There’s something glorious about being on a beach without a care in the world. There’s sand between your toes and a breeze in your hair and all your troubles are a million miles away. You just know that every guy who walks past is checking you out and that’s fine. After all, that’s what you’re sitting there for.
That’s not to say that I’m alone. My boyfriend is here, pretending to read a book, while scoping out any female within range. I’m sitting here in a bikini that’s barely worth the name. At his suggestion, may I add, and he’s there, ignoring me pretty much whilst he sees whether there’s anything better passing by. In the meantime, one wrong move and I’m displaying everything I’ve got to the unsuspecting public. What’s sauce for the goose though…he’d be disappointed if he knew how my own surveillance was going. Either there’s a fashion for stuffing rolled up socks down your trunks, or there’s some seriously well-endowed guys parading themselves for the delight of anyone who’s interested. Rick isn’t small in that department, but he wouldn’t come close to some of the guys I’ve seen so far. I know what they say, but I’m curious. What would it feel like to have one of those inside you?
So, that’s been a big part of our holiday: sitting on the beach being mentally unfaithful to each other, eating and drinking. We’re not so different from a lot of people in that respect. All good things have to come to an end though, and we’ve only got a couple of days left before we have to go back to the routine.
We needed this break. Work has been a bit full-on for both of us for a while, so this couldn’t have come at a better time. Rick works in Finance, I work for the local council. We probably won’t set the world of work alight, but we do okay. We’ve been saving up to get married, put a deposit on a house, but neither of those things look like happening anytime soon. Maybe they won’t. If things aren’t going to work out for us, they need to unravel soon, so that we’ve both got a chance to make something of our lives.
I look across at him. He’ll be thirty-two next birthday, but has looked after himself, so he could pass for younger if he had to. Football keeps him trim, keeps the effects of his love of beer at bay. I put my book down and look towards my feet, assessing the current state of my own battle for Eternal youth. I’m a few months younger than Rick and rely on yoga and a variety of other fitness classes to stay supple and to keep the pounds off. I look at my flat stomach and sneak an appreciative glance at my boobs. It took me a while to accept that I’d never have a decent cleavage, but have come to love having perky, pointy boobs topped with dark nipples. Rick talks to them, strokes them, pretends that they’re woodland creatures. He’s even given them names, which I’m not going to share with you! That doesn’t stop the thought bubble appearing over his head when some well-endowed hussy walks past! I go back to my book.
Lunchtime comes and it’s time for what I’ve come to think of as the “slut walk”, where I have to make it from the beach to whatever restaurant we’re going to whilst wearing a couple of bits of fabric to cover my nipples and a narrow strip to cradle my pussy lips. I wonder about the design process for these things. Is there a guy somewhere who looks at a design and says “just take a bit more off here”? We can get another dozen out of each piece of fabric if we just do that.” I look at Rick’s bathing trunks. Small, but not that small. I might have to tell him that he needs to get a new pair that are closer to “obscene” if he wants me to “wear” one of these again.
We walk along the harbour promenade, trying to decide what we want to eat, just as we’ve done every day since we got here. He’s still people-watching as much as restaurant appraising. His focus switches entirely to people-watching. There must be something spectacular coming towards us. Tits of his dreams or something. I try to work out what he’s looking at, so that I can tease him about it later. I only see regular folk in regular beachwear. Attractive enough, but nothing to warrant that degree of attention. Strange.
We get to the end of the promenade without making a decision. That means reversing our path and making a second pass. We do the same thing most days! After a few minutes, he stops outside a restaurant.
‘You don’t like seafood’ I commented.
‘They have other stuff’ Rick replied.
‘Other restaurants have more “other stuff” that you’d like.’
‘I just thought that I should give this one a go.’
‘Okay, but don’t moan if you don’t like it’ I replied, actually quite happy with his choice, since his narrow tastes mean that I rarely get to expand my horizons like this.
We were ushered inside and offered a selection of tables. Rick weighed them carefully and made his choice. It seemed to be a bit more considered than his usual “no smokers, no children” criteria.
The waiter handed us menus and went off to fetch our drinks. I was spoiled for choice, but knew that Rick would have his lunch pretty much determined by the few selections that wouldn’t make him projectile vomit. His menu was placed on the table, while I carried on with my deliberations. Drinks came, food was ordered, I waited for Rick to launch into conversation. He didn’t. I looked at him. He looked over my shoulder. I wondered what was there. I’d been aware that there were people at a couple of the other tables when we’d come in, but hadn’t paid them too much attention.
‘I’ll be back in a minute’ I said, heading off to the ladies’ room. I didn’t need to go, I just wanted to check out what had caught his attention, without just turning around and scoping the room out. I examined each table as casually as I could, on the way there and on the return. I couldn’t see anything that merited Rick’s attention. They just seemed like regular folks on their holiday. There was one couple there, that I knew had crossed our path when we walked up the promenade the first time. I only knew that because the woman was bald and I remembered thinking how sad it was for someone so young to be struck down with some awful disease. When I say “young”, she was probably in her early forties. Not old enough to be afflicted like that though. Despite it all, she looked healthy, had a decent body as far as I could tell from my casual assessment and certainly wasn’t emaciated like I would’ve expected if she was seriously ill. The bald head didn’t look recent. After all, it was nicely tanned, so if it was an illness, it had been going for a while. What did I know?
I sat back down and looked at Rick. He looked over my shoulder again, but this time I forgave him. It was the waiter bringing our food.
