“No, not you too” sighed Jane, as she saw Megan Lee walking along the hallway holding Brandon Jensens’s hand.
Summer break was coming, and the girls in Jane’s school had been trading their long gorgeous hair for shorter trendier styles.
She couldn’t understand why would the girls cut away their beautiful hair! Long hair has always been a symbol of beauty in women! Even throughout history, short hair had always been associated with punishment or the shaming of a female’s sex. It was only until a couple of weeks ago when girls in her school had opted for those stupid short hairstyles.
What bothered her most is how almost every girl had seemed to just get boyfriends right after they cut their hair. Megan, the girl she saw walking down the hallway had always been the quiet girl in school, well that was of course when she still had that long lustrous dark hair which hung all the way to her back. But right now, her hand is held by Brandon Jensens, one of the hottest football jockeys in school, but of course now replacing her long beautiful hair, is a short ugly bob that barely touched her neck.
The only person who shared Jane’s understanding and love of long lustrous hair was her best friend Jasmine. She was one of the few of the girls who had painstakingly continued to care for their long beautiful hair while everybody was cutting theirs. Of course that perception of Jane’s all changed when just yesterday Jasmine came to school to debut her new pixie cut with her blonde hair swaying just past her ears, surprising many girls while turning many boys’ heads around. She can still remember how Jasmine got accepted as a member of the “famous girls” which she responded to Jane by giving her a somewhat guilty look,before abandoning her ,alone.
Jasmine’s betrayal had struck a knife in Jane’s back. But it led her to think. Just, just could it be possible, could it be slightly possible that, really, getting a haircut can make her life for the better? Can it really boost up the public’s acceptance towards her? Or even better, can it spice up her love life?? But no. No, Jane knew better, these girls change their hair for trends and style because they yet to mature. They yet to understand the true value of long hair. In no time they shall praise her for having the most beautiful of hair.Yes she was sure of it.
However she felt it. Something big was coming for her this coming summer break. She could feel it in her guts. Something was going to change her life.
So there it came, summer break. Jane’s parents were out of town for work leaving her all alone the whole summer break. They had never been close, Jane with her parents. Her mum had suffered from anxiety and depression from an accident for what she was told, with her dad caring for her mum for most of the time.
It had been one week since the break began and so far, nothing has really changed. She still woke up at 6am every morning to work at the supermarket as the cashier and continued her boring life. 16 years of her life and it always has been boring, no parties, no boyfriends, not even really any shopping.
It was 7pm, Jane had just finished her work and proceeded to walk home as unlike other 16 year old girls, she yet to own a car. Work had ended late today. As Jane looked towards the path to go back home, she looked around and thought that perhaps she would spend sometime walking around the quiet town first. She always was hopeful for that miraculous change to happen each day passing by, as she walked, perhaps suddenly she would get struck by lightning and wake up to be the most famous girl in school. But most probably, it’s just gonna be another boring walk.
Jane looked to see her rusty silver watch her grandfather had given to her. Geez she thought, it’s been two hours since she finished work and started wandering around in the quiet town and where she was now only God knows where. She had walked to a dim alley, probably miles away from home.
“Damn it.” She cursed.
Just then, something glimmering caught her attention. She looked where it came from as she slowly approached the object. She kept walking as the blurry object sharpens into focus. It was a barber’s pole, the one where it spirals infinitely. However, unlike the traditional barber’s pole, this one was in green and red, not red and blue.
Jane continued to gaze upon the pole. It was so beautiful, so… soothing… After probably a minute of pure staring into oblivion,she turned to look into the window of the small building. It was a small brightly furnished room with two red leather chairs, each facing mirrors. She immediately recognised it as a barbershop (also from the presence of the barber’s pole). She had never been inside one before but has seen them before in movies as for the times (which were very rare) where she would get her hair trimmed to get rid of her split ends she would always get them done in the beauty salon.
That was when her focus shifted towards the reflection created by the extremely smooth surface of the glass pane of the window. The reflection showcased a girl. She was indeed a beauty. Standing elegantly in a short white dress, complete with a well toned body, and not to mention, well-shaped boobs, she had a face which lacked a single speck with a fairly tanned cream skin colour. Her eyes, as blue as oceans, stared back into Jane’s eyes. But the reflection’s most prominent feature, as everybody else would agree, would be the hair. It falls so lustrously, so ever perfectly down to her waist, complete with the lively natural brunette and perfect curves. It is a no brainer that this girl really puts in the effort to care for her crown. Only at this moment that Jane realises she was the reflection, that she was that beautiful girl she had observed in the glass.
