Foreword: A spinoff from the Rebellion/The Plunge series, though this one’s written in the perspective of another. Co-written with the same friend I did the last two with, and we’ve made sure this one’s also written in a way that you don’t need to have read the previous two to follow the plot, but little callbacks will be here and there for those that have enjoyed the previous two. We hope you love these stories we’ve been putting out with our OCs.
I’d waited my whole life to be a New Yorker, and here I was, finally in the big city. My parents had their qualms about me attending college here, but knowing I had family in Brooklyn to keep an eye on me helped ease their fears a bit.
And what family it was! I had to admit I kind of worshiped my Auntie Jo, and that her being a New Yorker definitely influenced my always wanting to live here. She seemed more like a cousin or older sister than an aunt, since she was the youngest of four kids and my dad was her oldest sibling—a whole 15 years her senior, 45 to her 32. Despite being siblings, they’d hardly grown up together, and they couldn’t be more different: he was a stuffy banker, and she was—well…she was the coolest person. Ever. At every Thanksgiving, I always pestered her with questions about her stylish clothes and tattoos, her job working as a stage manager in the avant-garde underground theater scene, all the fun parties she got to go to, her cool friends. Well, about those friends—it was an unspoken thing in the family, but we all knew Jo was a lesbian. She’d come out to the rest of the Forresters at some point when I was too young to remember, and it bothered me how cagey people would always act around her sexuality.
“So, Joanna,” my dad would always ask at each Thanksgiving, sadly the only time I’d ever get to bask in her presence, “any, um, special friends in your life lately?” She’d usually laugh and somewhat nervously twirl her ponytail, and I admired her ability to not just punch him in the face like I wanted to when he asked that. “I have plenty of lovely friends who are very special to me,” she’d reply, “but if you’re asking whether I have a girlfriend, no, not at the moment.” She saw me staring at her and gave me a soft smile. “How about you, Lexie?” she’d say, turning her attention to me, “tell me how school is going.” And then we’d usually talk for most of the day; we just always clicked. She was so nice, ridiculously pretty, and retained that bit of mystery and allure she got to keep by living far from the rest of us.
Two years ago, however, her sexuality went from unspoken to the main topic. “So, before we arrive,” my mom had said on the car ride to that fateful Thanksgiving, “you should know your Auntie Jo is engaged, and she’s bringing her fiancée. Her name is Roxanne. Very pretty actually, especially for a… you know.” My heart skipped a beat—would I no longer have Auntie Jo all to myself for the one day a year I got to spend with her? I spent the rest of the car ride stewing in bitterness, but also in curiosity about who this fiancée could be. What kind of woman was Auntie Jo enamored enough with to want to spend the rest of her life with?
We’d gotten there first, and were sitting at the dining room table when we heard the door open, and my grandma got up to greet the latecomers. “I’m so sorry we’re late,” I heard Jo’s voice say, “bad traffic.” “Wow, Joanna…” I heard grandma say, trepidation in her voice. “This is rather…radical!” “Yeah, just felt like a change,” Jo replied, and I wanted to jump out of my chair to see what they were talking about.
As I ran up to the front door to give her a hug and meet the mysterious Roxanne, I froze when I saw them. Holy shit, Jo’s hair! Well, I certainly knew what Grandma meant by “radical”—the long blonde hair she almost always kept tied up in a messy ponytail was totally gone! Instead, she had a really fucking cool pixie cut–—buzzed on the sides, and it seemed like the back too, with short blonde waves on top, giving a peek at the closely-shorn underside (https://twitter.com/disj0ncteur/status/1468840209869524994?s=21). She’d always been gorgeous, but wow, she looked so special now, just like the type of city girl I longed to be myself , totally broken free from the stupid preppy Forrester family vibe I’d always hated. People always said we looked alike, but now that her hair was so short, we didn’t anymore. That made me kind of sad, but even more in awe of her.
“Lex!” she burst into a huge smile upon seeing me and ran up to me to pull me into a tight hug. As I hugged her, I noticed something truly special over her shoulder: a petite, stunning woman with hip-length crimson hair and immaculate red lipstick, wearing a tight black dress that hugged her slender frame. She smiled at me, and as Auntie Jo released me, she walked over. “You must be the famous Alexandria I’ve heard so much about,” she said with a warm smile. “I’m Roxanne.” Just as I noticed the ruby-laden engagement ring on her finger—and the matching one with emeralds on Auntie Jo’s—she gave me a hug. “You’re so pretty!” I blurted out without thinking, and felt my entire body, not just my face, blush. God, I was an idiot! Auntie Jo, who had pulled her arm around Roxanne’s waist once the hug ended, smiled, and gave Roxanne a peck on the cheek. “Isn’t she gorgeous? I’m a very lucky girl.”
By this point, Grandma had already returned to the kitchen to check on the turkey, and I noticed the two women pull even closer together in one another’s arms after Grandma left. God, they looked incredible together—Auntie Jo’s pixie cut making her big green eyes pop, looking fierce in her leather jacket pulled over a striped sweater, contrasted with this mini-Jessica Rabbit in her arms. “I really love your haircut, Auntie Jo,” I told her as we began to walk towards the living room. “See?” Roxanne said to her, and ruffled her short hair before kissing her on the cheek, followed by another peck on her now-bare neck, which made Jo’s cheeks flush, and then Roxanne neatened Jo’s hair with her fingers. Shit, Auntie Jo was indeed lucky to have someone so besotted with her. “I told you not to be too nervous about the reactions. You look too stunning for anyone to have a negative word to say.” “And if anyone does,” I chimed in, “I will tell them they’re wrong and to shut up.” Roxanne, who walked with her arm around Auntie Jo’s waist, laughed. “And you said I’m a firecracker, Jo—Alexandria is giving me a run for my money.”
I felt this pull to protect them from the judgment of anyone else there, and therefore spent much of the day huddled with the lovebirds, who felt liberated enough to flaunt their love by being so affectionate, Republican relatives be damned. Because it wasn’t cool enough that Joanna worked in the arts, Roxanne was a makeup artist, and enjoyed answering my questions about her work. She’d worked with so many celebrities that my jaw dropped, “but your aunt here is my absolute favorite canvas,” she said, “especially with this bold haircut putting that gorgeous face on total display.” When she started brazenly making out with Auntie Jo in the living room—amongst all the men watching football!—then I knew Auntie Jo had a rival for her spot as my idol.
And now, two years later, I was standing outside their apartment. Auntie Jo had invited me over as soon as she’d heard I’d arrived to my dorm, and I was breathlessly anticipating seeing the home they’d made together. I’d only ever seen them in Forrester family territory—what would their own natural queer habitat be like?
