Change is Good
Bree sat peacefully; the bench strategically placed across from the well-treed park a short distance from her apartment. She often sat there, watching people as they filed in and out of the oasis. The town she lived in wasn’t large by most standards, but this was the only park, and it was right in the center.
It was beginning to get warmer, spring slowly giving way to the sultry heat of summer in the south. Bree sighed, thinking of the unyielding heat that was just around the corner. She lifted the long veil of blonde hair which cascaded down her back. Maybe this year she would have the courage to cut it.
Bree had always worn her hair long, much to the delight of the boys. She was an attractive girl, but her luxurious hair was the thing that elevated her above the rest. While other girls had succumbed to the urge to go short, Bree had resisted. It was that sacrifice of comfort that earned her an unending stream of admirers.
Her current beau was no exception to the rest, openly admitting that he was in love with her hair. She frowned, wondering just how much the golden curls had to do with her popularity. A lot, she reckoned. She slipped her fingers into her back pocket, pulling out a scrunchy and securing her locks into a long billowing ponytail.
Just down the street, she watched, enviously, as boys emerged from Tony’s barbershop, all trim and ready for the summer. She mused as they pushed through the door, their hand immediately running up the skinned back and sides. They all did it, and she just knew how that would feel.
She stood, shaking the thought from her mind, disregarding the moisture that dampened her panties. “It’s never going to happen, Bree.” She muttered under her breath, walking in the opposite direction, toward her apartment. It was Saturday, and the weekend was just beginning.
“Hey, baby.” David mused as he slipped through the door, running his fingers through her hair as he brushed her lips with his own. The greeting was tertiary at best, but he was never one for overt displays of affection. He was a good lover, but it was really nothing more than a ‘friends with benefits’ type of arrangement. She was fine with that as he was hardly the type she would ever settle down with.
Bree wondered if she’d ever find someone that she felt was worthy of that distinction. Up ‘til then, no one had met that mark. In her estimation, men were shallow and only interested in two things, getting into her pants and knowing how good she looked on their arm Saturday night. “David.” She sighed, knowing that the evening would play out as they all had.
He’d take her out, enjoying the envious stares of his mates, while she obliged and looked pretty for them. Later, he’d fuck her brains out on the living room carpet, or the sofa if she was lucky. David loved the way her hair made a makeshift bed for their frolicking. If nothing else, it kept her from getting brush burns from the rug as he pounded his moderately impressive cock in and out of her.
Afterward, he brushed out her hair, swearing that if she ever cut it, he’d drop her like a hot potato. She hated hearing those words but had stopped short of condemning him for them.
“Would you really stop seeing me if I got my hair cut?” Bree asked as David set the brush aside.
“You aren’t serious, are you?” He asked, almost shocked at the idea.
“It’s getting hot and…”
“Don’t do it, Breanna. I swear, I’ll…”
“You’ll what… leave me? Hell, David. I’d like to think I’m more than eye candy and a good fuck!” Bree spat, annoyed.
“Hey, if the shoe fits.” He argued, immediately regretting his terse response.
Bree stood, still naked, tossing his clothes at him as he climbed to his feet. “Get out!” She screamed, knowing her neighbors would certainly hear.
Wide-eyed, he dressed hurriedly. “Bree, come on, I really…”
“Just leave, David.” Bree sighed, more calmly, slipping a robe around herself from the back of her bedroom door. She swore he heard him call her a bitch as he closed the door and made his way down the stairs. “What an ass.” She mewled, flopping into the sofa, and finishing the watered-down scotch, the ice long since melted.
Sunday morning arrived, and the hangover was mild compared to most. Bree slipped out of bed and padded into the kitchen, dropping two fizzing tablets into the lukewarm tap water. It was her go-to cure, Alka Seltzer, and had been since she was a teenager.
Routinely, she dragged the detangling comb through her hair, hating the snags and snarls that formed during the night. She was a restless sleeper, and her long hair suffered as a result. Was it really worth it? Bree asked herself as the last of the knots gave way. She recalled the argument she had with David the night before, staring at her reflection in the bathroom mirror.
She opened the drawer to the side of the sink and stared at the scissors she used to carefully trim the split ends from the tips of her mane. The meager trimmings were all the use the blades ever saw. “What the hell,” Bree said, determined.
She lifted the scissors, amazed by how heavy they were, suddenly. They were good ones, the blades sharp enough to cut skin if one wasn’t careful. Pausing, she read the engraved name in the black anodized metal. “Matsui” Bree sighed, sôtto vocé. They’d been a gift from a previous admirer, but she knew exactly what they’d cost.