“Oh ..my ..god..” she gasped as she placed her hand onto her cheek
Jane continued to caress her face as she finally understands herself for real for the first time. She had neglected herself so much she barely saw the value in herself. It all had been boring job, boring life, boring school. Well I guess you could say that was the one flaw of Jane’s, she never had appreciated herself.
Her thoughts quickly got disrupted by the same barber’s pole’s graceful spirals.
So beautiful, so… soothing…
“Then why don’t people love me?”
Jane looked to her reflection quickly then back to herself, particularly to her long brunette hair. She held her hair by her two soft hands, a tiny tear forming at the end of her eye.
Jane didn’t know why. Nobody knew why, but it seems as if Jane’s legs had taken control separately from her mind. They moved so that she walked towards the door and eventually in to the barbershop.
The opening door hit the bell on top destroying the tranquility of the room. Jane gasped slightly as the cold air blew past her, blowing her hair back.
She stood there for a while, analysing the place, from its black and white shiny tiles to its spotless mirrors.
The sound of heels clicking onto these tiles quickly emerge, followed by a woman from a wooden door at the back of the room.
“Hello there! May I help you??”
The woman stood tall, in her mid 30s. She was wearing a white shirt folded up in the sleeves with a pair of long skinny blue jeans and completed with a pair of heels.
It took Jane a while before she realised she came into the barbershop without really a reason.
“Uhh.. I .. I… would like… to have a tri..”
“Hi I would like to have a haircut.”
That seven letter word she just said out shocked even herself. She’d never thought that she’d need to use that word for herself, let alone in a barbershop!
“Great then, please do take a seat.” The woman said, her warm smile still on her face.
Jane nervously walked to the seat when she finally rested on the humongous chair. The cold leather startled her initially, but soon she realised just how soft and comfortable the chair is and soon, how exhausted she was, how sore her legs were after two hours of wandering around the town aimlessly.
“Oh I forgot to mention, sweetheart, this is a barbershop so we don’t really do a lot of fancy hairstyles for girls.”
“That’s alright I’m actually looking for something short tonight.”
It had just been the second sentence Jane had said in the barbershop, but she already felt as if a demon had possessed her. Did she really just say that???
“Alright then, I’m Susan by the way, and how would I address you by ,miss?”
“Ok then, you wait here while I get you a cup of tea and my equipment.”
She doesn’t really think that she’s cutting my hair right? Jane thought.
She thought that unless she gets away now she will get indeed a short …short haircut. She started with her legs. Just when she needed them most, there they were, completely paralysed . She tried her hands next to push her way out of the chair but to no avail. It took a full minute for her to realise her whole body was frozen. It’s as if, another part of her didn’t want to leave. It’s as if this is the change that that other part of her has been hoping for.
“There you go.” Susan said as she placed the cup of tea on the shelf in front of her.
It was obvious, that other part of Jane had won.
“Wow… you have beautiful hair, I bet you took hours to care for it! Hair, so beautiful and lustrous like this is so rare nowadays. I think the last time I’ve seen such treasure was like a decade ago.You sure you wanna cu..”
“Cut it.”Jane interrupted.
“Cut it short.” She said, shocking Susan.
“Well girl, there’s no turning back now” Susan said as she took out her shiny scissors, the largest one in her collection, from her pouch.
She started by combing Jane’s hair down and placing her empty hand to hold Jane’s hair right under her ear. The section of hair lay together one last time as a whole as the two scissor blades locked it into place.
Those pair of scissors had to be the sharpest materials on earth to be able to cut Jane’s super thick locks because there they were, lying lifeless on the floor.
Jane gasped as she looked into the mirror and saw the right half of her head with indeed short hair. For all her life Jane had had these long locks with her. She had never gotten hair shorter than reaching down to her back, except this one time.
Jane’s memories flashed back to when she was 11 when a piece of gum got stuck in her hair. Those stupid boys she thought, if it was not for their stupid little pranks she would still have her long lustrous locks. She remembered how her parents forced her to get her hair cut to remove the gum. The only problem was she had to remove her hair along. She could reimagine the feeling of having her hair reach to her neck after the cut, how she cried the whole evening. It took her at least 6 months to regain the strength to return to the salon to remove her split ends after her traumatic experience.