I rang the doorbell, and it quickly opened. “Lex!” Auntie Jo said, as she pulled me into a hug. I hadn’t had enough time to process the change in her I’d noticed right before she hugged me, but when we pulled apart, I had to stop myself from gasping out loud; her blonde hair was shorter than ever, cropped so close to her head so that it barely waved anymore and stood up almost in spikes on her head (https://www.instagram.com/p/CASZm2igJgo/?utm_medium=copy_link). Her face was so striking, and now there was absolutely nothing to distract from it. “Your hair! It’s so short! You look amazing!” I exclaimed, and she smiled as she rubbed her palm over the top of her tightly-shorn head. “It’s gotten shaggy—I desperately need a trim,” she said.
“That’s right,” I heard a voice say from behind her, as Roxanne approached. “The sides are almost touching the ears, when only my fingers should get that privilege.” She embraced Auntie Jo’s waist from behind, and I just stood in awe of them, these two gorgeous women with matching tattoos on their wrists stating “10.4”—the date of their wedding—each so fierce in such different ways. Auntie Jo paired her new crop with a spaghetti-strap burgundy velvet shirt and black skinny jeans, a delicate gold necklace falling onto her clavicle; it was interesting how her style got girlier as her hair got shorter. I knew from old family photos that as a teen, before she’d really come into her own, she’d lived in sweatpants. Meanwhile, Roxanne was in her bathrobe, not caring about what her 18-year-old niece-in-law might think. Her long hair was pulled up in a messy bun, and whenever she bent her neck over to nip auntie Jo’s ear, I noticed she herself had an undercut, the back of her head up to her occipital bone covered by red fuzz. God, they were both so cool.
“I’ve gotta let go of wifey and get dressed,” she said, giving Auntie Jo’s ear another quick nibble before bounding off into the apartment. “Come in!” Auntie Jo said, “you have to meet Oscar.” As she turned around to lead me inside, I couldn’t stop staring at the back of her head and her neck, shoulders, and back, admiring how they were so exposed in that skimpy top, and totally free of any of the long blonde waves that covered the backs of every other Forrester woman, myself included.
Oscar, their cat, lived up to his name: he was indeed a grouch, but an adorable one with his fluffy orange fur and permanent scowl. “Unlike Roxie, he’s a natural redhead,” Jo (she told me I could drop the “Auntie,”) smirked as she picked him up and handed him to me, which Roxanne heard as she entered the room wearing a long-sleeved green silk dress, her endlessly long hair down, and holding two glasses of red wine. “And for that,” she said, glaring at Jo, “you don’t get any wine.” She and Jo sat down on the couch and she handed me a glass, which I attempted to reach for while holding Oscar. “Roxie!” Jo yelled, pulling her hand away, “she’s only 18!” “In my house, we have fun. And I won’t allow her more than two glasses. If you get too tired, sweetie, you can sleep on the couch, ok?”
Thrilled at the prospect of being able to stay with them, I nodded eagerly and resolved to get as drunk as possible so that they’d have no choice but to keep me overnight as I accepted a glass from her. It didn’t take alcohol for my cool aunts to be comfortable and relaxed; they couldn’t stop touching each other. At one point Roxanne said “before I forget!” and ran to get scissors from the drawer, pulling the short wave of hair that fell over Jo’s ear between her fingers and snipping it off so that it no longer touched her ear, then running to throw it in the kitchen trash. She returned, kissing the exposed ear as her own long red hair fell all over her body when she leaned over. “Thanks, babe” Jo said. “Of course,” Roxanne replied, and they got so hot and heavy, Jo pulling Roxanne’s tiny body into her lap for a makeout session, that I legit thought they might start going at it on the couch in front of me. But Jo remembered her responsibility to be a good guide to New York, and quickly scooted her wife to her side.
It was fun telling them about how the semester was going so far, especially after learning that Roxanne had also been a literature major and gender studies minor. “The classic dyke double feature,” she laughed, taking a sip of wine. “Tell me, any girls you like in your classes? Oh don’t worry, Jo told me the deal. I won’t tell your parents.” I blushed, as I watched Jo stroke the back of Roxanne’s lustrous hair. “Not really…I mean there’s some cute ones but I’m still scoping it out, seeing who’s definitely also queer.” Roxanne sighed. “Too bad you’re not 21 yet so we can’t take you to most places, but as your fairy godmothers, Joanna and I would love to take you out. Meet some of our queer friends, go to events. How does that sound to you?” I beamed, and so did Jo. “Like the best thing ever!” I blurted out, definitely a bit tipsy.
That they did, showing me around their neighborhood and some of their favorite spots in the city as I settled into the semester. It was fun walking around with them, and noticing how many stares they got from strangers because they looked so perfect together, so in love. But being with them also made me long to be seen, to be admired the way others admired and saw them. Even though I’d introduced myself with she/they pronouns in every class, people only ever used “she,” and my style wasn’t particularly girly so that wasn’t an excuse. I wanted people to see me for who I truly was, because no matter how open I was about my queerness—and I was very open, joining pretty much every LGBTQ student group and being very flirtatious with girls—I seemed to fade into the background, perceived as some cishet girl that I wasn’t.
A few weeks into the semester, Jo and Roxanne asked if I could catsit Oscar for the weekend while they went on a trip, and I leapt at the chance. My own apartment to myself? Fuck yes! Oscar’s grumpiness couldn’t curb my excitement—or my curiosity, as I couldn’t help but snoop around once I was there alone. I mean, to be fair they could’ve done a better job at hiding their sex toys, but there was the strapon, right at the foot of the bed for anyone to see. Now this is something I won’t bring up at the next Thanksgiving dinner, I thought.
But of all the novelties I saw in their glorious abode, one of them stuck out to me the most. I remember the first time I had to use their bathroom, and that was when I saw it— just laying so casually at the edge of their countertop. Its sleek body was in a lovely shade of crimson (probably Auntie Roxanne’s choice, given her affinity for the colour), and its head was bladed threateningly. There was a wire sticking out its end connecting it to the wall, and there was a green light to show that it was charging.
It was a foreign implement, to say the least— I’d probably only seen clippers being used once or twice when my mom brought me to the salon, and it was typically for guys’ short cuts. Never on women. But here, it was probably a familiar tool, especially because of how short Jo’s hair was on the sides and back and because of Roxanne’s undercut. Imagining Auntie Roxie using them to maintain Auntie Jo’s hair definitely didn’t seem that absurd, especially given how she was casually trimming the overgrown tufts on the sides on the first night I arrived.
I knew what they could do— how those blades could just chew through hair so easily. And it was on that last day of catsitting that I found myself in the bathroom, staring right at those clippers that’d been taunting me since the first time I laid eyes on them. I regarded myself in the mirror, scanning those thick and heavy blonde waves that fell past my mid-back. ‘Our pride and glory’, as Grandma would say: the prime adornment that signified the Forrester women. Bountiful wavy blonde tresses that were envied by many, and that were to be cherished by us.
Lumps of deadweight are what they were to me.
