A Stepmother’s Wishes

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Vanessa grimaced at Michael, her eyes glued to his hair. She knew she should be paying attention to the dinner her husband so kindfully prepared for her, but she just couldn’t take her eyes off of it. It was just so, so disgusting.

Vanessa had known Jeremiah for about a year now, and just got married to him roughly two weeks ago. She ended up moving in with him and his son, Michael. Upon moving in, she’d been appalled by the way Jeremiah allowed his son to style his hair.

You see, Michael’s light blonde hair was all the way down to his mid-back, absolutely unacceptable for an almost fourteen year old teenage boy. Long hair was meant for women and girls alike, and that was that. She simply believed that men shouldn’t have long hair, it was revolting.

“Darling,” asked Jeremiah, “are you alright?”

“Yes, Jere’, good as ever.”

He smiled, “Fantastic. Now, Michael, you put that plate in the sink and head upstairs for your shower, alright?”

Micheal hummed and made his way to the stairs.

 

Vanessa knew that she’d have to do something about Michael’s hair, it was unacceptable. But she just wasn’t sure what to do.

After the events at dinner, Jeremiah had been on edge. His wife seemed so out of it, something was eating at her. He cared about her, he cared about her so much, and to see her like this? It just broke his heart.

He made his way over to Vanessa and put his hand on hers.

“Darling, I know something been bothering you, mind feeling me what it is? ‘Won’t judge.”

She gloomily sighed and lent herself over the island counter. “Can I be honest with you, Jere’?”

“Yes, pumpkin,” he started, “you can tell me anything. I am your husband, after all.”

“Well, might as well be blunt about it, so I’ll just go out and say it – it’s Michael.”

“Michael? What’s Michael done?”

Vanessa looked down at the wine glass in her hands. “It’s-it’s his…hair. It’s just so long. Long hair is for girls, and Michael is not a girl. The boy’s almost fourteen and he’s acting this girly. It’s just unsuitable, not only for a boy his age, but just in general.”

“Oh, I…didn’t know you felt that way, darling.”

The room was dead silent

“But-”

Vanessa’s head perked up.

“-if that’s what you think, then so be it. If this is what’s upsetting you, then that’s that. And, in all honesty, I kind of agree with you, long hair is meant for ladies. I’ve never said anything to him because I didn’t wanna upset him, but since you’ve pointed it out, I think it’s time we speak up to him. Long hair’ll make him a sissy in the long run, we’re doing him a favor,”

She smiled, “Really? You agree with me?”

“Of course, darling,” he said, pecking her on the lips. “Now, what do you suggest we do about the hair that would make you happy?”

“Well, the only thing that’ll make me happy is if it goes. It’s too long, and we need to get rid of it.”

Jeremiah nodded, signaling for her to continue.

“So, since you’ve got work the next few days, I’ll handle and fix it his hair then. Make it acceptable.”

“Sound perfect,” exclaimed Jeremiah. “Now, let’s make our way off to bed, you’ve gotta get your beauty rest, don’t you?”

“Yes,” Vanessa chuckled. “Yes I do.”

 

The next day had rolled around and Jeremiah had gone off to work, and Vanessa was more than ecstatic. Michael’s long mane would soon be gone, and be replaced with an appropriate cut for a boy like him. She wasn’t sure what she’d cut it to, but it surely wasn’t going to be anything that was remotely close to touching the ears, to say the least.

“Michael! Get your ass down here, now! We’re going somewhere.”

Michael leaped up from the bed at his stepmother’s voice, shoving his phone in his pocket and slipping on a pair of Vans. “I’m coming, Vanessa!” 

He dashed down the stairs and followed Vanessa out the door and into the car.

“Whe’re we going?” questioned Michael.

Vanessa rolled her eyes. “Damnit, Michael, have you got any patience? You’ll see when we get there.”

 

Michael’s eyes bulged out of their sockets when he’d saw where they stopped. The two of them were in a quieter part of the town, and right in front of and old, barbershop.

“Wh-Why’re here?”

“To get your haircut, why else would we be here?” questioned Vanessa.

“B-But I don’t get my hair cut here! I go to another place in Braxton, dad takes me.”

“Well,” Vanessa said sourly, “you’re father said it was fine to take you here, now get along.”

Michael tried opening his mouth, but no words came out as she yanked him inside. The doorbell rang, grabbing the attention of an older man. He looked to be somewhere in his 60’s, with graying hair and button-up t-shirt, and also appeared to be a barber here as well.

“Ah, welcome Ma’am, could I help you with anything today?” 

Vanessa nodded, “Yes, actually. I was wondering if you could cut my stepson’s hair today?”

“Yes I certainly can, Ma’am,” the elderly man spoke, leading Michael over and shoving him in a chair.

“Now, what style would you like?”

“A trim pleas-“

“Something very short.”

Michael snapped his head towards Vanessa. “Wha-What do you mean…short? B-But I like my hair long, I-“

“Oh, hush your mouth, Michael. Your father and I had a talk last night. It’s about time you grow up and get a proper haircut for a boy your age. Long hair’s for girls – you aren’t a girl.”

“I agree,” spoke the barber, “you, young man, are in dire need of a cut. Something that shows you’re a man, which you’re hair now clearly isn’t.”

