Look at the Photos

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Amy was in love. Actually, she had a crush on a coworker, but she was fairly sure he did not even know she existed.

Amy was a financial analyst for a large company. The object of her crush was a Program Manager named Dave Stanton. Dave was a PM in his early 40s who it was rumored was being prepared for bigger things. In Amy’s mind he was Mr Perfect.

The problem was getting him to notice her. Their company was supposed to win a major contract and they were gearing things up to make it a success. Amy went to her boss Tom and asked if she could be the Financial Analyst assigned to the program. She and Tom talked about her experience and the needs of the company to make this new program a success. After discussing things for almost an hour Amy had her wish. Now she just hoped the company would win it and Dave would be selected as the PM for the job.

As soon as the company was selected the winner, Dave was announced as the PM for the job. Amy was elated. Now Dave would at least know who she was as they would be working closely for the duration of the contract. That would be several years at least.

Amy’s job was developing a spend plan and monitoring who was spending what and reporting things to Dave. He monitored her facts and the progress of the team against budget. Things were going great.

The one problem in Amy’s mind was Dave was strictly professional. He never once gave her any indication he was interested in her outside of work. She dropped hints that she was available. She made sure she had all her work prepared the way he wanted it in advance of his weekly requests. She didn’t know what else to do.

She knew Dave was a widower. His wife had died suddenly several years ago leaving him with two high school age boys. It was said his wife was his anchor and he was totally devoted to her and the boys. He had not had a relationship that anyone was aware of since her death.

While waiting to see him one day outside his office Amy began talking with Dave’s Admin, Janine. She had been with Dave for years and knew everything about him. She was in her early 50s or so and had a short pixie type hairstyle on her somewhat reddish salt and pepper hair.

Janine told Amy she noticed Amy might have a thing for Dave. Amy blushed. She thought she had been discrete and had no idea anyone had noticed. Janine smiled and said she hoped Dave might find someone to fill the void left with his wife’s passing. The oldest of the boys was about to enter college and the youngest only had a year left in high school. Dave was soon to be looking at an empty house.

Amy decided to take the opportunity and asked Janine what was holding Dave back from going out. Janine just got a smile on her face and said, “look at the photos.”

Amy looked at Janine with a “come on with more information” look and got nothing but the smile in return.

Once Dave got back to his office he apologized to Amy for the delay and they got right to business. While he was looking over the financials Amy looked at his desk and wall for photos. She immediately saw pictures of his family. Everyone was all smiles on vacation, skiing, Little League, or hiking the woods.

Dave’s wife Chris was beautiful. Much smaller than Dave. But almost everyone was smaller than him at 6’4”. She could not have been more than 5’4” which was shorter than Amy’s 5’7” so there could not be any problems with height.

Chris also looked to be very slight. No more than 125 pounds even after two boys. She had short dark hair that seemed to be progressively shorter in the newer photos on Dave’s desk and wall. The latest photo taken not long before her passing had her hair so short it seemed almost invisible the way it faded on her sides.

By now Dave had finished his initial review of the dollars and cents and was talking to Amy about their spending. It looked like they were right on the planned spending curve and he only had a few questions. Amy suddenly blurted out, “those pictures of your family are really nice.” Dave looked at her and said, “they were the happiest days of my life.”

Suddenly, he began telling her about Chris and the boys. Amy was beginning to fill the holes in information nobody in the office except Janine seemed to know. She also knew he was drawing her into his confidence as well. This new information was for her and her alone.

As the weeks and months passed Amy got to know more about Dave. His likes and dislikes. She began to try and let Dave know she could be the one to fill the hole in his life. She thought she might be getting somewhere but Dave’s demeanor never changed nor did he ever get close to asking her out for even a cup of coffee.

As she was leaving his office one afternoon she stopped to chat with Janine. After a short talk Amy just broke down and asked Janine if she was wasting her time in her desire to be more than just his Financial Analyst. Janine told her she thought Amy could provide Dave with everything he needed. Amy looked at Janine with an imploring look and Janine just repeated something she had said weeks ago. “Look at the photos.”

Amy went back to her office and decided she had to know what was in the photos that could be the key to beginning a relationship with Dave. She went back to his office. As luck would have it he wasn’t there. Janine told her to go on in and take a look around.

Amy studied the photos. All she saw was Chris and the boys with Dave. Chris’s hair was always short with it getting shorter as time progressed. Her figure never altered, and she seemed ageless. Was it the hair? Amy decided she had to know.