“Breanna Woods! What on earth have you done to your hair?” She heard her mother say. The memory was both painful and delightful. Painful, because her mother had swatted her behind for what she’d done; delightful for the memory of watching her hair fall around her as she unknowingly cut it short.
She was five, and found the pinking shears on the kitchen table, thinking how fun it would be to have her hair cut the way the raw edge of her mother’s patterns looked. Her platinum blonde hair lay in a scattered pile in the downstairs bathroom, while what was left on her head seemed a tattered mess. To the young Bree, it looked wild and wonderful, but her mother had not been amused.
“You want to cut your hair?” Her mother had scolded. “Let’s see how you like getting a real haircut.”
Bree remembered the snickers from the men as her mother dragged her by the hand into the barbershop. “Looks like someone got ahold of some scissors.” The one barber chortled.
As her mother lifted her into the booster chair the barber had grabbed from under the counter, she remembered feeling frightened, but excited at the same time. The cape felt itchy as the man fastened it around her neck, and she was startled by her own reflection as he spun her to face the large mirror.
“She did a good job of it.” The man pointed out. “If you want it to look like anything, it’s going to have to be short.”
Bree’s mother stepped up to examine the spot the barber was pointing to at the back. “She obviously wants short hair.” Her mother shrugged.
Bree remembered the look the barber gave her mother, as though she had given him license to do as he pleased. The clippers felt strange as they were run haphazardly over her small head, the cool air of the barbershop replacing the warm comfort of her hair.
She remembered giggling as she watched, unconscious of the inappropriately short style. As the whirring machine ran from front to back and the stubble sprang back to stand out straight from her jet-white scalp, Bree was amazed. She was a girl, but at that moment, her hair was shorter than any boy she’d seen in school.
Her mother seemed annoyed at her daughter’s giggling, perhaps hoping that this would be more of a punishment for what she had done. Instead, Bree seemed delighted as the barber lifted her down from the chair, her fingers exploring the sudden absence of hair.
The blare of a horn from the street startled Bree from her reverie, still staring at herself in the mirror. “Damn.” She tossed the expensive scissors back into the drawer and closed it, annoyed with herself. Where was her courage?
Bree tucked her ponytail through the convenient hole at the back of the baseball cap as another blast of the horn hurried her along. She pushed through the door and locked it behind her, chuckling at the sight. Janet had her head back, Metallica playing as her convertible treated the neighborhood to the raucous music.
“Did you ever imagine that everyone might not like your taste in music?” Bree mused as she slid in next to her BFF, reaching for the volume knob before having her fingers slapped away in protest.
“Do you imagine that I give a rat’s ass?” Janet tossed her grown-in pixie, the hair in front just long enough to annoy her eyes.
“Probably not.” Bree chuckled, pressing into the seat as her friend pulled away from the curb.
A few houses down, Janet flipped off the tunes, the wind and the purr of the V-8 engine the only sound. “So, tell me all about it.”
The two never kept any secrets from each other. It was a pact they had made in middle school, and it held strong even in their twenties. “You should cut it all off, just to spite him,” Janet suggested, slyly. She made no secret of the fact that she was jealous of Bree’s hair. The idea of her cutting it all off thrilled her a bit. Maybe then they’d be on an even keel with the boys. “At least then I’d have a chance.”
“Cut it out, Janet.” Bree seethed. Her expression softened and an inquisitive eyebrow quirked. “Do you really think it makes a difference?”
“Duh! Good morning, Captain Obvious. Even you have admitted that ‘the hair’ is a dangerous weapon.” Janet quoted with her fingers, as her knee did the driving. “I dare you.” She mused.
“Janet. Don’t.” Bree knew that dares between them were an area they had long since shied away from. All too often, things didn’t work out and it ended in a fight.
“I’ll bet you… a hundred bucks that I’ll score more than you, once your hair’s gone.” Janet wagered.
“Gone! What do you mean, gone?” Bree demanded.
“Short, Bree. I mean like I cut mine.” Janet ran a hand through her hair.
Bree knew that the flouncy style her friend sported was a grown-in version of her usual fare. Bree had been with her the first time Janet had her hair cut that short and couldn’t deny how turned on she’d been watching. Even though she swore she’d never end up in that chair, the memory of her barbershop experience had left a mark. A twinge of arousal coursed through her at Janet’s challenge.
“I’ll make a deal with you.” Janet offered. “You come with me to the stylist tomorrow and we’ll get matching cuts. What do you say?” Her friend held out her hand, waiting for Bree to agree.