Michael was on the verge of sobs, choking on his saliva. His eyes a

watered over as he looked desperately over to Vanessa. “Please, Vanessa, please! I’ve had long hair my whole life… I don’t want short hair, pl-“

Vanessa stomped her foot against the floor, “That is absolutely enough out of you! Your father and I have come to the decision together. We are the adults, you are the child. We know what’s good for you, and you’re not going to be much of a man if we let you walk around with sissy hair like that for any longer. I don’t care whether you like it or not – it’s all getting chopped off and that’s the end of it.”

The young boy covered his face in his hands, his sobs filling the shop.

“I respect you, Ma’am,” said the barber. “You don’t budge, a good woman. And you’re absolutely right, that’s sissy hair won’t do any good for a boy his age at all. Now,” he spoke, turning to Michael, “you stop crying and sit still, I don’t feel like messing this up.”

The elderly barber draped a dark, black cape over Michael’s shoulders and fished his hair out from under it. He took a spray bottle and wetted the boys hair, brushing through his long tresses.

The barber tied a section into a ponytail, and in less than a second, Michael’s hair was reduced to his shoulders.

He couldn’t hold back anymore, and he started to sniffle, he could feel his hair against his neck, as he felt another tug on his head.

The barber had begun to section off another chunk, right on the side of the boy’s head. He opened his metal scissors and cut hastily through the younger boy’s locks. Michael could feel the tips of his hair barely able to graze his chin, he was devastated.

“Now, you stop crying, son. It ain’t gonna make this stop any sooner,” spoke Vanessa through his tears.

The barber felt no remorse or mercy of any kind for the boy, as he faced the chair away from the mirror. He continue to cut a straight line across, just taking his time to taunt the crying boy.

Michael’s hair was barely able to graze his chin, as it was cut more or so by the mouth than anything.

Then, the elderly barber stepped in front of him, placing the shears at the start of the boys hairline. He cut of the boy’s bangs, and wiped the hairs off of Michael’s face. 

He decided that he’d have fun enough and that the wait was over, and positioned his scissors above the boy’s ears and didn’t think twice before just slipping through.

He could feel the cold, metal blades press against his temple, as they sheared off his prize and glory. He loved his hair, but it was all gone now, nothing more than something for the barber to sweep up from underneath the chair.

He finished evening out the top and Michael thought he was over, until he heard the roar of clippers behind him which set a shiver against his spine. His chin was forced to his chest as the clippers plowed through the remaining bit of his hair at the nape. 

Vanessa could hear Michael’s sobs but payed them no mind as she skimmed through her magazine.

Next we’re his sides and everything g else just felt like a blur. His eves were closed, but we’re son forced open as the barber jolted his head up.

“Ma’am,” he called out, “how does this look?”

“How short is it?”  Vanessa pondered. 

“3/4 on the back and the sides, and two inches on the top, Ma’am.”

“Shorter.”

That’s all Vanessa said before averting her gaze back to her magazine.

Michael became hupysteric as the barber plowed through his hair at the top with the clippers, and around his head to even it out. Then, the barber switched something on the clippers, and before Michael knew it, his sides and back were shorter than before.

He blacked out for a while, didn’t pay attention or focus on anything, just stared off into the distance as his hair was reduced to nothing but stubble.

It seemed like three eternity’s had passed by by the time he yelled, “Done, Ma’am! Is this good?”

Vanessa looked at Michael then back to the barber. “Length?”

“3/4 on the top, 1/2 on the sides.”

She smiled, finally satisfied. She sat the beauty magazine onto the side table next to her and picked up her purse, picking a 20$ out of her wallet. “Here, sir. Keep the change.”

He nodded, “Anytime! Now, you gphave yourself a good day!”

“Same to you too. Now, get up Michael, we’re going home.”

Michael sniffed as he ran his hand through his sandpapery hair. It looked brown now, it looked ugly and it felt ugly. He hated it.

“I love it, Michael! It suits you very well!” exclaimed Jeremiah.

He’d returned home from work about five minutes ago, and he adored the new cut that Michael sported. “How short is it, Vanessa?”

“3/4 on top, 1/2 on sides.”

“Wow!” he exclaimed, “That’s perfect!”

“It’s too short, dad!” Michael sobbed.

Jeremiah huffed, “We’re doing this for your own good Michael. ‘Doesn’t matter if you like it. It’s nice, sharp, and a boys haircut. You don’t look like a girl now and that’s all that matters. You’re a man, and that haircut was making you a sissy.”

Vanessa places her hand on his shoulder nodding in agreement. “What’d you say, Jere’? Should we keep this look on him?”

Jeremiah smiled, “Next time, maybe shorter, but for the time being, it’s perfect.”

Michael’s heart sunk, he knew that his hair was never going to be long again, and that they’d just be sheared, over, and over again.

Thank you for reading! This is my first story and I’m not quite a good author, but I hoped you enjoyed it! I didn’t have time to edit it, so my apologies for the mistakes. Now, I DO NOF have this mindset in real life, I personally believe people should be able to express themselves freely and have long/short hair if they want to! This is just Vanessa’s POV, not mine! Tell me what you’d like to see next!

    —ashlyn 🙂

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