She left Dave’s office and went back to Janine. “Janine, this is driving me crazy. I see a lot of Chris in me. Physically, we are pretty close. I’m about 5’7” and 125. She’s a brunette and I am a blonde so that’s the biggest difference. Am I missing something? Was she a brilliant scientist or something that I can’t ever be?” Janine got that same smile as before and asked, “what did you notice in the photos?” Amy thought it over and said, “well, her hair is really short and was getting shorter as time passed.” Janine’s smile got bigger. Bingo, the light in Amy’s mind went on. “Is Dave a short hair on women kind of guy?” Janine just nodded her head.

Thanking Janine for the information Amy went back to her office contemplating what she had just found out. Thoughts of what this might mean were running through her head. Suddenly, the ramifications of what this meant were also in her head.

If this meant what she thought it meant it would require a major change in her hairstyle. Her current length was a very professional bra length cut leaving her with a little wave in the last 6 or 8 inches. She had never colored her hair as the natural light blonde was enough to make it quite attractive. Her stylist thought she had the perfect cut and color for her age and work and Amy agreed. She had never thought about going shorter.

However, new information was falling into place. Her crush on Dave had only intensified while they worked together. Her interaction with Janine also seemed to indicate that Dave liked her but was not going to pursue her. Why? She had wondered. Now she thought she knew.

Amy went home that evening and looked at herself in the bathroom mirror. People had always told her she was cute. She had to admit they were right. Her figure and looks seemed to turn heads but she wasn’t interested in just any guy. Men had approached her all the time looking for a date or two. She usually refused and thought she might have gotten a reputation as an ice queen as a result.

For the past couple of years her attention had been riveted on Dave. Nothing was going to divert her attention from him and the only other person who seemed to know what was going on was Janine. Janine had finally given her a clue that might be the key to unlock Dave’s attention.

Amy looked at her hair again. Could she part with it?

She decided Dave was worth it. Over the past months she had become convinced he was the one. She just needed to put herself over the top so that he could see that she was the one for him.

Unknown to Amy, while she was having these thoughts about Dave, he was having similar thoughts about her. He still missed Chris daily. There was a huge hole in his heart and life without her. But he was becoming more aware that there might be a new woman with whom he might share a part of himself.

The one stumbling block was his fixation on short hair. Chris had always known he loved her and loved her hair short. Over time she had cut it shorter and shorter for him. He especially loved the super short crop she had had done just before the undiagnosed aneurysm had burst in her brain killing her instantly. He needed to start over but her loss and the thought of letting another woman know of his deepest secret had kept him from opening up to another woman and then having her run from him as a result.

Back in Amy’s bathroom she finally resolved to have her hair cut shorter. But how short? Maybe she could convince Dave of her affections by going a little shorter. She knew she lacked the will to get the super short crop Chris sported in her last few photos. But maybe a shoulder length cut would be enough.

The next day at work Amy picked up the phone and dialed her stylist. As luck would have it she booked an opening for Friday evening after work. When Friday finally arrived, she pulled together all the data she needed for work in a daze. Could she go through with this? The thought scared her to death. She had never had her hair cut shorter than below her shoulders in her life. This was a major step.

As she left work and drove to her stylist, she could not stop looking in the mirror. This was it. She was not going to back out.

Walking into the salon she saw Kim her stylist and Kim immediately took her back to her station. The chit chat was a blur to Amy and as she sat down Kim asked her what they were doing today. Amy sucked in her breath and said, “I want to go shorter. Something just brushing my shoulders at most.” There, she’d said it. No taking it back and now she was firm in her commitment. Kim looked shocked and started to argue against the cut. But she saw the determination in Amy’s eyes and said, “Sure thing. Let’s get you ready.”

Amy’s shampoo seemed to take forever. Finally finished she went back to Kim’s station and waited as Kim started with her hair. After sectioning it off Kim looked one final time at Amy and seeing there was nothing to deter her from this cut, she began. Snip, and about 8 inches of wet blonde hair slid down the cape to the floor. Kim worked quickly around her head and Amy could see what this look was doing. It was a major change, but she still had a lot of hair. The one thing she noticed was how freely her hair would move around her face. She wondered if she could handle that. But mostly she wondered if Dave would notice.

By now Kim had finished the cut and began blow drying her hair. As Amy had anticipated, it moved every time she turned her head. It was sexy looking she thought. Kim removed the cape and told Amy she thought this cut looked much better than she thought it would and congratulated Amy on her new style.

All Amy could do was to keep looking at herself in the mirror on the drive home. This was a cut she could get used to and one she prayed would be acceptable to Dave. Would Monday morning ever come?

Once in her office Monday Amy could feel the stares from her co-workers. A few of the women in the office told her she looked fantastic and she beamed at the compliments. She had a standing 9 o’clock meeting Mondays with Dave. What would he think?

