An Unexpected Feeling

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When Lisa woke up that warm Tuesday morning, she felt different. She couldn’t explain why, she just knew that something wasn’t the same. She momentarily put the feeling aside and got up from her bed and walked down the hallway of her apartment to the bathroom. She looked in the mirror at her pale figure and wondered why she felt so off. She was still wearing the same purple pajamas she had put on before bed and her wavy brown hair was still hanging down around her waist. 


Then she realized that that was it. That was the problem; her hair. While outwardly it hadn’t changed, she suddenly felt that she no longer liked it. From the moment Lisa woke up she felt heavy from the long locks flowing down from her head, and that they were just irritating her. She figured it was just a passing thought, as she has never had any major disdain for her hair before. As she took a shower she realized that washing her hair suddenly felt like much more of a chore than it had the last time she had washed it. After her shower Lisa decided to put her hair in a ponytail, an irregular departure from her normal hair-down style.


Once Lisa was ready for her day and left the bathroom she walked past her roommate Taylor on her way to the kitchen. Taylor was watching the news as Lisa walked by. Lisa examined Taylor as she passed, noticing how pretty her tan skin and bright green eyes were. What really piqued Lisa’s attention was Taylor’s straight jet black hair that hung just past her shoulders. Taylor used to have hair about as long as Lisa’s, but got it cut the week before as it was more practical for her job. “How’s it going?,” asked Taylor as Lisa grabbed some leftover food from the fridge.”Same as usual,” replied Lisa, who was deep in thought wondering why she had a new disdain for her long locks and an admiration for Taylor’s shorter hair. 


On her way out the door Lisa asked, “Hey Taylor, where did you get your haircut last week?” “At Gina’s Salon a few blocks North,” replied Taylor, who had a sudden realization after a moment. “Wait a minute,” said an intrigued Taylor, “Do you want to cut your hair?” “I might need a trim soon, and I need a place to go after my old salon closed in January,” responded Lisa. Her hair had grown almost six inches since it was last trimmed a few months beforehand. Lisa’s hair had always had a tendency to grow faster than most other people’s. “Oh, ok,” Taylor glumly replied. She had been hoping that Lisa would do something more than the bi-annual trim she usually went for.


Lisa left her apartment building and walked outside. The hot July sun was beaming down on her, and she decided to go on a run around her town and take advantage of the day’s warmth. As she ran, Lisa felt annoyed by her ponytail sticking to her back. She carried on with her run, and became more annoyed as she went. Soon after she left, Lisa turned the street corner and saw Gina’s Salon standing in front of her. She didn’t plan on running there, but her path just seemed to take her in the direction of the salon. Figuring that just getting a trim would do her little harm, Lisa walked inside. 


The shop had a small waiting area near the entrance, and just past that were three stations each manned by one person. At the farthest station from the door there was an older woman with a short perm who seemed to be sweeping up from a previous customer. To her right the next stylist was a middle-aged woman with a blonde lob who was running clippers up the back of an upset young boy’s head. While Lisa didn’t have a great view, it appeared that the boy had shoulder-length hair, or at least he sat in the stylist’s chair. At the station closest to Lisa was a stylist who appeared to be reading a magazine in her chair. Lisa was immediately struck by her hairstyle, which was a short red pixie cut with a shaved back and sides.


A teen boy with a buzzcut was working at the front desk. “Please take a seat, someone will be with you shortly,” he squeaked to Lisa, his voice cracking as he said it. Lisa sat down in a metal chair near the door. One other person was sitting nearby, a slightly older woman who Lisa assumed was the mother of the boy getting sheared. Lisa was deep in thought as she waited to be called. While she kept telling herself that she was only getting a trim, she knew deep down that she wouldn’t be satisfied by that.


“I can take you,” said a high-pitched voice from nearby. Lisa looked up to see that the young woman who was reading the magazine earlier was standing at the front desk, beckoning her to come over. The belief that she would just be trimming her hair was the only thing that gave Lisa the courage to stand up and walk towards the stylist’s station. As Lisa sat down in the chair she heard the stylist ask the question that Lisa had no answer to. “So, what do you want to do with your hair?” Lisa was about to respond that she just needed a trim, but she stopped herself, knowing that she wanted more. She thought back to her roommate’s mid-back hair, but also looked around at the shortcut of the young woman about to cut Lisa’s hair, and the long lob of the middle-aged stylist who was finishing up shearing the young boy. Paralyzed with indecision, Lisa had no answer for the woman about to cut her hair.


“You don’t know what you want, do you?” asked the young stylist. “Not at all,” responded a very hesitant Lisa. “No worries, this happens all the time. If you want, I can pick the cut for you. It will be a surprise.” Lisa felt relieved by the stylist’s suggestion, and eagerly responded “Yes please.” “Awesome!,” replied the perky young woman, who immediately grabbed a pair of scissors from her station. “I knew the perfect hairstyle for you the moment I saw you sitting by the door.” “Are you ready?,” asked Lisa’s stylist. Lisa only had one thing to say, “Yes.”


The young woman brought her scissors up to Lisa’s neck and began to snip away at her ponytail. Lisa was conflicted as she saw her hair be hacked away at. She remembered back to the last time her hair was cut this short over ten years ago, back when her mother made Lisa keep her hair at shoulder length. Lisa was thrilled to be able to grow her hair out when she graduated, and she was upset to see that her hair was returning to its full length she was once forced to keep it at. On the other hand, Lisa was thrilled to finally be changing her hair after nearly a decade of having the same style.


The stylist, who Lisa had learned was named Emma, had finished chopping off Lisa’s ponytail. She tossed it aside as Lisa’s limp hair fell around her shoulders. Lisa wanted to comment, but Emma immediately brought her scissors to Lisa’s chin and started to cut. Lisa watched as her once waist-length hair that had just been drastically chopped was cut even shorter, and was extremely intrigued to see how her hair would end up. In just a few minutes, Emma had finished her handiwork, and Lisa looked upon her now chin-length brown hair. Lisa was absolutely thrilled with her new look, and without word stood up and hugged Emma. Emma embraced it and responded with, “Happy to help.”


Lisa paid Emma what she owed (plus a large tip) when Emma called after Lisa as she began to leave. “Should I schedule you for another appointment next month?” Lisa pondered the question for a moment, and looked back at Emma to respond, “Definitely.” Lisa walked out of the salon into the summer sun, and began to run home. Lisa was extremely excited to show Taylor her new short cut, and maybe even convince her roommate to join her in having short hair. Lisa felt so free as she jogged home without her limp ponytail dangling across her back, but soon realized that her hair was continuously blowing in her face as she ran. ‘Oh well,’ thought Lisa as she smiled, ‘I guess I’ll have to get it cut shorter next time.’

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