I could only imagine the cumulative hours I had to sit in my mother’s lap when I was much younger as she carefully brushed through the tangles, making sure the waves were on full display. “You should take better care of your hair, Alexandria,” she’d always chide. “It’s a gift that you got your father’s genes and not my limp, brown hair.” Although the more I lived with such ‘glory’, the more it just grew into a burden.
But as my hand felt drawn towards those clippers, I was starting to realise— this burden was a choice. Choosing to get rid of it may have been pure sacrilege back at home, but Auntie Jo did it. And she turned out to be the best of the Forresters. RIght now, miles away from Connecticut with that terrifying device in my hand, I could make a decision.
I immediately dropped the clippers when I heard a jingling, fearing they’d returned home already. But as I looked down I heaved a sigh of relief, realising it was just Oscar entering the bathroom. “You scared me to death, you little grouch,” I chided, though he was clearly unbothered as he made his way up to the covered toilet seat. He sat himself down, looking up eagerly as if he knew there was to be a show. “Come to watch me have a breakdown, Oscar?” He just stared on, unimpressed. I wonder if anything could surprise this cat.
I turned my attention back to the pair of clippers with that coloured attachment on its head, checking to see if I had ruined it. Curiously, I flicked the switch.
I almost jumped, though I made sure I kept a grip on the clippers this time. They hummed so menacingly in my hands, and it took a bit of control to hold them comfortably. Oscar’s head was perked up now, as if the noise had finally brought some excitement for him. “Oh, you’re just waiting to see me run them through my head, aren’t you?” I goaded him, though all he did was watch.
Funnily enough, Oscar felt like the soundboard I was channeling my own feelings through— as if I needed someone to validate this impulse that was coursing through me. I had every right to do this: had every right to change how I looked if I wanted people to see me a certain way. And if I didn’t want to be seen as a prototypical Forrester girl anymore… then perhaps there was a plunge to be taken.
But how deep into the pool to go? How far down madness was I going to fall? I could just run those blades straight down the middle— mark that point of no return to commit to this. Or I could just go up the side first, and that way I wouldn’t doom myself from a moment of impulsivity. Could be a cute side shave if all else failed. Or maybe up the back, like how Roxanne does hers, and that way I could easily hide it with my hair down like a soft secret in case this was going to go south.
No. No half-measures. I just had to do this. I wanted the most radical possible change. Doing anything less would just tempt me away from the full deed. I had to commit.
It was time to be a new me. Bye bye, blondie.
Raising the clippers up to my head felt like an eternity, and all I saw in the mirror was fear. Clenching my teeth, I steeled myself as I made sure the centre part in my hair was clear— probably the last time I was to hold onto those blonde tresses. I carefully planted those whirring blades at the hairline, and those reverberations through my skull were numbing. I took a deep breath.
I sucked in the longest breath as the adrenaline pumped right into my veins. The clippers made the most unpleasant noise of clashing— a warning I should’ve heeded. But I was possessed. The only direction left for the clippers was through, and all the way through I found myself pushing them. My mouth only grew more agape the further down those clippers were, those blades now almost tickling my scalp as I could just feel them sawing through my thick waves. All that was left in its wake was a patch of dark blonde fuzz.
Once the clippers were far enough down the path on my scalp, I lifted them. Streaks of blonde slid down either side of my face, dropping to my cold feet with a soft thud. Almost instinctively, Oscar leapt down from his perch, braving to sniff the locks I’d parted with. “That’s not food, Oscar!” I exclaimed, though I ended up too absorbed by the image in the mirror to actually stop him .
There I was— a vision of madness with a perfectly shorn path down the middle of my head. This was it: the point of no return. And I felt alive. There was simply nothing else to do now, except for me to raise those clippers once more to finish what I started.
There was a strong tension between the clippers and my god-awfully thick hair, and I almost felt like I was forcing those whirring blades through as I tried not to push too hard on my scalp. They were letting out a hideous whine now, and a part of me could sense I was doing this ‘wrong’. But I’d never done anything that felt so right before. The clippers made their way down this new path that was adjacent to the first I’d paved, and slowly but surely it was going to reach its e-
The vibrations came to an abrupt stop as the clippers went dead in my hands. My eyes widened as the terror kicked in, realising what I’d done. I had to half-pull them out of my mane, watching those stray clumps fall to the floor as some were still stuck in those blades. Blades that had stopped working completely. “No, no, no,” I muttered as panic started to seep in, trying to flick the switch on and off over and over. But nothing. Only silence to fill the emptiness now, and that reflection of what I’d done— two messy paths of buzzed blonde running through the centre of my head.
A jingling filled the quiet eventually, but when I looked down I realised Oscar was still there, exploring my helpless, discarded tresses. This was a noise from outside. Oh, fuck, I didn’t think they’d be back so early.
“Lex! We’re home!” I heard Jo call out, and Oscar immediately ran for that familiar voice. I had to do something—hide the clippers, the hair, anything. But for some reason I was just rooted there, still stunned by how quickly everything was happening.
The bathroom door creaked open to reveal Jo, whose bright demeanor shook the moment she laid eyes on the scene in front of her. “Oh my god, Lex?” her voice was tinged with worry as she ambled towards me, wide-eyed, “are you… okay?”
“Yeah,” I breathily let out, fearing what she’d think of me in this circus I’d made of her bathroom. To be honest, I’d never been better. Besides getting caught mid-shave.
“Why don’t we… put this down first,” she carefully pried the dead clippers that were still brandished in my hand, then slowly set them down on the counter. “Ooh, dear,” she let out when she got a close-up of the top of my head, running a finger over that buzzed path on my head. Just feeling how close her skin was to my scalp gave me the chills.
“What’s going on? You in here, Lex?” I heard Jo’s other half call out, just as her figure appeared in the doorway. “Oh. My. God.” Roxanne’s surprise was less tempered, and there was visible shock on her face. “Lex… what did you do?” she entered the bathroom with the pointed question.
“I was… shaving my head?” I stated the obvious.
“That much is clear,” she got down on a knee, picking up a few locks that were strewn near my feet. “Is there something more you’d like to tell us, Alexandria Forrester?”
Full name, fuck. That meant trouble. I could tell from how Jo was slowly stepping away that this was getting bad. I thought only my mother was one to use full names when she was mad, but I guess Roxanne had that way about her too. “First of all, it’s Lex,” I corrected, finding the strength in me to stand up for myself. Alexandria. God, I hated the way that name rang. “And second of all…” I found myself shrinking down when I realised Roxanne’s face grew sterner, definitely not taking my challenge very well. “I was… tired.” That last word couldn’t fully catch how I felt, but it was a start. “Tired of people seeing me as just another straight, cis, girly blonde at school even though I’m not. I’m Lex. I’m queer as hell, why can’t people see that?” I rambled with folded arms now— though still wary of the knives staring me down.
