“Ok, we’ll see you soon”,said mother, fitting the receiver in its holster,”Kids!”
Prepubescent feet quickly made their way downstairs, the lot filed into their mother’s space,”Yeah!”.
“Your aunt, Shelly is coming for a visit”
The girls groaned, mother became stern,”Hey, She is your aunt and I want you all to be on your best behavior”
Susan, a black bouffant-haired girl spoke her siblings case,”But mom, Aunt Shelly always wants to do our hair, she’s never satisfied with the style we already have”
“Remember when Wilda ended up with a coconut bob”,Chichi brought up, her said sibling blushing from embarrassment.
“That may be”,replied mother,”(sigh) but that’s just my sister’s way of influencing you girls, she may not even want to cut your hair this visit”
The girls grew a look on their faces as if to say,”Yeah, we’ll see”
Cut to the train that Aunt Shelly was traveling in. A thin woman in modest dress sits, a case’s rim is clamped on by five slim fingers.
She is no old woman, quite the opposite, she is the youngest of the litter but certainly, the most sociable.
She was a city girl but liked to get away from the glitz and glamor of the city from time to time.
Shelly wore a teal dress with frills and white dots printed on it. Her hair, dark brown, was always molded upwards, no matter the occasion.
A barberette of the downtown district of her city, she would carry her skills along to wherever she went.
“Now, let’s see..”mumbled Shelly,”Susan is a prim and proper girl. Such black hair, always up in a high style. Let’s see… A bob… no, no. A pageboy: Gosh no! Imagine what her mother would think. What about Chichi; she has just the fairest shade of red: very pretty, very cute, I would just love to cut it up to her ears. Wilda, that dreadful bob I gave her: never doing that again”
“Next stop”,called the host of the train,”Greenflower”.
Shelly began to smile,”Whatever the style, I’m sure they’ll appreciate their new dos”
Greenflower was a quaint mountain town at the base of the seven mountain range.
“105 Daisy Dawn drive”,Shelly reminded herself,”Best to be on time, the girls are way overdue”.
Daisy Dawn drive was a long, narrow strip of earth that led to a small, warm farmhouse mansion.
“Girls”,called mother, clapping her hands,”Take a moment to scrub your hair thoroughly just in case”
She knew her sister would offer to do her daughters’ hair, aunt Shelly always did.
“What haircut do you think Emma will receive?”commented Bella to Susan as the the latter was lathering her black locks.
“Frankly, I don’t care if she ended up bald”,taunted Susan.
Emma pricked up her head,”Hey!”
Susan smiled,”I was just kidding, Auntie is not that deranged”
Humming escalated up the way, she had caught a ride from a gentleman of about fifty who was so friendly during the short trip.
“This place hasn’t changed a bit”,mused Aunt Shelly, clacking her shoes on the steps.
Mother opened the door and hugged her dear sister,”Mmm, I’m so glad you decided to come: Girls! Aunt Shelly is here!”
“My my, you girls’ hair needs a trim”,put Shelly when all five girls were lined up.
Susan, along with her breed, turned towards their mother.
The girl mouthed,”I told you so”
“Shelly”,started Mother,”Maybe the girls don’t need haircuts this time”
“Nonsense”,replied Shelly,”Their hair desperately needs a trim”. Shelly started for the kitchen,”Come along, girls”
The girls followed their aunt into the kitchen and watched her set up her cutting space.
“Ok, dearies. Chair up”
The chairs were not
“kitchen chairs” like the ones that are usually around the table.
Aunt Shelly had “special” ones for her favorite nieces.
When the ritual was created, Shelly had personally bought styling chairs for each child, she stored them in their massive garage for easy access.
To tell which chair belonged to who, an engraving was made.
Like drones, each girl took her seat, Aunt Shelly popped open her traveling case.
Five, freshly ironed, capes laid folded in its compartment.
Embroidered on the capes, were the names of their respective girl.
Aunt Shelly held up Susan’s cape and looked as if she would cry.
Holding back tears, the relative barberette went over to Susan and draped the masterpiece over the nervous girl’s shoulders.
Wilda, Emma, Bella, and Chichi felt the fabric flow over their shoulders and the tightening that felt a bit too tight.
“You all look so cute”,marveled Aunt Shelly, even the girls couldn’t help but blush.
Aunt Shelly put her case up on the counter and popped it open, she held and unfolded a black apron.
It fitted over her body as Chichi raised her small hand from underneath the cape to scratch her nose.
Scissors and combs were laid out, mother came and sat to watch the show.
“Ok,Suzy”, said Aunt Shelly, undoing the girl’s updo and brushing it,”You ready?”
