Equal Treatment

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Hello all, this is the first story I’ve ever written. Hope you like it <3. Feedback appreciated

Equal treatment

“It’s so unfair, this is 2022.” Kat had said this to her mother a lot lately. It drove her nuts that her mom always seemed to have different rules for her and her younger brother. At 15 years old, all she wanted was to do the things any 15 year old girl wants. Every time she wanted to hang out with friends, her mom had a million questions about where she was going, who she was with, etc. She couldn’t remember her mother ever doing that to her 13 year old brother. Her brother dressed however he wanted, while with her, her mother was always like “that skirt is too short. That’s too much makeup. You look like a whore” it was so unfair.

“Well, Katherine, if you want Equal Treatment, you can start by taking out the trash, instead of your brother always having to”

Kat wanted to complain, but she knew her mom had her backed into a corner. If she put up a fuss, it would be all “But I thought there’s no difference between boys and girls” from her mother. So Kat bundled up that trash, and brought it out to the curb, her waist length blonde hair swaying in the breeze behind her. She loved how her hair did that, and the boys loved it too. Her mom, who always wore a conservative mom-bob hairstyle, had tried to convince Kat to cut her hair to a more “sensible” shoulder length or even shorter, but Kat had always refused, only ever getting a small trim.

“Tomorrow’s the last day of school, so when I pick you two up, we’ll bring Sam to the Barber’s, then after we can do some shopping” her mom said when Kat got back inside. Sam always dreaded his summer haircut, and Kat found it funny. He always grew his hair out as much as possible during the year, sometimes even asking Kat to trim the back for him, because their mom complained whenever his brunette hair touched his collar. Right now, his hair was not all that different from his mother’s, during the past year it had become essentially a bobcut. “Ok, if we have time, I’d like to swing by the Salon and get my split ends trimmed” said Kat. “We’ll see” is all her mother said

The next day passed uneventfully, and before they knew it Sam was in George’s barber chair, with a strip of paper around his neck and the Cape tied firmly, a look of dread on his face as George turned to his mother and asked “nice and cool for the summer?” “That sounds perfect” Pop. Buzzz. The clipper roared to life, a tiny plastic guard on it. “Put your head down, son. This’ll be over before you know it” was all George said, and he began ploughing his way up the back of the boy’s head, leaving only an ⅛” of stubble behind.

Kat sat in the waiting room, totally absorbed in TikTok, paying no mind to what was going on. Today was a particularly hot day, so her long, blonde hair was tied back in a high ponytail.

“I’ve always wondered, do you cut girls’ hair as well? If you ask me, the salons charge way too much.” Asked their mother

“Hair is hair, doesn’t matter to me whose head its on.” George shrugged, as he casually stripped 6″ of hair from the top of Sam’s head, his all-over summer buzz taking shape. Sam just sat there miserably.

“That’s great, because Katherine over there has been complaining a lot lately about how she thinks I treat her and her brother differently, So I see no reason to pay twice as much at a girly salon across town. Plus, I think she could use a bit of a lesson” explained their mom

“I see. Well, we can certainly do that” said George as he used a small clipper to clean up the boy’s neckline

“Kat. Katherine!” Her mom called

“What?!” Kat answered, not knowing her mother’s plans

“George says he can give you your haircut”

“But I’m a girl…” protested Kat

“I thought there was no difference between boys and girls? Isn’t this 2022? Anyway, he says he can cut girl’s hair” mom explained as Sam got out of the chair, his hand rubbing his freshly cropped head, where just moments ago there was nearly 6″ of hair.

“We don’t have all day, get in the chair. Now missy”

Kat knew better than to argue, so hesitantly she got up and walked over to the chair, her high pony swinging back and forth. She stepped over the pile of mousy brown hair that was sheared from her brother, and into the large, leather barbers chair, much bigger than salon chairs she was used to, Kat felt tiny and vulnerable sitting there. George tore off a paper strip and wrapped it around her petite neck, before snapping out a big, black cape and securing it tightly around her neck, much tighter than she was used to, as if to make sure clippings didn’t get down her shirt. ‘must be force of habit’ Kat thought.

