Emmy’s Grandma

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“Are you sure it’s okay for me to stay with you for the summer?” I asked my friend Emmy as we headed out of school for summer break.

”Of course! Grandma always likes extra help on the farm so as long as you’re willing to get stuck in it’ll be fun!” Emmy exclaimed before we both hopped on the bus.

”Sure, it’ll be fun as long as we’re together” I smiled and we chatted about how fun the summer would be the rest of the journey back home.

Today was the day I was heading down to Alabama with Emmy and her family for summer break.

I packed my bags and met Emmy at the end of her driveway where we loaded the car up and soon enough we were on the open road driving down to Alabama.

“So what can I expect when we get there?” I turned and asked Emmy.

”Well all my cousins head down there so today it will just be everyone settling in and tomorrow is when the real fun starts” Emmy told me, her shoulder length hair blowing in the wind through the open top car.

As we arrived on the farm, Emmy’s grandma came out to greet the two of us as I attempted to sort my windswept long hair out.

”Bless you deary, don’t worry we’ll have that hair of yours sorted out later today” Emmy’s grandma chuckled before going off to greet some of Emmy’s other cousins.

I was confused by what she meant but I shrugged it off and followed Emmy up to our room in the house.

”Ready?” Emmy asked me once I’d dumped my bags on my bed.

”What for?” I asked.

”To go run errands with grandma and the cousins” Emmy told me.

”Oh yeah sure” I smiled as I followed Emmy down the stairs and out to the front where we all bundled into a truck to head into the town.

“Boys, this is your stop” Grandma said as she let the two boys out of the truck.

I strained my neck around trying to see where she was taking them and finally caught a glimpse of the barbershop they’d just walked into.

”So you’re Emmy’s friend?” one of Emmy’s cousins asked me from the backseat.

I turned around to look at the little girl, who must only be about 6, “Yeah, I’m Polly, what’s your name?” I asked the girl.

”I’m Rosie, and that’s Willow” Rosie told me as she pointed to the other girl who was older than her, about 10 years old, who was just staring out the window in a bit of a mood.

I turned back around to face the front again and asked Emmy, “What’s up with Willow?”

”She’s probably not happy about having a haircut” Emmy shrugged.

”Oh, does she have to have one?” I asked.

”Yeah, everyone does, it’s Grandma’s rules” Emmy told me.

”Wait, including me?” I stuttered, I didn’t want to cut my long hair, it had taken so long for it to grow this long.

”Yeah, sorry did I not tell you?” Emmy asked, interrupted by the two freshly-shorn boys getting back into the truck along with Emmy’s grandma.

“To the salon!” Grandma announced before driving off down the road to the hair salon.

She parked outside, leaving the two boys in the car but bringing the four girls inside.

”Hiya Gwen! Summer cuts like usual?” the receptionist smiled as the five of us walked in.

”Yes please!” she smiled before we went to go and sit in the waiting area.

It was a very small and quaint salon, with dated decoration and the big traditional leather chairs loomed in the back.

”Who’s first then?” the only hairdresser working came and asked.

”I‘ll go first!” Rosie was quick to volunteer as she followed the hairdresser through to the back.

I watched on as Grandma pointed to a picture on the wall before the stylist nodded.

She proceeded to gather Rosie’s hair together in her hand before going in with her shears and chopping what must have been about 15 inches off, leaving what was left as a messy a-line bob.

Rosie didn’t seem to mind her new short hair as she happily followed the stylist to the washbasins where she washed her hair before coming back to the chair where Rosie clambered back up.

The stylist pumped the chair up to the full height before combing Rosie’s remaining hair to cover her face, like a mushroom.

She then combed down over Rosie’s forehead, chopping her hair to an inch above her eyebrows, my jaw dropped as the stylist kept the length all the way around Rosie’s head, exposing her tiny ears.

Just as I thought Rosie’s cut was done, I heard the soft hum of the clippers turn on and the stylist mowed them through the back of Rosie’s head, reducing any hair she had left there to stubble. She did the same to her sideburns before quickly blowing out Rosie’s now bowl shaped hair.

”Is that alright?” the stylist asked as she spun Rosie to face the waiting room.

“Perfect” Grandma smiled before Rosie came skipping back into the waiting room, her hair bouncing with each leap.

