“So, what do you think?”
Sinbad kept quiet as he waited for Julienne to step up on the small platform in front of all the mirrors at the salon.
For once in his life, he wished he had basic knowledge of fashion, instead of knowing how to load a pistol while blindfolded.
But it wasn’t like anyone else was available.
“Sinbad, I asked you a question. How do I look?”
“Uhhh…Like your tits are about to fall out.”
Julienne just scoffed at this suggestion. “That’s not what I meant. Does it look like it could work as a wedding dress? Like, would it be suitable for the big day?”
“I think it’d be fine. Just don’t be surprised if your mom starts bitching about it at the ceremony.”
“Oh, I don’t think I’ll be worrying about that: let’s say that I ‘forgot’ to invite her.”
Sinbad had to admit that was probably a good idea, if a tad flawed.
“Not like that’s going to stop her, but that’s probably for the best. Still, you might want the girls or some of your other friends to keep an eye out for her.”
“Well, we’ll see. Mrs. Baker is still dealing with legal issues, and that’s not going to let up anytime soon. And Gala’s babydaddy is suddenly trying to gain custody of Julian.”
This second statement made Sinbad grit his teeth.
“Great,” he snarled. “Just what everyone needs: Mister Drudge fucking that kid’s life up. Of all the guys in town that Gala ended up getting knocked up by, it had to be him.”
Julienne herself was also affected. “Yeah, poor Gala and Julian.
“Can you believe she told me the other day that she wouldn’t mind if I became a bridezilla? Because that’s apparently preferable to all this custody battle mess. Ugh…”
Sinbad cringed again. “Thank you for reminding me that the weirdest part of my wedding was that we had to order a tuxedo for a dog. Custom made and everything.”
“Oh, that reminds me,” Julienne now said as she stepped off the platform. “Is everything all right with you and Shark? You haven’t said much about him lately.”
Now Sinbad’s expression became crestfallen, and he now slumped down onto the platform.
“I’m not sure.
“Usually by now he’s managed to get through one of his episodes. But it hasn’t happened yet. Nothing I do helps: All he wants to do anymore is sit on his computer and play games.”
“That’s it? He doesn’t even want to do the other stuff he loves?
“Yeah, that doesn’t sound too good.”
Sinbad just nodded now. “As much as I love to see his cat guy kill vampires while he’s playing, I’m still worried as hell for him.
“I tried making his favorite dinner last night, and he ignored it and went upstairs and went to sleep. Didn’t even pet any of the dogs on his way, either.”
This was getting to be too much for Julienne.
“Okay, now that is not right. I know for a fact that Shark loves those dogs more than anything else in the world. For him not to do that is…well, it’s just not right!
“And I’m not just saying that because I used to date his crazy-ass drug addict of an uncle. I once got him a coloring book with dogs in it because I didn’t know what else to get him for his fourteenth birthday. Do you know what he told me?”
Julienne waited in case Sinbad would answer her. When he didn’t, she went on.
“He told me that it was the best birthday present he’d ever gotten. Imagine, a kids’ coloring book for a teenager! And that was the best present he’d gotten?
“Either his birthdays sucked, and by that I mean perpetually sucked, or he really loves dogs. Oh, but knowing that family…”
She trailed off. Sinbad just nodded, apparently confirming that both possibilities were true.
“I just dunno want to do, Juju. I’ve been trying to reach out to him whenever I can. I just got a lot of shit going on at work, and-”
“Then take some more time off! I know for a fact that Mrs. Baker won’t mind; She once actually told me to do that after a serious procedure I had. She told me to ‘take all the time I needed’. And thank God for that!
“So go ahead! Use some of those vacation days you’ve accrued over the time you’ve been working with her. I’m sure she’ll understand if you were to tell her the reason.”
All Sinbad could do at this point was agree with her.
He kept her advice in mind as she bought her wedding dress and phoned Wei for a ride home, and as he waved good-bye to her before heading home shortly after.
He just hoped that Shark would at least be receptive to his attempts at helping.
Otherwise, he wasn’t sure what he could do, if anything at all. But he was at least going to try.