Use Somebody

Free Use Somebody by Riley Jean

Book: Use Somebody by Riley Jean Read Free Book Online
Authors: Riley Jean
upon her entrance. The girls squealed and hugged.
    Kiki was blessed with a head of hair to match her exuberant personality: bright orange layers flipped out around her chin, short enough to show off her huge gold hoops and lightly freckled skin. Green eye shadow made her sparkling eyes pop, obviously applied by a semi-professional.
    Kiki may have been attending cosmetology school, but she worked part time at Mooshi as well, sharing the majority of morning shifts with Summer. It was clear the ice cream shop loved hiring family and friend references because it seemed like every employee there was connected to somebody else.
    Arm in arm, the girls laughed and skipped down the driveway like they were off to the Emerald City. I felt out of place among them, dark and drab compared to their vibrancy. I shuffled behind, hands tucked in the front pocket of my hoodie. It was just a stop at the drug store, not sure where all that giddiness came from. I resented them for being so carefree. I envied them for it, too.
    “Shotgun!” Kiki called, ready to pile into the passenger side of Summer’s Lexus.
    I tensed, my skin prickling with sweat. I watched the smiling girls climb into the car, but couldn’t get my own feet to advance. No matter how I told myself I had nothing to worry about, I was fine, we were all fine, I couldn’t control my body’s physical reaction, kick-started by one little word.
    Summer looked up when she noticed I made no move towards the car. “You coming?”
    As if I weren’t awkward enough already.
    “I can’t—” I cleared my throat. “I… get carsick in the backseat.”
    Summer’s perfect brows puckered, but Kiki just smiled and grabbed my arm, pulling me forward. “Then you get permanent front seat privileges in Summer’s car,” she spoke up. Bless her.
    “Thank you.” I shot her an apologetic look, but she’d already let it roll off her shoulder.
    “Peachy keen, jelly bean, but only because you’re going to let me get my hands on these lovely locks!”
    “Locks?” I gulped. Now I was nervous.
    “Girl, you’re not fooling anyone with this look. Two words: cow… lick. Lay off the flat iron unless you want to totes fry your hair.” She gently pulled me towards the passenger seat. “Come on. I’ll assess the damage and see what we can do.”
    “You can trust her, Scar,” Summer added as we all buckled in. “She was best in class before I left the program.”
    “Beauty school dropout?” I asked, unable to resist.
    She shrugged, smiling at my joke. “What can I say? It wasn’t right for me. I just enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu. Now that’s my real calling… I’m going to be a pastry chef!”
    When we were on the road, Kiki leaned forward and showed off a picture on her phone. “What do you think? Cute, huh?”
    I shrugged in indifference, even though he looked like a tool to me.
    “Not another guy you met online,” Summer shot me a playful grin.
    “What? He’s totally nice!” Kiki gushed. “He goes to ULV and we’ve been emailing every night for three whole weeks!”
    “He looks great, Kiki,” Summer placated her. “Just be careful.”
    We drove a bit further before Summer spoke again. “He’ll come to his senses,” she said quietly, privately. “You’ll see.”
     
    * * *
     
    “There. Jet Black. That’s the one.”
    As Kiki read the box I pointed to, her little freckled nose scrunched in disgust. “What did you do? Look for the cheapest brand in the whole store?”
    I shrugged, pressing my lips together and blinking. “That may or may not be true.”
    “Girl…” She shook her head, cropped orange waves sweeping across her face. “Let’s start with the basics. You want to avoid any dyes that contain ammonia. You want to put moisture in your hair, not dry it out. Here… I’ll pick the brand. You set on black?”
    “Yes.”
    “No streaks or highlights?”
    “No.”
    “Okie dokie artichokie.” She pulled a box off the shelf and handed it to me.

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