A lesson to remember

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It was in a mid-summer day in Destin, Florida, where temperatures were at an all-time high, it was unbearable to say the least. For a long time my mother fancied the idea of my and my little brother, Samuel, getting summer haircuts at our Aunt Rachel’s house down the road, since she was a part-time hair dresser and all. I for one hated having my hair cut by Aunt Rachel due to her stubborn and kind of scary exterior, she would always give Samuel the same uniform, down-to-the-skin buzz cut which he never minded, and would fit me a short bob-styled cut or something of those lines, and I hated it! there was nothing I would look forward to less than having to visit Aunt Rachel’s at the start of each summer.. I had built up the courage to try and bargain with my mom on having my hair cut elsewhere, to which surprisingly she agreed, she told me she’ll drop me off somewhere close in town where I can book an appointment with the salon that she, herself went too.. This was both frightening, and exciting at the same time.

We drove through town nearing the shop as we exchanged casual banter in the car “Sophia, your hair is to be cut to a reasonable length, understand me honey? This place you’re going specialize in giving women shorter haircuts, you’re going to decide what you want and return home looking nice and appropriate for the summer”

“Yes! I get it mom.. Summer haircuts blah blah, I’ll get my haircut, ok?” I had took up quite a cheeky tone with her, which I could tell she disliked, she gave me the glare as we arrived to our parking destination, she instructed me where to go and let me off, even giving me money to tip the hair-dresser. I took my first steps into the concrete metropolis, it was felt quite empowering having the decision to get my hair done how I wish, however I wasn’t quite sold on my mother’s recommendation, if anything it seemed like Aunt Rachel’s all over again. I had ideas of my own, whenever I wasn’t getting my hair butchered by my Aunt, I was always privileged to go to what seemed to be the town’s only uni-sex salon, where I knew one of the hair dressers, Lori. I quickly detoured down the road to arrive to my destination, where I peered through the window seeing the shop in business. I had entered the shop shortly after, asking if Lori was available, and it turned out she was. She greeted me after I sat down in the waiting area briefly, and took me back to the shampoo bowl. While washing my hair, she remarked that its been really only a couple weeks to a month since my last trim-up, and that I’ve never come for a touch-up in summer.

I explained it was my mother who had certain standards in summer, and made me get my hair chopped by my Auntie down the road, and I hadn’t much say in the matter. She laughed and said we take a little bit extra off and make her happy. She even suggested a half inch or so shorter to perhaps appease her, I reluctantly, agreed. When she finished I had paid her including a generous tip and went on my way to where she told me to pick me up.

I was feeling good with my now shiny, smooth healthy hair being at a much more preferable length then what it would’ve been, i was contemplating the wonderful summer that stretched before me, sadly I was brought back to an un-pleasant reality as my mom had swung by and I hopped in the car. For a moment there was an awkward silence. I could tell by the look on her face something was coming, me being the meek naive girl I was had decided to break the ice.

“U-Uhm.. Mom? Is anything wrong?” I asked concerned. She turned her face with a crossed expression extending her hand running it through my auburn locks which reached around my mid-back “What is this?? you call this a haircut? I told you to go the barbershop and get it done” she said sternly “You didn’t get that haircut where I told you to.. You clearly have disobeyed me” there was another moment of silence where I was simply dumbfounded “But mom! Don’t you think it’s time I choose my haircut? It’s MY hair!!” I raised my tone practically shouting. She was even more infuriated “I’ve just about HAD it with you young lady! You have no excuse to be raising your voice to your Mother, we’re heading right over to Aunt Rachel’s to get this mess sorted, you hear me?” I almost let out tears at the thought of what could happen, who knows how much hair I’ll have by the end of this ordeal.

My mother made a quick call while we were in the car, vocalizing the urgency of the matter, once we pulled into Aunt Rachel’s driveway we had exited the car and entered through the front door. It was there Rachel, almost waiting, had exchanged greetings with my mother the two smoke briefly Rachel nodding along with what she said and reciprocating the anger. I couldn’t help but notice Rachel was a very attractive woman. She had a very curvy and muscular physique, pale skin, dark brown eyes, and looked like she was in her 30s. She was wearing black skinny jeans, a white blouse buttoned tightly with a little cleavage exposed. “She’s been a naughty girl, and is going to need to be punished, Rach” she had explained what had happen and it seemed the fate of my hair was completely in her and Rachel’s hands. Meanwhile Rachel was directed us into an open space in the living room where she had a stool, presumably for me ready and a bag of what seemed to be hair cutting tools. “Mhm, believe me she won’t be walking out here with those long lovely locks, I’ll get her nice and cleaned up sis” she had asked regarding Sam’s haircut which my mom responded it’ll only be me for today, she shortly left leaving me practically alone with Auntie Rachel. She stared me down for a moment before opening her mouth “What are you waiting for darling? Sit down already, we don’t have all day” I had nodded weakly, shuttling over taking my seat on the stool where I had some pretty awful memories of getting some pretty short haircuts and the rest. “I’ve been wondering why you two kids haven’t been by for your summer cuts, it’s a shame Samuel will have to come another time, but I can do with just you, sit here tight sweety, while I go fetch the cape, there’s going to be a teeny bit more hair on the floor then usual”.

