Engrained

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Engrained

 

By Dreadlocks

 

Two Sides to the Story

 

Andrea Morrison was a busy lady. I suppose that’s a good way of describing my mother back then. She was a real estate agent and was forever chatting up potential clients, leaving me a bit out of the picture at times.

Now, I won’t say she was a bad mother, she just tended to be a bit neglectful at times. So, I was forever finding new ways to entertain myself as she talked on the phone.

Being six, (I’m twenty-two now) there was no shortage of things that I could get into. One particular day, one of those things was a pair of scissors. I remember setting out on a mission to cut up some newspaper and quickly got bored with that. Then it was the curtains in the kitchen that needed shortening. (I only wanted them short enough that I could see outside when I ate my breakfast.)

Once that was done, well, you know where this is going, don’t you? I decided that my bangs needed a good trim. I stood in the bathroom mirror, turning my head this way and that, trying to decide how short I wanted them. Figuring that the middle is always a good spot, I slipped the scissors in about an inch above my eyebrows and cut.

I was only a little surprised when a good portion of my forehead popped into view. Of course, that was when my mother found me, upset about the curtains in the kitchen. When she saw me, she seemed to forget all about the curtains.

“Allison Elizabeth Morrison!” She screamed, ripping the scissors out of my hands just as I took a second divot out of my hair. Whenever she used my full name, I knew I was in for it. This was no exception.

“Oh, my, just look at you!” She grimaced, flipping what was left of my bangs around to see if she could make it right. I had done a fairly decent job of mucking them up, so she just shrugged, a disappointed look on her face.

“We’ll just have to stop at the salon after I pick up some new curtains for the kitchen, young lady.” She announced, picking me up and carrying me out of harm’s way.

I was more than a reasonable pest while she picked out curtains, saying that it was time for a change anyway. She tried to justify what I had done as no big deal and I suppose I should have been grateful for that.

Now, here’s where the story takes an odd turn. The salon we used to go to was a two-sided affair. One side was for the ladies and had all the accoutrements you should find in a salon. On the other side was a regular old barbershop.

As an explanation for what was about to happen, I suppose I should preface the reader that I did not have long hair at the time. Even though my bangs were down to my eyebrows before I massacred them, the rest was cut in a sort of short blonde mullet.  It left my ears partially exposed and cut to about the middle of my neck in the back.

Just as we sat down to wait for the next available stylist, my mother’s phone rang. She shook her head, flipped it open, and took the call. That was my cue to start exploring. It was what I always did when she was busy on the phone.

For a while I looked at myself in a long mirror, giggling over the zigzag cuts I’d made in my hair. I was dressed plainly, in jeans and a white t-shirt and was thinking about taking it off, but something stopped me. I had it about to my shoulders when a man from the other side said I shouldn’t do that in the shop.

Suddenly, there was a whole other world to explore, so I wandered over to the barbershop side, which wasn’t nearly as busy. I remember a couple of men reading newspapers in really oversized chairs.

“What happened to your hair, kid?” The one asked.

“I cut it,” I said, running my palm flat over the mess as my mother had done before we came inside.

“You want me to finish that up for you?” He asked nicely.

“Sure!” I said, not really knowing any better. Now, I don’t know what made this guy think that I was a boy, maybe the clothes, or the haircut, I don’t know.

“Come on, we’ll put the booster on, how’s that?” He was so nice that I just walked on over and allowed him to lift me into the chair. He looked at my handiwork for a second and shook his head. “Well, you did a good job here, kiddo. How about we give you a buzzcut and we’ll call it even.”

I was six, a girl, and an only child. I had no idea what a buzzcut was. It sounded okay to me, so I just shrugged my shoulders and smiled. “Okay.”

There was an unfamiliar sound as he approached, but it sounded a lot like water running, I seem to remember thinking. The machine he was using tickled, and I remember giggling as he ran it over my head, this way and then that way. To me, the fact that all my hair was falling away only added to my amusement, and I began to laugh.

“Hey Frank, this kid really seems to be enjoying this.” The guy kidded.