”Who’s next then?” the stylist asked.

”Willow can go next, we’ll get it over with fast” Grandma said as she practically dragged the 10 year old over to the chair.

Again, Grandma pointed to the picture and soon enough the stylist had chopped Willow’s long locks off.

This time, the stylist didn’t wash Willow’s hair, she just got straight to work cropping it just as short as Rosie’s, Grandma holding her head in place the whole time as she cried and struggled to get out of her strong grip.

I watched on in horror as Emmy sat reading a magazine before finally Willow came and slumped back in a chair, her hair chopped into the same ugly bowl cut as Rosie.

”Who’s next then?” The stylist asked as Emmy and I looked between eachother.

”I’ll go” Emmy volunteered as she followed the stylist through to the chair. I watched as Emmy gestured to above her ears and I heard her ask for a number 1 on her nape. I had never heard these terms before so all I was expecting was Emmy to come back with a rather short cut.

Emmy’s hair wasn’t too long anyway so the stylist took her straight back for a wash whilst I picked up the magazine Emmy had been reading.

”What style are you going to go for then dear?” Emmy’s Grandma asked me as she shuffled into the seat Emmy had been sat in beside me.

”Oh I was just going to get a trim” I told her.

”I’m sorry dear, my rules are that everyone must have their hair above the shoulders” Emmy’s Grandma told me as a pit in my stomach formed.

”Maybe something like this then” I pointed at a model with a lob in the magazine I had been reading.

I’ve always kept my hair long since I was my traumatic haircut when I was around Rosie’s age. I had been out playing with friends and my hair had become tangled so instead of working the tangles out, my mother opted to chop all my hair off into a very unattractive brush cut.

As I looked up to see Emmy’s hair, I was shocked at the drastic change, the stylist had reduced it to about two inches in length and was now shaving her nape, blending the weight line out.

”Your turn!” Emmy grinned as she came back into the waiting area.

I took a deep breath before making my way over to the stylist’s chair, Emmy’s Grandma following closely behind.

”What are we thinking today then?” the stylist asked as she flicked the cape over me, restricting my arms.

”I think a lob, no shorter than my chin though” I told her.

”Alright perfect, if you just want to go through to the basin I’ll be through in a moment” the stylist told me.

I made my way through the the basin and slid back into the chair as I watched Emmy’s Grandma telling the stylist something, gesturing to another picture on the wall. I shrugged it off and relaxed back as I waited for the stylist to come through.

Once my hair had been washed, I was guided back to the chair where I had a look at some of the pictures on the wall to see what Emmy’s Grandma had been pointing at. There was a wide range of photos, I could see the bowl-cut picture that Rosie and Willow’s cuts had been inspired by but there was all ranges of lengths up there.

The stylist combed my hair out, parting the front sections and twisting them up out the way before sectioning the back.

She eased my head to my chest before combing my hair down.

Snip, snip, snip.

I heard as she dove in with the scissors across my neck. I could already feel this cut was going to be much shorter than I was used to.

She kept snipping my hair until the back was all uniform when she moved onto the side of my hair.

I watched as she combed down to the base of my earlobe as she swiftly dove in again with the scissors and chopped my hair.

My stomach felt uneasy as I realised this was not at all what I asked for, and I saw which picture Emmy’s Grandma had pointed at. It was a very short bob, around the woman’s ear lobes with thick bangs.

The stylist kept hacking my long hair off and all I could do was watch as the awful haircut began to take its shape.

She then moved onto the other side of my hair, and I watched as the last of my long hair fell to the floor.

Schnick schnick schnick. The scissors went as they glided through my hair.

My hair was now all the same length hanging at my ear lobes. The stylist then sectioned off a thick piece for my bangs and carelessly chopped it off to a similar length to Rosie and Willow’s bowl-cut bangs.

”How’s that?” the stylist asked Emmy’s Grandma as she spun me round to face her.

”Much better, now you don’t have to worry about maintaining such long hair, honestly teens and their vanity these days” Grandma tutted as we swapped places in the chair.

I felt emotionless as I took my seat next to Emmy again my hands running through my hair, trying to make sense of this awful cut I’d just had inflicted on me.

All I could think of now was how I would have to wait at least two years until it was past my chest.

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