Roxanne’s face softened ever so slightly hearing those words come out of my mouth. Then puckered back into form. “Lex,” she started again, thankfully respecting my wish, though the way she enunciated just that one syllable could shake a building, “I get that you had to have a baby gay moment, and I appreciate your boldness. But not in my bathroom!” Jo was fully disconnected from this exchange now, leaving the disciplinarian Roxanne to take over completely. I guess I just had to fend for myself. “Something’s not adding up…” Roxanne surveyed that buzzed patch on the top of my head like a hawk, her face unwavering. Then she picked the clippers up from the countertop, and tried to flick them on.
“Let me guess… your hair was too thick so the clippers gave way?” she tilted the clippers towards her, studying the blades that weren’t working, then pointed them to me accusatively. “You mess up my bathroom and you ruin my things? What do you have to say for yourself, Lex?”
I wanted to fight back— to be as unapologetic as ever for what I’d done. For once I felt like I was actually taking charge of my life, changing myself to become the person I wanted to be. ‘Baby gay’ moment or no, this was meant to be my moment. But the only thing coming out of Roxanne was disappointment, and I knew I’d messed up big time. Hell, I worshipped her, alongside Jo. And it felt like absolute shit knowing I’d disappointed the people I looked up to. “I’m sorry,” I bowed my head, resigned. “I was… having my baby gay moment,” I admitted with the very words she used, “and I got ahead of myself. I just wanted to do something right for once.”
I heard Roxanne draw a deep breath, and I could only imagine how she was fuming at this point. “And you will. I do think this is the right thing for you, in the long run…I have to admit that I love to see another Forrester rebelling against the prep-school upbringing.” She smiled at her neatly-cropped wife, who smiled back at her. “But first, you must atone for making a mess of my bathroom,” she lifted my chin up with a finger, sternly but with some softness as well. “This is what you’re going to do: you’re going to clean up this mess you’ve made in my bathroom. You make sure it is spotless and cleaner than the way you left it. And when I say clean up this mess,” she briefly pointed to the hair at my feet, “I don’t mean throw it away. You’re going to make sure you collect every last lock that dropped to the floor, and you’re going to hold on to it. Once that’s done, you’re going to sit in the living room with all that hair in hand, and await further instructions. Understood?”
Her sternness never faltered, and I understood why Jo left this to Roxanne. She was a woman of authority, and god help anyone that tried to cross her. “Understood,” I meekly replied looking down at that messed up pile of hair I was to pick up.
“Good. Jo, bedroom. We need to talk,” she beckoned to her wife before leaving the bathroom, who gave me a nervous smile. Jo quickly placed her hands on my shoulders and gave them a tight squeeze, which felt reassuring. I guess, as someone who had chopped off all her hair and reinvented herself, she could empathize. But I’m sure her choice wasn’t as dramatic as my little antic.
Once they’d both left, I knelt down and got to work. I carefully collected every last lock, as Roxanne instructed, wondering what further ‘atonement’ she was going to make me carry out with it. I don’t know why, but this had very Cersei Lannister atoning vibes to it. Perhaps Roxanne was a Game of Thrones fan. Once I was sure the entire floor was spick and span, I made way out to the living room and sat myself on the couch.
There wasn’t much sound coming from their closed bedroom door, but I could only imagine what they were discussing. How much more devious was my atonement going to get? Granted, I deserved this— I did ruin something that was theirs for my own selfish little pursuit. Then again, how was I supposed to know clippers were going to crumble at thick hair? I carefully ran a few fingers through that foot-long bundle of hair in my hands, still soft to the touch yet bulky as ever.
The bedroom door soon opened, and I guess the council had decided. The two of them took their place in front of me— Roxanne with her arms crossed as I’d expected, and Jo a little behind her with her hands behind her back. I took a deep breath, bracing myself. “Now, first and foremost, I want you to know that we’re not upset,” Roxanne started in a stern tone, and I felt myself calming slightly. “You damaged our clippers, but that’s alright. They’re replaceable. But for now, there’s a much bigger elephant in the room to handle,” she vaguely gestured to my head. “We were discussing that we could help you finish the job, but think it’s better if we left it to a professional. You love Jo’s hair, right? So now you’ll get to meet the mastermind behind it, and she’ll make sure you look amazing, despite the…” Roxanne paused, “auspicious start.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. They were going to take me to the queer salon that they both went to? And I was going to get the special stylist that Auntie Jo trusts to cut her hair? “But,” Roxanne interjected my reverie with a raised finger, “no hats for you while we’re walking there,” she smirked. “Consider it… a part of your atonement.”
Now this was really starting to feel like Cersei’s walk of atonement. Roxanne definitely had a humour to her, but I’d say it was the least of my worries. Hell, if anything I’d be kind of proud to walk around with this disfigured hair state—to let the world know I was shaving my own fucking head. Come to think of it, that’s actually pretty metal. “Fine,” I agreed, pretending to pout while hiding my excitement.
“You got ahead of us, Lex,” Jo added, approaching me and giving me another squeeze on my shoulders, as Roxanne got our coats. “We both could sense that short-haired gene in you and were planning to take you to Fran’s at some point to get you a badass new haircut, but it wasn’t supposed to happen like this!” She giggled as she ran a finger over the buzzed part of my head, and with how delightful that felt, I couldn’t wait to be able to feel that all over an entire head of fuzz. “I had bet on you going for a sideshave, and Roxie had bet on you going for a pixie, but you truly outdid both our expectations,” she smiled, and I sensed some pride in her having another rebel in the family.
“Off we go!” Roxie called out, throwing my coat at me and Jo’s at her, as Oscar continued to watch. “Are you going to yell ‘shame!’ from behind me the whole time we walk over?” I asked. Roxanne laughed. “I actually cosplay Melisandre, not the shame nun.” God, that was hot to imagine. “Let’s go finish what you started. We managed to get you an emergency appointment with Fran, so we can’t be late. And leave the hair in your hands on the kitchen sink. A little memento to remember the old you. That hair is too beautiful to just throw away.”
I was giddy the whole time we were walking together to this fated salon— or maybe it was just the wind gracing my scalp for once. Funnily enough there weren’t many stares at my unfortunate pate, but then again, this was New York. I’m sure people have seen far weirder things on these streets. Though if I was back in Connecticut now, this would’ve been the biggest head turner. God, I wonder what Mom and Dad would do if they ever caught me shaving my head in the bathroom at home. A downright hysteria, that’s for sure.
“Here we are,” Auntie Jo announced as we stopped outside a building with a rainbow flag bedecking the window. “Come on, in you go, you little rebel,” she pushed me in as she held the door for Roxanne and I.
Walking into the salon— was it a barbershop? It seemed like something in between— felt like entering some queer utopia I could only dream of. Bright colours filled the place, and I didn’t just mean the decor of the setting. Everyone from waiting customers to stylists (or barbers) just seemed to be popping with character and style. Oh, this place was gay as hell. And I’d never felt more at home.