She left for a minute where I stood almost wanting to cuddle-up into a ball and cry for the foreseeable future, I tried to stay strong so she wouldn’t see me break tears but I didn’t know how long I could resist. I stared at the stone-tiled floors where she had re-entered the room holding a clad-white cape which she enveloped over me, clipping it up, letting it rest. “Now.. Your mother has said you’ve been a bad girl..” She paused, rumbling through the bag of hair supplies, lifting out a pair of bulky red clippers which she rested on the table for now “Hmm..” She grabbed the blunt scissors and walked back over to me, as I remained defenselessly and caped up ready for a shearing. “We’ll have to give you something real short, okay? Outta teach you to be a good girl around mommy”. At an instance, I could hear the loud SHNICK sound ring as the scissors snapped, sending down a long lock of hair down my back, she seemed to hack away leaving disheveled, uneven remains as the hair slid down to the floor, I could feel the severed ends of my before neatly trimmed auburn locks. “I always seem to forget how thick it is cutting through this hair of yours, missy” she grabbed another clump of hair, snipping away as it rained to the floors, soon she made her way over to the sides, where she positioned the scissors right above my ear, where the cold metal rested there briefly, sending tingles down my spine.

The SHNICK SHNICK SHNICK shortly followed, and before i knew it she had sent the sheet of hair which was almost the entirety of my left side down to the floor! I watched, with ample tears as my crowned glory would depart first from the cape, and then to the floor with the rest of the auburn locks. “Aww come on, you’re a big girl now, quit it with the tears would ya?” she proceeded to my front, snipping in a straight line above my eyebrows, where she sent another sheet of hair down into my lap almost, she left me with blunt bangs and I could only imagine what my ruined hair looked like, was she giving me a short bob? Or worst.. Even a Bowl-cut. Onto the right side she did the same thing placing the scissors above my ears, resting them for a second as she hacked away the rest of the hair leaving me with a floppy, mount of hair on top. She backed away for a second. as I sobbed even more sniffling my nose a little as she fetched what seemed to be my worst fear, the big red clippers “Now sit still for me girl, this is going to get you nice and cleaned up” She popped them on as they roared to life, the BZZZZZ sound echoing throughout the room she slid them up and down the back of my head i could feel my hair, which was left fly off my scalp, raining down the cape, it was a lighter sensation, thinking about it made me want to cry even more.

“NO!” I had almost screamed in my thoughts, every time she flicked the clippers sending tufts of hair into my lap I internally screamed, she was butchering my hair by the second. She took a more affirmative stance and cupped her hand over the back of my nape shoving it down, where my head met my chest “Good.. Now keep like this” She finished up shaving the back and moving on to the sides. My small, feminine ears were now completely exposed, and from the looks of it they hadn’t seen too much sun. Out of the corner of my eye, i saw all my lovely hair mounding in my lap, the sight was terrifying, it was now Rachel got fed up with the tears  “Listen up honey, I really hate the tears. Makes me feel bad to see you cry so turn off the water works or so help me I’ll shave you completely bald” And with those few words, I had completely stopped, a few sniffles followed as I shut myself up almost instinctively.

She mowed down all the remains making sure there were no straggler hairs remaining, she almost aggressively passed the clippers up and down my nape just to make sure, leaving an almost red patch.  Just as she was finishing up she took the scissors out to leave me with a completely symmetrical bowl-cut and even decided to raise it higher to keep my bangs another finger or so above my eyebrows “Can’t have this hair coming back in your eyes sweetie, after all it’s summer, you’re going to thank me for taking care of that god awful hair of yours” I couldn’t imagine a world where I’d ever thank her per say, but I was just about coming to acceptance with my haircut, after all what’s done was done. Not to say I liked it by any standards, I thought it looked almost silly. She finished up turning off the clippers and uncaping me sending the rest of the buzzed hair to the ground “This looks much better, darling, I’m looking forward to seeing you in a few weeks, for your touch-up” I was just about accepting the result, wiping my eyes a little, as mommy would be back soon to pick me up, however as Rachel ushered the sentence I couldn’t help but wonder “t-touch up?” Rachel had a devious grin and almost laughed a little “Mhm! Your mother and I discussed you’re going to need to come back every so often to keep it nice and trimmed up, we can’t have it getting long like that again now can we darling?”

She would grab a broom to start sweeping the shorn locks “Oh! Look at that.. Time flies, it looks like your mother is outside waiting.. Welp! I’ll see you in a couple of weeks sweetie” She said almost sarcastically, the mere thought of keeping my stupid, silly looking bowl cut terrorized her mind, she was always allowed to grow her hair out into its previous length after a summer haircut with Rachel, but it seems the plans have changed, she held back tears as she couldn’t wait to leave the front door, where she met her mother, grabbing her arm “Sophia! Say goodbye to Rachel and thank her for your haircut” She seemed almost instilling discipline, I would give a half-hearted thank you and goodbye as we departed, and headed home, feeling almost sick as I did so. Before we left she inspected the cut, running her hair through the few inches of hair left at top, a lot more satisfied with the length then before


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