There wasn’t much conversation, once we’d ascertained that Rick was happy with his choice of omelette and I was enjoying my unidentified fish. I was still observing him periodically and he was still apparently fascinated with whatever it was that was fascinating him. After we’d finished eating, I could take no more.
‘The poor woman’s ill, stop staring’ I said in a hushed tone.
‘What?’ he protested.
‘You keep staring at that woman. Stop it! She’s ill and doesn’t need you staring at her.’
‘I don’t think she is ill’ he said after a while. ‘If she is, she’s the healthiest looking ill person that I’ve ever seen.’
‘Why else wouldn’t she have any hair?’
‘No idea’ he said, with that expression of his that means that he doesn’t want to continue a discussion because he doesn’t want to incriminate himself.
He asked if I wanted coffee. I interpreted the question as the deployment of a delaying tactic. Bald woman hadn’t finished, so he wanted to stay to take in the scenery for as long as possible.
‘No thanks. I’m fine’ I said, even though I did. It was more important to frustrate his attempt to stare at that poor woman. Whether she was ill or not, she was still a poor woman to me, because she’d attracted attention that would probably be unwelcome if she knew about it.
Rick paid and we got up and left. I did my best to obscure his view as we walked out of the restaurant, which was the most fun that I’d had at his expense for a while. We went for a short walk and then gravitated back to the beach where Rick appeared to be intent on sulking. He lay on his back and pulled his hat over his eyes.
I carried on with my book, looking up from it from time to time if I sensed that a promising looking guy was approaching. I tried to work out the mechanics for trying one of those larger cocks for size without hurting Rick’s feelings. I decided that I was happy to tell him that it was a one-off, just to try it for size, but couldn’t really see it happening. I toyed with the idea of saying that it was a bucket-list thing, but no matter how much I tried, the scenario always played out with us descending into jealousy and strife. I tried to work out how I’d feel about him screwing someone else, just as a casual thing. Could I carry on as if nothing had happened? I accepted him looking at other women, ogling them on the beach, but that was offset by my own wandering eyes. I told myself that it was harmless, nothing would ever come of me peeling another guy’s trunks off with my eyes. Rick probably told himself the same when he looked at women on the beach. I went back to my book, but couldn’t concentrate.
There was something in his fascination with the woman in the restaurant. She’d got a swimsuit on, which automatically guaranteed that he’d have a look, if only to see how high it was cut, but it was more than that. He’d carried on watching her even though there was no hope of a glimpse of any part of her that would normally be considered “interesting” in his vocabulary. So it had to be the fact that she was bald that had drawn his attention.
This was a new one on me and I didn’t know what to make of it. Should I take it seriously? What was there that I should take seriously? It was a woman without hair. True, she was attractive, even without hair, but I was confused. I wore my own hair shortish, about collar-length, which was a legacy from my days as a regular swimmer. I didn’t go to the pool anymore because it was hard to fit it in with work, but I carried on as if I did. I suppose that I just couldn’t be bothered to look after long hair, so I kept it manageable. I’m not sure whether my style even had a name, it had just evolved and now I just left it to my stylist to keep it looking tidy. It had a natural wave and she worked with that to get it sitting just right. I had never coloured it, again because I didn’t want to create a chore for myself. I could think of nothing worse than having to get my roots touched up every few weeks just for the sake of it. The only thing that I had ever done, that I wouldn’t usually do, was to slick it back when we’d gone to a party ages ago and I’d wanted to look like an 80’s rock chick for some reason. Come to think of it, Rick had actually shown an interest in that, not that he said much about it and I certainly thought nothing more about it once we’d got home and I’d showered the gunk out of my hair.
We’d both had enough of the beach after a while and wended our way back to our villa. We were swapping lying on the beach for lying by our pool. That meant that there was nothing for Rick to look at and I knew that it annoyed him. It did mean though that I could get my boobs out and work on my tan. He had to make do with that.
The poor dear stayed inside to see if he could get decent reception on the TV, but it wasn’t long before he came out bearing a glass of beer for him and a sangria for me. Just what I needed!
I’d deliberately had a quick dip in the pool and slicked my wet hair back. Not as effective as doing it properly with oil, but that was too much trouble to go to. I sat up and took a first swallow.
‘Just what I needed’ I said. He hadn’t sat down and was just looking across at the mountains in the distance. I heard him take long pull from his beer. I ran a hand up the back of his leg, causing him to choke. He choked; I laughed.
‘Oops, sorry!’ I said, moving my hand higher.
‘Don’t do that unless you mean it’ he said, looking down at me.
‘Why wouldn’t I mean it?’ I asked, putting my “fuck me” face on. My hand was pressed over his package, which was growing rapidly. He looked down at me. I drew his trunks down.
‘The neighbours’ll see’ he said.
‘So?’ I said, looking up at him just before positioning my head to take him in my mouth. I heard him take a deep breath as I took him in as far as I could. I’m not one for public displays of affection as a rule, but I make an exception when I’m on holiday. That’s if a poolside blowjob counts as a display of affection or just an expression of lust. He gripped the back of my head with both hands, pressing me in to him. Obviously there was nothing on TV.
It wasn’t the most comfortable position, giving a blowjob while sitting on a sun-lounger, but the alternative of kneeling down on the rough concrete slabs didn’t bear thinking about. Rick was happy enough, at first pulling my head close to him, but then wrapping my hair round his fingers to draw my head back so that he could control what I was doing. I’d just settled into his rhythm when he bucked his hips and pulled me right into him. I felt his warmth at the back of my throat. That hadn’t lasted long. He stroked the back of my head and pulled out of my face. I looked up at him, wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. I took a long swallow from my glass to chase him down and watched him pull his trunks up. He walked back to the villa, leaving me on the sunbed.
