“Bring forth the delinquents!” The principal order from the right side of the stage. Lined in front of her were five metal foldable chairs, each about to be occupied by students coming from the other side of the stage.
This was our punishment. Other schools had detention or corporal punishment. Ours was different. All the students were funneled into the auditorium at least once a month, taking our seats as we were about to watch a Greek Tragedy unfold.
The first one to take a seat in the far-right chair was Mark Johnson, a frequent delinquent and a familiar on the stage. It was as if it never bothered him to be punished over and over, although I did hear he had it pretty rough at home.
Then came Gary Dumbwell, the protagonist of this tragedy. Fear and terror gripped his face as he followed behind Mark, eventually taking a seat in the chair. Ever since middle school, he was perhaps the most well-behaved kids in our school. Well, second most well-behaved. Rumor has it that he was busted for helping another student on a test. Sad really.
After Gary was our prima donna, Savi Aman…, the student he helped and the most well-behaved behind him, taking center stage. As she approached, her head hung long as her raven locks draped around her face, masking her sorrow. It honestly broke my heart to see her sit down in the chair, everyone gazing upon her. She was a gorgeous girl of Indian descent with beautiful hair. I adored it. Well, envied it really. It’s not like I would ever want that much hair, but I always dreamed of running my fingers through it, caressing each soft silky strand.
While most of the time we watched guys get punished, girls were no strangers either. In my opinion, it was worse for them. The even worst part though was that I enjoyed watching them get punished. I know it was wrong of me to enjoy it, but I couldn’t help it. I’d bite down on my lip and squirm in my chair, desperately trying to hide it; there were a few times the other students next to me gave me a weird look.
After Rodrick Rodriguez took the last seat on the far-left, five teachers emerged from the same side of the stage. It was usually the same five teachers each time, and each one had their own unique approach to administering the punishment. Yet worst of all was Mrs. Sanders, the biology teacher. She was a tall thick teacher and perhaps the strictest (and sadistic) of them all. It was horrific irony when she stopped directly behind Savi when she was the one who ordered detention for her and Gary.
As the other teachers began, Mrs. Sanders leaned over Savi’s shoulder and whispered something in her ear. There was an obvious shudder from Savi as craved to hear what it was. I felt absolutely horrible for her as tears trickled down her face, even worse so since I was secretly recording it on my phone. Gathering all of her beautiful hair behind her head, Mrs. Sanders pull it back, jerking he head up to look at her. With a delightfully twisted smile that only a witch could wield, she reached into her back pocket and pulled out her favorite torture device of choice: electric hair clippers.
That’s right. Hair clippers. We weren’t spanked or schooled when we got in trouble; we got shaved and shamed. And I enjoyed every minute of it. Just as Mrs. Sanders brought the clippers to Savi’s forehead, she whispered something else as she held them in place. Then, like a hot knife through butter, over twenty inches of her once beautiful hair had been sheared from her scalp with ease. Her long locks fell like dead leaves onto the stage. Her tears streamed down her face as the clippers returned to her forehead after leaving a bald strip right through the middle. Slowly, methodically, they stripped more her hair with each pass. While some of the other students laughed, I desperately tried to refrain from touching myself as I tried to keep my cell phone steady. Like a worn-down doll, Mrs. Sanders jerked Savi’s head to the side as she ran the clippers up her cheek, in front of her each, up to the scalp. To add insult to injury, none of the students were capped for their shearing. All of Savi’s hair cascaded onto her skirt.
Gary to her left scrunched his face shamefully. Mr. Turner, the algebra teacher (and former army barber I might add), push his limp head down to his chest and ran the clippers up his nape. Each pass with the clippers were swift and stern, stripping away his hair without hesitation as life Gary was being inducted into the armed forces. While Gary was kinda cute in a nerdy sort of way, his lumpy head was unsightly. I truly felt sorry for him, wish I would have taken his place in the chair instead of him.
By the time most of the students were close to bald, Savi was only halfway through as Mrs. Sanders sheared her like a sheep. She continued to whisper in Savi’s ear, delighting in the torment, while Savi surrendered, resigning herself to her face. Twisting her ear (probably) painfully, Mrs. Sanders wasted no time sliding the clippers behind her ear as more hair tumbled down around the clippers, into Savi’s lap, and onto the floor. Once satisfied, she pushed Savi’s head to her chest and clasped her head in place like a vice. There was no mercy as she dragged the clippers down the back of her head. Savi’s arms were covered with the mounds of hair that had piled into her lap, a few tears still falling into it as she mourned her beauty. While girls in India would often shave their heads, it was surely not a concept Savi wanted to entertain. This was certainly no ritual, only ridicule. At the end, there were no more tears falling, just her luscious hair. My heart broke as my dreamed shattered knowing that I would never be able to run my fingers through it. When the other teachers had finished their work, Mrs. Sanders went back over Savi’s head, ensuring that she was properly shorn. By the time the clippers went silent, Savi was bald.
But that wasn’t the end of her torment. As she returned the clippers to her back pocket, Mrs. Sanders pulled out a permanent marker from her left front pocket, pulling the cap off with her teeth. Brutishly, she manipulated Savi’s broken head, writing “C” on the top of her head, each of the sides, and in the middle of her forehead, marking her with her transgression.
“You are dismissed.” The principal ordered as each of the student’s rose from their chairs. Her luscious locks that I longed for dropped from her lamp onto the floor, her shoes covered and surrounded by her former beauty. As they walked back across the stage, I ended my recording, saving it to my phone for later.