“I can see that.” I wasn’t sure at the time what clued the other barber in on who I actually was, but all of a sudden, he jumped out of his chair. “Billie, stop!”

I suppose it might have been the pink, ‘My Little Pony’ sneakers I was wearing, at least that was what my mother seemed to use as ammunition as she laid into the poor guy. He really didn’t have any choice but to finish the buzzcut, seeing as the entire top of my head was practically bald.

So as my mother, the shop manager, and about twenty other people looked on, the poor guy had to finish buzzing off the rest of my hair. I remember wanting to enjoy the rest of the haircut, but with all the commotion, I just bit my tongue and waited until it was over.

Needless to say, my mother was beside herself over my new ‘haircut’ if you could call it that. In essence, my head had been shaved.

Being so young, I found the tactile sensation of the bristles impossible to keep my hands away from, and this drove my mother even crazier.

“Can’t you leave that alone?” She would say, admonishing me for seeming to enjoy my boyish-buzz.

My father was more entertained than anything else, saying that he always wanted a boy around the house. This misdirected sort of support only served to irk my mother even more.

Having hair that short was easy, and that was the fun of it. I didn’t have to go through the sessions of brushing and combing that my mother would inflict on me every morning.

 

An Eager Reinforcement

 

I remember one morning a few weeks after the infamous haircut, my father was heading out, and I went to give him a hug and a kiss as I always did. He leaned down and scruffed my head. “You like your hair short like that?” He asked.

“I do! I don’t want it to get long again.” I said as he stood up. He looked over at my mother, who was, no surprise, busy on the phone.

“Come on.” He winked. “I’m taking Allie with me.” He called out to my mother. She just waved him off, continuing whatever conversation she was having.

We drove for a little while, until we pulled into a small plaza. “Do you know what this place is?” He asked as we walked up to the small shop, nestled between a delicatessen and a dry cleaner. “This is a barbershop.” He grinned.

I looked up at the spinning pole that caught my attention for a minute, before he pulled me inside. The atmosphere was different, the smells were different. It was like the salon my mother went to, but it was all men and boys.

As we took a seat in the waiting chairs along the wall, I noticed my father had a number in his hand. “Sixteen,” I said, recognizing the number.

“Yep, that’s me.” He chuckled.

We watched for a while as different men and boys took their turns in the big chairs, just like the one I had been in. Finally, someone called out my Father’s number, and he stood up, turning to me. Now, you stay there, while I get my haircut.

Unlike my mother, I tended to obey my father, so I sat patiently while the barber trimmed up my father’s hair. In the end, he used the same buzzing machine that the barber had used on me, and I watched fascinated as the hair on my father’s neck and sides of his head were trimmed down close.

I remembered how they felt, and smiled; the tickling sensation still fresh in my memory. One of the other barbers finished up with his customer, and he leaned over to my father. “You want me to clean your son up real quick, Hal? I got nobody waiting.” He shrugged, looking over at me. “No charge.” He added.

My father turned and saw the eager look in my eyes. “Actually…” He hesitated for a second. “Sure. Why not?” He chortled, turning back so the barber could finish his cut.

I climbed up into the chair and smiled as the cape was wrapped around my neck once again. This was fun, I thought.

“What’s your name, kid.” The barber asked.

Before I could say anything, my father spoke. “Al. His name’s Al.”

“Okay, little Al. Hey, Hal and Al…” He chuckled. “Nice.” And with that, he picked up the buzzing thing and turned it on. “This’ll just take a second Al.” He assured me. “All off, nice and simple.”

The tickling was back as he ran the machine up the back of my head. It wasn’t nearly as interesting to watch in the big mirror, the longish brush cut I sported succumbing to the blades with ease. It seemed a lot shorter than the last time though.

Over and over, the barber ran the machine over my head, and I giggled as my head looked silly without anything on it at all. I remember seeing the reflection of the overhead lights in my head as he finished up.

Then he did something that the other barber didn’t do, or maybe didn’t have the chance to do. He spread lather over the back and sides of my head. It smelled spicy and tingled a little.

