“Amen”,Pastor Bob concluded his sermon, the whole congregation echoed his word as the time for mingling came.
Mary Bell, Susan, and Grace talked about the good and the damned for their time, one became a mother while the other got a few nieces and nephews.
”You know”,Mary Bell, the youngest woman, patted her lap,”This heat is killing me, should we take the day off to have our hair done, a girl’s day”
”Yeah”,Susan chimed in,”My man can fetch his own food for one day, probably go down to the cafe with your hubbies”
Plan set, the ladies bid their goodbye and walked about town for the day: it was a small town.
They went downtown, arm in arm, laughing at jokes and stories they told.
Their first stop was a dress shop, something they all enjoyed besides having their hair done.
Sundresses and puffy-sleeved dresses were among the styles they viewed.They bought a dress each and reveled in the thought of waltzing down the street with the highest fashion.
The next stop was the beauty parlor but their doors were closed, the girls were disappointed but figured another shop would take them.
”But the closest one is on the other side of town”,said Susan, the realization made their little day pointless.
They went along the sidewalk, returning to their starting point, when Mary Bell pointed to the opposite side of the street,”There’s a hairdresser lady over there. She could do our hair”
The other two looked on, noticing the lady in the white shirt with a comb in the pocket.
”But it’s a barbershop”,Grace mused, still can’t fathoming the idea of having her hair done in a barbershop.
”Oh, come on”,Mary Bell opened the door and smiled at the hairdresser inside,”Hello, you open?”
”Why yes”,the barber lady replied, watching the troop enter,”How can I help you fine ladies?”
”We don’t usually come here but it’s so hot outside that we desperately needed a trim”,Mary Bell smiled sheepishly.
”Ah”,said the lady, taking the cape from its chair,”Well, I’d be delighted to help you gals cool off”
The lady guided Mary Bell to the chair and helped her in gentlemanly, she looked at the other two and gestured them to sit on her sofa.
They, in turn, thanked her and sat straight while their friend was spun to face the mirror.
”So”,the lady barber smiled, draping the cape on Mary Bell’s shoulders,”You want a nice, fresh summer cut to suit the weather”
”Oh yes”,Mary Bell chimed,”Something to impress the ladies at church next Sunday”
”Uh-huh, I hear ya”,the lady nodded, tearing off a bit of barber’s tape, gathering Mary Bell’s hair and securing it atop her head, and molding it around her neck.
The lady pulled up the cape and buttoned it behind the woman’s neck, she took out the clamp that secured the blonde hair and as it fell to its length, she ruffled the blonde strands.
”Beautiful”,complimented the barber lady as she placed her foot on the pedal and pumped up customer to an more accessible height.
”Thanks”,Mary Bell replied as the lady sectioned off her sides from the crown.She became confused when the lady took the clippers from their hook on the wall.
”Um”,Mary Bell tried to get her attention but the lady didn’t hear her and started the clippers.
She pushed down the top of Mary Bell’s ear but the vibration of the clippers could still be felt as they sailed up her sideburn.
Her fellow women were aghast at this, the clippers wiped most of her hair off her head, the device only left fine stubble in its wake.
”It’s so nice to use this on a lass such as yourself again”,the lady charmed.
”You don’t say”,replied Mary Bell as the clippers made their to the back of her head.She wanted to say something kept silent out of awkwardness and fear.
The lady moved to the other side and did same thing to that side, leaving it stubbly, she brushed the fallen hair off Mary Bell’s lap and relishing in the moment.
”This is really fine hair”,the lady smiled, stroking the back of Mary Bell’s head,”I’m going to magnify such beautiful lady”
Mary Bell, although terrified, couldn’t help but blush at the compliment.
”Head down”, the lady instructed, tilting her head down.The clippers went up her nape and buzzed it to perfection.
Head up, Mary Bell turned her head and was impressed by the work so far.”You know, ladies”,she gazed at them in the mirror,”She does a real good job, maybe we all should get this style”
”Oh, hun”,the lady unclipped her hair,”I’m only half-done”.She turned off the clippers and put them aside, reaching for her scissors and comb.Combing through the blonde sea, she took up a piece of hair and chopped it short, really short.
The other two were horrified but Mary Bell was smiling, she was happy to lose a few meters of hair.
The lady trimmed her hair like a lawnmower and it was soon all short and tall, laying down when swept aside.
”Ooh”,awed Mary Bell,”I love it”
”Almost done”,the lady replied, putting away her shears and grabbing a towel, undoing the cape to insert it in.
Buttoned slightly back up, the lady grabbed a can of shaving cream.
The other ladies feared the first but the lady barber sprayed only the back of the neck. She took her razor out of her pocket and whittled away the white cream.
”All done”,proclaimed the lady, descending the chair, taking off the cape and letting the hair fall to the floor, and dusting off the woman.
Mary Bell departed the chair and fluffed up her new haircut, rejoining her troop on the couch.
”You look nice”,Susan smiled politely, running her hand through it.
”Who’s next?”the barber lady stood with a welcoming smile.
”I guess that’s me”,Grace raised her hand as Susan gave her a surprised look.
Grace was the oldest, she was so eager to be next because she had her first child and wanted a fresh look.
