Here I sit, alone on the plane in a state of shock. What was a family trip to Hawaii before I start my final year at private school ends with my parents arrested, and me being flown to be with an aunt and uncle I haven’t seen since ! was 4 years old. My parents we arrested on tax fraud, and all of their assets had been seized.
The only time I had met my aunt was when my grandfather died 12 years ago. My parents had explained that Jennifer, who has since changed her name to Wren had walked away from the family wealth, and with her husband Derick had chosen to live on a homestead in the woods of Minnesota. Being the only family member left, Wren agreed to become my guardian, but that meant I would be staying with her.
The connecting flight was on one of those small prop planes. There were only 10 people on the flight, including the woman that the US Marshals had sent to accompany me to my aunt. I noticed them waiting for me right away. I was quite surprised by their appearance, Wren was very skinny with messy dreadlocks and Derick had greasy hair that went to his shoulders. We exchanged some uncomfortable pleasantries and headed for their truck.
On our drive to their house, Wren then told me we were stopping in town to pick up the monthly supplies, and some things she thought I might need. We stopped at the local farm co-op store where Derick loaded the truck with several large bags of animal feed and had 2 large propane cylinders filled. Wren asked what size shoes I wore and then grabbed a pair of huge rubber boots.
Wren said I would need some proper clothes, and doubted anything in my suitcase would be use full on the homestead. The next stop was a surplus clothing store. I had never been in this type of store before, but Wren was greeted as one of the locals. Wren introduced me as her new daughter to the woman in the store and told her I needed some proper clothing. Wren told me to tell the woman my size, and once I told her I was a size 5 she went about the store gathering several items and putting them on the counter.
I told Wren I could pick out my own clothes, but she said that Carol knew all the best stuff so we would just have her pick everything out. On the counter there was a couple pairs of very unfashionable men’s jeans, 5 t-shirts in pastel colors, and a package plain white underwear. If what I had seen wasn’t bad enough the last thing Carol brought to the counter was a very cheap looking pair of sweatpants and sweatshirt in a pale pink color. All of the tags on the clothes were marked irregular. I asked Wren if I could get my own clothes from home, but she said we would take everything Carol had picked out.
We walked out of the store and Wren asked if there was anything else that I needed. I was embarrassed to say in front of Derick, but I told her that I was going to need my birth-control pills refilled. Wren and Derick both a quick chuckle, and Wren told me she didn’t see any reason that I should still take those as there weren’t any boys around their house for miles. When then made the 20 mile trip deep into the woods until we arrived at what looked like nothing more than a couple sheds in the middle of the woods.
I was feeling sick as we walked inside the ‘house’, the whole thing was smaller than my bedroom at home. It only took a minute for Wren to show me around. The kitchen was just a tiny counter with a sink, small fridge, and a wood-fired stove. The other side was a couch and chair and a couple shelves. She then showed me the loft area, nothing more than foam pad and a sleeping bag, this was the bedroom. As I wondered just what the sleeping arrangements were going to be, it dawned on me. Where was the bathroom? I didn’t want to ask.
“Aunt Wren. Where’s the bathroom at?” Wren smiled at me “Sam, why don’t you get changed, Derick will show you where we go when we go out to do the afternoon chores.” She handed me a pair of the jeans and a t-shirt. When she saw me hesitating to change with Derick in the room Wren just lifted off my shirt “No modesty allowed here Sam” I scrambled to put the t-shirt over my head. Wren and Derick just laughed at how embarrassing I found it. “Jeans next Sam” Mortified I turned away from them and slid down my pants, forgetting that the thong panties I was wearing would now give Derick a clear view of my 17 year old ass. “I bet you wish you had those granny panties on now” Wren said as I struggled to put the stiff unwashed blue jeans on
We walked out of the house, and around the back of the other shed.building. It had a very small room attached on the back, Derick pointed at the door “It’s in there.” I didn’t know what he was talking about at first, but as I opened the door, I became instantly aware. It was not much more than a wooden seat with a bucket underneath. Derick had a bit of a laugh “We all take turns carrying the bucket into the woods to dump it out. You’ll get used to it.” I thought I might get sick as I closed the door.
We then started on the afternoon chores. We spent hours milking and feeding the goats and chickens, and cleaning out the pens. I thought that the work was over when Derick took me over to a giant pile of wood “We split logs everyday, so we’re ready for winter.” I spent the rest of the day helping Derick running the log splitter, until I felt like I was going to fall over.
