Teasing, they’d call me Amish April. It started with Jessica, soon after she got her hair cut into a flippy bob. I used to get my hair cut every summer, and it never grew past my elbows. However, when I was twelve, my family started going to church. There, everyone made sure to notice and compliment my yearly haircut. Of course, none of these old people, who were my parents’ friends, had anything else to talk to me about. And I didn’t want to give them anything to talk to me about, and I didn’t like being known for my boring, yearly haircut.
So the next summer I didn’t get a haircut, and I never got enough of a trim to cause anyone to notice or say anything.
But then my hair grew really long. I didn’t know if amish women had especially long hair. Jessica probably just teased me because she was insecure, because I was tall, and fit, and blonde. But I was such a square. For cheerleading, I wore my hair in pig tails, which I thought was a cool style, but starting with Jessica, all the other cheer leaders made fun of me. They did it all season. The end cheerleading was a big relief, and I started babysitting around the neighborhood.
However, somehow the kids had taken to taunting me, and calling me Amish April. It was easier to take it from kids than it was from my peers. In June, I turned eighteen and started overnight babysitting.
Jessica’s parents were taking her to visit a college, and I was to babysit her little brother, Simon. Brad, the older brother, would be around but he didn’t have time to babysit.
Running late, I ran to my car and gunned down the street. At the first stop sign, I noticed that I had shut one of my pig tails in the door. Oh well. When I pulled up, Jessica and her parents were in the driveway, waiting.
Jessica sauntered over to my car. When I opened the door, she said, with a snicker, “Amish April. Looks like your hair’s caught in the door. I like Simon best when he’s watching tv, so don’t go turning him amish.”
“I won’t,” I muttered back, mortified that her parents were watching me take this bullying. “I’m not amish, and you know that. You’re just being mean.”
The parents gave me a few instructions, and left. With a heavy sigh, I fell backward into the front door, closing it behind me. But the sigh tickled me someplace behind my nose, and I felt myself beginning to sob.
“Oh no,” crooned a voice from upstairs. It was Brad. “What’s wrong?”
Brad had graduated two years ago. These days, he was in community college, and delivered pizzas. He had shaggy brown hair and wide shoulders. One time he came to see the cheerleading squad, and for a week, he was all the girls talked about. He wasn’t the only older brother we’d gushed over, but he was certainly an important one.
I might have played-up my sadness a bit, to see if he might comfort me. I sniffled and said, “It’s. Jessica. She’s always making fun of my long hair.”
“Oh April,” said Brad. I blushed, flattered that he knew my name. Then he put a hard arm around me. “That’s how it is in high school. Kids find the thing that makes you stick out, and they take it as an insult that you don’t care what they think.”
I appreciated the wisdom of his perspective, but I wanted to find a way to stop the teasing. So I asked for practical advice. “How can I make them stop?”
“Well, you do have extremely long hair,” noted Simon. “Even if you cut it, it’s possible that the kids will find something else to tease you about. You’re going to be a senior, and it might be too late to change your role.”
“Really? There’s nothing I can do?”
“Well, if you cut your hair, you have a chance to stop the teasing.”
I groaned, “Just a chance?”
“Do you want to know what I think will definitely work?”
“Yes.” Of course I did.
“You need to show them that you have guts. You need to get a haircut so short, the girls will be afraid to say something, because they might think you’d gone crazy.” He got a wild, fierce look in his eyes, and I stared into them, afraid to look away. He continued, passionately, “You’d be showing them what a waste of time their teasing is, because you really don’t care what they think, at all.”
I felt obliged to tell him the root of my problem, since he seemed so bent on the idea of me cutting my hair short. Looking to my feet, I muttered, “I stopped getting my hair cut because I didn’t like people noticing it.”
“I see,” Brad patted me on the shoulder and stepped toward the door. “You might think you don’t have the guts. But already, you have a unique style. You’ve got more guts than Jessica, with her stupid Dido hair.”
“Do you really think I should cut it? Do you think I would look good with really short hair?”
“Yeah, I mean. I like short hair on girls. I think you would look good. Anyway, I have to go to work. Maybe I’ll stop in when things are slowing down, and see how you’re doing.”
“Okay,” I said, delighted at the idea that he might stop by just to see me.
He left, and oh my god, I wish I hadn’t been the only one to witness that interaction, because I was getting the idea that Brad was into me, or would be into me if I cut my hair short. And what if I did land a guy like Brad? None of the girls would make fun of me, then. But did I have the guts to cut my hair? Brad seemed to believe I did, and either way, I wasn’t going to blow any chance I might have with him.
But after tonight, I had no idea when I’d ever get to see him again. I had to find out if there was truly an attraction. So what would I do? Wait for him to come home, and express to him an interest in cutting my hair short? Then what? If I wanted him tonight, I would have to cut my hair tonight, short enough to be called short. Short enough to how him that I meant business. And I had to do it now, so I wouldn’t lose my nerve.