She walked over to Dave’s office and stood before Janine who looked up and did a double take to ensure this was the same Amy as always. Janine had a slight smile and told Amy she looked very nice. Amy thought this was great and walked into Dave’s office. He looked up and noticed her new cut and said, “Well, you’ve got a new hairdo. Very nice.” That was the extent of his attention.

After their meeting Amy spent a few extra minutes flirting with him to see if she could get a reaction from him indicating something more might be forthcoming. Nothing. She was troubled to say the least.

Back in her office she wondered just what she might have done wrong. Was there something else she was missing. What more could she do other than to simply throw herself at Dave?

A week later she had another Monday morning meeting with him. Amy arrived early as usual and began talking with Janine. She asked Janine if Dave had noticed her shorter hairdo and if he had any thoughts Janine might be able to pass along. Janine smiled that same smile and told Amy that Dave had indeed noticed, and his reaction was positive. “Then why hasn’t he said anything to me? Am I missing something?” Janine replied one more time, “Look at the photos.”

During her meeting with Dave Amy was totally preoccupied with the photos on Dave’s desk and wall. All she could see was a short haired Chris and her hair got progressively shorter as time passed. Did he only like the very short crop on women? She had to know.

After her meeting she left his office and stopped again to speak with Janine. She asked Janine, “Does Dave like the very short hair look?” Janine smiled broadly, “you’ve figured him out.” Amy hoped she might have a new coconspirator in Janine that might work to her advantage.

Once she got home, she wondered. Can I cut my hair THAT short? Is this guy even worth it? She realized she had fantasized about Dave for over 2 years now and getting nowhere. Was his desire for women with short hair an all or nothing proposition? Was that sick or was it just a preference that he could not get past? These thoughts continued to swirl in her head the rest of the night.

At Dave’s home he had thoughts about Amy as well. She was certainly cute. No, she was beautiful. She had let him know she had similar interests as he did outside work. She and he were of the same age. She had led him to believe that she was interested in him. Was he ready to leave Chris behind and press forward with his life?

He knew his obsession of women with short hair, and the shorter the better, was a stumbling block. He feared he would waste time getting to know a woman only to find she would not get it cut short and run from him. Was this all worth the effort and was he making short hair a thing that was too much for any woman? These were the thoughts that consumed him the remainder of the evening.

At work Thursday he and Amy were working once again in his office. Dave noticed her mind was a thousand miles away while looking at his wall photos. He broke in, “A penny for your thoughts.” Amy shook her head with her hair framing her face beautifully and replied, “Just looking at your photos.” Dave replied while looking at her, “I guess I need to move on in life. Chris and I just really clicked on everything. It’s been hard finding someone else.”

Amy was elated. This was the most Dave had said in months of working together that he might have a hope of going forward. She felt she had let him know she could be there for him and suddenly blurted out. “I got my hair cut a few weeks ago. I’ve been thinking maybe I ought to just get it cut shorter. It’s kind of in between, you know? Some guys like longer hair on women and some guys like it short. I don’t know if this will attract a guy one way or the other. Do you have any preferences?” Wow, she had just asked him to commit to what he wanted in a woman.

Dave just looked at her with an expression she would never be able to describe. He said, “Well, I do like women with short hair. As you can see Chris always had it short and I just loved that look on her. I suppose I’ve always had a thing for the short hair look.” They continued to look at each other for several moments each wondering if they’d opened up too much to the other. After an uncomfortable moment Amy finally got up and said she needed to get back to work.

Back in her office Amy continued to have thoughts about what she ought to do. Dave seemed to be committing to her, but the commitment appeared to have far reaching consequences. On an impulse she called Kim for an appointment for the weekend. Kim had an opening on Friday which she accepted. Amy hung up wondering if she could do what she thought had to be done for Dave. She could always just get a trim if her feet got too cold.

Dave in his office wondered if he had stepped over the line. While he had not demanded anything of a coworker, he had hinted pretty strongly what he preferred. He wondered about their professional relationship. Amy was not in a direct line of authority to him. While he did have an input in her annual appraisal, he could not impact it directly. Amy had always gotten top marks from him to Tom regarding her work so that would not be a problem. He didn’t believe them having a romantic involvement would negatively impact either of them. But he wondered what he ought to do. He clearly liked Amy. She was beautiful and he felt they were coming together closer as they worked together. The single aspect lacking was her hair being quite a bit longer than his preference. Could he ever get past his fixation on short hair on women? Was this just a step too far?

On Friday afternoon Amy walked past Janine’s desk and noticed Dave wasn’t around. She sat and chatted with Janine until finally she said, “I have an appointment to get my hair cut this evening. I was thinking of going quite a bit shorter this time.” Janine smiled again and said, “so, you’ve finally seen the photos in his office.” Amy perked up and said, “Yes. Does he really like it that short?” Janine replied quietly and confidentially, “I’ve known him for years. I think he asked for me to be his Admin because mine is short. He always remarked on when Chris got hers cut. I know for a fact he likes it very short. Uncomfortably short for most women. I think he really likes you, but he just doesn’t want to waste a lot of time getting to know someone who will find out his secret and leave him. What were you thinking of having done?”

