On the far end of the couch, I hugged my knees while Billy stared at the tv. Lurking facebook, I kept my phone facing away from him, as if he had any interest. Still, a devious feeling cloaked me as I lingered on the same pictures of Simon, remembering the old days.
When Billy and I started dating, I grew my hair out. He liked it long, so I kept it trimmed to where my bra strap hung limply to my back. It was a boring style, and in the ten years Billy and I had been married, I had indeed become boring. Despite my lithe figure and thick waves of dark hair, billowing over my narrow shoulders, I could rarely manage to get him excited. He didn’t have any kinks that could played on to get my way from him.
It had rained earlier that spring day, and cool air wafted into the living room, filled with the scent of blue bells and aster. On Billy’s insistence, we kept a gardener, and I didn’t complain. For dinner we had the good soup from the fancy grocery store, and for dessert we had the good ice cream. Despite the lull in our marital bliss, our lives had steadily grown more luxurious.
Sometimes I wondered about my aversion to procreating. Billy didn’t push for kids, and I enjoyed my life of minimal chores while my husband took care of our finances. Other times I suspected that, despite my marriage, I wasn’t truly committed to spending the rest of my life with Billy. I loved him, but he lacked passion… unlike Simon.
Simon and I had dated in my late teens. He had a kink for girls who cut their hair short, so I did what he wanted, all the way. And we had our fun, but life got in the way, and we both had our own levels of growing up to do. From what I could gather from social media, I’d grown up a lot more than he had, even though I was thirty and still without kids. Simon didn’t have kids either. And he didn’t seem to be dating anyone in particular.
After Billy took his commute to the office, I stiffened in the drizzling morning air as Susan, our german shepherd, tugged at her leash. I, for one, didn’t share her enthusiasm for wandering our gated community. Toward the bleary sunrise, I squinted and tightened my hood over my hair. Following the twiggy, hooded shadow, I pretended . How I missed the lightness of the old style, feeling so sexy in Simon’s eyes.
It wasn’t like Billy was forcing me to keep my hair long, I knew. And if I got it cut, nothing too extreme, I would know Simon at least would get hot for me. Even if we never saw each other again, I would know he had thought about me, and felt an attraction. I would feel sexier, despite Billy’s indifference. And if I got a haircut, maybe it would get some kind of rise from Billy. Summer was coming anyway, and a cooler style was in order. After all, I hadn’t changed anything about my style in ten years. It was time for something different. My regular appointment with my stylist, Tina, wasn’t for another month, and I knew she would talk me out of going shorter. Tina loved my long hair.
Susan dashed for her water dish and I plopped on the couch to play on my phone figure out my plans for the day. I figured I’d stop by the Whole Foods for dinner, and might as well try a walk-in salon while I was out. If I got a new cut and it didn’t suit me, I could get Tina to fix it.
A Short Bob
So I tried out Wyld Style, sauntering in, wearing a white v neck and black slacks. The girl at the counter looked like a teenager, tall and curvy with a choppy pixie cut. Angsty rock played over the house speakers, making me feel out of place, almost like a kid again. Adventurous.
The girl gave me an excited, almost nervous smile, and said, “Hello. I’m Zelda. Are you here for a walk-in?”
“Yes. Yes, I am,” was my response as I scanned the room. There was nobody else around, which I guess was fine, at ten in the morning.
“That’s great. Go ahead and have a seat in this first chair.” Zelda replied, “You might be wondering why I’m the only one here. And the truth is, this is my shop. I don’t have anyone else working yet. But I do have another chair available, if you have any friends who need a place to work.”
“I see. No I don’t. So, you’re new?” I asked, settling myself into the wide leather seat, letting my hair hang over the back.”
“Yes, but I’ll do a good job. I’m cheap, too.” Zelda wrapped a heavy, striped cape around me and pumped up the chair. “So, what are we doing today?”
“Well…” I nibbled my lip and met the girls’ eyes through the wide mirror. “My normal stylist really likes my long hair, and I figured she’d probably talk me out of going shorter. So I thought I’d try this place.”
Zelda nodded, pensively.
“I think for now, I’d like a bob. A short bob.” I finished and noticed the proper, adult sound of my voice, alien in a place like this.
The stylist pumped a fist and grinned with dog-like teeth. “Yes! Let’s do that. I would love to help you find your new look.”
Zelda was exactly the stylist I needed for this job, cutting without caution, fervently freeing me of 75% percent, of my hair. When she removed the cape, my neck looked so long, towering out of my v-neck. And on my head was a lip-length bob in big, dark waves with a short fringe that hung halfway between my eyebrows and hairline. I touched my shaved nape and felt sexy, excited to post a photo of the new style, even if the new look was a bit juvenile and sensual for me. But I loved it.
“What do you think?” Zelda asked, stepping away, forcing her hands away from my glorious mane.
