This is the story of Emily Needs a Job and a Haircut – Told through the perspective of Ethan. If you didn’t read the original story it can be found here: https://www.hairstorynetwork.com/stories/emily-needs-a-job-and-a-haircut/
So, this happened on a Tuesday. I had some holiday days to take off from work. I’d stacked up quite a few given I hadn’t taken a day off since I started working this job.
I got up at 6:13am, just because I didn’t have work didn’t mean that I could sleep in, you slip up one day and sleep in and next thing you know you’re struggling to motivate yourself to get out of bed everyday.
I’d always been a little bit of a hard-ass on myself, I guess that comes from basically raising myself.
You see, I grew up in the system. I never knew my mother and father. Once you turn eighteen the system spits you out, you gotta work hard or you’ll be eaten alive. I did what I had to do to survive, worked a lot of mundane jobs to get to this point but I had no other choice. I had no one looking out for me but myself.
I felt like I had done well for myself, I mean, I may not have gotten to go to a nice fancy college but I still got to go to a college. Not many kids growing up how I did get to say that. I have a pretty good job, it’s accounting, yeah it’s a little boring but it pays well. The only thing I didn’t particularly like about my job was the strict grooming and dress guidelines.
Guys are required to wear a dress shirt with a tie. You have to wear slacks, no jeans for sure. Any facial hair had to be kept extremely short and was expected to be maintained properly, no: scruffy beards, moustaches or goatees. You had to keep your hair well groomed. Your hair had to be short enough that it didn’t touch your ears or the back of your neck and there were some guidelines on how your hair was allowed to be styled, so most guys in the office went with a classic side part.
I wish I could tell you what the women’s dress code is but truthfully I don’t know, there isn’t a single girl in the office. I had read a statistic that said 22% of people meet their spouses through their job, I wasn’t going to be part of 22% that’s for sure.
Marriage always appealed to me, I always wanted a family. I guess that stems from not having one, I always felt like I wanted to belong to something. I’m proud of all that I had accomplished don’t get me wrong but what I really wanted was a family.
Anyway, I bring up the whole dress code thing because my boss had been on me about my hair. It wasn’t unruly by any means but it for sure didn’t fall in line with the dress code. It’d grown out a little bit and started curling over my ears.
When you work long hours like I do, you don’t really get the time to actually go to the barbershop. I thought with my day booked off I might as well use it to get a haircut, at least then my boss would stop bothering me about it.
So I got downtown around midday. There’s a barbershop I usually go to on Maple St, it’s run by an older gentleman. I started going there mostly because that’s where the guys from work went. The barber knew the style of haircut and it saved having to explain it.
It was kinda old school, but it was cool. I don’t think the old school aesthetic of the place appealed to a lot of people so it typically wasn’t very busy in there so I could usually go in there, get a cut and get straight out. It was pretty convenient for me with my work schedule.
As I turned the corner onto Maple St, I noticed two women stood outside the barbershop. One of them probably around my age if not a little younger, the other I would guess early to mid-fifties. They were arguing outside, I couldn’t exactly make out what they were saying because I was too far away but I assumed they must be mother and daughter.
The two ladies walked into the barbershop, maybe it’s the barber’s wife and daughter I thought to myself. To be honest I thought about turning around and going elsewhere, I didn’t really like hanging around and if the barber was going to be chatting away to the two ladies then my haircut would probably take ages.
It would be a bit of a pain in the ass to get back into my car and go find another barbershop and it’d probably end up wasting even more of my time so I headed into the barbershop. As I walked in I noticed the younger of the two women was sat in the chair. I knew at that point that it probably wasn’t the barbers daughter and wife and that I was going to be stuck waiting behind this girl. I just knew I should’ve gone and tried to find another barbershop, I wanted to leave but I just felt like it was awkward.
The mother was explaining how she wanted her daughters hair done, it was a little odd. The girl was old enough to decide what haircut she wanted, it just didn’t make a ton of sense to me.
The mother insisted on a pixie cut, detailing exactly how she wanted it to be cut. This girl, when I say she had a lot of hair, I mean she had a lot of hair. I couldn’t help but feel annoyed at myself, I knew I should’ve gone elsewhere. This amount of hair will take forever to cut and I didn’t feel like I had the patience.