Amy opened up. “I’ve had a thing for him ever since I first saw him and that was right after Chris died. I had no idea he liked short hair until a few weeks ago. I thought this cut might be enough. But from what you’re saying and those photos of Chris it isn’t even close to short enough.” She sucked in her breath and said, “Does he like the short that requires clippers?” Janine beamed and said, “That’s the short he likes. It took him forever to get Chris to do that, but he likes that cut the most.” Amy then asked, “But wouldn’t I be a Chris look alike? We’re similar in build. I don’t want to be a Chris clone.” Janine replied, “I don’t think there’s any reason to think that. He loved her and then he adored her for doing what so many couldn’t do. I don’t think there will be a third person in a new relationship.”

Amy had her answer. Now did she have the courage. Five o’clock was coming up fast now that she had the answer that she’d been searching for all these months.

As she walked into Kim’s salon she knew what she had to do but still didn’t know if she could get the words out of her mouth. Kim walked over and escorted her back to her station. “So, what are we doing today? A trim of the lob?” Amy looked at her reflection in the mirror and replied, “No. This cut just got me to thinking of what I really want. I want it really short. Use the clippers on the sides and back.” Kimi looked at Amy completely startled. She said, “Amy are you sure? Your hair is beautiful and this length is perfect for you. I’m not sure a short cut would work for you.” Amy was adamant and said, “Kim if you can’t cut it short, I need to go somewhere where they will.” Kim finally agreed but figured she could cut it shorter but not too short.

Once back in the chair with her hair wet from the shampoo Kim began be sectioning it off again. She cut another 8 inches off the sides leaving it frilly and feminine looking. She then went for the top relieving Amy of all but about 5 inches there. Thinking this was more than enough Kim reached for the blow dryer and began drying Amy’s hair. Amy thought this was an intermediate step in the haircut she wanted and waited for Kim to reach for her scissors or clippers. What she now had was a kind of shag haircut that was short but not nearly as short as she wanted.

Kim then removed the cape from Amy and handed her a mirror asking if this was good enough. Amy took one look in the mirror and agreed it was a good haircut but not at all what she wanted. She told Kim she needed to go shorter. At this Kim stood in front of Amy and said, “Amy, I really don’t want to go shorter. This is a cute cut on you, and I don’t think shorter is in your best interests. No. One of the things you pay me for is my opinion of how you look. Going shorter wouldn’t be good for you.”

Amy was getting angry. Yes, she wanted Kim’s opinion, but she also knew what she wanted and had taken great pains to develop her desire for an extremely short haircut. But she could also see that Kim was not going to remove another millimeter from her head. Knowing the relationship she’d had with Kim as a stylist was coming to an end she agreed and got up from the chair.

Driving home Amy could only look in her mirror and knew that while this was the shortest her hair had ever been it was not enough for her now that she fully understood Dave’s desires.

Once at home she immediately went to the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror. She played with the unfamiliar short locks. They felt abnormally short to her fingers. She could not see her ears as her hair still hid them. She had bangs for the first time since middle school and they came across her bright blue eyes hiding them. One of her best features. Actually, she thought, they’re a pain. I can’t see because the hair is in the way of my vision.

She wandered aimlessly around the house all evening. Running her fingers through her hair getting used to the new short locks and how they felt. She was beginning to like the cut but still felt unfulfilled.

Saturday morning arrived and as she absently ran her hand through her hair, she had forgotten how short it now was. Thoughts of what she was going to do flew through her mind. Should she leave it at this length and see what kind of reaction she got or just go for the whole enchilada?

She decided to see what reaction she got and then determine a course of action.

Monday she was back in the office preparing for her usual Monday morning meeting with Dave. Everyone noticed her short new do and the feedback was by and large positive. Most of the women said they wished they had the courage to do what Amy did and that they liked the look. The guys were too afraid to say anything due to the political correctness rampant in the world today. They did not want to be sexist one way or the other.

Amy walked over to Dave’s office early as usual. Janine looked up as she arrived and had a look that seemed to indicate pleased confusion. If that was a good term for it. Janine remarked, “I see you had a haircut this weekend. How do you like it?” Amy replied that she had asked the stylist to go shorter, but the stylist refused. She said she liked it but was afraid it was not the look she was after either. By now it was time for the meeting with Dave and Amy entered into his office wondering what kind of reaction she would get.