I’d thought that I was in for a bit of a siesta special, but it wasn’t to be. I lay down and picked my book up.
I’m not sure if it was my choice of reading material, but I couldn’t concentrate on it or wasn’t interested in it. All I could think of was a blowjob that I’d expected to be an aperitif, but which had turned out to be the main course. My mind returned to the woman in town. Had she had something to do with what had just happened? Had I provoked him with my post-pool hairdo? That can’t have been it, surely. How many times had he ignored me when I’d come out of the shower with wet hair? I tried to remember if we’d fucked after that party, but suspect that we’d both been a bit the worse for wear and doubted that anything had happened. Anyway, if he’d been that taken by my hairstyle, why hadn’t he asked me to repeat it? I’d done an excellent job of excluding myself as a suspect, which just left the woman from town. Occam’s Razor. How fitting! I lay back and closed my eyes.
I tried to picture the woman, but couldn’t with any clarity. Her swimsuit was black with a little flower motif. She’d been carrying what I took to be a sarong-type thing like mine to cover her modesty when she walked, but hadn’t used it. Hence Rick could see that she looked the picture of health. I tried to summon an image of her face. Her eyes were prominent, bright. She’d got large pendant earrings, bright lipstick. Her eyebrows were dark, sculpted and thin. She didn’t need hair to be attractive. Had she come to that conclusion and just cut it off? I ran my fingers through my own hair, tousled from my brief encounter with Rick. What would it be like to do that and to feel skin where I’d always felt hair?? It didn’t bear thinking about.
What would I look like, I wondered, unable to terminate that line of thought. What would you ask for? Did you just walk in to a salon and tell them to shave your head? Would they refuse to do it? Try to talk you out of it? What would you say to people at work? Friends, family?
Rick came out to wake me eventually, just checking that I hadn’t drowned in the pool. Neither of us mentioned the events from earlier. If anything, the afternoon was only memorable for what was unsaid and the dark cloud that had settled between us.
The following day, we did what we’d done every day since we’d arrived, just with a little more enthusiasm from Rick, and found ourselves on the beach not long after breakfast. We got a prime spot, rather than having to park ourselves wherever we could see a patch of sand. This was a much better experience. Despite my earlier thoughts about not pandering to Rick’s baser instincts unless he got a bit more daring with his beachwear, I’d put on the one “bikini” that he’d badgered me into buying that I’d previously refused point-blank to wear in public. It was tiny. The bits of cloth at the top were too narrow to prevent permanent display of dark nipple-surround, whatever you call that bit; the bottoms were impossible to wear without them furling themselves up into a piece of floss that burrowed between your lips. I half-expected to get arrested for public indecency, even though I’d draped my light sarong around me while we walked.
There was an unspoken agreement between us by the looks of it. We were there with a purpose, which had nothing to do with relaxing with a book. We were waiting. We waited in vain.
At lunchtime we set off on our walk, looking into restaurants that we’d looked into each day so far. Up until now, we’d done it to get an idea of the type and quality of food that they served. Now it was more of a manhunt. Or “womanhunt”, to be more precise. We struck out, still not acknowledging to each other that we were on the same wavelength. We ate. It was pleasant, but not remarkable.
We left the restaurant and turned into town rather than going straight back to the beach. The narrow streets didn’t hold much. Tourist supermarkets, mobile phone shops, laundrettes, a few clothes shops. Nothing to get worked up about. We wandered aimlessly, walking off lunch before the exertions of an afternoon on a sun-lounger on the beach. I saw a display of beachwear in a shop and dragged Rick inside, emerging with a couple of pairs of trunks that were more in keeping with my own revealing attire. I even convinced him to change before we left the shop, so that I wouldn’t be the only one in the cell if we met an over-zealous cop.
It was actually rather nice just to meander away from the crowds. It gave us a better sense of the place, an idea of what it must’ve been like before it sold its soul to tourists. We stumbled across a couple of places to eat that would make a change from the tourist traps down by the beach, places that even catered for fussy eaters like Rick. We were just talking about our new-found menu options when I felt Rick’s grip on my hand change slightly. I wasn’t sure that it was a conscious gesture, but it wasn’t the loose hand-holding that we’d done until now. I looked around to see what had triggered it.
We’d just passed a hair salon. Had some deep-seated interest been awoken inside him?
‘Let’s just go back that way’ he said, without explaining why.
I looked into the salon as we walked past, aware that he was doing the same, although trying to conceal it from me.
The bald woman was inside. That explained a lot. She wasn’t a tourist, she lived here, worked here. She’d been at the beach on her day off, I surmised. Rick’s bald mystery lady was a hairdresser. That potentially explained a lot.
‘Fancy a coffee?’ I asked, aware that there was a coffee shop across the street. Not quite opposite the salon, but not far off. We went in. Guess where we sat – at the window.
It amused me that neither of us had openly acknowledged that we were sitting here because we were stalking a woman that we’d seen in town. How weird was that? I tried to take a sip of my coffee, but it was too hot.
‘You’ve no idea how I crave a piece of that cake’ I said.
‘Why don’t you have one then?’
‘Eating cake and wearing this excuse for a bikini don’t really go together’ I observed.
‘There’s plenty on the beach that don’t have your qualms’ he replied.
‘Please shoot me if I ever get near that size and then suggest going to a beach’ I laughed.
