Kayleigh R Bradshaw.
Image from Pixabay.
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One of my favourite services to do in the barbershop is the hot towel shave – picture this…
You’ve just had your hair cut, beard is trimmed, you’ve had a full rinse with some hot water and refreshing peppermint shampoo ready for your hot towel shave – your laid back in the comfy cushioned arm – chair, head resting backwards, peppermint and sage beard balm is massaged into your face, just before the cleansing face oil. Your face is glowing with pre-shave products and the hot steamy towel is wrapped around the whole of your face and neck, leaving your nose free to breathe in that tranquil tea tree aroma from the steaming towel.
Sounds pretty good right? I love it! Even carrying out the service makes me feel therapeutic! Every guy who I’ve ever had booked in for this experience absolutely love it! They without doubt leave the shop feeling happy, relaxed and refreshed, almost everyone…
Mark had been a regular for a while, nice guy, a family guy, couple of kids, a dog, a mortgage, a job I didn’t understand the meaning of and a fiancé.
Yep, fiancé, they’d been planning the wedding forever! They, well she, wanted a wedding of perfection, a fairy tale, a bloody fortune! And rightly so! Mark worked his arse off; he should get his dream wedding!
He wanted everything perfect, he was a stylish guy that looked after himself, he worked out, definitely used the sunbeds, because no British guy had a nice bronze tan like that without them and he never had a hair out of place… thanks to me of course!
He took so much pride in his appearance that he had booked a haircut every 2 Fridays a couple of months leading up to the wedding. I didn’t mind of course, he was a decent client whose hair and beard I enjoyed doing plus I’m self-employed, so I never turn down an appointment!
One Friday afternoon, a couple of weeks prior to the wedding, in he came for his 5pm appointment…
“Beer?” I smiled as he took a seat.
“Only if your having one with me!”
“Of course mate! Your my last appointment on a Friday, be rude not to!” I smiled even more.
We opened up a ice cold bottle of corona each and caught up on the last couple of weeks.
“Yeah works packed, I’m booked solid until the wedding really, I’m looking forward to my holiday!” He told me.
“Ah, you deserve some time off! Barcelona you’re going right?” I quickly changed conversation,
I knew exactly where he was going, this is all we’d spoke about for nearly a year now! However, I had no bloody idea what he did for work, nor did I want another confusing conversation about it!
“Yeah Barca! Can’t wait, me and the lads are heading out a few days before, we’ve got a villa booked, gonna fill it full of booze, BBQ food, get drunk in the sun all day and party all night” He boasted.
“You do right mate! Go enjoy yourself, you’ve earnt it! Your best man arranged it I presume?”
“No” He sternly replied, “I did!”
I felt the tension in the room instantly,
“Alright snappy! I only asked” I joked.
“Sorry, it’s just my best man is a tit!”
I giggled, “Tell me the gossip!”
“There’s no gossip Kayleigh, I gave my brother in law the role because I wasn’t really given a choice and then…”
And then he went on and on and on, so let me tell you exactly what happened….
Basically, in the nicest way possible he was marrying a spoilt bitch, who had everything in life and more. She born into money, fed by the silver spoon, met Mark, had him work his arse off while she spent her days in the gym, sauna and having her nails done… how the other half live ey!
I know I sound jealous, yeah I’m probably a little envious, sounds like my perfect day, but I’d always work hard for my money so when you hear stories of how she was pissed off one time because Mark had booked Dubai instead the Caribbean and she refused to go… you kind of grow a disliking to her!
She’d been in the Barbershop before too, looking me up and down, even ran her finger across the waiting chairs and decided they were “too dirty” for her to sit on, she treated me like shit and still tipped me on the way out – bitch!
With every bitch comes a bitch clang, one of them been the brother! Mark was right, he really did sound like a tit! He spend his parents money on getting drunk and crashing at Mark’s house, more than enough money to buy his own place but his sister wouldn’t have it, she wanted her baby brother with them where they could look after him… that was after he’d crashed his car drunk into a old couple who’d ended up badly injured in hospital! Prison? No, money saved him and his big sister of course.
Mark hated him, he spoke to Mark like shit, he treated his house like shit and his children like slaves. Mark been a good guy had tried to help him, but he’d just laugh at him.
Mark’s perfect day was soon to be not so perfect when his wife to be moved her baby brother in and told Mark that he could be his best man. By the sounds of it, Mark didn’t have a choice, from what he told me he didn’t even try argue it.
I saw and heard the anger in Mark – he must have been getting some great bedroom action or something to be putting up with this shit from her!
The worst part of the story was when he had to explain to his best friend how he couldn’t be the best man anymore – they’d not yet spoke since, he didn’t even know if he’d be going to the wedding anymore!
We finished our beers after his hot towel shave then went on to bitch about this brother-in-law for another good ten minutes before he came over to reception to pay, it was clear to see how pissed off he was, it was so obvious he’d not really spoke about this to anyone either! I think it’s the first time I’d heard him swearing! I didn’t mind, this what I loved about my job, a good old chat and bitch!
“I’ll see you at 10am on the morning of the flight then?” He doubled checked whilst paying, the next haircut would be the wedding trim!
“You certainly will.” I told him, “There’s three of you yeah? Three haircuts and shaves?”
“That’s right, were all booked in with you?”
“You sure are, I’ll make sure I have the beers in! The best man coming too?”
I giggled, “Thought not.”
“I’ll see you in two weeks.” He grabbed his coat.