He pushed my head down and I felt a weird scraping feeling. I wasn’t sure I liked it as much as the buzzer, but the cool foam made it feel okay. A little at a time he scraped the back and sides of my head, wiping the blade on a towel he had laid on my shoulder.

I could see little flecks of gold in the white foam, and knew that it was my hair. Something about it was interesting to me. In the end, he wrapped my head in a towel that was wet and a little too hot. I complained a little, but he just ignored me.

“There you go, Al. All set for summer.” He nodded, lifting me out of the chair. My father was already waiting for me in the chairs.

“Come on, Allie. Your mother is going to kill me.” He said as we headed for the car.

The feeling of this haircut was different than the last one. The backs and sides of my head felt weird, smooth, like my face, but the top was different too. The hair didn’t prickle back and forth when I rubbed my hand over it. It just felt rough, like a sidewalk felt.

After my mother got over the shock of her only daughter losing her hair not once, but twice within the space of a month, everything just went back to normal…sort of.

 

Action and Reaction

 

As you can imagine, that sort of an experience at so impressionable an age leaves a mark. It didn’t help that for the entire duration of my childhood and well into my teens, my mother refused to allow me to cut my hair.

Was this an over-reaction to what had happened when I was six? Oh, yeah, I think so. Anyway, all she would ever allow was a trim, and that was under her supervision. Now, that part was a bit creepy.

Finally, on my seventeenth birthday, as a treat for having put up with her for pretty much my whole life, she allowed me to get a haircut. Now, there were stipulations, needless to say. She had to be there (surprise, surprise, lol), It couldn’t be shorter than shoulder length, and it had to be done by her hairstylist.

It all seemed a bit of overkill, but after bothering for a decade, I was finally going to get my hair cut, at least reasonably short. I had every intention of using every bit of latitude she granted me, mind you. It was getting chopped right to my shoulders, as short as she would allow. That was not negotiable.

I met my mother in her salon immediately after school and was giddy with excitement. Shades of my barber experiences back in my childhood came rushing back, and I almost wished that the stylist might slip and just crop my hair short. Slim chance of that happening with my mother standing guard.

I knew I was smiling ear to ear as she sectioned off my hair and began cutting. Fifteen inches of hair began falling to the salon floor and saw my mother visibly cringe. “It’s only hair, mother.” I kidded, as the stylist sectioned off another layer of hair to be cut.

“Yes, but it’s your hair,” I swear she was almost in tears.

“Mom, it’s okay. I want this, okay.” I insisted.

“She’s gonna look great.” The stylist interjected as she snipped away more and more of my waist-length hair.

When all was said and done, I ended up with a slightly off-the-shoulder bob, that was thicker and curlier than I had ever been. It swung when I moved my head back and forth and I loved it.

“I have to admit. You do look good.” My mother finally admitted.

I met my closest friend afterward for a soda, my mother going her way, and me going my own. “What do you think?”

Vera Lough had been my friend since I was ten, and we were a lot closer than most BFFs. In fact, we were lovers. It was very much on the hush, but whenever we got the chance we were making love.

I was always jealous of Vera’s short hairstyles, something her parents never objected to. Her latest style was a short back and sides affair, with just enough blonde curls on top to muss. The hair was tapered close at the back and around her ears, and I just loved the way it felt when I ran my hands over it. It jogged some long-cherished memories of my own hair feeling like that, and even shorter.

I’d told Vera about my little barber episodes when I was a kid, and she got a kick out of it, saying that I knew I was a lesbian way back then. In a way, she was right. I never was attracted to boys. When all my friends paired off with the first available hunk, I just wasn’t interested. That’s because of my burgeoning relationship with Vera.

There were a couple of girls at school that had come out, and it didn’t go well for them. They were pretty much ostracized for being gay, and although we hung around with them, we never let on that we were lesbians.

Of course, there were rumors, as there always are, but we hadn’t ‘come out’ as it were. I dreaded telling my mother. I knew I would have to, and soon. She was just going to freak out. My Dad, now divorced from my mother for three years, already knew, but was cool about it, seeing as he had left my mother for another guy.

