David & Mari’s trip to the barber

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David was a seven-year-old boy with long, messy brown hair that his parents had always let grow out. His hair, often tangled and unruly, covered his ears and fell into his eyes, giving him a perpetually disheveled look. His mother, Mari, had always loved his wild hair, seeing it as a sign of his free spirit. However, his father, Brian, had grown tired of David’s unkempt appearance and insisted it was time for a proper haircut.

One Saturday morning, Brian announced that they were going to Bill’s Barbershop, a local establishment known for its no-nonsense approach to haircuts. Mari was hesitant but agreed, knowing it was time for David to experience his first real haircut. They bundled into the car and made their way to the barbershop, located in the basement of an old hotel.

As they descended the stairs, the atmosphere changed. The basement had an old-school charm, with vintage décor and a slightly musty smell that hinted at its long history. They entered Bill’s Barbershop, where the bell above the door jingled softly. The shop had two large, yellow barber chairs facing a big window that looked out into a hallway. The window caused a reflection of the customers when they sat in the chairs, making the experience even more surreal.

Ken, the barber, greeted them with a warm smile. He was a middle-aged man with a fondness for shearing kids’ hair, finding joy in transforming their untamed locks into neat, disciplined styles.

“Hello there! You must be David,” Ken said, looking at the young boy whose hair was already starting to swallow him whole. “Hop on up here, young man.”

David glanced nervously at his parents, but Brian gave him an encouraging nod. Mari smiled reassuringly, though she herself felt a pang of anxiety. David climbed up into the large, yellow leather barber chair, which seemed to swallow him up with its size. Ken fastened a black and white pinstriped cape around David’s neck, the fabric billowing out and covering his small frame. The cape had a crisp, clean look, the stripes running in perfect parallel lines down its length, giving a stark contrast against David’s messy hair that peeked out at the top.

“Alright, David, we’re going to give you a nice, neat flattop,” Ken said, picking up his clippers. The hum of the clippers filled the room, a sound that made David stiffen slightly. He could see his reflection in the window, adding to his nervousness.

Ken started by lifting David’s long hair and expertly guiding the clippers through the thick strands. Hair began to fall away in large clumps, tumbling down the cape and onto the floor. David watched wide-eyed as his messy locks disappeared, replaced by a short, neat style. Ken worked meticulously, ensuring the top was perfectly flat and the sides were evenly trimmed. He used a comb to lift the hair and the clippers to cut it precisely, creating a sharp, clean look.

David’s eyes darted to the window reflection, and he barely recognized himself. The transformation was drastic, but he couldn’t help but feel a sense of newfound confidence as his messy hair gave way to a neat flattop.

“There you go, young man, all done!” Ken announced, brushing off the remaining hair from David’s neck and shoulders.

Brian looked at his son with approval. “That looks great, David. Thank you, Ken.”

As David hopped down from the chair, Brian turned to Mari, his expression changing. “Now it’s your turn, Mari.”

Mari’s eyes widened in shock. “Brian, no. I don’t want my hair cut,” she pleaded, her hands instinctively reaching up to touch her waist-length brown curls.

Brian’s face remained stern. “It’s time for a change, Mari. You’re getting it cut short, and that’s final.”

Ken looked at Mari with a hint of surprise but nodded. “Come on, ma’am, have a seat.”

With a heavy heart, Mari sat down in the barber chair. Ken fastened the same black and white pinstriped cape around her neck, the fabric enveloping her long, curly hair. Mari’s heart pounded as she felt the weight of her hair under the cape and saw her reflection in the window, her eyes filling with fear and dread.

“Please, Brian, don’t make me cut it so short,” Mari begged, tears welling up in her eyes.

Brian crossed his arms, unmoved. “You’re getting a little boy’s haircut, Mari. End of discussion.”

Ken took a deep breath, then gathered Mari’s long hair into a ponytail. The thick curls felt heavy in his hand as he picked up a pair of large shears. Mari gasped as she felt the cold steel of the scissors against her neck.

“Please, no!” she cried out, but her pleas fell on deaf ears. With a swift motion, Ken chopped off the ponytail, the shears making a loud, final snip. The severed ponytail dangled in his hand for a moment before he set it aside, leaving Mari’s hair in a rough, uneven cut.

Tears streamed down Mari’s face as she watched her once-waist-length curls fall to the floor. Ken didn’t waste any time and switched on the clippers. The hum filled the room again, louder this time, as Ken approached Mari with the buzzing tool.

He started at the nape of her neck, the clippers gliding through the remaining curls with ease. Long, thick strands of hair cascaded down the cape, pooling in her lap. Mari bit her lip, trying to hold back her tears as she watched her beautiful curls fall away.

“Please, Ken, not too short,” she whispered, her voice trembling.

Ken gave her a sympathetic look but continued with his task. The clippers moved methodically up the back of her head, reducing her luxurious curls to a short, even length. As he worked his way around to the sides, Mari could no longer hold back her tears. They streamed down her face, mingling with the hair that was now covering the cape.

Brian watched with a steely resolve, ignoring Mari’s pleas. “It’s for the best,” he said quietly.

Mari’s hands gripped the armrests of the chair tightly, her knuckles white with tension. She closed her eyes, trying to block out the sound of the clippers and the sight of her hair falling away. In an attempt to calm herself, she reached into her bag and pulled out a cigarette. Her hands shook as she lit it, taking a deep drag to steady her nerves.

Ken continued his work, moving to the top of Mari’s head. He used a comb to lift sections of her hair and the clippers to cut them short, creating a uniform, boyish cut. Mari’s sobs grew louder as the clippers moved closer to her face, the sensation of her hair being stripped away almost unbearable.

Finally, Ken finished the cut, stepping back to admire his work. Mari looked at herself in the window reflection, hardly recognizing the woman staring back at her. Her once waist-length curls were now reduced to a short, boyish cut, the hair lying close to her scalp.

Mari’s tears fell freely as she touched her new haircut, the reality of her transformation sinking in. She took another drag of her cigarette, the smoke curling around her as she tried to compose herself.

Brian stepped forward, placing a hand on her shoulder. “It looks good, Mari. You’ll get used to it.”

Mari shook her head, still in shock. “I can’t believe you did this,” she whispered, her voice breaking.

Ken removed the cape, letting the remaining hair fall to the floor. Mari stood up, her legs unsteady, and looked at her family. David watched her with wide eyes, unsure of what to say.

As they left the barbershop, Mari couldn’t help but feel a sense of loss. Her long, curly hair had been a part of her identity for so long, and now it was gone. She knew it would take time to adjust to her new look, but deep down, she hoped she would one day come to accept it.

For now, though, she walked out of Bill’s Barbershop with a heavy heart, her hand still trembling as she held her cigarette.

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