Kat was about to tell George “just 2 inches off the bottom” when he turned to Kat’s mother and asked “nice and cool for the summer?”

“That sounds perfect” replied her mom, as she’d said many times before

“WHAT?!! Nooo!” Was all Kat could get out before George grabbed her ponytail roughly, and sunk his shears in behind the tie. Scrunch. Crunch. Crunch. As the shears chopped their way through, tears streamed down Kat’s face as pieces of hair swung free, landing bluntly around her chin.

Schink. Schink. Schink. “that’s much better” said George as he cut free the last of the pony, and he laid it on the counter in front of her. Kate was sobbing uncontrollably now, looking like some kind of freak with bob-length hair around her face, just past her shoulders in the back, roughly graduating to a 1 inch spiky tuft at the crown, where moments ago her “Ariana Grande” high pony had been. “Don’t worry Hun, this’ll be over before you know it. This cut will be much cooler in this heat, and much easier to take care of. We are in the middle of a drought, you know” George said with a smirk.

“Let’s get you cleaned up, head down sweetheart.” George said as he forced her head forward, chin resting on her chest. Pop. Buzz. The clippers roared to life, the same, tiny attachment that had just stripped her brothers head still attached. The Barber lifted the hair at her neck and drove the clippers in at her neckline, ploughing a path all the way to her crown, and with a flick a big clump of hair hit the cape, and George went in for another path, leaving just an ⅛ inch where once there had been 3 feet of hair. By now Kat’s cries had reduced to a whimper, and she sat submissively, miserably as the Barber sheared her. Just like she watched her brother do every year.

As George made his 3rd pass up the back of her head, Kat began to feel a breeze on her scalp, something she had never felt before. She could also feel George’s big, rough hand resting on it. “Head left” George instructed as he pushed her head to the side, grabbing a comb and giving her a rough side part.

“I don’t know what you’re crying about” Kat’s mom said. “You said you wanted the same rules for you and your brother, and your brother gets a summer haircut from George, whether he wants it or not”

Kat heard the buzzing close to her ear, and George drove the clippers up her sideburn, and Kat caught her first glimpse of how short she was being sheared. With her blonde hair, it looked much shorter than her brother’s brown hair, and she could clearly see her scalp. This was a boys cut. No. It was shorter than most boys. What would her friends think? George folded her ear down, and buzzed around it. No one had ever touched her ear like that, it felt strange.

George pushed her head to the other side, and flipped the top hair over to her right side, and went to work exposing her ear. Kat noticed that her small ears sat nice and flat to her head, and began to think about how her collection of dangly earrings would look when they weren’t hidden by hair.

As Kat’s mind began to wander, George was finishing her left side and straightened her head, preparing to attack the last of her long hair. A few minutes ago, Kat would have thought of chin length as severely short, but now it seemed long in comparison. George wore a big grin on his face as he set the clippers on her forehead, and drove them back, a cascade of 4-6″ blonde locks sliding down the cape, unleashing a new round of tears from Kat.

“Almost done sweetheart, just need to clean up the edges.” As George said this, he picked up a small set of clippers, and pushed Kat’s head forward again. “You know, I do actually understand women’s hair, even a cut like this can still be feminine” George explained as he worked in the back, forming a soft V shape, as opposed to the blunt square cut he always gave her brother. “It’s all in the finish work” He moved to the side, and clippered the edges of her sideburns, forming cute little points.

He put down the clippers and turned Kat this way and that, admiring his handy work. “See miss? You didn’t need all that hair, this cut suits you much better, don’t you agree?” Kat just sat there stunned, motionless. “Absolutely, I think she looks wonderful” Kat’s mom answered”

George removed the cape, and kat got up, shaking and barely able to walk as she headed for the waiting area. He hand went to her head, and she felt her buzz cut for the first time. Soft like velvet, yet prickly at the same time. She had felt her brother’s before, but it was an entire different sensation when it was her head.

Kat didn’t even notice her mother climb into the chair, until she heard George ask ” nice and cool for the summer?” To which her mom replied “That would be perfect. You know, Equal treatment and all that” Pop. Buzz…

 

 

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