So, when I finally got around to sitting my mother down, I was really concerned she was going to meltdown. Vera asked if I wanted her there, but I said it would probably be best for her and my mother if we did this on our own.

“So, what’s so important that you had to sit me down all formal.” She smiled. “It’s not like you’re going to tell me your gay or something.” She blurted out.

At that point, all my strategies went flying out the window. It was all or nothing, so I went for it. “Mom, that’s exactly what I wanted to tell you.”

She just sort of sat there, her eyes wide, and her mouth open, but not a word was spoken. After what may have been the longest minute of my life, she simply stood up and walked out of the kitchen.

“Mom! We need to talk about this.” I insisted, following her into the living room.

“This all your father’s fault, if it wasn’t for that faggot, we’d…”

“Mother!!” I yelled, snapping her to attention. “This has absolutely nothing to do with Dad. I was in love with Vera long before he left.”

“Oh, so it’s Vera, is it?” She seethed. “I knew that girl was no good for you, with her short hair and all. I am forb…”

“Forget it, Mother! There is no way I’m staying away from her. I’ll leave before that happens!” I argued, standing my ground and moving closer to her.

“Maybe that’s not such a bad idea. Get out, like your father did!” Then she started in with the weeping, and I couldn’t help but feel badly for her. She had been dealt a shit hand, after all.

“I don’t want to leave Mother. We have to work this out.” Sitting next to her, finally.

“I just have to take a few days to wrap my head around this, is all. This isn’t something I saw coming.” Drying her tears.

“When have you ever seen me with a guy, Mom?”

“I just thought you were a late bloomer. I never even considered that you were…”

“Gay, Mom. You can say it, or if you prefer, lesbian.” I explained.

“Lesbian will do. The other reminds me too much of…him.” She sighed, pointing to a picture of happier times when they were a couple. Then as if to change the subject she handed me an envelope. “I think you’ve been waiting for this.”

It was from Boston College admissions, and it was my number one choice for university. I carefully tore open the seal and pulled out the folded page, almost afraid to look at what was written on it.

“Well, read it, already.” My mother joked, laughing, her face still damp from her tears.

I scanned down the page, through all of the preliminary stuff they always write, then it was there, right in front of my eyes. “We are pleased to offer you a place in our Freshman class, starting in September, should you…” My eyes must have been saucers as I stood up. “Mom, I’m in!”

So, that seemed to break the barriers that had gone up with my admission of being lesbian, and we celebrated by way of a little champagne that my mother seemed to have set aside. This was all eight months ago.

 

Independence and the Loss of Inhibition

 

The first semester at any school, let alone a top university, is always stressful, and what better way to blow off some steam on the weekend, than to party. And party I did. Being away from Vera was the worst part of the whole thing. She opted not to go to college, and went straight into her father’s machine shop, as an apprentice. Lord knows that the way things are so topsy-turvy, she would probably do better than me, with a four-year degree.

It was a Saturday, and I was simply wandering around campus, trying to deal with the hangover I was suffering, thinking that a crisp new England morning might do better than the coffee I’d just inhaled. Some friends had taken me out for my eighteenth birthday, and I really should have stopped after the third round of drinks.

I needed a shower and was heading back to the dorms to do just that when I ran into Deidre. She was a good egg and was one of the crew that had celebrated with me the night before.

“Hey, Allie, how are you doing?” She asked, running a hand over her close-cropped black hair.

“Last night was great, but I’m feeling my oats this morning, D.” I moaned.

“You feel like a walk? I’m heading down to Brampton’s to get this overgrown mop a good clipping.” She sighed.

Now, to anyone that didn’t know Deidre, they would say her hair was already short for a girl. On the second day of the semester, I met her, and her head was basically shaved to the skin. It was one of the things that attracted me to her. I was still trying to maintain my relationship with Vera, but it was difficult. We had both agreed to take a break and see other people, with the understanding that should anything serious pop up, we would let the other know. We likened it to an open marriage.

