I stood in front of the salon with the Groupon printout in my hand. I held it like an award I had won and was proud to have. It was a pick-me-up gift from my mother for when I got my next interview or two. That was why I was here, to get my nails done for an interview I had the next day. I wanted to get my hair done, but – well, my budget wasn't going to handle that, no matter what.
As it was, I had lost my cell phone, land-line, internet, and I was barely keeping the rent paid and the lights on. Thank God for the local library. I could check emails and apply for jobs, as well as read a few books to help kill the boredom of my life. I had sold nearly everything I owned and the bottom of my barrel was pretty well scraped clean. This interview was the first I'd had in weeks and if I didn't get this job, I'd be homeless very soon.
I stepped in and right away knew I didn't belong. This was a high-end salon where women paid hundreds of dollars to get their hair and nails done. The beautifully adorned menu of services showed they not only did hair and nails, but also massages, waxing, eyebrow threading, and reflexology, whatever that was. I walked up to the counter and held my breath.
"Yes," said the receptionist. She looked bored with her hair pinned up in a chignon and makeup perfectly styled.
"I ... um ... I have ... um ... an appointment?" I said.
"You're not sure?" moaned the receptionist, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
"No ... um ... I am sure. I have an appointment to get my nails done."
"Manicure or pedicure?"
"Both, according to this Groupon," I said, and handed her my printout.
"Ugh!" groaned the receptionist, as she rolled her eyes and took my paper. "Only people looking for a cheap service get a Groupon."
I was crushed. "It was a gift from my mother," I replied.
The receptionist gave an exasperated sigh. "I'll let her know you're here."
The receptionist stepped into the back and I considered just leaving when a bubbly brunette came up and introduced herself as Ciera. Unlike the nasty receptionist, she was quite friendly. I explained about the job interview and how I wanted neutral colors for my nails. She helped me pick out a great color and took me to the massage chair for my spa pedicure.
It wasn't long before my bare feet were soaking in the warm water and my toes were playing with the jets. I set the chair to massage my back and neck and closed my eyes. I was going to do my best to enjoy every moment of this experience. Ciera grabbed my right ankle and began her work.
"Well hello there, Pretty Feet," said a man's voice.
I opened my eyes to see an older man with olive skin and salt and pepper hair standing before me. "Hello."
Ciera smiled and continued to work. "What brings you to my salon?" he asked.
I blushed. "My mom ... my mom got me ... got me ... a Groupon."
"Oh, good to know that promotion was so successful," he beamed. It was clear he didn't share the receptionist views. "Why did you decide to use it now?"
"I have an interview tomorrow."
"Perfect reason to want to look your best. Who is your interview with?"
"Um, it's with The Little Boutique Salon on Main St.," I said, then blushed. I realized my interview was with a rival salon.
"Ah yes, I know it well. So, I can assume we are doing your hair as well, aren't we?"
I wanted to cry. "I don't think so."
"Then I insist Ciera do your hair as well, as my treat for your interview. Then, if you would, please come see me in my office before you leave."
To say I was shocked was an understatement. I looked down at Ciera, who would now have to stay later and probably not get paid for this extra service. "Is it all right with Ciera?"
Ciera smiled. "It's fine with me."
"Then it is settled!" he exclaimed, clapping his hands together, then leaned down and whispered something in Ciera's ear before he walked off.
"You sure did make quite an impression on Mr. Cagaha," said Ciera with a smile.
"Is that his name?" I asked.
"Yeah. He's a great boss. Besides, I can use the overtime."
I sighed. "So you'll still get paid then?"
"Of course. We are hourly workers, not commission. I don't rent my space like they do at most salons. And as I can do so many different services, I get paid a flat hourly rate, plus extras for certain services, and of course tips."
Tips! Oh shit! I hadn't even thought about a tip. "Um, Ciera ... I ... um..."
"Don't worry hon, you can tip me next time you come in."
"That's assuming I get a job soon."
"Oh ... you never know," Ciera said, touching my leg gently and she gave me a sly smile.
Ciera began to scrub my feet, cleaning, massaging, and occasionally tickling them. She washed my calves and rubbed in a lovely flowery smelling lotion. I couldn't remember when I felt so pampered. However, my pedicure was nothing compared to my manicure. Ciera worked meticulously on my nails, cleaning them, polishing them, and making my nails and hands look amazing. The massage afterward was nearly orgasmic.
As I was way overdue for a haircut and style, the bonus hair wash and cut was a real treat. I began to think about what Ciera had said about the impression I had made on Mr. Cagaha and what he would want to talk with me about. I was hoping he would offer me some tips so I might get the job.
I love how it feels to have someone else wash my hair, and Ciera did an amazing job. It wasn't long before my hair was cut in a way that I could easily maintain. My hair looked fantastic and I felt like a princess. As Ciera finished up, I asked, "Do you think I bothered Mr. Cagaha with my Groupon the way I did the receptionist?"
"Not in the least," she said, putting the final touches on my hair. "It's rare he invites someone into his office."
"Oh?" I asked.
"Oh yes," she said, giving me the hand mirror so I could see the back of my hair. "There are many here who have never had the privilege."
Ciera took the mirror, led me to Mr. Cagaha's office and wished me luck with a sly wink. I didn't understand what she meant about this being a privilege, but I would learn all too soon.
Mr. Cagaha's office was modestly decorated, with a dark wood desk, book shelf, computer, and off to the side was a salon chair with a foot bath. He sat in a leather chair as he worked at his computer. "Ah, Pretty Feet, sit down please." He gestured to a chair near his desk.
Nervously, I sat down, fidgeting with my purse. "My name is Rita, and may I ask what this is about?"
Mr. Cagaha smiled. "I'm guessing by the fact you were rather embarrassed about your Groupon that you're pretty much at the end of your rope."
I bit my lip. Where was he going with this?
"Do you know why I opened a nail salon?"
"To make money?" I asked.
He laughed. "Clever girl. While that's certainly true, I have a confession to share ... I have a bit of a foot fetish."
"And, I'd like to make you an offer."
"I would like to pay you a thousand dollars if you will let me lick your pretty feet."
"Excuse me?" I questioned. "Just what kind of girl do you think I am?"
"Two-thousand dollars then? I really don't like to pay much more for a first time unless sex is involved."
Did I hear him right? This strange man was offering me two-thousand dollars to lick my feet. "What ... um ... what's the catch?"
"No catch, except I'd like it if you were nude."
.... There is more of this story ...