A little barbershop prank

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Sarah is sitting in the barbershop. Such a chore taking her little brother for a haircut. As he isn’t old enough at the age of 12 to get a haircut on his own, he just gets the same haircut anyways. At least, that is what Sarah tried to make herself believe. Deep down she loves the barbershop atmosphere and watching the guys and the occasional girl get a haircut. Especially the ones that involve more than just a trim.

Most of her teen years she had a chin length bob. That was till she decided to grow out het hair 6 months ago at least, now her straight brown locks touch her shoulders. She has a bit of a boyish attire oddly enough. Maybe it is the hair or maybe it’s the wide sweat shirt and baseball cap she wears. An unusual look to say the least, but this way Sarah feels like none of her friends will recognize her if she gapes at a haircut. Would the disguise work? Probably not, but as long as it helps with the unease Sarah feels when watching, why not.

Her little brother has his hair trimmed about every four weeks. As such Sarah saw plenty major haircuts. The most memorable one being a 16-year-old girl, a girl her age, going from waist length to a short little pixie. Today of all days isn’t the best trip. Sarah was supposed to meet some friends.  Since the weather is lovely outside the barbershop is almost empty. No friends and nothing to see. But Sarah notices that her little brother is almost finished. ‘Maybe I can still meet up with my friends’, Sarah thinks. Much to her surprise Sarah sees the barber moving her way. ‘Maybe he wants me to paid him’ Sarah thinks. ‘Or maybe he’s about the ask me if I need a trim’ she continues to ponder. Endless pondering is one of Sarah’s qualities or flaws, depending on who you ask.

‘Hello son, it’s your turn’ the barber says. Sarah who is still pondering has just decided for herself that she could use a trim. As the barber gestures and walks to the washing station Sarah follows. ‘Wait did he just say son?’ ‘No, I, must have just misheard’ she thinks.  She takes a seat at the washing station and wonders if she should get the split ends cut off. Or maybe a bit more, like an inch. She notices that the was is quite quick and impersonal. No asking if the water is hot enough, no massage and not even a bit of small talk. ‘Odd, he was such a chatty fellow when cutting my brothers hair’ Sarah thinks.

‘Follow me’ the barber says. After a couple of steps, he directs Sarah to his chair. Sarah notices her little brother sitting in the waiting area. He quickly waves with a big smile. The barber puts on the cape and Sarah says: ‘just a trim please’. ‘Sure’, the barber says. He starts combing Sarah’s her. ‘At least he is gentler than during the wash’ Sarah thinks. The barber grabs a hair pin so he can tie up the hair on top. Next, he grabs his scissors and subsequently all the hair at the left side of her head. Before Sarah has any time to react to this unusual – at least in Sarah’s eyes – technique and makes the first snip. “Schnapp”. Sarah looks horrified as her hair is reduced to little over two inches.

‘This isn’t what I wanted’ Sarah blurs. ‘No, this is what you need’ the barber replies. Sarah feels more miserable than she has ever been. At least for a moment since that same excitement, that same feeling of guilty pleasure she has when spectating a major cut, kicks in. She could walk out and maybe safe some of her locks. But she really doesn’t want to. This is more of a rush for her than watching the waist length haired peer getting a pixie.

While Sarah is pre-occupied with overthinking her own excitement the barber moves to the back of her head. A couple of cuts later he moves to the right side. All it takes is a couple of minutes, and some snips and Sarah’s hair is gone.  Next the barber grabs his hair dryer and carefully dries the back and side, making sure the top stays wet. After the hair is dry the barber grabs his clippers and puts on a no. 4 guard.  The barber places the clippers at Sarah’s nape and slowly starts working his way up. Feeling the warmth and buzzing of the clippers is an excitement Sarah has never felt before. ‘I love this’ she thinks. After the back is done, the barber switches to the sides. Though this doesn’t give Sarah the same excitement as she felt when he buzzed her nape.

After the barber finishes, he replaces the no. 4 guard with a no. 3 guard and places the clippers at her nape again. This time the barber doesn’t go all the way up but stops half way up, skillfully blending the hair. And after finishing cutting with a no. 3 guard the ritual repeats itself but this time with a no. 2 guard and less high. As a next step the barber takes off the clippers and starts cleaning up the edges. When he is about to clean up around the ears Sarah wiggles a bit. Sarah feels even better than when the barber was buzzing her nape.

The barber is a fast worker and as such the cleaning up doesn’t last long. Sarah wonders if she should ask if he can take the sides a little bit shorter but doesn’t dare open up her mouth. Of maybe she is just pondering again, being indecisive about what she wants.  While Sarah continues ask herself the “what if” question, the barber unties the top. Sarah wonders how much is going to take off. But this is a question that doesn’t remain unanswered for long. ‘Do you want to wear your hair to the front, left side or right side’ the barber asks. ‘Front’’ Sarah answers merely because it’s the first option. Some snips there is about 5 inch of hair left on top. The barber brushes Sarah’s hair forward and places the scissors at her eyebrows. She is glad to keep at least some length to style on top.

Sarah always wanted bangs but she never expected they would be blunt bangs. After cutting the bangs in a straight line the barber continues to shorten the overall length on top while blending the top with the back and sides. Sarah expects to be done but the barber grabs his razor in order to clean the neck hair. A finishing touches the barber dries the top, resulting in the bangs shrinking about ¾ inch. Sarah so hoped for some length to play with. The barber says: ‘that would be thirty bucks for the both of you’.  Sarah paid and even provides a tip.

On the way home Sarah and her little brother didn’t speak a word. He just kept glaring at her hair awkwardly. Sarah didn’t notice, all she could think off is what mom and dad would say. We’ll, not almost everything, a good second is how amazing her new short hair feels. Luckily for Sarah, her parents don’t ask much questions and except the explanation that she was just ready for a change. If she would have told the truth about what happened dad would have raised hell on the barber who gave het the cut she is now beginning to enjoy.

Later that evening Sarah is sitting in her room, doing some homework when she hears a knock on her door. ‘Come in’ Sarah says. Her little brother enters the room with 15 bucks in one hand and dad’s old clippers in the other hand. ‘Hey’ he says. ‘He’ Sarah says. ‘I’m so sorry Sarah, it was just a little prank’ the boy stutters. ‘A prank?’ Sarah asks unable to hide her surprise.  ‘Yes, you see, since the barber was new, I thought I could try a little prank’ he says. All Sarah could say was ‘continue’. Sarah notices that her little brother is clearly stalling. ‘Out with it’ Sarah says. ‘I told the barber you are a boy and that dad said you must get a short haircut’. ‘That explains’ it Sarah thinks.

Her little brother offers her the clippers and the 15 bucks. ‘Here is your money back and you know how I like my hair so you can cut mine’ he says. For ones Sarah doesn’t have to ponder, think, evaluate or anything of the sorts. She says: ‘no, dad will ask questions and will raise hell in the barbershop if this ever comes out’ Sarah says. Of course, Sarah is angry but also glad that she had to have this experience. Plus, dad’s reaction, it’s just not worth it. ‘Look, we’ll settle this the next time I’m supposed to take you for a haircut’ Sarah says calm and gentle. ‘Come here’’ she says and gives him a hug. ‘I may be angry but you’re still my little brother and as such I still love you’ she says.

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