So far no one had ticked the boxes, but Deidre came close. We’d had sex a few times, and it was good. She reminded me a lot of Vera, and that in itself was an issue. If I was having sex with her because she reminded me of Vera, it was the wrong reason to be doing it.

I tagged along after her until we came to the corner barbershop. Brampton’s wasn’t the clean-cut, swept, and tidy place that some of the shops were. No, this place was old-time, hardcore, and not for everyone.

As we slipped inside, I got the evil eye from the barber, while Deidre just took a number off the rack and pulled up a chair.

“They don’t like girls in here,” Deidre informed me, as I started to feel a bit uncomfortable. So, I just sat and watched, as each customer went up and sacrificed their hair to the single barber who seemed to only know one style, buzzed. The floor was coated with a rainbow of hair, every shade, and color, and he made no effort to sweep between customers.

“Does he know how to do anything but… that?” I whispered to Deidre.

“Guys know what they want when they come in here. He’s cheap, but he takes it right down, no questions asked.” Deidre grinned. “And that’s exactly what I need right now.”

So, when her number was called, she silently slipped into the chair and slipped the guy what appeared to be a fiver. It was all so unceremonious, as he fastened the cape around her neck and fired up the clippers. No fanfare, just straight down the middle and right to the bone.

I felt a jolt of excitement course through my loins as I watched him skin her bald. I just couldn’t help but imagine myself in her place, feeling that buzzing as I had once done, so very long ago. There was very little chance that Deidre was going to escape with a hair on her head, or without a long session back in my dorm room.

I couldn’t keep my hands away from her scalp, as she went down on me. Between her tongue torturing my clitoris and my fingertips massaging her sandpaper skull, I must have come four times in a row. Of course, I returned the favor, slipping my tongue through her forested mound, her pubic hair the only hair on her luscious body.

As we were lounging in the afterglow, I asked the obvious question. “You got your head shaved today, and yet you let that bush go wild. How come?”

“Why? Do you want me to shave it?” Deidre asked.

“No. Not unless you want to.” I relented.

“Why don’t you get this lot shaved off, then?” She asked, running her fingers through my just shorter than shoulder-length bob. “You’d love how it feels.”

“I don’t know. Probably because my mother would kill me if I came home with a bald head, again.” I admitted.

“Again? You mean you shaved your head before?” Deidre asked. And so, I told her the story I’d told hundreds of times to countless friends. The innocence of it was lost on her, but she had it in her head that if I did it once, I could definitely do it again. This was especially true when I told her how much I enjoyed having short hair, and how my mother had kept such strict restrictions.

“So, I do know how it feels,” I admitted to her.

“I should walk you down to Brampton’s right now.” Deidre kidded.

As much as the temptation was there, I just knew how my mother would react, especially since I would be heading home for thanksgiving in two weeks’ time. She dropped the subject for the time being, but not the idea.

That next weekend, there was a huge party at one of the frat houses, and all my friends had met there for free beer. I mean, who could turn down free beer on a Saturday afternoon, right? Deidre was there, of course. She seemed to be keeping a close eye on me, and at about two o’clock in the afternoon, she pulled me aside, and said that I’d had enough, and would start to make a fool of myself if I drank any more.

It seemed reasonable enough, and I thanked her for taking such good care of me. She only smiled as we walked away from the party, the muffled rock and roll rattling the windows as we made our way down the sidewalk. Soon, the only sounds were the breeze through the fall leaves, and an occasional car driving past.

That was just about the time I realized that we were standing outside Brampton’s. “D, no way. I have to see my mother this Thursday.”

“It’s now or never, Allie. Either you join me, or you don’t.” She prodded.

I stood staring at the place, the dim light that hung from the ceiling a reminder of how glum the place really was.

“Come on, they close in twenty minutes.” Deidre insisted, pulling me closer by my arm. It seemed there was no way out of this fate. She wanted it, I wanted it; the only person that would be upset would be my mother. It wasn’t as though she’d never seen me with a shaved head before.

“Fine.” I finally succumbed, allowing her to pull me through the door.