There was a large pair of scissors in my back pack, which would work, since I didn’t know how to cut hair, really. Simon was watching tv, and didn’t say anything to me. That was good, I guess. I went into the bathroom and bent toward the mirror, just to see where the hairline started on my neck. I had decided to cut it to there, notably short, just straight across. Before tonight, I had never been the type to act on impulse, which might explain why I hadn’t gone ahead and cut off my hair. It made no sense to have it so long.
I lined up the scissors near my ear, and snipped, and didn’t look down. Like a fearless robot, I snipped several more times, no emotion. This wasn’t ‘crazy short’, like Brad had suggested, but it was a start. After all, I wouldn’t cut my hair shorter than this if it were entirely up to me.
Halfway through, I looked down. The floor of the narrow bathroom was piling with blonde hair, everywhere, behind the toilet, and even in the bath tub. Hastily, I went ahead and snipped the rest of the way. It was uneven, but proximally level with my hairline. My new, short hair was barely long enough to tuck behind my ear. I shook my head, and it felt amazing. I felt so light, and so free, almost manic at this severe change.
But I was nervous, so nervous about seeing Brad. A whirlwind of anxious energy, I cleaned the bathroom, and made it look like nothing had happened in there. Then I looked at my hair, and imagined it shorter. As it was, I liked it, even though it was plain. I guess for me, it was quite dramatic. I’d never had such short hair. But immediately I started to dream of having it even shorter, if I needed to. I wanted to.
Fearing I might lose my nerve, I called Papa’s Pizza. Brad wasn’t there, so I ordered a pizza and had them include a note that said, ‘I cut my hair. maybe not short enough.’
The man said it would be around an hour before Brad could make it, and I said that was fine.
In forty minutes, Brad burst through the front door, not even carrying the pizza.
“April?” He called, and found me sitting alone on the upstairs couch, a wreck of nerves.
“Brad. What do you think?”
“April. It’s cool. I didn’t know if you would do it…” His eyes were wide, looking at every part of my face and neck and hair.
“Is it short enough?”
“Short enough for what?”
I swallowed, and looking at my feet, asked, “If you could cut my hair, any way you want, how would you cut it?”
“Do you want me to show you?”
“Maybe. If I cut my hair how you like, what will it mean? It will feel like I’m yours.”
“Do you want to be mine?”
“Yes. If you will have me.”
“Yes,” answered Brad, sounding ravenous.
He called out of work for the rest of the night. We decided to cut my hair after we put Simon to bed. In the mean time, we cuddled on the couch. Brad kissed me, and touched me in teasing ways. Each time, I wanted him even more, more than I’d ever wanted anything. Downstairs, there was a larger bathroom with a Jacuzzi. Brad lit a candle, and showed me that he had a haircutting kit, and he’d been saving it for a time like this, and this was a dream come true for him.
“Do you know how to cut hair?” I asked as he fastened a heavy cape around me.
“I do enough. Do you really want to be mine?”
“Yes, Brad,” I said, and fell into the mirrored reflection of his deep, brown eyes.
“It feels good to hear you say that. To see you being brave for me.” He plugged in his clippers and put a guard on them. I wanted to ask what size the guard was, but I didn’t want to discourage him. Brad bent over and kissed me on the forehead. I felt his warm lips on my hairline, along with the contrasted sensation between where there was hair, and were there was not.
I wanted to feel his lips all over me.
Brad turned on the clippers, which were very loud, and began mowing at my temple, working his way back. In the mirror, it looked like he was taking me to a quarter of an inch. My skin showed through the fuzz, and… Wow. There I was, trading 99% of my hair for a cool, sexy boyfriend. The air tickled around my ear and neck. My head looked taller and leaner for the brief moments when I had a mohawk.
When directed, I put my head down, and Brad clipped the back of my head, working his way forward. The longer tendrils on the top of my head thinned out and turned to blonde fuzz. It was darker than my long hair had been, not yet touched by the sun. Brad ran the clippers over me again, making sure he didn’t miss any spots. I looked to the floor, and the scattering of shorn locks was much less severe than earlier.
Brad brushed me off and kissed my forehead again.
“Is this okay baby?” he asked.
I melted at being called baby, and feeling the mood, replied, “Yes. Thanks Brad. What else would you like to do with me?”
“Soon, I’ll show you.” He breathed, then pulled the guard from his clippers, and carefully clipped away the hairs on my neck, and behind my ears.
He pulled the cape from me, and I admired my new look in the mirror… quite the opposite of my old style, or lack of style. I pictured myself cheering with buzzed hair, being seen by everyone at the game. How many of them would remember the girl with the long, long pig tails? Brad caressed the fuzz on the back of my head.
“Do you like it?” I asked.
“Yes,” Brad said, and pulled my body into his, and kissed me.
His hands were warm on my bare neck, causing me to nearly explode with excitement.
I wanted to feel his lips on my forehead, again, and feel his breath through my fuzz. Maybe next time I would let him take it shorter, it felt so good. In his room, he fucked me, and never had I felt so free, nor so alive, feeling so many sensations that before had never existed to me. It was like sex had never existed before, because with Brad, it was like nothing I’d ever imagined. Never had I been so ecstatic than that night, as Brad’s buzzed beauty.