Rick had detected movement. I followed his gaze. The woman had left the salon and was walking towards us. Shit! She looked different in a summer dress, but there was no mistaking that tanned, bald head. She was elegant, confident, attractive. She was coming in to the coffee shop.
She walked past us and rattled off her order to the girl at the counter. She had a nice voice, even if I couldn’t understand what she’d said. I wanted to look at her, but couldn’t, because we’d positioned ourselves to watch the salon, not what was going on in here. I listened to the sounds of her drink being prepared. Rick looked out of the window. I took a sip of my coffee. There was another burst of chatter and then footsteps heading for the door. I readied myself to look at her as she walked away, knowing that Rick would be doing the same. The footsteps stopped. Close by. I looked around. She was standing there as if she was about to take our order.
‘Come on over when you’re done. I’ve already put you in the book’ she said with a smile.
‘I’m sorry’ I said, surprised that she was talking to me, surprised that she didn’t have a trace of a foreign accent.
‘Pop over and I’ll make you more comfortable. On the house’ she said with a smile.
That was it. She continued to the door and walked out. I was too stunned to watch her go.
Our cover had been blown.
‘We just failed the practical part of the “Spy Exam”‘ Rick laughed.
‘What the…’ I said.
‘Obviously a quiet day’ Rick added.
‘Yeah, but if it’s quiet, you read a gossip mag or something, you don’t go and offer your services for free to random people in the street.’
‘We’re not in the street and she knows we’re not random.’
‘This is your fault. If you hadn’t stalked her yesterday.’
‘I wasn’t stalking her yesterday.’
‘Well, whatever it was, she noticed. She could’ve gone to the police.’
‘Yeah, but she didn’t, did she? She offered you a free haircut.’
‘Was it me?’
‘She was looking at you, so I’d say she was talking to you. That’s normally how it works’ Rick added with a smile.
‘I don’t know what you’re laughing at’ I said tetchily.
‘The look on your face.’
‘It’s a shock.
‘Everything. That she knew. That she spoke to me. That she’s not foreign.’
‘I think they’re called “ex-pats”. Fairly common in these parts. People who are sick of the weather back home, come here.’
‘Don’t be so patronising’ I said, draining my cup. Rick looked at me.
‘You know what that means?’ he said, nodding at my cup.
‘Your business here is done.’
‘And she’s waiting for you.’
‘Don’t be daft.’
‘That’s what the lady said.’
I looked at him.
‘I don’t come on holiday to get my hair cut. I did that before we came, not that you’d really notice’ I said, putting my hand up to the hair at the side of my head.
‘I’m not sure she’s offering a regular haircut’ he replied.
I looked at him again.
‘You want me to go over, don’t you?’ I said seriously.
‘It’d be rude not to’ he replied.
‘And what do you think she’ll do to me?’
‘Whatever you want. Just tell her.’
‘And what should I tell her?’
‘I don’t know, whatever you say when you go to the hairdresser. I just say “the usual” and that’s what I get.’
‘I’ve never been there before, so how can I ask for “the usual”‘ I replied, trying not to raise my voice.
‘Go, or don’t go, it’s up to you’ he said.
‘So you don’t care if she does God-knows-what to me?’
‘That’s not what I said’ he replied.
This was going downhill fast. We looked at each other.
‘Do you want me to order you another coffee on my way out?’ I asked.
‘You’re not actually going, are you?’
‘You don’t seem to care, one way or the other. It’s free and it’d be rude not to, according to you’ I said, trying to adjust the flimsy fabric to make sure that I was displaying as little as possible. It wasn’t overly successful. I stood up and went to the counter, ordering another coffee for Rick. I paused on my way out. ‘See you in a bit’ I said and carried on for the door.
I crossed the street and headed for the salon, wondering what to say. We’d gone into a restaurant because she’d been there. We’d come out today hoping to bump into her. What had we been thinking? Were we going to strike up a conversation just to satisfy our curiosity? “So, lady that we don’t know, are you really ill or did you just get a bit carried away?” It was going to be awkward, apart from the fact that I didn’t know why she’d asked me over. Why me? I’d not been this nervous for a long time.
I walked in to the salon. There she was. Relaxing with a book, next to her empty coffee cup.
‘Hi there. I’m Cheryl’ she said, getting up and holding out her hand in greeting.
‘Emma’ I said. ‘Look, I think I should explain…’
‘Nonsense. I think we’re quits. Your husband took an interest in me, my husband took an interest in you. He’d be even more interested today’ she said with a nod towards my see-through sarong and tiny bikini.
I felt myself blushing.
‘The things you do on holiday that you’d never do at home’ I chuckled. ‘It gives him a bit of a thrill, I think, that other men look at me. My boyfriend, I mean.’
‘So he’s not your husband?’
‘He must be very confident to share like that.’
‘I think it’s his way of putting other women at their ease. I don’t know why’ I laughed.
‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it’ she replied.
‘Well, I didn’t really expect to stray from the beach, otherwise I’d have put something more substantial on’ I replied.
‘Rubbish. You look great, so why not?’
The thread fizzled out. She gestured for us both to take a seat in the salon itself. I was pleased to be able to sit down and cross my legs, pretending that I wasn’t 95% naked in front of a stranger. The sarong was really worse than useless.
‘Anyway, I hope you didn’t mind me interrupting you’ she said.
‘Not at all. It was just a shock, that’s all.’
‘It’s not every day you get a hairdresser telling you that they’ve made an appointment for you when they’ve never met you’ I laugh.