The girl looked really nervous, not that I could see her face because she was looking down but I could tell by the way she gripped to those armrests, I thought she was going to rip straight through the leather.
She might have done if she had been a little bigger, she was a pretty small chick. The barber chair wasn’t big by any means but she looked pretty damn small sat in that thing. It’s hard to guess with her sitting down but if I had to, I would say she was around 5’2 and probably weighs at most 115lbs.
The barber grabbed her long blonde hair, twisting it and using a clip to tie it up. She had been hidden behind her hair up until this point so I hadn’t seen what she looked like. Seeing her face for the first time in the reflection of the mirror I was shocked by how pretty she actually was. What was a pretty girl like this doing at a barbershop getting a haircut I thought to myself.
Her hand reached towards her neck, curious about the neckstrip that the barber had placed around her. The barber sat her forward slightly, grabbing cape that had been neatly folded over the back of the chair. He gave the cape a quick shake as to unfold it. The cape was thrown over the girl with the snaps fastened around her neck and the neckstrip folded over.
The barber released her hair from the clip that he had used to tie it up. As her hair was released from the clip, she shook her head as her hair fell down her back.
As the barber grabbed his clippers, the girl looked at herself under the cape in the mirror, letting off a huge sigh and looking down. The older lady who I assumed was her mother began talking.
“Stop pouting, Emily. You’ll look so much better once this mess is gone” she said.
So I found out the girls name was Emily but I still didn’t understand why she was being forced into a short haircut. If I’m being truthful, her hair was kinda messy, it definitely needed fixing. It at minimum needed a brush through it so I could understand that but surely the girl can decide her own haircut.
As the barber stood behind Emily, he flicked on the clippers. Upon hearing the sound of the clippers running Emily freaked out. She leaned forward in the chair, keeping her head out of reach of the barber and began to protest the usage of the clippers.
Given that it seemed like the mother was in control of this haircut the barber asked for her blessing if it was okay just to use scissors to cut Emily’s hair. She gave the okay lucky for Emily, I’ve never seen a freakout like that before. It was understandable, to go from her long blonde hair to a short clipper cut was a huge change.
I don’t know why but I found Emily’s reaction to the clippers oddly adorable. I tried so hard to hold in my laugh but I let off a little giggle to myself, I was just relieved that no one heard.
As the barber placed the clippers back into the mount on the wall you could see Emily’s relief, the sound of those clippers had terrified her. She leaned back, making herself comfortable in the chair again now that she knew the clippers weren’t being used.
The barber sprayed Emily’s hair with a water bottle, dampening it slightly. I noticed the barber begin to get frustrated with Emily’s hair, it did look pretty knotted. In the time he spent trying to comb through her hair I would’ve usually had my haircut and gone.
In the end the barber gave up, I don’t blame him, that’s a lot of hair and a lot of knots. “This is all getting cut off anyway, shouldn’t matter too much if I can’t comb it correctly” the barber said in a frustrated voice.
The first snip was coming, the barber held a section of her hair between his fingers, starting at the back of her head. I couldn’t take my eyes off, the anticipation was killing me.
The first section of hair fell to the floor, Emily couldn’t turn back now. Sitting behind her I could see the hair that remained from the section that had just been cut. It looked pretty short, it might have been shorter than my hair.
It was dead silent in that barbershop, I couldn’t help but wonder what was going through Emily’s head.
The silence was finally broken by her mother, a lot this up until now didn’t make sense but once her mother spoke it seemed obvious what was going on. It at least seemed to me that Emily was being punished.
The mother spoke to the barber about Emily, I say speaking, more like ranting or moaning. Some of the things she was saying just seemed inappropriate to share with a stranger. I couldn’t help but feel for Emily, it was uncomfortable. I’m just thankful the barber asked Emily if she was okay, stopping the conversation from going any further because I felt like I wanted to say something which was totally out of character for me. I’m not really the assertive type to be honest.