I never felt more dirty or tired in my life, all I wanted was to take a nice hot shower and crash out for the night. Wren was just about done cooking dinner when I walked in, and I asked her if I had time to shower first. Wren and Derick again laughed at my question “Sam, we don’t have a shower,, but I have a pot of warm water on the stove, so you guys can wash up before we eat.” I couldn’t believe what she said, “but I really need to shower, and wash my hair.” Wren smiled at me “I wanted to talk to you about your hair. It’s just not practical to have long hair on the homestead.”
I ran my hand thru my hair, trying to understand just what Wren meant. “I can cut it for you in the morning” I was shocked at Wren’s suggestion and politely told her that I didn’t want short hair. “Well if you don’t want to cut it off why don’t you let me do your hair like mine?” It was my turn to laugh “There’s no way I going to have dreadlocks. I’ll just keep it long for now.”
Each day was identical to the next, wake up way to early so we could do our outside chores before it get to hot outside followed by more work in the afternoon. Before coming here the only time I spent out in the sun was if I was laying out by the pool at home, but here there was no break from the heat. Derick and Wren didn’t even have a fan, let alone air conditioning.
It took about 4 weeks before I finally gave in to having my once beautiful long hair cut. I always great hair, the only products I ever used were the best ones that the salon had for sale. How quickly that had changed. Not having access to my products i was forced to use the shampoo that Derick buys from the dollar store in town. It was very harsh, and without any conditioner my hair was getting in rough shape.
Once a week Wren would help me wash my hair. She would use a milk bottle to wet my head down followed by a handful shampoo. It felt so nice to have it clean, but it still looked terrible. My hair was very thick, and used to lay down smooth and flat, but now it was becoming a broken, course mess. My hair seemed to pick up pounds of dirt every day so it would start to look like a dirty mop head even after it had been shampooed.
I asked Wren if she could cut about 6″ off the bottom, which to me was a major change. Wren struggled to get a comb thru my hair, and without even getting the bottom half completely untangled she started cutting. I couldn’t see how much was coming off but it was instantly feeling better. Once the initial cut was done Wren easily combed thru my hair and it looked like it was starting to lay back down on my head. Rather than take the towel off my shoulders Wren started to make a second pass with the scissors. When she was done my hair was just touching my shoulders. I wasn’t happy that she had cut off twice as much as I asked her to, but it felt good for the first time in months.
The next few months were pretty much routine, even though doing all the chores in freezing temperatures with knee high snow on the ground certainly took all the effort I had. My skinny little rich girl body was being transformed by all the continuous cardio I was doing from the chores. My thin legs had nearly doubled in size, with the muscles on my thighs large and defined. The same could be said for my now bulging biceps and now broad shoulders, my beauty pageant like body had long since been taken over by thick defined muscles.
It was next May when I received a certified letter from my parents lawyer. They had agreed to plead guilty to tax fraud and surrender all of their assets, which would be sold off to cover their debts. The only exception being the trust fund that had been set up for me. I was just days away from my 18th birthday and once I turned 18 the trust would pay me $10,000 per month. I put the letter down and went out to do my chores before the heat of the day settled in.
When I came back in the house I was met by Wren and Derick. I was dripping with sweat, and my clothes were soaked thru, as the temperature was already approaching 90 degrees. Wren the letter in her hand..”So what are your plans Sam?” I pulled the kitchen stool into the middle of the floor..”Well first thing is I need you to take the clippers and get rid of this mop on my head.” Wren didn’t know what to say, but Derick didn’t hesitate to get the cordless clippers off the shelf. Derick showed me the different attachment guides that went on the clipper “What guide do you want me to use?” I didn’t care. It was such a hassle to deal with that I just told Derick “Whatever you want. You don’t need to put one on if that’s okay.”
Wren stopped Derick from starting to clipper me. “Sam, you don’t have to do this. Your going to have enough money to live wherever you want to.” I had decided month’s ago that I could never go back to my old friends. I was a different person now, no longer a delicate little rich girl who lived a posh life. I looked at Derick…”You can leave the guide off.” This time he didn’t wait for Wren to stop him. He plunged the guide less clippers in right at my temple, running them straight back. As he started the second pass Wren spoke up “So, your going to stay with us?”
I was smiling as I was already feeling cooler…”If it’s okay with you I’m in no hurry to go anywhere” Derick was cleaning up the spots he had missed, and I now had nothing but a faint brown stubble on my head. I rubbed my hand over my head, smiling at how great it felt.. “I guess I won’t need to have you help me wash my hair anymore Wren.” Wren took a turn at rubbing my head “Who knows, it might be time to lose my dreads soon”