‘Not something I make a habit of, but you know. The two of you are obviously adventurous, daring even, looking at what you’ve almost got on’ she paused to make her point with a smile. ‘You just looked like you might be up for doing something a little crazy on your holiday, something you’d never dream of back home.’
‘That’s up to you’ she replied.
‘So I have a choice?’
‘You always have a choice.’
‘I’d have to ask Rick’ I said, wondering what it was exactly that I’d be asking.
‘I think you know what he’ll say.’
‘He’s sitting in that cafe and it’s not because the coffee’s great’ she replied.
She’d got us there.
‘How did you know?’
‘I told you. The way he looked at me. It wasn’t the ghoulish, inquisitive look or the pitying look. There was more to it. “Appreciation” would be a polite way to put it.
‘And you think that he’d like me to do it too?’
‘You know him better than me.’
The pool-side blowjob was probably as much evidence as I needed.
‘I’m not sure that I could’ I said quietly.
‘You don’t have to go the whole hog, straight off. I’ll take you down to a buzz cut and see how you feel about that.’
‘A buzz cut? There’s something wrong about having shorter hair than my boyfriend.’
‘Mine’s shorter than my husband’s. We like it that way.’
I looked at her. Looked at the bronzed curve of her skull, the eyebrows plucked within a fraction of their life. Looked at her vibrant eyes. What would my head look like under the cloudy skies back home if I didn’t have any hair? My hand went to my head, my fingers running through my hair, comforting.
‘I don’t think I could. Could I?’ I said. It was meant to be just a thought, but I’d said it out loud.
‘Can you imagine your boyfriend’s disappointment if you don’t’ Cheryl said.
‘Really? He’s never asked me to do anything with my hair, never shown any interest in it, apart from one time when we went to a fancy-dress party and I slicked it back with oil. That was just because it was different, I think. He never asked me to do it again though.’
I watched Cheryl stand up and take a few steps towards a rack of hair products and pick a box.
‘This stuff?’ she asked.
I looked at the box.
‘Something like that.’
She’d already taken the bottle out of the box and opened it. I smelt the fragrance as soon as the top came off.
‘I use this sometimes, just as a change from moisturiser. That sinks in too quickly, but this gives me a nice little shine for that special occasion’ she smiled. Even before she’d finished the sentence, she’d poured some into the palm of her hand and was rubbing it over her scalp. The effect was instant, spectacular almost, in the way that her skin caught the light now. She was looking at me while she spread it around, massaging gently, almost playing with herself. She poured another generous handful into her palm. I looked at her glistening head. Surely that was enough already. She looked at me and took a step towards me. She reached towards me, just above me. I felt her hand on the top of my head, felt the sensation of liquid running down my skin. I looked up at her.
‘For your boyfriend’ she said, moving her hand slowly. The other hand poured more oil from the bottle directly onto my head. She put the bottle down and now both hands were working the oil through my hair, coating it. I pulled the sarong away from me to avoid any drips getting on it.
‘This doesn’t smell like the stuff that I used at home’ I said, enjoying her touch.
‘This is organic, gentle on your skin. It’s scented, but doesn’t have the sort of oily smell that some of these products do’ she said. I felt a drip on my shoulder.
‘Sorry. You might want to take that off for all the good that it’s doing you’ she said.
‘Won’t somebody come in?’
‘Not during siesta. I’ll go and lock the door though, just to make sure’ she said, picking up a towel as she went.
I looked in the mirror in front of me, my blonde hair darkened by the oil, slicked back off my face like a 1960’s gangster. I heard the sound of a shutter being drawn and then heard Cheryl coming back. I turned towards her, only to see her pause to undo the buttons down the front of her dress. By the time she’d reached me, her dress was in her hand and she was naked. I hadn’t paid too much attention to her when we’d seen her yesterday, but it’s difficult not to when someone’s standing in front of you without a stitch on. No tan-lines, no pubes. Just bronzed skin, full boobs and a prominent mound. I didn’t know where to look.
‘Your turn’ she said as if she was offering me a drink. What do you say to that?
She moved behind me and I felt fingers at the knot at my neck.
‘I think it’s time to take everything off, don’t you’ she said.
I didn’t really have much room to be bashful. I would probably struggle to convince a court that I was clothed, so I just let her carry on. I leaned forward to make it easier for her and then saw the reflection of my bare boobs in the mirror. My left boob disappeared out of sight under her hand. Not what I was expecting. She was barely touching me, circling her hand so that she had the lightest contact with the tip of my nipple. I closed my eyes, undoing the ties at either side of my bikini bottoms to save her the trouble. I pulled them from under me and held them up as proof that I was as naked as her, if not as tanned.
She was stroking my head, sculpting my oiled hair. Her touch was sending shudders through me. I wanted to touch myself. I rested a hand on my thigh. She knew. She turned the chair so that I was facing her. She sat on the very edge of the styling chair at the next station and fixed my gaze. I was faced with a woman whose legs were spread as wide as they would go, one who had just licked a finger suggestively, before inserting that finger inside herself. Rick was innocently nursing a coffee across the road. If only he knew. I didn’t know what to do.
‘Do you really think I’d mind if you have a little play yourself?’ she asked with a dirty smile. ‘Show me’ she added.
‘I’m not used to this’ I said uneasily.