“Hey Mark, try contact your best mate! You only get married once, maybe you could have two best men?” I advised him.
He smiled at me and handed me a £10 tip,
“You have a good weekend, grab yourself a bottle of something on your way home” He smiled.
“Thank you.” I smiled back.
Two weeks later, I’d no sooner finished my Friday morning bacon sarnie and the wedding party had arrived.
“Morning guys!” I shouted over.
“Morning” They all replied.
“Who wants a morning beer?” I grinned.
“Well technically we are on holiday.” One of them joked.
“I need one!” Mark bluntly whispered to me.
“Everything ok?” I raised my eyebrows at him.
He shook his head, silently telling me to give him a moment.
“Ahh, I’ll catch up with you soon, I’ll get your friends started first yeah?”
The atmosphere in the shop wasn’t what I was used to for a Wedding party, it was usually rowdy, loud music, beers been downed and men shouting and laughing but it wasn’t, it was quiet, calm, it maybe even felt a little awkward.
“Have you been to Barcelona before then?” I asked the friend in my chair.
“Sure have.” He answered.
“Nice! I’ve not been but I have travelled through.” I told him.
“I didn’t ask.” He bluntly replied with a smirk on his face.
How bloody rude! I made a point of not talking to him at all after that and he didn’t say a word to me either! Mark either hadn’t heard or was pretending he didn’t because he’d not looked over at us since!
I left the client under the hot towel whilst I brought Mark across to his chair.
“Ready for the big day then?” I asked him.
“Yeah, it’s slowly coming together.” He replied.
“Great! What time’s the flight today?”
“3pm” He replied.
What was this atmosphere? Even Mark, who I usually couldn’t shut up was one word answering me! After a tough conversation, I got him under his hot towel and brought over the final client ready to prep…
“Tough crowd these two love.” He joked about his friends.
“Yeah, I don’t think they’ve fully woke up yet!” I laughed. “Who are you then?” I asked.
“I was the best man.” He told me.
Just when I thought the atmosphere couldn’t get much worse, he drops that bombshell! Part of me happy Mark’s best mate, whom I knew he cared a lot for was actually here, yet I also knew how awkward the topic had been!
I looked at Mark under his towel, obviously I couldn’t see his face to see his reaction, so I played dumb and spoke quietly,
“Oh, ok well nice to meet you.” I smiled awkwardly.
He giggled, “I know you know the story.”
“Oh phew! That could have been awkward!” I laughed.
“Yeah, no secrets here love.” He laughed back.
“How are you feeling about spending the week with this posh twat then?”
“Who Mark?” He asked.
“No, the brother-in-law from hell! The little shit that Mark hates. I’ve heard all about this nightmare, drinking, crashing cars…”
Before I had chance to carry on, Mark jumped up, as did the other guy under his towel, giving me no chance to ask them if they were ok, the first client turns to me and says…
“Nice to meet you too!” He smirks while holding his hand out, “I would be the brother-in-law.”
SHIT! My heart sank, i felt my face instantly blush, I had no words!
He slammed his towel down to the floor, grabbed his beer and looked to Mark…
“You’re talking about me in the barbershop to some young girl? You wait till my sister hears about this! This wedding definitely isn’t happening now!” He viciously laughed in his face, before turning to me, “As for you sweetheart, Thanks” He laughed and threw some notes at me and left.
“Mark, I’m so sorry!”
He put his hand up to me and also walked out.
The other barbers and clients had all stopped, everyone staring at me, my lips and hands were shaking, I wanted to cry, but I couldn’t it was completely my fault! Me and my big mouth!
His friend still seated said, “You really fucked up there!”
“Yeah, no shit!” I snapped.
He started laughing, “I don’t like her anyway, I hope the weddings off.”
I ignored him, I watched Mark outside on the phone, clearly arguing and explaining himself! I felt awful, I turned to his friend for reassurance,
“He told me his brother-in-law wasn’t coming today?”
He shrugged his shoulders, “Change of plan, I guess.”
“Shall I check on him” I asked.
“I’ll go.” He stood up.
I saw them chatting, Mark looked through the window at me, he looked devastated, he shook his head and walked off. I bolted to the door to follow him, they’d not even had their haircuts finished!
“Kayleigh, leave it.” One of the barbers told me. “Let him cool off.”
I ran into the back room, crying and grabbed my phone to text him an apology…
A week passed and I’d heard nothing, I’d even started checking his social media for wedding photos but there was nothing on there.
I spent over a week, quiet at work, miserable and disappointed with myself, I’d ruined a wedding! Like a whole wedding! Something that hopefully happens once in your life and I’d completely ruined it!
I walked down the street to open the shop a couple of Saturdays later to find Mark stood on the doorway! I barely noticed him with the tan! He had clearly been to Barcelona!
My face lit up with joy, “Oh my god! You got married?! You made it to Barcelona?!” I sang with joy, “Mark, honestly I’m so sorry! I – I”
He interrupted me, smiling like he’d never smiled before, “I did go to Barcelona… alone.”
“What?!” My face dropped.
“I went alone, she wanted to talk, she was questioning marrying me, because I didn’t like her brother, her brother that spoke to you like shit, spoke to me like shit – who was a shit himself! I’d had enough, I wanted the wedding, not her! I wanted the break, not the holiday and I can tell you, apart from missing the kids, I’ve never felt so free! I loved it!! So thank you, you and your big mouth!” He laughed.
Ever crashed a wedding you’ve not been to?