Dave looked up at her and immediately noted Amy’s new short haircut. He smiled and said, “So you got another haircut I see. It looks nice.” That was it and they immediately got down to business. No more chit chat after the business was done. Amy was crestfallen. Her new haircut had barely gotten a reaction from him. Clearly, either she or the haircut had not had an impact on him.

Outside Dave’s office Janine looked at her and knew immediately what Dave’s reaction had been. Amy was clearly down emotionally. She had sacrificed a lot but was not getting where she wanted to be with Dave. She sympathized with Amy, but she also knew Dave. They chatted a bit and Janine decided she would see how Dave felt and then get back to Amy.

A day later Janine sent Amy a note asking her to stop by. Janine rarely asked Amy over for anything. Amy walked on by and Janine motioned her to sit down. Speaking quietly so no one could overhear their conversation Janine told her she had mentioned her hair to Dave to gage his thoughts. Her guess was that he had reacted positively but thought it fell a little short of perfect.

Janine asked Amy what her plans were. Amy said she had thought about going shorter but since the stylist had stopped her from going as short as she wanted there was nothing more to do except to try and find a place with a new stylist. Janine got a look on her face and told Amy to give her a day or so.

Amy wondered just what her coconspirator had in mind but decided to see what Janine would do.

On Thursday Janine sent another note to Amy asking her to stop by. When Amy arrived, Janine had a knowing smile on her face. Janine said she had asked questions of Dave and was certain that Dave was interested in Amy but was conflicted for some reason or other. Pushing back harder Janine had learned that Chris had gone to a place few women ever went to get their hair done. Amy was ecstatic, this was the news she needed.

When Janine told her the best place to go Amy looked at her like she had just grown a horn on her head. Sport Clips? That was a place for men only. Janine told her it was mostly for men, but a few women went there as well. It was where Chris had her hair cut. She wasn’t sure if Chris’ old barbarette was still at the shop on the east side of town or not but to see if Heather was still there. How could she do that? Janine told her Sport Clips had an app to download and then logon to see which barbarette was available.

Amy went back to her office wondering what she might be getting into here. Downloading the app didn’t mean anything. But going through with this could be a whole different story.

She found the app in the app store and downloaded it. Opening it up she could see the store nearby and found Heather was indeed still at that shop. But she could not book an appointment. It was first come first serve but without the wait in the shop by using the app.

Fearing if she didn’t do this today that Heather might not be there tomorrow. Also knowing Saturday would be a full shop with a lot of waiting men who she did not want to watch her getting her hair cut she decided to see what opening Heather might have as the day went on.

Finally, around 4 she looked again at the app. She saw Heather had a wait of about an hour. That would put her right at 5. Perfect. She quickly booked an opening and began shutting down for the day.

Amy found she was more nervous about this upcoming haircut than either of the two previous cuts. First, it would be in a predominantly men’s domain. Secondly, she had no idea what to expect from a brand-new stylist/barbarette. Would she come out looking like a man?

But, according to Janine, this was most likely the place and barbarette Chris had gone to that made Dave so happy. Amy was determined this was her opportunity.

She left work with plenty of time to get to Sport Clips. Sitting in her car in the parking lot she saw there were a few men in the store waiting for their stylist. She received a text saying Heather would be ready in 5 minutes. Amy opened her car door and walked to the store.

She entered and was asked if she had checked in online to which she said yes. The stylist told her they would be right with her and to take a seat. After a couple of nervous minutes, a stylist popped her head out and asked if she was Amy and introduced herself as Heather. She escorted her back to a chair flanked by a TV screen with a baseball game in progress.

After seating Amy in the chair, Heather asked what kind of cut she was looking for. At first Amy was a bit flustered as to what to ask for. Heather then asked how she got a recommendation. Amy quickly made up a story and told her she heard she had cut Chris Stanton’s hair a few years ago and that she liked what she had done on Chris. Heather smiled brightly and said she remembered Chris, since not a lot of women came in for haircuts, so they tended to stand out a bit. She had done Chris’s hair for a year or so but did not know what had happened as she suddenly stopped coming in.

Amy told her the sorry news about Chris. Heather then said, “So are you looking for something similar to what I was doing for Chris?” Amy replied, “Exactly.” Heather then said, “OK, now we know what we’re doing. Chris asked for hers to be cut pretty short the last time I saw her. That’ll be a lot shorter than yours is right now. Is that OK with you?” Amy believed she knew what she wanted and told Heather that was fine, and she was more than ready.