But there she was, with short hair, no shorter hair, well at least on one side. Susan took her time, cutting and combing carefully and neatly at each area before moving to the next. It took Jane a while to realise how much lighter her head had been. She quickly looked down to see the mountains of hair growing, the hair she had taken years to grow. A tear rolled down her cheek, this time however, she couldn’t really understand why, being in a mixture of emotions. She continued to stare at her reflection as the hair of the girl in the reflection continued to reduce more and more as they fall slowly and graciously to the floor.
The last cut enabled Jane to see her new self. Now both sides barely just hung around her ears. It indeed was one short bob cut.
“We’re not done yet.” chuckled Susan.
She proceeded to rotate her chair at a 90° angle to the right where she can more easily work on the front part of her hair. She combed down her bangs, covering her view of the world as she knew it, where Susan proceeded to cut them and slowly her vision regained, one chunk at a time.
Schickk …Schickk …..Schickk
Susan quickly rotated back Jane’s chair to face the mirror to display to her, her finished product.
Jane saw what was done to her. Her bangs were cut straight so that they hang a centimetre above her eyebrows. She cut them awfully short. Well thank God she did or else her pretty eyebrows wouldn’t have seen the light of day under that huge pile of hair. She looked exactly like she had during that one time, like a little girl.
“Wow….” Jane gasped.
Still, she couldn’t recognise the girl staring back. It felt so different…
“Well, how’d you like it? That was really short, I think this should be enou..”
“I’m sorry?” Susan asked, her smile fading to confusion.
“No. Not short enough.”
Another tear broke out.
At this point it was useless for Susan to be shocked. It wouldn’t change Jane’s mind.
She walked to the drawer as she took out a huge pair of silver clippers. They seemed really heavy but Susan seemed to hold them skillfully. She placed a guard on the clippers before placing the clippers on Jane’s right temple.
“You sure bout this Jane?”Susan asked even though she was pretty sure nothing would change Jane’s mind at this point.
“Shave me.” Jane said again firmly, ignoring her question.
She looked through the mirror to gaze into Susan’s eyes
“Girl, you said it yourself.” Susan reluctantly said as flicked the clippers on
Right at this moment, reality to Jane turned to slow motion.
“This is what I want, what I want to be.” Jane reassured herself.
That wish was fulfilled when the sound of buzzing turned a whole lot deeper, as it began to eat away Jane’s locks.
Susan who had been very careful and gentle when cutting Jane’s hair surprisingly turned into an aggressive and ruthless creature when it comes to clippers. She drove the clippers through Jane’s temple with full strength, mowing down her brunette and replacing it with a grey patch of stubble as her hair poured like a waterfall in front of Jane’s eyes. One might even mistake this scene for a fantasy story.
Susan ran through the clippers several times on Jane’s right side leaving her with nothing but stubble. She quickly switched to the back where she started from the nape and up. Jane felt the gush of cold wind enter her scalp without the protection of her long thick locks, in addition there were the cold steel of the clippers rummaging her hair.
She switched to the left side of Jane’s head and did the same as she had on the right, starting from the temple and devouring everything brunette on the side. Finally there was the top. Susan stopped for a while as she exchanged her guard for the longest one.
With her empty hand she held Jane’s bangs and shaved them through with the clippers. She was without mercy, running down the clippers into her crown leaving only strips of stubble. She continued mowing her hair on the top until all was sheared. Finally using the clippers, she shaved off Jane’s last strand of bangs.
Jane stared into the mirror. She looked like a boy. She looked more like a Johnny than a Jane, with hair so short, it’s even shorter than hair most boys at school have.
From her experience of growing up watching a lot of war movies. She recognised this haircut as a flattop, the ones soldiers would receive during induction. She had short sides which fully exposed her ears with a little bit of length on the top. However Jane realised something, no.. no.. not Jane, but Jane did.
She had given Susan a specific instruction of the type of hairstyle
“Well… that should wrap it up I guess” Susan said, as she carefully looked for any stray strands of hair on Jane’s head.
“No.. please.. no..”
“It’s not … not short enough..”
Tears really began to flow out of Jane’s eyes.
“I wa.. want… to be… I …need to be.. I NEED TO BE BALD!” Shouted the nearly hairless girl as she broke down in tears, her voice cracking.
Susan barely hesitated as she quickly rushed to embrace Jane in her arms.
“Aww sweetie… what’s the matter?? Hey, you can talk to me” Susan said as she caressed gently Jane’s back.
Her hand was so warm, so caring, for a second she canceled out all the pain and emotions Jane felt.
“Just tell me, sweetheart. You can trust me.” She assured her pointing at her then to herself.
