Sergio

Lovely hair, she said, tossing her own.

Who do you use? I go to Sergio on Fifth Avenue. He’s simply the best. I don’t know why you’d go anywhere else. They’re all butchers out there, really. Just hacking away. Don’t blame yourself for how your hair looks. It's not your fault. People are just terrible at their jobs. Here, tell Sergio I sent you.

Mia wrote Sergio's address on her business card and gave it to me. She worked for a consulting company. She helped businesses determine which employees to fire. She was a friend of my friend Brandy.

Mia was shot later that night on 96th Street in the Upper East Side as she walked home. A man thought she was a drug dealer named Sarah from Connecticut who had stolen money from him. When Brandy told me about the shooting, I thought, well, maybe she was a drug dealer. She always had money. She’d gone to Fairfield University in Connecticut. Maybe she had led a secret life. Maybe she had stolen money. Maybe she was an unscrupulous drug dealer. God knows we can’t have those. There’s such a thing as integrity in business, Mia, or should I say, Diane?  

At the funeral, I stopped and looked at her in the casket. Her face looked a little lopsided, but they’d done a good job overall. Her blond hair still looked amazing. One of the bullets had gone through her temple. That’s what Brandy said. Brandy told me all the details. Mia's shooting happened the night after the Paris terror attacks. Mia was upset because she was supposed to visit a friend in Paris, and that friend had been at the concert hall where all the hostages had been taken. She couldn't get a hold of her friend.

On 96th Street a man yelled out, Diane! and Mia turned around and pulled out a gun in her handbag. She had a gun in her handbag, Brandy said again for emphasis. A gun. In her handbag. Before she could shoot the man, he shot her first. There's too much violence going on, Brandy said. Don't you think? This is a lot of violence recently. I can't deal with all this. I just can't. Brandy said Mia's family had no idea she was a drug dealer. No one knew. 

I went to Sergio after the funeral. Mia was right, I needed a better haircut. I told Sergio about Mia. He didn't believe me. It is not true, he said. Not true. She will come in next week. She has an appointment with me. She will come here. Trust me. She'll be back. She never misses her appointments.