Sofie was sitting only to discover an empty spot. Scrambling to her feet, she spins around and in a panic starts to run to the door. Just then she hears one of the girls working at the salon,
“Hang on Ms. Gwen, I think she's feeding that man, looks like she's going over to the hotdog cart, let's see what's she's up to Ms. Gwen.”
To be continued.....
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