“Ah, you two are early!” I heard one of the stylists from the far end call out to my aunts. Oh wow she was hot. Clad in a leather jacket with tight skinnies and a pair of Doc Martens to top it off, and her hair— such a perfectly slicked back sort of pixie cut. She was like a femme Alex Turner, and I was absolutely digging the style. I held my breath when she turned her attention to me, a curious glint in her eye. “And you,” she stopped tending to her customer as she pointed a comb at me, her eyes definitely straying up to that oddly buzzed patch atop my head. “Must be the famous Lex I’ve heard all about. I’ve been dying to meet you and figured you’d be in my chair soon,” she said with a wink.
“That’s our little troublemaker. Lex, this is Fran. She’ll be taking care of you when she’s done,” Roxanne introduced as she came up behind me, tugging me towards the waiting bench as I realised I was just standing rooted in awe. “Fran, darling, take your time. Lex’ll have all day to tell you everything when they’re in your chair.”
I sat between Auntie Jo and Roxanne on the waiting bench like a ward being protected by their guardians, and the whole time my eyes were glued to Fran’s station. She had just finished a colour job on a customer— a rather androgynous fellow with their sharp bob now in a beautiful shade of lavender. After a few gusts with the hairdryer, the cape was whisked off with a flourish, and they got out of the chair with a spring in their step.
“It looks phenomenal, Fran. Ugh, what would I ever do without you?” They said with the brightest smile, tossing their head around in every angle to show off the shine.
“You provide the canvas, I just do my art,” Fran tried to sound modest. “So, turquoise next time you come around?”
“Anything you think’s good. You hold all the power to my hair, you know that.”
The two shared a few parting words before a tight hug, then the payment was made. It was heartening to learn that I wasn’t the only one in awe of Fran— even amongst her clientele she was revered. I hadn’t even gotten in her chair but I already felt safe knowing I was to be in her hands. This was the woman that had lopped off all of Jo’s hair and made her even more beautiful. And I’m sure she was going to have no qualms shaving my head.
“Alright, all ready for the guest of honour,” I heard Fran eventually call out as she turned the chair to face me.
I glanced at my aunts one last time before I got to my feet, and they gave the warmest smiles as they watched me go forth. I sank myself into the chair, and goodness it was comfortable. Nothing like those flimsy salon chairs. Fran turned me around to face the mirror, and now my pride and shame above was in clear view.
“Wowie, now this is some work,” she whistled as she ran a finger through the buzzed path. “Was it… an accident? Or was it deliberate?” she hazarded the question. “Deliberate— one hundred percent,” I replied without missing a beat. “I just… ran Auntie Jo and Roxie’s clippers through my hair. Right down the middle. But I think my hair’s too thick or something, and so the blades sort of just went kaput after I tried forcing them through.”
“Yeah, your hair is mighty thick! Your aunt Jo’s hair wasn’t nearly this bulky when she had it cut short the first time. I think your aunts’ clippers couldn’t handle something so heavy duty.” she remarked as she ran a few fingers through my mane that was largely still there. “How’d they react?”
“Auntie Jo was just in shock. Roxanne was a little more upset— I mean I did ruin their clippers,” I confessed. “And, well, now I’m here.”
“Right here you are,” Fran echoed, an impressed tone to her if I heard correctly. “Lemme prep you up first, and then we’ll get talking about… where we’re going with this,” she said before turning to her countertop.
“Well, there’s really not much to talk about. Just shave my head,” I blatantly spat out.
“Oh,” she was struck for a moment as she tore a piece of tissue off a roll. “That’s… confident,” she unhooked the indigo cape off from the wall before taking her place behind me. “I love a confident client.”
A little part inside of me fluttered at those words. Hearing someone affirming my inner desire for something so drastic felt so refreshing— a far cry from those stylists back in Connecticut that seemed so hesitant any time I suggested something marginally shorter than usual. Fran started gathering up my hair in a bundle, then clipped it atop my head so that it was out of the way. “Chin up for a bit, please,” she instructed, and I followed. I felt her wrap the roll of tissue around my neck snugly, then proceeded to flick the indigo cape over me. It fell into place with a flourish, draping my entire body as she clipped the ends securely.
“Ok, if I’m looking at this right, you ran a #2 down the middle,” she continued her observation as she unclipped the top, letting my tresses spill all over the cape in front of me. “And you’re absolutely certain you want it all off?”
“All off.” God, it felt so good to say that.
“Splendid,” Fran’s smile was getting bigger— as if the idea of shaving my head was so exciting to her too. “Now, I could theoretically just go old school with a #0. It’d be as close to the skin as possible. But, I was thinking something a little more fun,” there was a twinkle in her eye as she suggested that last line.
“Like what?” I was a tad wary, though still curious. How much could you do with a shaved head?
“Well, I was thinking we could stick with #2— classic length for a buzzcut, but don’t worry, it’ll feel super short and fuzzy all over. And then afterwards,” she paused as she side-eyed the waiting bench, taking a glance at my aunts before her voice turned down to a small hush, “I’ve got a bit of leftover dye from that previous customer of mine. How about I dye your buzzcut a beautiful shade of lavender?”
“Fuck yeah,” I exclaimed. Getting a buzzcut AND dyeing my hair purple? This was going to be the best haircut ever. “Let’s do it!”
Fran chuckled, seemingly only getting more impressed by my impulsiveness. “Did you want to record the cut? It’s a big haircut— probably worth looking back on one day,” she suggested.
“Oh, yeah sure!” I replied. Wonder if this was Instagram material. I got my phone out from under the cape, then propped it up onto the counter so I could catch a good angle of me in the chair.
“Baby’s first big haircut!” I heard Auntie Jo say. I looked at her reflection through the mirror, and could see her snapping a photo with her own phone. “God, we feel like such proud moms.”
“Was it scary?” I wondered aloud as Auntie Jo took a few shots. “The first time you cut your hair short, I mean.”
“Oh god, yeah, it was a nerve-wracker— but I knew it had to happen. It just felt right,” she gave a reassuring smile as she stepped closer. “It was right in this chair,” she lightly squeezed my shoulder, “I was supposed to just meet Roxanne after her color appointment before we headed out for dinner. And then out of nowhere— pure impulse— I sat down, and told Fran to cut it short. She got the scissors out, and the rest was history.” I looked up in awe at Auntie Jo as she narrated so proudly, admiring this beacon that was lit so brightly in my family. Calling her my hero was probably an understatement.
“Are you gonna leave out the part where you had to hold onto Roxie’s hand like a scared little girl the entire time I was cutting your hair?” Fran added as she was readying her tools.
“Fran!” She gave the other woman a glare, though her cheeks were so clearly colouring with the truth. “I’m trying to be the supportive aunt here to not make her nervous!”
