Aidan wondered how many more times Henry would tell him that things were fine. He was beginning to doubt him, but he'd met up with him at the mall to talk about what to get their Mom and Dad for Christmas.
"And the seizures?" Aidan looked at him point blank.
"Not a one." Henry was nursing on a mixed berry smoothie while Aidan was eating a slice of pizza.
"Are you sure ...everything is perfect?" Aidan gave him the eye, hoping Henry would tell him something.
"Can't complain." Henry shrugged. "We finally met our neighbor..and well..."
"Well, What?" Aidan knew something was bothering Henry.
"Josie is so weird around him." Henry winced. "But he's seems like a nice guy. Although, he never did explain what was going on in his apartment, and..well..it looks like he's alone." He sighed. "Sure hoping, he's not a serial killer."
"Lets hope not." Aidan wasn't sure if Henry was joking. Aidan decided they better talk about their Christmas gift to their parents. He was hoping they could at least pay their airfare to Florida in January. They'd gotten a share home. Just what they needed during a harsh winter.
Josie was in total shock when someone gave her a pedicure. Yes, she went along with Halie to get her nails done, but ended up getting the full package with shellack.
"I'll give you a good price." Xander smiled. "Since it is your first time."
Josie wanted to cringe when he saw her hairy ankles. Granted, she wasn't exactly big foot, but still..she was embarrassed, only it was a little too late. She'd suddenly embarked on a whole new adventure, in being pampered.
Feet washed, ankle message, toenails clipped, the rough edges of the soles' of her feet smoothed out. But she was ticklish, and he kept telling her to relax.
While Halie got some woman who treated her as if she might have been a snake handler. Halie was furious by the time they got to the manicure. But Josie couldn't help to smile. She couldn't even feel Xander clip her nails. And he polished them with such precision.
It was so elating.
Half way through Xander's shift (at the nail salon), his neighbor showed up, with a friend. Josie looked out of her element. The other girl was all smiles as if she’d done this before. He managed to take Josie. He couldn’t help to wonder if this was her first time to get a manicure.
He’d get to a pedicure first.
“Huh?” She looked like a little girl.
“I bet those are virgin feet.” He smiled ever so endearing, as he helped her up on the chair with the sink below.
“Getting a pedicure?” He pointed to her toes. Her big toe did look like a deadly weapon. “I can take care of that.” He assured her as he heated the water and put in the soap and lavender oil. He gently put her tiny feet in.
She sighed, not actually listening to her friend’s chatter. Her friend had a new job. She wasn’t from around her. British, in fact. Her name was Halie and talked about her best friend who always had the best nails.
“And to think, I thought she was doing it, all herself, all this time, but she wasn’t. She has her nails done, like every other week.” He over heard her say to Josie, who kept staring at Xander as he washed her feet. Then he dried them on a soft fluffy towel.
Josie drew a breath.
“Relax.” He smiled.
“I’m ticklish.” She said very honestly. “I don’t want to kick you.”
“Trust me. It's going to be fine.” He promised as he got out the tools to clip her toe nails and smooth out the rough edges of her feet.
She was ticklish. That was definitely no lie. But he kept coaxing her to relax.
“Just sweet baby feet.” He finally sighed, but then he noticed her saucer eyes so big yet distraught.
“How did you know?” She snapped.
“What? What do I know?” Xander didn’t understand. As he looked up at her showing her two shades of pink, one darker than the other.
“Nothing.” She whispered, as if she didn’t want her friend to know.
He went on to put the darker pink on her toes. He said they would dry while they did her nails. It was quiet for awhile. Of course, his boss, and older laday whined about how hungry she was in Korean. He talked back to her, but then said to Josie, “Don’t worry, she isn’t talking about you.”
He then did his sale pitch about how the “shellac” would last longer. He didn’t think it would hurt the baby, if she wanted it.
She pressed her lips tight, but she looked quite sad.
“The lighter shade will be nice.” He said it would go with anything. She only nodded. Soon enough the manicure was complete, but she remained mute.
“I really didn’t mean to upset you.” He said ever so quietly. “Its free.” He practically winked, as he told her to keep her money.
Of course, her friend had to pay.