Susan looked to her mom to stop the madness but she knew her mother was powerless.
“What are you thinking of doing to her hair?”asked mother.
“She is a very modest girl, Lu”,explained Shelly,”I would like her hair to reflect that”.
Shelly took up her scissors and comb, she took a lock of hair and combed through it.
Like a woman on a mission and without hesitation, Shelly cut off the hair at chin level.
The other sisters gasped along with Susan, even mother held her hand to her mouth.
“Aunt Shelly!”cried Susan as the strip came off.
“Don’t worry, honeybun”,comforted Shelly,”I promise you’ll love the style I have in mind”
Susan received a tissue from mother to wipe her tears.
The scissors cut off chunk after chunk and when it ceased temporarily, Susan felt weird and different.
“How do I look?”Susan asked sheepishly.
Aunt Shelly smiled,”You look pretty, my dear but I’m not done”
Great, thought the confined girl.
Susan’s hair was combed and her sides were separated from her top.
In lines, Shelly snipped off the hair, going around the ears and diagonally cutting her sideburns.
The back and sides clung their shortness to Susan’s head.
The top was unclipped and wetted some.
Aunt Shelly tussled the new hair and gave it her stamp of approval.
Susan was released and the girl hopped down.
“Come”,mother invited, the daughter rushed her mother and hugged her.
She, in turn, dusted off her child, the tiny hairs fled to the floor.
“Do I look alright?”asked Susan uncertainly.
Mother lifted her chin and kissed her forehead,”You’re beautiful”
Susan smiled as mother cocked her head to the living room,”Go wash up”
Susan nodded and took her leave.
Aunt Shelly was undoing Chichi’s red braids,”She loved the style I gave her, did she not?”
Mother looked at her sister,”Why did you have to cut it short?”
Aunt Shelly gazed at her sibling,”She is how old, Mary? 14, going on 15, she’s a young lady. She needs her hair trimmed now and then”
“Alright. But no more, cut the other girls’ hair up to their shoulders, please”
Aunt Shelly was dejected that she had just wasted the opportunity to cut the others’ hair chin-length but she agreed.
Chichi and Bella received their lobs and went like Susan, only Emma and Wilda remained.
Aunt Shelly was about to cut Wilda’s hair when Mother intervened,”May I try?”
Aunt Shelly had her fill of cut hair, even if she was restricted from further short cuts.
Mother came round and her sister gave her the shears and comb.
Mother combed her daughter’s hair and told her to stay still.
With passion, mother started cutting the girl’s hair.
The unevenness was corrected by Shelly and when it was done, Wilda had a bob.
Wilda rushed off and Emma was all that remained.
She had light blonde hair and she was nervous.
Mother comforted the girl who breathed deeply.
Emma nodded so her aunt took up her shears to finish up.
Finally, all girls had received their cuts and mother helped her sister in cleanup.
“You know, Mary”,said Shelly, as the garage door was closed,”You’re getting a bit shaggy”
Mother smiled,”You’re right”
“Want me to trim it for you?”
Mother nodded and Shelly welcomed her back into the kitchen.
“Mommy, what are you doing?”asked Wilda followed by her short-haired sisters.
“Mommy’s getting her hair cut like you”
The sisters instantly protested against it but mother hushed them.
Aunt Shelly had the wooden chair ready and mother took her seat.
Her barber didn’t have a custom cape for her, she didn’t get her hair done by Shelly much, so Susan’s cape was thrown over
Mother’s hairpins were taken out and her bun unraveled, it ended at the floor.
“How short, Mary?”
“Braid it, please”,ordered mother.
Aunt Shelly did, mother looked serious,”Cut it up to my shoulder”
Everyone was shocked.
To spite the objections, Aunt Shelly complied with the request.
The snipped away at the braid and soon, the braid came off.
Mother reached back and felt the loss of length.
Susan began to cry.
Mother extended her her arms and embraced her daughter who sat on her lap as the ends of her hair were trimmed.
The others huddled around their mother and wept.
Even mother shed a tear, Shelly felt warm inside, they really loved each other.
When the cut was done, mother stood and shifted her head, flinging her hair that way and this.
“How do I look?”
The rest of the day was dedicated to catching up on things and stories were shared.
In the evening, mother took her sister to the train station.
“See you in six weeks”,joked Shelly.
Mary shoved her playfully,”Oh, you”
As the car pulled away, Shelly waved at Mary who waved farewell.
Mother tucked her right side behind her ear and a strand landed on her shoulder.
She plucked it up and smiled warmly.
”See you in six weeks”
“Ok, we’ll see you soon”,said mother, fitting the receiver in its holster,”Kids!”