The place was just as drab and run down as I remembered it being a week before when Deidre had been so rudely peeled by the gruff-looking man. She grabbed a number from the rack, noticing that there was one more person ahead of us; ahead of me, I had to realize.

Again, I got the evil stare from the guy as he buzzed the kid in the chair. The floor was just as littered with shorn locks as last time, even more so now, as it was near the end of the day.

The cuts were quick and methodical and took no more than two minutes each, so I was up in no time at all. Another kid popped his head in the door, only to be met with a gruff “We’re closed!” by the man holding the clippers.

“Forty-one” the guy sneered, looking me straight in the eye. “Nothing special for you, pretty one.” He warned as I took a seat in the leather and chrome chair.

“That’ll be fine.” I managed, my voice creeping down the back of my throat as I spoke. I handed him the five dollars that Diedre had lent me and watched as it disappeared into his pocket.

He wrapped me in the cape, and I felt almost at home, suddenly. Deidre was smiling ear to ear, and I tried to match her but wasn’t sure it qualified. The cape was wrapped tight around my neck and my hair pulled out from underneath with a tug. It was almost as though he hated hair. His own head was bald as an egg, and I wondered whether he shaved it or was just that way naturally.

I heard the clippers whirring behind me as he brought them to my forehead, and there was that amazing tingle between my legs again. Before I knew what was happening the entire top of my head was shorn down to the skin, my jet white scalp almost shocking to see.

He pressed my chin to my breasts as he worked the clippers up the back, and I had the first view of my blonde locks joining those of the countless others who had preceded me that day. Aside from being longer, there was nothing special about them, and soon his shuffling feet had mixed them in well with the black, the brown, and the grey. I was simply the last in a long line of knobs he had peeled that day.

The clippers ran almost frantically this way and that side to side, front to back, searching for any hair that dared to be missed by the buzzing blades. I felt the moisture between my legs, even in such a place as this, it was impossible to stop. Deidre saw the look in my eyes as I stared at her through the mirror. Finally, the clippers fell silent.

Then, something I was not expecting, nor was Deidre. A hot towel was wrapped over my freshly shorn skull, and I had to admit with the cold breeze outside, it felt pretty good.

“Last cut of the day gets the works.” He said, matter-of-factly, as he dispensed a liberal quantity of lather into his palm from a whining machine. When the towel was pulled away, the cold air of the shop hit my bare scalp like needles. So, it was a relief when the warm foam was spread over it.

 

Once a Shaver, Always a Shaver

 

The vague memory I had as a child saw only the back and sides being shaved, but he had covered my entire head with the lather. I watched, almost in awe, as he wielded the straight razor, scraping it over my head. There was very little difference between the white of the lather and my scalp beneath, and that fact only served to feed my arousal. So, I would be a spectacle for the days leading up to the Thanksgiving break. With a baby smooth, jet white scalp, I would certainly be noticed.

When at last, he whisked the cape away from my body, I was a bit concerned that my excitement would be completely on display. I could feel my arousal seeping down the inside of my thighs as I stood, and there was no mistaking the scent of it. If I could smell it, he certainly could.

“Two weeks.” Was all the guy said, as we headed for the door, Deidre unable to keep her fingers off my gleaming egghead. I was already incredibly turned on and her hands against my freshly denuded scalp were almost too much to bear.

“What did the guy mean by ‘two weeks’?” I asked as we hurried back to my dorm.

“It just means he expects to see you back there in two weeks.” She explained.

“So, what is it, like a contract, or something?” I asked.

“I’ve only ever heard him say it a few times, but it sure looks like he means it when he says it.” Deidre noticed. “I suppose you better show up.”

“What if I don’t?” I asked.

“You saw that guy. I wouldn’t want to piss him off.” Deidre warned, pulling me up the stairs to my second-floor room. I only hoped my roommate was still at the party.

 

“What on earth!” Was all my mother got out as I walked into the house, completely bald. The guy at Brampton’s had certainly given me a close shave because five days later it still had barely broken the skin.

“Surprise!” Was about all I could think of to say. My heart had been racing uncontrollably for the last hour on the Mass turnpike, until I finally took the exit for Pittsfield. Then I swore I thought it might have stopped altogether. It had taken every ounce of courage I had to walk up that driveway and make an entrance.