‘Just pretend that you’re home alone’ she said, raising the stakes with a second finger. I slid forward on the chair to make it easier. I couldn’t believe that I was exposing my most secret place to a woman that I’d only met within the past hour. She was watching me. I closed my eyes and pressed the “Start” button. It was no good, I had to open them again, to see if she was still watching me or was pre-occupied with herself. She was watching me, smiling. She was off the chair, on her knees, her hand gripping my wrist lightly, moving it away. I looked down at the back of her head, felt the first touch of her tongue. Oh fuck! My instinct was to grip her head, but it was too slippery. I ran my hands over it, losing myself in the sensations that were firing through me. I caressed her, she licked me for what seemed like eternity, I came.
‘That was a first!’ I said, trying to compose myself.
Cheryl was back in her chair, looking pleased with herself. She licked her lips.
‘Really? First time with a woman I hope, rather than first time getting eaten’ she said.
‘First time with a woman. Otherwise Christmas and birthdays without fail’ I confessed.
‘You need to do something about that, girl’ she said, standing up.
She stood in front of me, hand held out expectantly. I took it gingerly, allowing her to guide my fingers to her slick mound. She moved my fingertips for me, using them to brush her skin lightly.
‘If you close your eyes, you could imagine that that’s your head you’re feeling’ she said. ‘Would you like that?’
It was so smooth. She guided my fingers to the top of her slit, somewhere that I’d never imagined that I’d be with any woman. Even when Rick suggested that we should watch some porn, I never felt drawn to lesbian stuff. However, the memory of feeling myself knuckle deep in another woman’s wetness might colour my judgement if he asks me in future.
‘It’s so smooth’ I said, not really answering the question.
Her hand went to my head. She leant in for a lingering kiss, allowing me to taste myself. She drew back from me, breaking all contact.
‘That man of yours will be wondering what we’re doing’ she said.
‘He’d never guess in a million years’ I said, still surprised at what I’d done.
‘Let’s do what you came here for, shall we?’ she said.
‘I was sort of hoping you’d forgotten’ I laughed.
‘Get in the chair’ she said with a playful tap of my backside.
I was faced with the strange version of myself again. Naked, hair slicked back, cheeks flushed. My eyes kept being drawn to Cheryl’s tanned form. I forced myself to focus on the matter in hand.
‘I can almost imagine myself with a buzz cut’ I said.
‘That’s good’ Cheryl said.
I looked again at my sleek hair. It was totally impractical, but I liked it. Maybe I should’ve done it more often. I moved my attention to Cheryl, waiting for her to produce the clippers, wondering what it’d feel like. I wondered what Rick would say when he saw me, wondered what people back home would say. Would it suit me? Cheryl had turned away, presenting me with a backside that she had no right to have at her age. I hoped that I’d be so lucky. She’d opened a drawer and then closed it again.
‘Right’ she said, positioning herself behind me. She had fingers either side of my head, positioning it. I could see her holding something, but it wasn’t big enough to be a set of clippers. I’d seen those hanging up in the salon that I go to and they’re a handful. I looked more closely.
‘I thought you were doing a buzz cut’ I said, as realisation dawned.
‘I can’t use the clippers with all this oil. On the other hand, it’s perfect for doing this, so just hold still for me’ she said.
‘But you’re shaving it, straight off?’
‘We need to get a move on or people will wonder why the door’s not open. Your man will think I’ve abducted you.’
‘Can’t you just wash the oil out?’
‘I could, but then you’d miss out on this’ she said.
“This” just happened to be a cut-throat razor, or whatever you call them, being deftly drawn across the top of my head. I felt nothing, but in its wake was a wide patch of nothingness. My oiled hair had put up no resistance, choosing instead to just slide off my head to tumble behind me. Cheryl paused to look at me in the mirror for a moment.
‘Trust me, you’ll look great’ she said.
‘You’ve not left me much choice’ I said with a nervous laugh. ‘God knows what Rick’ll say.’ I couldn’t take my eyes off the interruption in my hairline. It was like a broken fence rail in a long stretch.
‘If he doesn’t like it, just you give me a call. Tony and I will be only too happy to appreciate it, if you know what I mean.’ I think I did.
The razor swept in again, its destructive arc removing any doubt about what was happening to me. She’d removed my clothes and now she was removing my hair. It wouldn’t have won any awards for style or anything, but it was all I’d ever known. I did my best to look after it and now it was being consigned to the floor, strands clinging together to form oily clumps.
‘You’ve done this before, I can tell.’
‘I’ve shaved a lot of heads, but I’ve not done it like this before.’
‘So I’m a guinea pig?’
‘I wouldn’t say that. You’re a very attractive woman, who’s about to become even more attractive’ she said.
‘I bet you say that to all the girls’ I laughed. The front part of my scalp was hairless now, making me look like something out of a sci-fi film.
‘Not all of them’ she replied.
‘I’d best not ask’ I chuckled.
‘You can ask, but my lips are sealed’ she replied, before realising what she’d said. We both laughed.
She changed her stance to improve her angle of attack. Or so I thought. She went over my widened forehead, but then I was conscious of the razor moving downwards. She wiped an oily finger across my eyebrow and then I felt the razor poised.
‘No, not that. Leave me something, please?’ I said in a panic.
‘Don’t worry. I’m just taming them a little bit’ she assured me.
‘You had me worried for a moment’ I said.
‘It looks a bit weird to have bushy eyebrows with a bald head. It smacks of desperation’ she chuckled.
‘I was thinking that I could back-comb them.’
‘In that case, I’ll take them off completely’ she said.
‘No, don’t, I’m only joking.’
‘I think you’ll find that you’ll shave them off yourself before long.’
‘Is that what you do?’