I bit down my lip, trying my best not to burst out laughing. I guess all our heroes have their little moments of fear. “I highly doubt Lex is nervous at all, isn’t that right?” Jo turned to face me with a smirk. “Don’t you worry, you’re way ahead of me. You don’t need any hand-holding in this, yeah?”
“Uh-uh,” I shook my head fervently, sparing my aunt a snarky smile.
“Well alright then,” she defeatedly headed back to the bench, going back into Roxanne’s arms, who was watching this entire exchange with absolute delight. From the corner of the mirror I could see Roxanne wrapping her arms around her wife’s waist while resting a head on her shoulders, and Jo pulled her in closer.
“So did you want me to start slow?” Fran asked. “We could snip off a few ponytails, keep them for memento sa-”
“No. Just shave it off,” I interrupted with zero hesitation.
“As you wish.” Pop. Bzzzzz.
The roaring of the clippers wasn’t so terrifying now— even though this one definitely did sound louder and more vicious than the ones Auntie Jo and Roxanne had. I glanced to see Fran taking her position on my right, brandishing those big, black clippers. “You ready?” she asked, hopefully for the last time.
“As long as it’s not going to fall apart trying to cut through my hair,” I joked, almost taunting.
“Don’t worry, dear,” she gave one last bit of assurance as she raised the clippers up to my head. I watched through the mirror as she positioned them off-centre of my forehead, right beside that gnarly path I’d personally ploughed through less than an hour ago. “This mane is gonna be all buzzed off in no time.”
I could feel the adrenaline pumping right back into my veins again as those clippers sank into my hairline. Only this time, it was all out of my hands. No risk of trembling or chickening out, because I was dead sure Fran wasn’t going to stop. And unlike me, her hand was steady. My eyes were fixated just watching her direct those clipper blades so smoothly over my head, making a straight pass down my head without any issue whatsoever while her other hand held the wire of the clippers aloft and out of the way.
The clippers were lifted up at the end of its path, and almost immediately torrents of hair were sliding down either side of my head and plunging onto the cape. My mouth went agape seeing those thick tresses just lying so lifelessly there, so stark against the indigo. I was just about to tilt my head down to get a better look, but Fran firmly held my head back in place as her clippers took their position once more.
All I could do was smile like an idiot as she continued her work, taking those blades on a tour over the top of my head. The way she firmly manoeuvred those clippers with ease made it seem like she did buzzcuts every other day, though that wouldn’t really surprise me. It was raining blonde all over the cape with each pass she made, and with each lock severed off my head was just getting lighter and lighter— all that weight of who I had been and how people saw me being shed so swiftly. The buzzed path grew wider and wider, and I had to hold back a little giggle realising how funny I looked with barely any hair on top while the sides and back were still so long and flowy.
Fran soon tilted my head slightly to the left, then tautly grabbed onto a bundle of my locks on the right. She placed the clippers right at my cheekbone, then casually brought them up towards the temples. The blonde hair in her hand went loose as the blades sawed through, which she nonchalantly tossed in front of me before picking up another bundle of hair. The contrast of blonde against the dark purple of the cape was so stark— especially with how large the mound of hair that was gathering in my lap was.
“You’re lucky— you’ve got cute ears,” Fran commented as she folded my right one down to run the clippers above it. “Won’t be able to cover them for a while now, though,” she teased.
I couldn’t help but actually giggle now— both at her words and also at how ticklish it felt feeling the hair just sliding down past my skin. The moment she let go of my ear, it perked back up so freely amidst the fuzz that was left behind it. Wow, that’s a thought: no more hair on my ears for a while. Maybe even ever, if I liked having short hair enough to keep it. This was going to be a really cold winter. It was bizarre watching Fran work so effortlessly, and with every pass of the clippers she made, the more the shape of my head was being unveiled.
“Alright, head down for me darling,” she instructed as she transitioned to my back. I obeyed as I felt her fingers gently pushing my head down, then grabbing a bundle of hair like she did for the right side. This time the clippers were placed at the base of my neck, and it was a real challenge to hold down my giggles feeling those blades vibrating against such a sensitive spot.
“Does my head shape look funny?” I asked over the whirring clippers as she started running them up my nape, hoping to distract myself from such a ticklish feeling.
“Absolutely not!” she exclaimed. “Darling, I think your head’s the most perfect shape I’ve seen for a buzzcut. You could probably get into modeling with a head this sexy,” she complimented, and I found myself giggling even more— feeling a little awkward at the compliment. I wondered if she was serious about it.
While I couldn’t see what was going on at the back, I definitely could feel more. If it wasn’t the clipper blades overwhelming me, it was the plunging of hair on the back of my shoulders with each pass. Every once in a while Fran would sweep off the hair so casually towards the front, letting more blonde join that large mound that was making its home on my lap. To think that all of that hair was just on my head about a moment ago— all that hair that mom painstakingly reminded me to brush diligently when I was back home. No more. Oh, mom was gonna kill me for sure when I went back for Thanksgiving. But maybe I could hitch a ride with Auntie Jo—she’d protect me then.
My head was soon tilted back up, and Fran took her place on my left where there was still a heap of my hair to harvest. Like clockwork, she tilted my head to the right, and the clippers found their place on my left cheekbone— primed and ready to complete my metamorphosis. The clippers were starting to grow rather comfortable on my head, if I was to be honest. Even though it was quite literally shearing off so much hair with such little effort, there was something serene about those warm, vibrating blades against my head. Like a scalp massage all over.
It didn’t take long before Fran was on the last bit of my blonde, holding it taut for the clippers to take it all off. And with one clean swipe it came loose, and that was all. Not a single long lock was left on my head— I was completely buzzed. My scalp was now just a full patch of dark blonde, and suddenly I realised how huge every other part of my face was without any hair to distract from it.
Fran then started running the clippers all over my head once more— probably to make sure she didn’t miss any stray strands that were still stubbornly long— and I was thankful to be able to feel that extra bit of clipper tingles all over my scalp again. Maybe I could get my own clippers like Jo and Roxanne’s— then I could feel this any time I wanted. Wow, who would’ve thought I’d ever think of keeping a buzzcut permanently?
The clippers were soon turned off to my dismay, and Fran started dusting the top of my head with a hand. Oh god, feeling someone’s hand so to my scalp was still such a foreign experience, yet so good. “Well, we’re practically done with the cut,” Fran announced. “I’m sure you’re dying to feel it right now.”
“Absolutely,” I was practically frothing now, getting my hands out from under the cape.
“Uh-uh, just a second,” I felt her hand on my shoulder, “I just need to neaten up the hairline on your sides and back, and then you can enjoy it all you want. Okay?”
“Okay,” I tried not to pout, begrudgingly putting my hands back under the cape. I’d already come so far— I guess waiting a little more wouldn’t hurt. Then again, it wasn’t like my hair was going to magically grow back out of nowhere. There would be plenty of fuzz to enjoy later tonight.
