Lena had always loved going to her aunt’s house for the summer. The large, Victorian-style mansion with sprawling gardens and a pool was a paradise for the 12-year-old girl. But this year, things were different. Her aunt had never liked Lena’s long, curly locks, and this time, she was determined to do something about it.
On the second day of Lena’s stay, her aunt called her into the bathroom and pulled out a pair of scissors. Lena’s heart sank as her aunt started to hack at her hair. “What are you doing?” Lena protested, tears streaming down her face.
“I’m giving you a makeover, dear,” her aunt replied, her voice cold and unfeeling.
Lena’s long locks fell to the floor, leaving her with short, choppy hair that barely reached her shoulders. But her aunt wasn’t satisfied. “It’s still too long,” she muttered, and before Lena could even protest, her aunt took out clippers and started buzzing my hair.
Lena couldn’t believe what was happening. All she could do was sit there as her aunt shaved off her hair. Lena went up to feel her head and all she could feel was stubble.
Lena was in shock as she watched her aunt lather up her bare scalp with shaving cream. It felt cold and tingly against her skin. She wanted to scream, to run away, but her aunt held her firmly in place.
“Please, Auntie, don’t do this,” Lena begged, tears streaming down her face. “I hate it.”
But her aunt remained unmoved. “You’ll get used to it,” she said, her voice devoid of any emotion.
Lena closed her eyes as she felt the razor glide over her head, leaving nothing but smooth, bare skin behind. When she opened them again, she barely recognized herself in the mirror. All her hair was gone. She looked like a boy.
For the rest of the summer, Lena’s aunt made sure to shave her head every single day so her head remained smooth and shiny.
Lena was devastated. She felt like a prisoner in her aunt’s house, unable to escape the constant humiliation of her bald head. She tried to cover it up with hats and scarv
es, but her aunt wouldn’t allow it. “I want everyone to see my handiwork,” she said with a cruel smile.
Days turned into weeks, and Lena soon gave up trying to fight her aunt’s cruel treatment. She resigned herself to her fate and spent most of her days inside, avoiding the prying eyes of the outside world.
es, but her aunt always found a way to make her take them off.
One day, Lena’s aunt took her to a public pool. Lena was hesitant, knowing that everyone would stare at her and make fun of her bald head. But her aunt was insistent, and Lena had no choice but to go along.
As soon as they arrived, Lena could feel the eyes of the other children on her. She tried to stay in the shadows, but her aunt pushed her towards the pool. Lena reluctantly got in, trying to keep her head down and stay unnoticed.
But it was impossible. The other kids were relentless, mocking her and calling her names. Lena wanted to cry, to scream, to run away, but she was frozen in place. All she could do was endure the humiliation.
But one day, something changed. Lena was out in the garden, tending to the flowers her aunt had insisted she take care of, when she saw a group of girls her age walking by the house. They stopped and stared at her, their eyes widening in shock.
Suddenly, Lena felt a surge of anger. She was tired of being ashamed of her appearance, of hiding away from the world. “What are you looking at?” she called out to the girls.
They hesitated for a moment, then one of them stepped forward. “We’re sorry,” she said softly. “We didn’t mean to stare. But your hair
Lena knew what she looked like, but she wasn’t going to let that define her anymore. “It’s okay,” she said, a newfound confidence in her voice. “I like it this way.”
The girls looked at each other in surprise. “Really?” one of them asked.
Lena nodded. “I feel free,” she said, “like I can be whoever I want to be.”
The girls smiled at her, and Lena felt a warmth spread through her chest. For the first time in weeks, she felt like she wasn’t alone.
From that moment on, Lena started to venture outside more. She still wore hats and scarves to cover her head, but she no longer felt ashamed of her appearance. She even started to make friends with the girls who had passed by her aunt’s house that day. They didn’t care that she was bald; they liked her for who she was.
When the summer was over and Lena returned home, her hair had started to grow but she continued to shave it.
She liked the way it felt, the way it made her feel free and unencumbered. It was a reminder of the summer she had spent with her cruel but ultimately liberating aunt, and the newfound confidence she had gained. Lena knew that she would never be the same again, but that was okay. She was stronger, braver, and more resilient than ever before. And no matter what anyone else thought of her appearance, she knew that she was beautiful in her own way.