‘Most of the time. Then I just draw them back on. Sometimes I let them grow a little. Same as down here’ she gestured. ‘Sometimes I grow it out into a landing strip, just for a change. I don’t think there’s anything worse than being predictable for your man. You have to keep him on his toes’ she said.
‘Haircuts and relationship counselling. The full-service salon’ I joked.
‘I thought I’d already proved that, but if you need more convincing…’
‘You know what? I’ve changed my mind. Who needs eyebrows anyway?’ I said, surprising myself.
She didn’t need to be asked twice. The considered approach became a short series of insistent strokes, repeated on the other side. She paused to let me look at myself. I laughed nervously.
‘Ooooh shit! Maybe that wasn’t such a good idea’ I said, instantly regretting my enthusiasm of only moments ago.
‘Don’t worry. I’ll draw you some before you go.’
‘Thank you. This might be a bit too much for him to take in at the same time’ I said, still looking at the strange creature staring back at me.
I found myself stroking the inside of her thigh, just above her knee. I pulled my hand away when I realised what I was doing.
‘Feel free, it’s just best not to do it while I’m actually shaving you though.’
She held the razor where I could see it, poised for action, giving me an opportunity. I ran the back of my index finger down her mound and followed the curve to her lips. Warm and wet.
‘Sorry, but I could see an opening, so to speak’ I laughed, taking my fingers away.
‘My pleasure!’ she replied, waving the razor at me. I folded my hands in my lap and let her continue.
She was round the back now, sliding and scraping almost imperceptibly. The result was only too obvious though. I could feel each hank hit my bare back on its way to the floor. My thoughts about the change in my appearance were tempered by thoughts of what I’d like to do with Cheryl. Just the two of us. Thoughts of monster cocks had been banished by the temptation of softness and curves. What would it be like to put my head between her legs?
She pushed my head down and carried on clearing the back of my head. There can’t be much left now.
‘Head up for me’ she said after a few more strokes.
‘Wow!’ I said, angling my head this way and that.
‘That’s some buzz cut’ I commented.
‘Well, yeah. We could’ve done that, but there’s no way I was going to let you out of here with any hair on your head.’
‘Your revenge for being stalked’ I chuckled.
‘Not at all. I’m flattered. Now, let’s get you washed and ready to send back to that boyfriend of yours.’
‘What if I said that I didn’t want to go back to him’ I said tentatively.
‘I’d say that you haven’t got much choice’ she laughed.
‘I’d rather stay here with you’ I said, letting my index finger burrow between her legs.
She looked at me.
‘What have I done?’ she said with mock-horror. ‘I’ve created a monster!’
‘I think I’ve acquired a new taste’ I said, retrieving my finger and licking it deliberately.
‘That’s all very well, but I’ve got another client in about twenty minutes.’
‘Yes, really. Very conservative too, so I doubt she’ll appreciate it if I open the door looking like this.’
‘Oh, I don’t know. Maybe you’ll have the same effect on her that you’ve had on me.’
‘She’s in her sixties, so I’ll pass, if that’s okay’ Cheryl chuckled. She ran a hand over my head. ‘I just want to do this again with shaving foam quickly, if that’s okay?’
‘You mean I’ve still got some hair left?’
‘It’ll just give you the perfect finish for your first time.’
I shrugged, wondering just how much she could do in twenty minutes.
She produced a can of shaving cream and squirted it on my scalp. Her fingers went to work again, spreading the foam leisurely, in spite of the impending arrival of her next client. I just let myself wallow in the sensations that she was triggering. My eyes closed and I drifted away.
It seemed like no time at all before she was wiping my head with a towel, bringing me back from wherever I’d slipped away to. I couldn’t see any difference when I looked at myself in the mirror, but I trusted her assurance that it was worth the effort. There I was, bald and browless. Strange, alien, exotic.
Cheryl went away briefly, but then was back, holding what I took to be an eye-pencil aloft. I was surprised at how much I liked to look at her. I’d only ever been a “man’s woman”, yet here I was, getting turned on by seeing another woman naked. I loved the shape of her boobs, loved the gentle slope of her belly, her ripe mound that promised so much, but that I hadn’t had the chance to explore. Rick could’ve been a million miles away for all I cared at that moment. I cursed the woman who was about to bring this all to a shuddering halt in a few minutes.
My head was tilted back slightly, Cheryl’s face close to mine, a study in concentration while she sketched replacement eyebrows for me. I wanted to touch her, stroke her, feel her.
She kissed my forehead. Kissed me on the lips, her tongue slipping inside my mouth. I was running my hand up the back of her leg. Then she pulled away.
‘That’s all we’ve got time for, folks!’ she said.
‘I was just starting to like that’ I said.
‘You’ve got a boyfriend and I’ve got a customer’ she replied, putting the pencil down.
She moved behind me, presenting her work for approval, a proper hairdresser again, apart from the lack of clothes.
I looked at the thinnest of lines that she’d drawn above each eye.
‘Not much lead in your pencil?’ I asked.
‘Plenty, but that’s how I like them best’ she replied.
I watched her backside as she turned to retrieve her dress. She put it on, pulling it closed around her, but then threw the two sides apart to give me a quick flash before closing it again and starting on the buttons. That meant that I needed to get my bikini back on, for all the good that it did. I stood up, but felt compelled to stoop so that I could look at myself in the mirror again. I ran a hand over my scalp. There was absolutely no evidence that my “soccer mom” hair had ever been there, it was so smooth. She came closer and put her hands on my hips.
‘You’re beautiful’ she said.
‘So are you’ I answered, my hands now holding her firm buttocks.