Still with a cracked voice, Jane began her story.She told Susan of all the pains she went through, how hard it was for her to be accepted by society, how distant she was from her troubled mother and how it ultimately led her here ,while Susan listened patiently to her every word without interrupting her once, just nodding throughout everything.
“Well that was pretty much it.” Jane said, ending her “monologue”.
Susan’s turn was next.
“You see sweetheart, I once had a falling out too like you. I once had this .. uhm how am I supposed to say this.. a hobby yes.. a hobby.. i had this hobby which I particularly couldn’t stop doing myself. However to many other people including my own parents,they think that I am weird, a freak for having this hobby and so they left me. I learned it the hard way that we live in a flawed world where all of us are different and so have different views of what is considered normal. So I continued life with this little hobby of mine and accepted myself. I may be different, and they may think that I’m somewhat different and can’t choose to accept me, but that doesn’t make me any more flawed than they are. So let me tell you this real quick. Don’t be what they want you to be. You be the person you already are and be proud of that.” Susan said, ending her speech with a chuckle.
Jane looked up, regaining her sense to thrive.
“Then it’s time to finish it. Time to be the new me, the true me.” Jane said confidently looking at the clippers, wiping away her tears.
“Well, I guess that had been a very bald decision to make” Susan said, chuckling at her own pun.
Both girls could wait no longer. Susan quickly removed the guard from the clippers and flicked them on, they roared louder than ever.
With her left hand, Susan held still Jane’s head while her right hand did the mowing. She ran through the clippers to the sides first, removing the already short grey stubble to a silver shadow, just to show off how sharp these clippers Susan used were. Susan was back at her ruthlessness. Mercilessly, the clippers ran over and over Jane’s head till it was so shiny ,light could bounce off of it.In a matter of seconds Jane’s sides were bald, without any trace of hair, only with a light silver shadow. She then proceeded to the crown of Jane’s head. With thundering strength, Susan mowed down Jane’s top strip by strip all until her hair was at an equal length, which was technically now zero. The clippers ran through Jane’s head for at least a dozen times to make sure that no strand escaped being unshaven.
The sound of the machine finally flicked off.
An exhilarated Jane still has her eyes shut, afraid of the outcome.
“All done. And this time please don’t say no, not short enough because if I’d continue shaving, I’ll end up shaving your skin.”
Slowly her eyes opened.
It felt so weird, seeing herself for the first time hairless. It felt even weirder to think that she had looked more beautiful hairless than with hair. She could see her large eyes and how round her head was, how free she was now. She then proceeded to rub her head with her hand, how alien it was to rub against a smooth head of her own.
In a flash Susan could feel the bald girl’s arms around her.
“Thank you Susan, for changing my life…”
Susan just smiled.
So the story ends with Jane coming back to school after the break, still with her bald head, with a new sense of purpose. She had gained the respect and admiration of many people in pursuing to become who she really was, albeit a teenage bald girl.
And of course, there were the boyfriends.
Back in the barbershop:
Susan was seen clearing Jane’s shorn locks after her head shave.
“One hella day huh” she said, as she swept the floor of hair.
She then proceeded to walk towards the wooden door before fishing out a key from her pocket to open it. The room she went in was a smaller room with only a workspace and some drawers. She flicked on her dim lights as she sat on her workspace with a wooden desk. From the drawer she took out a large old leather book and placed it on the desk with a large thud. She opened the book to show several sections with many titles . Some of which are: “Victims”, “Barber’s Pole Hypnotism” and “Lock Chair Mechanism”. She turned to a page on “Victims” as she searched for a name.The page was separated in rows and columns of “name”, “type” ,”date” and “status”
“Troubled mother huh Janey.” She said silently.
“Bingo, knew it.”
With a pen Susan wrote down “JANE BLOSSOMS” right under another girl’s name.
In the same row as the girl, the column’s (date) and (type) read out: “JUNE 21st 1998” and “LONG CURLY BRUNETTE”, while the under the column of (status) read out: “BALD”
When she was done Susan walked out of the room and relocked it. She took a last look at the barbershop before leaving when she gazed upon the mirror. She looked at her reflection, specifically at her long blonde hair.
Without her realising, she had her hand held the clippers already placed on her right temple ready to shave herself bald.
“Not today, hair..” she smiled.
She placed back the clippers into the drawers, certain she will use them upon herself one day.
“Today had already been exciting enough.”
Follow up in the sequence of many other clippering adventures in the sequence of URGE…
Hi there guys, just wanted to let you guys know