Shame on You
Author:Tara Sivec

“Griffin, my man! How’ve you been?” Ward asks, turning his attention away from me.

“Can’t complain,” Griffin replies as the two men exchange handshakes and start talking back and forth about Notre Dame’s upcoming season. As teenagers and into early adulthood, we all hung out together: my brothers, my cousins, Griffin, Alex, and me. We were all close in age and we all had the army in common so it naturally made us friends.

The fact that my brothers and my cousins are still friendly with Griffin when he screwed me over pisses me off. They should hate him on principle. If some woman came into my family’s lives and stomped all over their hearts, I would cut that bitch. Where’s the damn loyalty?

“Excuse me, I hate to interrupt this bromance, but we have work to do.” I glare at my cousin.

“I’m sorry, it is impossible to take you seriously right now with all that shit on your head,” Ward says, laughing.

I take a step in his direction, preparing myself for a mind-erasing headlock when Griffin lightly touches my arm.

“Before you kill him, we need to talk,” Griffin tells me.

“We have nothing to talk about. I’m going to go inside and get this crap out of my hair and then I’m going to get to work. You can just get your ass back on that bike and go find someone else to annoy,” I tell him as I turn and fling the door to the salon open angrily.

As soon as I walk inside I’m met by the sounds of wails and barking. Sven is still sitting on the floor in a pile of hair products while Paige attempts to console him, and Mrs. Justin Bieber is losing her shit, barking at anything in her general vicinity and stopping every ten seconds to piss on the floor.

“I ALMOST DIED, PAIGE! It was HORRIBLE! I have so many regrets. So many things I’ve never accomplished. I’M TOO YOUNG TO DIE!”

I wonder if anyone else notices that in the midst of Sven’s hysterics he seems to have forgotten he has an accent. Paige is crouched down next to Sven and pats him on the back at the appropriate times. She catches my gaze and rolls her eyes in annoyance.

“There, there, Sven. You’re okay. Look, Kennedy is back!” she exclaims, getting up from her spot on the floor and rushing over to me, lowering her voice so only I can hear her. “I’m going to punch him in his face if he doesn’t stop whining.”

Taking a deep breath, I move away from Paige and over to Sven’s spot on the floor.

“Sven, you did really good under pressure. You almost had that guy!” I tell him so he’ll quit the damn crying.

Sven sniffles and wipes his nose on the sleeve of his shirt.

“I did do vell, didn’t I? I always sought I should haff been a cop. I haff all of dees natural eenstincts,” he tells me seriously, in full-on Germedishithuanian, or wherever-the-hell-he-thinks-he’s-from accent.

It takes everything in me not to laugh in his face, but I have to rein it in. I need this guy to fix my hair, pronto.

“Yes, you’re absolutely right. How about you get up off the floor and take these foils out of my hair while my cousin Ward questions you?” I ask as Ward walks through the door.

“Oooooh, a man in uniform! I veel better already,” Sven exclaims as he takes in my cousin from head to toe before jumping up off the floor and extending his hand out to him, wrist cocked, like he wants Ward to kiss the top of his hand. “My name eez Sven. I am zee one who almost captured zee criminal.”

Paige and I share a look of annoyance before turning back to watch Ward awkwardly grab Sven’s hand and shake it like a limp noodle.

While Sven begins to regale my cousin with his act of heroism, the bell chimes above the door and I turn to see Griffin walk in.

“Out! Get out!” I raise my hand and point to the door.

“I’m not going anywhere until you talk to me,” Griffin replies firmly.

I don’t even acknowledge his words. I turn my back on him and drag Sven back toward the shampoo bowls as Ward follows us and continues to ask Sven questions about whether or not he’d ever seen McFadden in the shop before and if McFadden mentioned anything about where he was staying.

Getting comfortable in the reclining seat with my head in the bowl, I close my eyes and try to relax as Sven begins removing foils while talking to Ward. I’m assuming Griffin finally got the hint, but a few seconds later when Sven is running warm water through my hair and massaging my head, I realize Griffin wouldn’t get the hint if it ran him over with a Mack truck.

“You can’t avoid me forever,” Griffin whispers close to my ear.

Too close. I can feel his breath against my neck and it makes me grit my teeth when I feel goose bumps on my arms. Can’t he see I’m trying to relax here? He needs to leave me the hell alone. I may not be able to avoid him forever, like he says, but I sure as hell can refuse to talk to him until he goes away.

“Fine, if you don’t want to talk now, we can do it later,” he states before standing up to his full height and then turning to leave.

As Sven finishes washing my hair and wraps a towel around my head, I avoid smirking to myself as I see Griffin walk away.

The power of my ignoring skills cannot be beat. We all know that when a man says he’ll do something “later,” it will never, ever be completed. I actually find myself smiling as I walk over to Sven’s station so he can spray and brush and flat-iron and all that other shit that usually makes me cringe. Right now, Sven can do whatever he wants to me. Griffin has gotten the hint and is finally walking away.

I don’t realize I’m staring at Griffin’s ass as he walks away until I’m not looking at his ass anymore. I’m looking at the general vicinity of Paige’s crotch as she steps into my line of vision.

I look up at her with a scowl and she raises her eyebrows at me. “I saw that, so don’t try to deny it.”

I pretend like I have no idea what she’s talking about as Sven fires up the blow dryer and goes to town on my hair.

“Saw what? There’s nothing to see here,” I argue.

“Oh, nonsense,” Sven butts in. “Ve all saw you looking at hees ass.”