Heather then placed a tissue around Amy’s neck and then picked up a cape and threw it over her shoulders. She asked Amy if she wanted a Triple Play or an MVP cut. She then explained the difference being a shampoo and a massage or just a shampoo or just a haircut alone. Amy decided on a haircut and shampoo. Heather then picked up her clippers and asked her if she wanted the same cut she had last given Chris.  Amy replied, “Yes, as much as you can remember.” Heather said no problem. She then selected a guide for her clippers and brought them to life. Apparently, Sport Clips did not do shampoos first the way my former salon did Amy thought.

Amy’s eyes were huge looking at the clippers. In the span of just a few weeks she had had her hair shortened from her bra strap to her shoulders and now to a shaggy short cut. She had only briefly imagined that clippers would actually be used on her hair. Now here they were buzzing ominously close to her hair and the guide looked frightfully small.

Amy looked in the mirror as Heather brought the clippers to the back of her head and pressed them at the base of her neck and proceeded to bring them up to the top of her occipital bone. She knew this would be a short cut but had no idea how much hair was being cut nor how much hair she would have left in another 20 minutes. She was scared even though this was entirely of her own doing.

Heather then proceeded to repeat the process on the back of her head and then moved to the right side. As Heather moved her clippers to the front of Amy’s ear, she could begin to see exactly how short this cut was going to be. It looked as if there was just a bit of hair where she previously had about 3 inches. Light blonde locks were piling up on the cape and the pile was huge. How much hair would she have left?

Heather then moved to the left side and removed everything making the sides all around identical. Heather stepped back to survey her work. She asked Amy how she was holding up. “OK, but scared. My hair has never been short before.” Frankly, after the last several haircuts Amy found this no more traumatizing than those had been even though this was significantly shorter. But it still terrified her.

Heather then placed her clippers on a hook and picked up a water bottle. I guess this is what passes for a shampoo at Sport Clips Amy thought. Heather then wet her hair and returned the water bottle to the counter.

Heather picked up her scissors and a comb and selected a section of hair at the crown of her head. Using her fingers as a guide Heather cut Amy’s hair down to no more than an inch and a half. Amy was sure the pictures on Dave’s desk and wall had Chris’s hair about 3 inches. This was a lot shorter than she was prepared for. She spoke up saying she thought Chris’s hair had been a little longer.

Heather stopped a second and told Amy the last time she had cut Chris’s hair she had asked to go a lot shorter. She had thought Amy knew Chris had her hair done shorter and that was why she had asked if she wanted Amy’s hair the same way as she had done it the last time Heather saw Chris.

Oh boy thought Amy. There were no pictures in Dave’s office of the cut Chris had just before she passed. She just assumed Chris had kept it about the same short length. Heather then said, “Shall I continue? I can’t really put anything back at this point.” She’s right Amy thought and told Heather to continue.

Now prepared for an even shorter haircut than she was upon walking into the store Amy watched as Heather proceeded to cut her hair down so short her hair was not sure if it should lay flat or stand up. Her bangs were no longer going to be a concern either. What had been interfering with her vision was now barely touching her forehead.

Once Heather had cut the top length down, she returned her scissors to the counter and picked up her clippers again. Amy wondered what she could do with the clippers now but had only seconds before finding out what was to happen next.

Using her clippers and comb she placed the comb at the top of her sides and used the clippers to remove more hair on her sides until there was a nice soft transition from the very short hair on her sides to the somewhat longer hair on top. Then picking up a pair of scissors that she knew were thinning shears, but had never had them used on her before, Heather proceeded to blend the sides and top into a seamless transition.

Satisfied that she had blended the top to the sides Heather then returned her comb to the counter. She picked up another guide for her clippers and placed the new guide on the clippers. Still unclear as to what was about to happen; Amy watched as Heather returned to the back of her head and moved the clippers up again and again then moving to her right just behind Amy’s ear. Amy watched in fascination as Heather removed even more hair from her head.

Amy quipped, “I thought it was already short. I guess not.” Heather replied, “I started with a guide number 2 and now we’re using a number 1.” Amy had no idea what this meant and vowed to look it up on the Internet once she got home. All she could tell was her already short sides and back were now mere whispers of hair. With her blonde hair it really did appear to fade to invisibility the lower it got on her head. She barely recognized herself in the mirror.

Once Heather finished with the left side, she returned her clippers to the counter. She turned to Amy and said, “Let’s get you shampooed.” Amy stood up and went to the shampoo area and began to relax as the water ran over her head. Once finished Heather wrapped her hair in a towel and escorted her back to her chair.

Heather picked up her blow dryer and in just a minute her hair was dry. She added a small amount of product to Amy’s hair and used her brush to get it to lay flat to her head. Once satisfied the cut was done to her satisfaction Heather asked Amy what she thought and handed her a mirror.

