"You should dye your hair. You should let me dye your hair." It was an odd day that Mina had any guests, but things had boiled over at her niece's on Wednesday. Thus, Usha was hustled a few doors down as the sun set.
So there was a little more to prepare for breakfast that morning.
"Should I, now?" Mina had a thought to take a bit of loose hair and twirl it around a finger, but no, she was fulfilling the matron role at the moment, wasn't she?
"Yes. You don't even have to bleach it first."
"I suppose that would be true."
"And besides, you look weird with white hair and BABY skin. It'd make you look younger."
"And why would I want to do that? Does Jyo need another baby to carry around the house?"
"NO. Maa has plenty of babies. Ugh. I mean like, make it a cool color. Make it Red."
"Do you want Red hair? Like a fire truck?"
"What would Uddan think, coming back to a wife with fire-truck hair. He might try to hose me down. Here," Mina set a plate of rice, potatoes, and spices down in front of the preteen, "You've been talking long enough. You still have school, don't you?"
"Then it's either eat or get dressed. Your Mother left your uniform."
Usha stared at the plate for a second, than started in, "I was hoping for Poori."
"Let me wake up after 6 in the morning and maybe you'll get it..." Mina sighed. The childcare life wasn't for her. "Let's get started on your hair, the couch didn't do you any favors." She reached into the bathroom to get a brush - feeling blindly around the sink for it.
Usha always imagined rubber band noises when aunt Mina did that - stretching her arm meters across the room for something. And the 'snap' of a whip when it shrunk to normal length. It didn't make any real noise though. The brush started tugging at her messy hair.
"Besides, these days people might mistake me for one of those American heroes. Firetruck red hair. No thank you."