James Holden: The Hairdresser’s Sister

ScissorsWatching Rory Bremner on the stage, I wonder whether he enjoys these corporate gigs. Is it all about the money for him? It seems doubtful he’s doing it because of any particular love of the beauty industry. And yet here he is, running through the list of nominees for the Goddess Hairdryer “Stylist Of The Year”.

I get a small thrill as he mentions my name. It’s the second time in four years that I’ve made the shortlist, and I wonder if this year it will be my turn. But as I watch short promo films up on the screen, I look sadly at the seats filled at the last minute by my friends. I had asked my parents along but they couldn’t come because my sister has had a – ha ha! – hissy fit, so they thought they’d better stay at home with her.

It’s always been like this – she always gets all the attention that she wants. Maybe I sound spoilt, but I’m with the chance of winning a national award whilst they’re dealing with her latest life crisis.

I don’t realise at first that he had named me the Goddess Hairdryer “Stylist Of The Year”. My friends turn to me and shriek, and someone else at the table acts like a gentleman and offers me a hand to help me up. I look up at the stage and my name is on the screen in bright pink letters.

I make my way to the stage and when I’ve made it up shake hands with the award sponsor before being pushed towards the microphone. I look into the darkened room, a camera flashes and then I pull out the notes I have about who to thank.

I run through the people at the salon, my old mentor, the hairdressers where I got my first Saturday job. I pause, weighing up whether to do it, and then say “I’d especially like to thank my parents and my sister, Medusa, for all the support they’ve given me over the years.”

She thinks I only went into hairdressing to spite her. Well, if I’m honest maybe I did at first. But I’m obviously good at it, and she just needs to get over herself. Don’t get me wrong – it can’t be easy growing up with a nest of snakes on your head. But I don’t see why I should be punished for it as well.


About James Holden

Brought up in Yorkshire, James has washed up on the shores of London. He spends his days working as a political geek. His short stories have previously been read by the Liars League.
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