”It would nice to take some of this hair off”,she told the barber as the cape was fastened around her,”See, I’m a new mother and-“
”You can’t deal with so much hair with a child around”,the lady finished her sentence,”It takes to much of your time”
”Yes”,Grace nodded,”You get it”
”Probably because I have two kiddies of my own”,the lady unclipped and brushed Grace’s auburn hair,”They love having their hair done by mommy”
Grace chuckled. The lady looked at her hair,” I suppose you’ll be having the summer cut, eh?”
Grace thought a moment,”A bit longer on top, please”
”I can do that”,the barber nodded, separating top from sides.
The sides fell and Grace felt the stubble when done.”You have quite a talent”,she told her barber as her top was chopped.
”I’ve been cutting hair since I graduated cosmetology school”,the lady reminisced,”But it seems getting a lady in my chair is a chance encounter”
Grace laughed,”Yeah. But you sure do a mighty fine job”
”Why, thank you”the barber smiled,”It’s nice to feel appreciated”
Grace’s long hair had been transformed into a short pixie of sorts: only one uncut head remained.
”Well, girl”, said the barber lady to Susan after Grace left and sat back on the sofa,”Let’s go”
The lady patted the chair seat as Susan by her gal pals to do it.
”Alright”,Susan relented, standing and going to have her hair cut. She reluctantly accepted a hand from her stylist and turned towards the mirror like the other two and caped.
”Like the other two, right?”the lady asked Susan. The woman looked at herself, her brown tresses flowing over her shoulders. She was hesitant to say yes but looked to her shorn pals.They would support her if she declined for a longer style.
”Could I see those”,Susan asked, noticing the clippers in the lady’s palm. The lady and the other two were confused but the barber complied.
”Thank you”, said Susan, turning them on; she smoothed her hairline and the clippers went through her crown and down her nape: making her besties in a state of shock.
The barber laughed and hugged the shocked Susan who realized what she just did. She handed the clippers off to the barber who dusted her off with a brush then continued where she left off.
Down Susan’s scalp they went and up her sides, more and more brown hair littered the cape and floor.
The final pass left Susan’s head with light brown stubble, her head was cute and made her facial features pop.
“How do I look?”Susan asked her friends. Marty Bell came over and kissed her cheek, ”You look beautiful”
”Thanks”,Susan kissed her bestie’s hand as Grace came over to rub the stubbly head.
When the barber grabbed the shaving cream, Susan looked at her,”Could you do my whole head?”.Her friends were again aghast but Susan smiled,”If my husband doesn’t like it, he can fetch his own dinner”
The barber lady snickered,”Ok, girl”,she drizzled on the white, foaming cream and undid the cape some to insert the towel. The cream was spread over her scalp and the lady got her razor.
Susan sat, satisfied in her choice, as her head became bald and wiped clean.
When the chair turned and the cape, unbuttoned and dusted off, Susan was beautiful and her best friends hugged her before she could out of the chair.
The girls paid their bill and the church ladies decided what to do next.”Let’s surprise our men with our new haircuts”,suggested the ecstatic beauty that was Susan.
Mary Bell and her friends went home to change into their new dresses and wore sun-hats to hide the surprise.
Another chauffeur took them to the cafe, their boys were having a beer in a booth. They entered casually and went their seating,”Hello, boys”
”Wow, girls. Got new dresses, looks nice”,Susan’s man said,”Why are you wearing sun-hats?”
The trio inserted themselves into the booth and Mary Bell and Grace took off their sun-hats. Their men gasped in surprise but happy they got a summer cut.
“Take off yours”,Susan’s man asked,” I want to see your summer cut”.”I sort of didn’t get one”,replied Susan, reaching for the headpiece.
”What do you mean?”her husband asked;”I kinda..”Susan trailed, removed the hat to reveal her bald head,”Did a little more than that”
There was a silence in the cafe, she looked at her husband who’s eyes were glued open. Susan gestured for him to say something but he turned to his drinking buddies as the voices started back up again.
”Looks good”,Grace’s man commented, that put a smile on the party’s face.
They all ordered, ate, and talked about the day’s events, each step, Susan tried to get a word out of her husband’s mouth which didn’t walk.
They paid their check and each girl left with their man. Susan and her husband drove home in silence, she reapplied her hat to her head to hide her baldness. When they reached home, instead of getting out, Susan’s man turned to look at her; she dipped her head down in shame.
”Look at me”,he said, she shook her head. ”Please”,he asked; she meekly rose her head, tears in her eyes. He grasped her hand with one and reached with the other to remove the hat.”No”,she protested, clamping the hat to her head,”I’m ugly”
”Now”,he replied,”Where’d you get a dumb idea like that?”.Susan looked at him,”You didn’t talk to me during dinner, I thought you hated me for doing what I did”
”No no”,he replied,”I was just flabbergasted that you’d actually do it, I know you loved your brown locks more than anything, I was a bit surprised, that’s all”
She smiled,”Really? You actually like me bald?”
”If your happy with it, so am I”,he replied, Susan allowed his strong hands to remove the hat.
”You’re beautiful”, he pulled her in for a hug and kissed her head tenderly.