Fran flicked off the guard that was on the head of the clippers, then held it in an inverted manner before switching them back on. “You’re gonna have to keep real still for me, okay?” she instructed, and I made a noise of agreement. She bent down slightly as she went back to work. This time though she was slower and more methodical— being very careful to sculpt the lines on my sideburns and over my ears to her liking. She then shifted towards the back of my head, and here I was just fully struggling to keep still feeling those bare blades on my naked neck. I bit my tongue down, praying I wasn’t going to make any sudden nudges or movements to ruin her work.
It felt like an eternity, but she eventually made it over to my left side. Just like the right side she took her time, making sure every line was carved perfectly. Even for a haircut that seemed so ‘simple’ Fran was so meticulous, and it was only admiration that I felt for her. Maybe I had a little crush on my barber, but I was sure she was attached. Someone that attractive and confident definitely had to already have someone.
“Aaaand that’s you!” she declared as the whirring of the clippers ended. “Go ahead, knock yourself out!” she said as she stepped away to admire her work. My hands immediately got out from under the cape when I got the green light, and there was only one thing on my mind now that the cut was done.
Gasp. It was so surreal— reaching up to my head and feeling just that fuzzines all over my head instead of my hands getting tangled in a lion’s mane. I had traded long, soft tresses –which were now piled up in my lap and all over the floor –for short, soft prickles. And I fucking loved it. My hands were glued to my scalp, rubbing it all over as I indulged in every ounce of the feeling. That person looking back at me in the mirror— that was undoubtedly me. Not the person with the long hair who’d stared back at me from the mirror for the last 18 years.
Suddenly I felt not two but four pairs of hands on my shoulders, and saw my aunties in the mirror behind me, beaming proudly. “Can we touch?” Roxanne asked. I grinned and replied “go to town!” As her red-painted fingernails caressed my scalp, she gasped like I had. “Oh, Lex, this feels divine. And you…you look exquisite. Literally a perfectly-shaped head.” She beamed at Jo, who was squeezing my left shoulder, a look of…was that pride?…on her face. “What is it with you Forresters shearing your hair off and looking more gorgeous than before?” “I don’t know, maybe you should try it, Roxie,” Jo said, playfully tugged on her wife’s long locks before pecking her on the cheek. “How’re you feeling, Lex?” Jo asked. “It’s a thrilling feeling, right? Letting go of the weight of the past to just be completely yourself.” She wistfully ran a hand over her head of tightly-cropped waves and softly smiled to herself, seemingly reminiscing about her own transformation, as Roxie wrapped her arms around Jo’s waist and started stroking the nape of Jo’s neck with her long red fingernails.
“That’s exactly it, Auntie Jo,” I said, and then I felt something bizarre happen—tears were starting to form in my eyes. This had never happened when I was happy before—what was going on? As I stared into the eyes of that alluring person in the mirror who had no hair but so much confidence, I could finally recognise every part of myself. This was true bliss.
“Alright, shoo off you two!” Fran eventually barked at my aunts as she came around stirring a bowl which I assumed had the dye in it. “We still have a little more to go before we’re actually done.”
They both looked at me quizzically through the mirror, and all I did was give a wink back. They didn’t pry though— Roxanne took the cue immediately as she dragged Auntie Jo back to the waiting bench, and Fran took her place behind me. “You’re really lucky– I think I have just the right amount to be able to dye the buzz nicely,” she commented. “I really think it’s fate.”
Without much warning, she went in with the dye brush, and god it felt so thrilling having those bristles so close to my scalp, especially with how cool the dye was. At this point Fran really looked like a painter making artful yet deliberate strokes across my buzzed pate– truly living up to the splendour of being such an artist. It didn’t take long for my whole head to be covered in that pale-coloured dye, and it was definitely a treat to see in the mirror– you’d almost think I was just completely bald!
“And now… the waiting game. But don’t worry– buzzcut like yours, shouldn’t be as long as most dye jobs,” Fran assured before putting the bowl down and taking off the safety gloves. Her gaze went down to my lap, where that humongous mound of blonde was still gathered so haphazardly. She whistled. “You know, before you– I think your Aunt Jo held the record for most hair I’d cut off in one sitting. But you’ve easily dethroned her.”
“Really?” I was intrigued, yet honoured. I held some kind of title in Fran’s chair now, and it was only my first time with her!
“Really,” she smiled warmly. “I’ve done lots of buzzcuts, but they usually have kinda short hair, maybe shoulder-length once in a while. Not as long as yours though– you came in with the motherload,” she picked up a few locks off the cape, feeling its soft yet hefty texture between her fingers. “Did you want to keep some of it? I could tie some up, could be a nice, extra memento.”
“Nope,” I simply said before lifting up handfuls of it. “I just wanna-” I threw them down onto the floor with great force, and I swear I could hear a plop as they crashed onto the floor tiles. God, the catharsis that echoed through me felt so right. There was no better feeling than literally tossing away my past. “I’ll happily sweep it up after and throw it in the bin, if I’m to be honest,” I looked up to her, and her impressed expression only seemed to grow the longer I was in her chair.
“Don’t worry about it, I’ll take care of it later,” she chuckled. “Gosh, you look so much like Joanna, but you’re different inside. Wilder, I’d say– and I love it.”
“Do you think she’d ever get a buzzcut?” I dared to ask.
“Ooh, that’s a great question!” she turned to look at the lovebirds, who were just laying enamoured in each other’s arms. “Wouldn’t rule out the possibility. She may have been really scared when she first took the plunge, but you see that hair she’s got now— how it’s all tightly cropped, so short she can’t even comb it?” she nudged her head to gesture. “All her idea. I wouldn’t be surprised if her next step was to take the Lex route,” Fran added.
“Suddenly I’m the one setting the example for her?” I noticed.
“Your Auntie Jo needed that first plunge to activate her short hair gene. Yours was… probably always active. You just needed the right time and place.”
We’d spent a good amount of time talking while waiting for the dye to set in, and I must say it was really nice having another queer person to just talk to about anything and everything– it was if I was collecting mentors in this new phase of my life. And I could definitely see myself coming back to Fran regularly for her to do my hair– regardless whether it was to keep the buzzcut or to do something different.
Once Fran felt like it was time, she led me to the shampooing station near the back wall of the salon, and I watched all my hair slide down to the floor so nonchalantly as I stood up with the cape still around me. She had to hold onto me as I took my first few steps– it was so weird getting used to how much lighter I felt now. All that weight I once had was on that floor now, lying so lifelessly. Fran carefully guided my head into the sink, then turned on the water.
“Whoa,” I couldn’t help but let out, feeling that gush of water gracing my scalp in a torrent. All I heard from Fran was a delightful giggle as she got to work washing out the dye, her fingers giving a soft massage all over my scalp that felt so heavenly. I could lie here for hours just soaking in her touch like that with all that water on my head. Head massages were going to be a whole different ball game now.
