Omotinne before her sojourn to ‘the abroad’ would have been rejected as an apprentice by any respectable hair stylist. If, however, she found someone who would take her, she would have been one of those people who never got their freedom from their bosses and simply stayed on for so many years and invariably become the boss’ consigliere and supervisor of some sorts. Earned some tips, got married and earned maintenance from their spouse or left work altogether. And in the case of one who is prone to disillusionment, opened shop somewhere close to the boss, blamed the boss for their woes, exaggerated their talent, made money more from gossip than good hair until customers got tired of a hairdresser who always was sure to spit in their hair and do some damage to it. Little burns here and there, skin bumps and traction alopecia from too tight braids that never lasted anyway.
But Omotinne went to the abroad, came back and became a hairstylist even though she wasn’t that talented. Omotinne was more of an entrepreneur than a hairstylist anyway. Omotinne ran a full scale beauty business. She sold hair, hair that shamed minimum wage. She sold hair treatment that didn’t really work, mostly organic because people no longer had faith in chemical mixtures after years of hair breakage, burns and increased Gofundme broadcasts for cancer treatments. She sold creams. Special organic creams that bore “Omotinne” labels. Priscilla was the face of her brand. Her baby pictures were on the products for children. Her current pictures were on the products for young adults. Photo-shopped pictures of her were on the products for older women who wanted to age slower and live wrinkle free till they died.
If only the women who spent so much money buying jars and bottles of these organic products knew they could never look like Priscilla. That it was blood and not aloe vera that made Priscilla look like she did. But it was a good thing. To live a dream. To work so hard like a dog and spend so much to keep looking like a human being. Mixtures of shea butter, honey, aloe vera, turmeric and garlic never harmed anyone. In fact they make you look better but never in the way you think and definitely never in the way you see since mirrors aren’t made for reflection but for remembrance – remembrance of who you were, of who you are, of who you could be.
So Omotinne lived like a queen on a dream – not hers, other people’s dreams. Her dreams had long been stolen.