Thankfully the silence resumed, the only sound you could hear was the sound of the scissors cutting their way through Emily’s locks. So much of Emily’s hair had already been cut, I still was yet to look away. I don’t know why but I couldn’t take my eyes off her, there was something oddly drawing about it.
I stared intently at Emily, watching her pretty face emerge from behind the long locks that she had once used to hide behind. There was something weirdly attractive about seeing a girl cut off her long hair. The short hair really suited her, she definitely has the face for it.
She noticed me staring at her, I don’t think up until that moment in all the drama and how upsetting this haircut had been for her she noticed that I was here.
In the awkwardness I smiled at her, I didn’t want her to think that me watching her was creepy but after I smiled I thought to myself that I probably made myself look even more creepy. After a couple of seconds that felt more like minutes with the embarrassment that was clouding over me, she smiled back, ending the awkwardness.
Her smile was beautiful, I felt a warmness in my heart that I’d never felt before. I felt bad thinking it, but her mom probably did her a favour making her cut her hair. There’s no way her beautiful face, even more so her smile should ever be hidden behind such a mane.
It was like she had transformed before my eyes, when she walked in she was this meek girl with kinda scruffy hair. She wasn’t that girl anymore she was now a woman, with a smile so warm that it felt like a cup of hot coco on a cold winters day.
We traded eye contact a couple times throughout her haircut, she must’ve seen that I watched the whole thing. As much as a tried I just couldn’t look away. Typically I was quite a fidgety person, always fumbling for my phone but I didn’t feel the need to once.
I didn’t even care that she had been here over an hour and I had to wait around. I felt almost disappointed when the barber grabbed the trimmer to clean up her neck, knowing that her haircut was almost finished. I didn’t want it to end, I probably could’ve watched her in that chair another hundred times.
I had to get her number, but I’d never even so much as talked to a girl before. As her mother went and paid for the haircut she was stood by the chair, looking at her reflection and feeling the back of her naked neck “I like it” I blurted out, referring to her haircut.
I couldn’t believe that I did that, my heart was racing. I don’t know where I found the courage to say something but I’m glad that I did. I introduced myself, she was very shy. In my conversation with her she was nothing like the boy crazy, party animal that her mother had painted her to be.
It was hard to get any words out of her to be honest, it was kinda awkward. The responses I did get were mostly one word answers, I think she was just nervous.
“I’ve not seen a girl in here before, you look really cute when you’re not hiding behind your hair” I said. When I had said that to myself in my head it sounded a lot less creepy than it did coming out of my mouth.
She seemed to take the compliment despite the awkwardness. I told her I watched her entire haircut, which also sounded less weird in my head.
She seemed receptive and she didn’t seem creeped out by me even after the weird things I had so foolishly said. I was pretty nervous, it was the first time I’d ever really tried to flirt with a girl, I was pretty bad at it.
I’d like to take you out on a date sometime if that’s okay with you?” I asked her.
She seemed puzzled by my interest in her, thinking that I would be put off by the things that her mother had said about her but it didn’t bother me. I didn’t see her as a loser or a whore like her mother had labelled her, I just cared about the way her smile made me feel.
Emily was very shy and insecure, she said she wasn’t usually like that but she just felt so embarrassed about the forced haircut and the things her mother had said about her.
She kept touching the back of her neck, she didn’t seem to like her short hair “I like your short hair, it’s cute. I’ve never seen a girl cut her long hair short like that before. It’s different but in a good way” I said, trying to make her feel better.
I honestly really did like her short hair, there was something weirdly attractive about seeing her chop off her long blonde hair. She smiled at me, taking a second glance at herself in the mirror. The compliment seemed to boost her confidence.
“So can I take you out sometime?” I pressed.
She agreed to the date and she gave me her number. I wanted to text her right away but I didn’t want to come across as too strong. I said I would text her but maybe I should leave it a day so she doesn’t think I’m creepy.
I just want to arrange the date already but I don’t want to blow things, I can’t wait to see her again. If she looks this beautiful with no makeup, dressed in a T-shirt and jeans I can only imagine how gorgeous she’s going to look all dolled up in a dress, I better wear something nice.