The thrill was over a little too soon as the tap squeaked off, and I think I pouted too obviously. I felt Fran wrap the towel over my head, and wow— this buzzcut had really just been the most insanely tactile experience from start to finish. It was so comfy feeling the soft towel all over my scalp, and it practically only took a few rubs before Fran felt like it was dry enough. “Alright, the big reveal’s coming up! I want to close your eyes while I walk you back to the chair, okay?”
“Okay,” I played along, then shut my eyes.
She carefully guided me away from the wash basin, taking me step by step back to her chair. Before we took the turn, she stopped and held me in place for a moment, then turned me to what I could only guess was the direction of the waiting bench. I heard the gasps that were definitely from my aunts, realising that they were getting the big reveal first.
“Lex, you are stunning!” “The best you’ve ever looked! It’s so cool!”
I could only smile like an idiot hearing them sing their praises while my eyes were still shut, and I found myself squeezing Fran’s hand gently, as if to thank her. I hadn’t seen the final product, but I knew she would make sure this was the best look ever. She eventually turned me around, then guided me back to the chair as she promised, where she slowly lowered me down into the backrest.
“Okay, open them.”
My jaw dropped seeing the androgyne in the mirror, someone I could’ve only aspired to be when forced to participate in a debutante ball just months before. With their lilac-colored buzzcut, their striking face took on a mischievous quality, and as they grinned back at me in the mirror I realized—that’s me. Fuck yeah, that’s really me.
I jumped out of the chair and leapt up to give Fran a big hug. Seemingly taken aback for a second, I then felt her embrace me back. “This is the best thing ever. Thank you so much, oh my god!” I twirled around to face myself in the mirror again and clasped my hands together in excitement, jumping up and down, before rubbing the palm of my hand over the gorgeous lavender fuzz. The feeling sent shivers down my spine as I heard Fran say,“thank yourself, since you took those clippers to your head to begin with.”
Since I couldn’t stop staring at myself in the mirror I only heard Roxie say, “and you’re going to use that Forrester trust fund money to buy us a new pair to replace the clippers you ruined!” I found myself turning towards my aunts and running to them, wrapping my arms around Roxie and picking her tiny body up as adrenaline coursed through my body. She gasped, and then started laughing, as I put her down and turned to Jo to give her a tight hug. “Thank you guys so much for bringing me here! I know I looked unhinged shaving my own head but this needed to happen, and you bringing me here has made me feel like myself…” a tear dropped onto my cheek, which Joanna wiped away with a smile “for probably the first time in my life,” I sniffled, and Auntie Jo embraced me, stroking the back of my buzzed head. “Aw, sweetie, I’m so honored to have played any role in this transformation. You know…I left those clippers out there on purpose…I had a feeling you might get the urge.” Roxie put an arm around Jo, and the three of us had a group hug. “Besides,” Jo said as we pulled apart, “Maybe I just selfishly wanted the scrutiny to be on someone else for once at the next family gathering. I’m so tired of everyone commenting on my hair being too short for their liking; it’s time for them to berate someone else. Or at least for us to be comrades against them.”
As I grabbed my jacket and started to open the door, the cool breeze felt refreshing over my scalp, neck, and ears, and I saw Fran start to sweep up those masses of blonde hair that’d kept me chained to an identity forced upon me. “Look,” I told Jo, “they can berate me all they want and I won’t give a single fuck. The more they berate me, the more determined I’ll be to never grow my hair another inch. And to dye it every color of the rainbow.” As Jo paid Fran, Roxie grabbed my hand. “Alright, troublemaker,” she said, with a sly smile, “you ready to attract the stares of everyone you pass?” “Since the day I was born,” I replied as we exited, nearly pulling her out onto the street.
The world wasn’t going to see Alexandria anymore— I’d left her behind on that salon floor. Today, the world was going to see the real me: Lex.
“I’m so sorry about today,” I sighed as Roxanne crashed into my chest in bed, wrapping her arms tightly around me.
“And what are you apologising for?” She tilted her head to look up at me, those gorgeous eyes scanning me with curiosity.
“Lex,” I confessed. “I… know they’re a handful. It was my idea to suggest they should come catsit. And, well, everything happened today.” It was supposed to be a calm, simple weekend— a quick getaway with Roxie while Lex came over to watch over Oscar while we were gone. And while our little ginger grouch was who we worried was going to get into trouble, instead it was my mischievous little nibling getting their hands on our pair of clippers before taking a #2 to the head. Granted– it was all, technically, my devious little idea to leave those clippers out on the sink counter since the first day Lex visited to try and add some temptation. What better way to win the bet on Lex getting a sideshave than to actually provide the necessary tool for it? But going all in to shave their head… that one neither of us were anywhere close to expecting. “And then you had to be Queen Disciplinarian, taking charge of the whole situation.”
“And what makes you think I wasn’t enjoying myself a little bit?” She reached up with a finger to boop my nose. “Lex is a handful, yes. But, I don’t know, there’s something about that feistiness that makes them adorable. Yeah, they ruined our clippers, big deal. We’ll get another pair. You know I’d die for that little gremlin,” she admitted, a soft smile playing on her face.
“And here I thought you were genuinely mad at Lex in the bathroom just now,” I remarked, giving her tiny undercut a scratch as she nestled into me.
“Oh, I was, don’t get me wrong,” she corrected. “But sometimes love needs to be strict. They were having their moment, but there were still consequences to be had.” There was something almost motherly about how she said that, and for some reason it warmed me a little inside. “Ugh, what is it with you Forresters running around, chopping all your hair off and then still looking like absolute diamonds. It’s unfair, really. More than anything, it’s actually tempting me.”
“Tempting you? To do what?” I raised a brow. She raised her head a little to make sure our eyes locked, with her crimson mane sweeping over my chest. She then lifted a hand up to her head, sticking out her two forefingers. Carefully, she slid them into her locks just below her chin, a wicked grin on her face, mimicking the scrunching of… scissors?
“No,” I was sitting up in bed now. “You? YOU??? Roxanne? Thinking of cutting your hair? Your signature? Your pride and joy and favorite toy?”
“It’s just a thought!” She climbed up onto me, straddling my lap as her tresses began cascading onto my naked chest. “Knowing me, it’ll probably just go away in the morning. But god, sometimes seeing you all cut off so much hair and just liberating yourself… like, I want that too! For like, a day. And then I’d probably get bored and want my long hair back to play with… and so would you,” she pouted.
I ran my fingers through those glorious red locks, stealing a whiff of that majestic red that I got the privilege to cherish every single night in bed (and all day, every day). And then I tried to picture the image of a bobbed Roxie looking down at me in bed, with short, sharp sheets of hair hanging down so menacingly. Wow, why was that the hottest thing ever? “For what it’s worth? I think it’d look fucking amazing,” I assured her, diving into her for a deep kiss and tugging on those mermaid tresses teasingly.