“I bet you couldn’t wait. You probably ran to the nearest barbershop in town as soon as you got there, didn’t you?” She accused. “To think, my beautiful daughter has been traipsing around campus bald all semester.”

“No, actually, Mom, this just happened last weekend,” I admitted, truthfully.

“I suppose you were drunk?” She queried.

“No. Well, I’d had a couple. But that’s not why I did it.” I explained.

“Vera’s coming over in a few minutes, you know. What do you suppose she’s going to say?” Talk about adding insult to injury, I had yet to talk to Vera about Deidre. We were going to have to have that talk.

“Probably something along the lines of, ‘cool’.” I mused, knowing my ex as well as I did.

About thirty minutes later, the doorbell rang, and I couldn’t have been more grateful. As much as I dreaded telling Vera that we were going to need to break things off, for real, anything was better than the constant badgering and stares I was having to deal with from my mother.

“Holy shit, girl.” Vera smiled, reaching in to hug me. Behind her, was a face I did not recognize. “Love the head.” She jokingly scrubbed the top, noticing how smooth it was. “Allie, this is Caroline.” I reached around to shake her hand.

“Come on in,” I said.

“Actually, can we talk for a minute?” I looked behind me at my mother, who was more than a bit curious. Stepping out, I closed the door behind me. “I just couldn’t do this on the phone, Allie, but…”

“You want to break up.” I finished for her.

“Caroline and I, we just…”

“Baby, you don’t have to explain anything. We both knew that this was more of a probability than not. As it happens, I was about to explain the same thing to you.” I smiled.

“What’s her name?” Vera asked, just the slightest hint of sadness in her eyes.

“Deidre.”

“Are you happy?” She asked. “Is she responsible for this?” She indicated my shaved head.

“Yes, and yes,” I admitted.

“I like her already.” Vera mused.

“It looks really cool,” Caroline interjected.

“I’ve got to get home. My folks are expecting me, and I have to explain my holiday guest.” She grinned. “I love you.” She mouthed.

A tear escaped from the corner of my eye, and I knew I better make my escape. “You too.”

Thanksgiving was an interesting affair with many of my mother’s closest friends getting to inspect my bald head with less than an approving eye. She had even threatened to make me wear one of her wigs, which I flatly refused to do.

So, it was back to Boston College, my tail only slightly nipped. By Monday, my hair had finally started to grow in, and I was not happy about losing that smooth scalp. As soon as I got in, Deidre was there, and we spent the next few hours before my roommate appeared, between the sheets, on top of the sheets, and even on the floor. I hadn’t realized how much I missed her until we were separated.

It took everything I had in me to wait that two weeks, before returning to Brampton’s. It was another Saturday, and Deidre had some studying to do so I went on my own.

Taking a number, I slipped into one of the chairs, no longer garnering the evil looks from the man as he worked. I was just one more head to shave. As I took the chair, he smiled, running a rough hand over the eighth-inch long stubble. I was waiting for the clippers, but I heard the whine of the lather dispenser instead. He looked over at me and grinned. “Once a shaver, always a shaver.” Needless to say, I was wet almost instantly.

6 responses to “Engrained

  1. Always a nice plus for the night to see something new from you. I liked this one, especially with the growing and changing relationships between the women, and how they resolved with some bittersweetness but not a whole lot of terrible drama.

    I really liked how he referred to her as being pretty, but then seemed to revel in removing some of that prettiness (as well as locking her into wanting to keep the look for good). Very well done all around!

  2. Your stories are the best.
    I would love to read a story written by you involving a lot of lesbian sex in a barber shop with a barberette (not a barber but a barberette) and your client.
    Think about it, it would be amazing.
    Thanks

  3. Hi Claire,

    What a wonderful story! I loved how you wrote about Allison’s hair evolution, and all the details you put in. It’s quite remarkable how a dramatic haircut at such a young age can have on a girl or boy. I loved that Allie eventually went all the way and had her head shaved.

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