Disclaimer: S.E. Hinton owns the book.
I just own the plot of this story.
It was a dreary morning, nothing had happened in the last few months. Socials still ruled the city, living it up big in the West side, driving in their tuff mustangs, and constantly in the newspapers. Greasers were still the poor east siders, fighting and being in jail, loving and feeling emotions the Socs could never dream of feeling. Rumbles between Greasers and Socs had halted, for the most part; fewer greasers had been jumped, and the city was almost peaceful. Which, considering the scale of Tulsa, seemed impossible.
However, a stirring had begun, upon the release of a criminal. A criminal, that happened to be the murderer of a soc; and who was a greaser. A young one at that. Just a few months shy of eighteen. The said boy had been strolling down the street, and had come across a certain hair salon.
The afore mentioned salon was partly vacant; of people that is. The actual furnishing happened to take up a large amount of space. No, the emptiness of the room was due to the lack of people. Other than the owner; only two biddies were present, gossiping about something completely unimportant. So a completely normal day in said parlor. However, the owner wasn't feeling normal at all. Quite the opposite really. She was nervous.
You see, the criminal had been passing back and forth in front of the salon. And, since the entire front was windows, it wasn't hard to tell it was him. Especially since he had been in the papers a year before, and in recent days.
Back and forth he went, after about ten trips across, he finally stopped to look in the window. After a few more trips, he had successfully reached the door. However, it took at least five more paces before he went in.
As soon as he had walked through the door, the women in the salon stopped talking. One even gasped. Then, they started to whisper and point at him.
The young man timidly cast glances around the room, sighed, then walked to the counter, while playing with lip. (A nervous habit of his.)
The owner waited behind the counter, tense. With a false smile plastered on her face, she asked him, "How may I help you?"
"Hi, ma'am, I saw the 'help wanted' sign, and I was wonderin' if I could apply."
For a moment, the owner said nothing. She was shocked. Here stood a greaser who had murdered a wealthy teenager, that was asking for a job at her salon.
"Wh-why should I hire you?" She finally stuttered.
"Listen, I've done bad the past couple of years, and I want, I want to do something. Something that I can have the power to change or fix. Besides, I've wanted to be a stylist for as long as I can remember. I promise not to cause any trouble."
"One day, is all ask. If you still don't want me to work here, then I won't." He looked at her with pleading eyes, almost like a puppy.
"Alright then, Jonathan Cade." She used the name that was given in the paper.
"You can call me Johnny."
"Okay then, Johnny, I'm Mrs. Jones, and you can address me as such. Can you do your trial today?"
"Then, the first thing you can do is sweep. I haven't gotten around to it, and I hate dirty floors."
After being shown the supply closet, Johnny set off to work, sweeping and whistling a tune that no one in the shop could identify.
The ladies, after a few minutes, had warmed up to having the greaser there, and had even talked to him while he swept. Mrs. Jones soon realized that the boy wasn't going to hurt anybody.
"Johnny?" She called out, and gestured for the young man to come over.
"Yes, Mrs. Jones?" Johnny looked nervous.
"I have decided that I will let you give a haircut to the next person if they are fine with it. If you don't style it like they want, then you will be fired. You get one chance. Is that clear?"
"All right. Until then, you can clean the tools."
Johnny went back to cleaning as the morning wore on. It was almost noon when the next customer came in. She was a regular there, so when she arrived, Mrs. Jones was rather nervous.
"Ah, Florence, good to see you again." The young woman greeted Mrs. Jones.
"And you too, Lillian."
"So, I was thinking about changing my hair completely. It's just, to much."
"Well, I was going to ask, we have a new candidate, and…"
"Yes, I'll be your guinea pig."
"Are you sure?" Lillian nodded. "Johnny?"
The dark young man walked quickly over to the counter.
"Now, you do exactly what she wants, alright?" The boy nodded, then led the customer to a chair.
Twenty minutes later, Johnny finished up. The woman gasped at her reflection.
"Do you like it, Ma'am?" "Oh, it's perfect. It's so light, and just wonderful!" The lady known as Lillian exclaimed, and twisted her head around, looking at it from different angles. Johnny spun her around, and gave her a hand mirror to see the back.
After making sure she liked it, he unbuttoned the cape from her neck.
Standing, the smiling woman gave him a hug, and walked to the counter to pay. While the two women talked, Johnny began to clean the tools and floors.
"Florence, he did a bang up job. If you don't hire him, you'd have to be insane."
"I know, but, how will people respond to a killer? I could lose my salon over this!"
"If anyone has a problem, tell them to come to me. Besides, it was self-defense! And, if you remember, he did save those kids a week later." Lillian gave Mrs. Jones a stern look.
"Alright." She looked over at Johnny. He was a good employee. "Johnny, can I talk to you for a moment?" The young man rushed over, a confused look on his face.
"I have decided that I will hired you. However, if you make one mistake, that could change, am I clear?" Johnny nodded. Then, he went back to cleaning up the section, his section now, for the next customer.
The day wore on, and customers came and went, and nobody seemed to have a problem with the convict turned hairdresser. Between cuts, he would chat with the ladies getting perms, clean the tools, and sweep the floors. Even Mrs. Jones had to admit he was a very effective employee.
It was late afternoon, and Johnny was chatting with the customer in his chair about a pet. Suddenly, the door opened to a young greaser who was about fifteen or sixteen.
"Hello, Mrs. Jones. Mr. Billings forgot to drop this box on his run, so I offered to get it to you." He handed the woman the package. Pointing at the sign, he asked, "Did you find anyone yet?"
"Yes, a young man. He's quite good at it." Mrs. Jones replied, as opened the box, then gestured to Johnny.
The younger greaser looked at the new employee. Eyes widened, he asked, "Johnny?"
The greaser in question looked to the source of the voice. "Ponyboy?"
"Johnny, are you a….Hairstylist?"
There ya'll have it folks. Until next time, please review!