“Fine.” Bree burst, finally, taking Janet’s offered hand in her own and shaking on the deal. Her heart was racing a mile a minute. “However you get your hair cut, I’ll get mine to match.” She slouched back into the bucket seat, not quite believing what she had agreed to.
Janet smirked, imagining just how different Bree would look once her luscious blonde hair had been cut away. They spent the day as they always did, shopping and lounging about, only this time the conversation was different. All Bree could talk about was her ensuing haircut. A slightly devious plan began to form in the back of Janet’s mind. Even though they swore never to keep a secret, this was one time she would break that rule.
At the office the following day, Bree had a tough time keeping her mind on her work. She knew Janet would be picking her up, and that thought kept her distracted, and ever so slightly aroused. As terrified as she was, there was this inkling of sexual tension in her loins. The seed that had been planted twenty years before had sprouted.
Just as she had promised, Janet was waiting in her Mustang, the top down and music blaring. Bree was too nervous to worry about the music as she climbed in, wondering just where they would be going for their marching cuts.
“Ready to lose the mop?” Janet mused as she pulled out of the parking lot.
“I guess so,” Bree mumbled, grabbing her precious hair with both hands to keep it from flying about as they drove. To her shock and surprise, Janet pulled up in front of Tony’s barbershop. “You can’t be serious.”
“What do you mean? They do cut hair here, right?” Janet chortled.
“I can’t go in there. I mean, it’s a barbershop for god’s sake.” Bree complained.
“Hey, a deal’s a deal, girl. That’s where I’m going so unless you want to welch on the deal…”
“Fine, whatever.” Bree slipped out of the car, moving too slowly for her friend. Janet wrapped her hand around Bree’s and pulled her toward the door, pushing inside with a tinkle as the bell over the door sounded.
There were three chairs, only one of which was occupied. The older man in the chair as well as the barber cutting his hair stared over at the two young women. “You girls in the right place?” The barber asked.
“I… I mean, we need haircuts.” Janet managed as she pushed Bree into one of the wooden chairs that lined the wall.
The barber looked down at the man in the chair and then back to the women, a puzzled look on his face. “Well, I’m the only one here, so you’ll have to wait. Take a number in case anyone else comes in.” He continued scissoring away at the white-haired gentleman in the chair. A chuckle was shared between them as Janet grabbed two plastic number plates from a rack near the door.
“This is crazy, Janet. What are you thinking?” Bree asked in a whisper as she was handed the higher of the two numbers.
“I’m thinking I need a haircut, and this is as good a place as any to get one.” Janet looked around, then pulled her phone from her pocket and started scrolling through her pics. “The best part is that you get to join in this time.” Settling on an image, she closed the screen, keeping Bree’s curious eyes away.
“You can’t think that I’m going to let that… barber, cut my hair?” Bree moaned, quietly.
“Here’s the thing. We made a deal, and if memory serves, you’ve never gone back on a deal, at least with me, Bree.” Janet insisted. “Look, it’s only hair, for crying out loud.”
“Yes, but it’s my hair.” Bree pouted, caressing her mane which rested on the top of her thighs as she sat. A strange scent filled the air in the shop, and it had been slowly working on Bree’s subconscious. She’d smelled it before, and smells could be the most powerful of memory jogs.
Bree recalled the only other time she’d been in a barbershop. Suddenly, the scent hit home, sending a flood of arousal through her, finding its center between her legs. She kept it to herself as it would be humiliating to reveal what she was thinking and feeling at that moment.
A shiver ran down her spine as she remembered the clippers and the way her head felt afterward, the stubble tickling her fingertips. A small moan escaped her lips as she tried to resist the insistent throbbing of her clit. This couldn’t be happening, she thought. But it was happening, she realized, and that only fed the persistent sensation in her sex.
Bree had been so preoccupied with her excitement, that she hadn’t seen the man rise out of the chair and pay the barber. His shadow crossed her vision as he left, startling her in time to see Janet being called to the chair.
“Have a seat young lady.” He ran a comb through her boyish mop and continued. “I might even be able to do something with this.” He assured himself.
“It’s okay. I’m going to make it easy for you.” Janet mused, holding up her phone for the barber.
“Are you sure about that?” He asked as she slipped her phone back into her pocket.
“Absolutely. And, if it’s any relief for you, she’ll be getting the same.” Janet thumbed over her shoulder at Bree who was watching nervously from her chair.
“You girls are crazy, but I’m only too happy to oblige.” He threw a cape around her, fastening it tightly. As he picked up the clippers, he turned her toward the mirror, gesturing with his eyes before he began. All Janet did was nod.