As Amy had feared, the very short hair on the back went all the way up her head matching the sides perfectly. Luckily, her hair lay flat to her head, but she could tell she had some styling options. Heather told her she could try any number of tricks to vary the look. A little fiber added to her hair would make it lay flat or stand up or be every which way. Even though her hair was incredibly short she had a lot of styling options.

Amy thanked Heather and got off the chair on somewhat wobbly knees. She was mentally exhausted by the extreme transformation and the anticipation leading up to it. Heather gave her a card saying she would be glad to do a touch up any time. If Amy liked this style, she recommended she come back every 3 or at most 4 weeks depending on how fast her hair grew. Amy wasn’t so sure about coming back but took the card and bought some of the fiber as well.

Driving home she looked at herself in the mirror and constantly ran her fingers through what was left of her hair. Suddenly, she realized this was a Thursday. She had to go to work tomorrow. She did not have the weekend to prepare herself for the reaction from coworkers or from Dave. Exhausted she entered her house and lay down on the couch and soon fell to sleep.

She was not sure what woke her, but the sun was coming through the window. She gasped and looked at her watch. Oh no, it was 7 AM. How could she have slept this long on the couch? She ran to the bathroom for a shower and got a shock seeing her reflection in the mirror. Running the shower water over her head she felt just how short her hair now was. Was it a disaster or was it going to be something else? Only an hour or so left to find out. She quickly got out of the shower and found it took less than 5 minutes to dry and style her new hairdo. No blow dryer required. This was going to be some kind of time saver she thought.

Going into the office everyone immediately noticed her new haircut. The women were mostly all smiles with only a few frowns. She could not tell what some of the men thought. Well, there was only one man whose opinion mattered, and she had a 9AM meeting with him.

Gathering up her laptop and notes she walked over to Dave’s office. Janine was sitting at her desk and looked up and stared at Amy. Her look of surprise scared Amy to her core. Was this too much?

Janine then broke into a huge grin and she told Amy she loved her haircut. She then said Dave was in the office and to go on in.

The few steps to Dave’s office seemed like forever. As she poked her head in, he was typing on his computer and then looked up. His jaw almost dropped to the floor and his eyes became like saucers. He was staring at her, speechless. Amy sat down and looked at Dave and finally said, “Are you OK?” He recovered and kept looking at her until a slight smile began and then grew like the Cheshire cat’s. Amy relaxed, it appeared Dave liked what he was seeing.

“As you can see, I got my hair cut again yesterday. What do you think, too short?” Dave quickly recovered his composure and said, “Not at all. I think you look great.” He paused and then said with a grin, “Am I allowed to say that?” Amy smiled back and said, “Yes, I can hear those kinds of compliments all day.”

They quickly began the business of their meeting and as soon as it was over Dave had another meeting on his schedule.

Upon leaving his office Janine asked what Dave’s reaction was. Amy grinned and said, “I think he really likes it.” Janine told her she would get back with her once she had a chance to speak with Dave.

About an hour later Amy got a text via the inter office system from Janine. A big Thumbs Up was the only character. Amy was elated.

After lunch Amy was gathering the data she needed for her regular Monday AM meeting with Dave when she noticed a new text message. It was from Dave. “Can you stop by before leaving?”

Wondering what he could want at this time of day on a Friday afternoon she walked over to his office. Her coconspirator Janine just grinned at her again and told her to go on in.

Dave looked up from his keyboard and smiled again at Amy. He said, “Amy, would you like to grab a drink or something after work today?” Amy could barely contain herself and said, “That would be very nice. Where would you like to go?” Dave said, “I was thinking we could meet at O’Shay’s on Main.” That was a very quiet tavern that also had fabulous food. “Great. We can meet there at what 5:30?” “That sounds like a plan. See you there.”

Amy was shaking with excitement. As she left the office Janine kept grinning and held up her hand for a High Five. So far so good. Amy’s recollection of the rest of the afternoon and her drive to O’Shay’s would forever be a blur.

Walking in to O’Shay’s she found Dave already there with a table reserved upstairs where it was quiet and private enough to have a nice conversation. Dave just looked at her with that big smile on his face. Amy could not stop blushing. She felt as if all the world was right. They ordered drinks and talked about anything but work. They ordered dinner and talked about each other. It was as if the two of them had been waiting forever for this moment.

Their server came back to their table and announced last call. Amy looked at her watch. Was it really 1030 already? Time had never seemed to go so fast. Dave looked equally shocked. They passed on the last call.

As they got ready to leave Dave said, “Amy, I had a really great time tonight. The best since I cannot remember when. Would it be a little too much to maybe see each other again tomorrow evening? Dinner?” The look of hope on his face was obvious. This was better than Amy had ever fantasized. She looked back at him and said, “Sure, what did you have in mind and where.” He said, “Well, I am a pretty good cook, and my kitchen hasn’t been getting the kind of workout it should. Would you be OK with coming to my place and we’ll see what I can throw together?”