“I love it. Thank you so much.” I smiled, downplaying my elation.
After tipping Zelda, I drove to the store, basking in the feel of the leather headrest on my bare nape, remembering how hot it would be in the summer, and how nice it would be to have short hair. Unable to contain my excitement, I shared a selfie of my new look, front and back, knowing the distraction of grocery shopping would keep me from watching for likes. And after putting away the groceries, I saw it. Simon liked my photo.
And feeling like a temptress, I wore pearls and a low cut red dress while cleaning up and preparing dinner, oysters and champagne. To keep my verocity in check, I considered getting myself off before getting to the chores, but I had a feeling Billy might want to spend extra time with me tonight, showing how pleased he was to have such a beauty.
“…Hi,” he stammered, after staring for what felt like a long time. “You cut your hair?”
As if he couldn’t believe it. “Yes. Don’t you like it?”
“I guess it’s fine,” he answered and marched to the bedroom to change, only to return in his boxers and t-shirt. “What’s for dinner?”
“Oysters,” I returned, “You really don’t like my hair? Don’t you think it’s foxy?”
“I don’t know. I think I get it, the need to try something new.”
“It’ll grow back,” he continued. “Besides. Otherwise, you look really nice- And oysters? What’s the occasion?”
“I guess my hair cut. I thought you’d like it.” I replied, dejection buried behind my pursed lips. “I like it.”
“So are you going to keep it that way?”
“I don’t know. Maybe not, if you don’t like it.”
“I like it long. Your hair’s so pretty. I don’t know why you would want to cut it short.” Billy put a hand on my exposed shoulder and kissed my cheek.
“Thanks.” I muttered.
The Cut I Really Wanted
And so that night turned out about the same as the one before, except I went to bed early. And thinking of my new haircut, thinking of how turned on my old friend must be, I touched myself for a long time, feeling more pleasure than I had all year. Then the next day, I thought again of my haircut and of cutting my hair even shorter. Oh, the thought turned me on so much, thinking of the times I could have been having if it weren’t for Billy. And after several days, I decided to cancel my appointment with Tina, and when due for a trim, I went back to Zelda.
“I want to go a little shorter this time,” I told her.
Zelda’s eyes went wide. “Really? That’s awesome.”
“Thanks, but not too short. My husband likes my hair long, and I’m trying to ease him into my new look.”
“I see. Okay.”
That was when I learned Zelda is not a very precise hair stylist. She worked fast, eager to remove what hair she could get away with, and left me with half the hair I had upon entering. And the cut was more of a shaggy pixie than a bob. Billy was going to hate it.
“What do you think?” Zelda asked, apprehension juicing from her strained face.
I exhaled. If Billy was going to hate my hair, I figured I might as well get the hair cut I’d truly wanted, the hair cut Simon gave me when we were young. Wouldn’t that make me feel sexy?
“You know what?” I scrunched my face. “Let’s go ahead and buzz it. Can you do a fade?”
The stylist’s mouth hung open for a moment, then she breathed, “Yes. How short?”
“I’d like a number two on top, faded from zero to my crown.” I ordered. “I’ve actually had this cut before, so don’t be afraid.”
“All right.” Zelda said, stretching her eyelids. “Sure.”
She put a guard on her clippers and let out a quick sigh. “Ready?”
She started at my nape with her nice, cordless clippers. Their well-honed blades mowed easily through my dark, fluffy mop, leaving behind a stiff pelt. Immediately I felt the wave of cool air behind my ears, familiar and arousing. Last time I got this cut, it was followed by more love than I’d ever felt entitled to. As she finished clipping my right side, I noticed the flush of my cheeks, protruding from my face, out from the shadows of my soft mane. As Zelda buzzed away my fringe, I saw delight in my eyes, big and bright like a doll’s. And I saw what it must have been that aroused Simon so much, to see a woman’s face, so brave and begging for touch. I raised an eyebrow and saw my hairline shift, transforming my whole face. I made a wide smile, then pursed my lips, and watched my ears shift behind my cheeks.
As Zelda faded my hair, I got lost in the sight of my jaw, like a peach as it met the pale skin of my neck, and the spot where my neck met my skull. And that was where my shortest, stiffest hairs were. How I wanted someone to brush their lips against them, feeling their breath on my scalp.
I was in a daze while Zelda brushed away the clippings and blow-dried me, like I was on some kind of drug. After she shook out the cape, I examined the pile of hair on the floor, long clippings piled with progressively shorter ones. In the mirror, I ran my tongue over my bottom lip, straightening my pearls and sun dress. I was a vision, and there was no way I could let her go to waste.
Driving away from home, away from town, I found myself messaging Simon. No matter what, tonight I intended to get the love I deserved. But was hard to drive, as I kept on touching my hair, and the different lengths of fuzz that remained. It was easier after I stopped at a rest area to touch myself, already excited for my next trim.