Bree stared, dumbfounded as the whirring blades whisked over the top of her friend’s head, reducing her mousy brown hair to stubble almost instantly. A rush of moisture added fuel to the fire between her legs, and she fought to contain it.
Janet was doing this on purpose. She’d be able to explain away the absence of hair on her head, being the tomboy she was. How on earth was Bree going to do that? It suddenly dawned on her that what was happening to Janet would soon be happening to her. “Oh god!” Bree was powerless to stop the exclamation from escaping her lips.
Suddenly terrified, she glued her eyes on Janet’s balding head, the stubble barely long enough to create a shadow on her creamy scalp. This was far shorter than her hair had been, at least as well as she could remember. She was only five, after all.
As the barber swept the cape away from her friend, Janet turned and motioned for Bree to join her. Bree stood, walking to the chair on wooden legs, the room a blur around her. She helped her down and ran a curious hand over the tightly shorn bristles. Raising her eyebrows, a smile began to form.
“You don’t have to do this Bree. I just wanted to see your reaction when you thought you’d have to.” Janet insisted, pushing her friend away from the chair.
“A deal’s a deal, remember?” Bree answered, switching places with her bestie and slipping undaunted into the chair. Janet shrugged, almost shocked to see Bree so willing to give up her crowning glory.
Bree could swear she caught a whiff of herself as she sat, forcing her to close her legs before the cape was swung around her shoulders. She held up her long blonde hair for the last time as the barber cinched it around her slender neck.
“You sure about this, young lady?” He queried. “That’s a lot of hair.”
“I’m sure, and just so you know, it’s not the first time,” Bree admitted. She saw a knowing look in the barber’s eye as he flipped on the clippers, raising them to her forehead.
The cool metal blades felt oddly erotic as they ran down the middle of her head, the vibration resonating inwardly as it had once before. She felt the wave of unstoppable lust course through her, more powerfully than before and she was only just able to conceal her glee from the barber. Bree was quite certain, however, that Janet would be wise to what had just happened.
Sheets of blonde hair tumbled over the cape to the floor as the top of Bree’s head was cleared. There would be no shadow of stubble for her, unlike her friend. Her lighter-than-light roots were invisible; the snow-white sheen of her scalp glistening in the overhead light.
The hair was thick on the floor now, so much so that the barber had to push it to the side with his shoe. The action was not lost on her, and it only deepened her excitement. Her ears appeared from under her locks for the first time in so very long and she was grateful that they didn’t stick out as much as Janet’s.
Used to seeing herself as the ravishing blonde goddess, it was shocking to see her reflection as the last of her mane fell to the floor of the barbershop. She looked bald, but as her hand reached out from under the cape, the familiar stubble met her fingertips, and she smiled. There would be no explaining this. Not to her friends, not to her employer, and certainly not to David.
Janet rushed up to her as she stood, Bree being a little tipsy from the endorphins that had been ravishing her, just as the barber had ravished her hair. “You actually look good, Bree.” They looked in the mirror, side by side, and laughed at the sight.
“What the hell did you do to me, Janet Owens?” Bree chortled, jostling her friend.
The barber cleared his throat and the two realized that they had yet to pay the man for his services. They each pulled out a twenty, but only Janet’s was accepted.
“I insist.” Bree countered, pushing the bill in his direction.
“I’m pretty sure your mother overpaid me the first time, young lady.” The barber smiled, and instantly, Bree remembered the face.
“You were the one? The barber my mother brought me to when I was five?” Bree gasped.
“The one and only. And now, I’ve had the pleasure of cutting your hair not once, but twice, Breanna Woods.”
Bree’s face reddened with the realization, and she fought the urge to hug the older man. “Well, thank you… again.”
“Something told me you’d find your way back here, young lady. I’m just surprised it took this long.” He set to sweeping up the pile of hair that had accumulated around the base of his chair. “Don’t be a stranger, Breanna.”
Bree smiled back at the man as Janet pulled her out of the shop. She ran a hand up the back of her head as she had seen the boys do so many times while lounging on the bench.
“Come on, baldie!” Janet called from the car, her skintight buzz barely visible in the evening sun.
Bree chuckled at the sight, but could only imagine the stares they would get as they cruised the main street with the top down. The blonde goddess was no more, catching her reflection in the side-view mirror, but the breeze felt delightful against her hairless scalp.
One thing was certain, she would never have long hair again. She remembered the smile the old barber cast her way as she looked back from the doorway. No, she would definitely not be a stranger.