Wow, in her wildest fantasies this had never come up. “I’d really like that. What’s your specialty?” “Can I keep it a secret because frankly I need to figure out what I want to make?” “I think that’s a fine idea. Should I bring the wine?” “You may.” They exchanged addresses and phone numbers and got up to leave.

Once outside O’Shay’s they made an attempt to go to their cars. While looking at each other they awkwardly could not decide on how to part and left with a somewhat clumsy handshake. Amy was trembling with excitement the entire way home. Her feelings for Dave had intensified over the months they had worked together. Now he had asked her over to his house for dinner. A huge step forward for them both.

Saturday came and Amy went out for the wine. Not knowing what was on the menu she decided to get several bottles and took them home. Now what to wear and how to fix her hair? She decided something casual would be best and just tousled her hair after coming out of the shower and used a little of the American Crew fiber she had purchased from Heather at Sport Clips. The shortness of it felt unusual and would take some getting used to. Also, using a man’s product on her hair was a little weird but seemed somehow appropriate.

Deciding it was best to be just a little late. She knew she hated when people arrived early, and she wasn’t quite ready. But how late? She decided 5 minutes was good even though he was a Mr On Schedule guy at work. Her map app had her arriving exactly as she planned. Dave opened the door and there he was again with that big smile.

They chatted a little and opened a bottle. Dave then said it would be a little while until dinner, so he showed her around what turned out to be a large house and property. There were pictures of his sons, but she noticed only one of the entire family. But she also noticed there seemed to be empty spaces on the walls where he must have had a picture of him and Chris. Whether or not he had removed them for this occasion or not she could not tell.

Dinner was finally ready, and it was a masterpiece of beef in a wine sauce. He had pulled out all the stops to make this meal and it showed. After dinner they sat and talked some more. Finally, Dave asked the question she knew had been lurking in the shadows since yesterday. “So why did you decide to cut your hair? I really like it but not a lot of women have the courage to get it cut so short.”

Amy decided it was time to be mostly honest, only leaving out her coconspirator’s assistance. “I have gotten to really like you Dave. Frankly, I was flirting with you for a long time but getting nowhere. I noticed pictures of your family and that Chris had hers cut short. I thought you might be one of those guys who just like women with it short. After the first two cuts you seemed to like those, but you still weren’t making any indication you might like me. My usual stylist refused to cut it shorter. I decided it was time to really make an effort. You won’t believe where I got this cut.”

He looked at her with a questioning look in his blue eyes and said, “So where did you go?” She replied, “Sport Clips. I figured it was the one place where they would know how to cut my hair as short as I wanted and not try and talk me out of it like my former stylist did.” Dave laughed and said, “Trust me it’s perfect.”

Taking a deep breath, he then said, “So you did this to impress me?” “I did,” said Amy.

Dave sat back and looked at her in wonder. He then said, “Amy, over the months we’ve worked together I must confess to having similar thoughts about you. I found myself thinking of you a lot. I’d go places and think, I wonder if Amy would like that. The more we were together working the more I became infatuated with you too. I also saw you with this long blonde hair and thought you would never cut it and that I needed to get you out of my head. I figured there was no way you would stay with me if you knew I had this thing for short hair.”

Amy smiled back and said, “I have to admit it was the last thing I ever thought of too. But looking at the pictures of Chris in the office I thought that maybe you were a short hair lover. I finally decided to act on my gut instinct. I had to see whether or not you liked me, and I was willing to take a chance to see if this might trigger you. I figured if it wasn’t in the cards then I could always grow it out.”

He said, “I just think women with short hair are incredibly sexy and powerful and that’s always been attractive to me. I’ve thought ever since we started working this program together you were a smart, highly talented, and obviously a very beautiful woman. Even more beautiful now if I can say that. The more we worked together the more I wanted to know you better. But I worried that I would let this obsession get in the way of a relationship. I was afraid any woman I met would find out and run like hell to get away. Am I crazy or what?”

Amy looked back at him and said, “No, it just took me forever to figure out the key. So, do you like this style, or should I let it grow out?” He said, “The moment I saw you yesterday I think I may have fallen in love all over again. Please, don’t change a thing.”

Amy reached for her handbag and pulled out Heather’s card and said, “Well I guess I ought to keep this card so I can go back in a few weeks. I think I like this style too.”

They embraced on the couch and Amy’s tousled hair got even more tousled as the evening went on.

Eight months and eleven haircuts later they stood in her church in front of family and friends pronouncing themselves husband and wife.

As they walked to the rear of the church with everyone applauding, Amy could only wonder how it all started by looking at the photos.

4 responses to “Look at the Photos

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