We kissed again, both having the same idea of stroking the other’s smooth head before reluctantly breaking the kiss to look into each other’s eyes.
‘Before you do anything, go to the pharmacy and get the strongest sunscreen that you can find, otherwise you’ll burn before you get to the beach.
‘Can I see you again?’ I said, like a love-struck teenager.
‘Professionally? Make an appointment. Unprofessionally? I’ll give you my number and we’ll see if we can make it happen’ she said with a smile.
‘I’d want you to be as unprofessional as you can’ I smiled.
‘What do you take me for?’ she asked, the middle finger of her right hand nestled the full length of my pussy lips.
I could only sigh.
‘I need to clean up’ she said, breaking our hold.
I took her hand and lifted it to my lips. She held out her finger for me to lick. I gazed deep into her eyes, realising that my world had changed.
‘Time to go’ she said.
She gave me her number on the way out and I found myself having to walk away without looking back. I looked across at the cafe. Rick wasn’t there in the window. I looked down the street. A woman was hurrying towards me. Cheryl’s next client, eager not to be late? I looked the other way and could see Rick at the corner, leaning against the wall, concentrating on an ice-cream cone.
The movement in his peripheral vision caused him to look in my direction. His attention went back to his ice-cream and then a nano-second later he was looking at me again. He’d realised what he was looking at. Me, but not as he knew me. He started to walk towards me. I smiled, trying to remove any trace of the nerves that were coursing through me. Cheryl had given me confidence in the salon, but I was out in the world now, yards from the boyfriend who’d set me on this path. I was confused. I wanted to be in the salon with Cheryl, exploring her, exploring myself and whatever I’d become.
Rick stopped, letting me complete the narrowing of the distance between us. Physically, I could do it, but mentally? That was more difficult.
‘Look at you!’ he said. Not quite the gushing appreciation that I needed just then.
‘Couldn’t you have waited?’ I asked, nodding towards the half-finished cone in his hand.
‘I did wait, but there’s only so long that you can nurse an empty coffee cup before they start to give you funny looks.’
‘I’m sorry. I didn’t realise how long I was in there.’
‘You went for it then?’
I shrugged. I didn’t see the point in confirming the blindingly obvious.
‘Do you want one?’ he asked, holding his cone up.
‘I need to get some strong sunscreen before I burn’ I said, putting a hand to my head.
We started walking.
We were back on the beach. My head was covered in a couple of coats of Factor “As-high-as-you-can-get” sunscreen. Rick was reading. He hadn’t said anything else about my bald head. Not that he liked it, not that it wasn’t what he thought it would be. Nothing.
I lay there, not wanting to be there anymore. I wanted to cry.
When Rick had had enough, we headed back to the villa. My first port of call was the shower, where I stood under the jet for far longer than I needed to. It was a good place to think, to reflect on the events of the day. By the time that I was towelling myself dry, I knew that Rick and I were done. It wasn’t just about his reaction to me being bald, or lack of it, it was an accumulation of little things. We could keep on going, but it was probably kinder to put an end to “us” sooner, rather than later.
I don’t want to bore you with the detail of what happened next. We had the “chat”. We both cried. We both knew that it was the right thing to do. We decided that Rick would go home as planned the next day and that I would stay on for a few days to give him chance to move out before I got back. We knew that there were people due to have the villa straight after us, but I managed to get a room in a hotel in town. It would do.
I couldn’t bear to wave Rick off when he got the taxi to the airport. It would be too difficult. I still loved him, but it just wasn’t right.
So, I’m in a hotel. In a family holiday resort on my own. Great!
The first thing that I did when I got to the hotel was to throw all of my “pussy hammock” bikinis in the bin. They weren’t me. It’s not that I’m a prude, but they were so “Rick”. I went to town and bought bikinis that were more suitable, bought a swimsuit that was high-cut, but stylish. I could walk to the pool feeling good, safe in the knowledge that I hadn’t got a flap hanging out.
I was determined to create a new routine. I wasn’t going to go to the beach. I wasn’t going to stroll through town looking for somewhere to eat. I’d eat in the hotel. In the evening, rather than at lunchtime. I needed things to be different.
I resisted the pull of my phone until mid-afternoon, but then could hold off no longer.
I scrolled through my contacts until I got to “Cheryl”.
“Fancy a coffee?” I keyed.
I hesitated before sending it, but then took a deep breath and did the deed. I lay back on the lounger, trying not to let thoughts of Rick intrude. Had he got back okay? What was he going to do? Where would he go? I wasn’t very successful in my attempts not to think about him. Had I made a mistake?
My phone chirped. My stomach leapt. Like a teenager with a crush. I reached for my phone.
“Can you get away?” I read.
“Long story. He’s gone home. I haven’t.”
I lay back down and waited. And waited. Then the ping came.
“So sorry. Busy day. Join us for dinner tonight?”
I stared at the message. “us”. I hadn’t expected that. “Us”. I wanted “me”. Wishful thinking.
“Lovely” I keyed. My stomach flipped again.
We made arrangements. She texted me her address and before I knew it, I was getting out of the taxi and looking at a pretty, secluded villa on the outskirts of town. The door opened before I made it half-way up the path.
She hugged me tightly, which is what I realised was exactly what I needed. I was pleased that my summer dress wasn’t out of place. I went in and she introduced me to Tony, who I recognised from our brief encounter in town.
They suited each other and were perfect hosts. Tony got me a glass of wonderfully chilled wine and we sat on plush armchairs in their covered courtyard, looking at a grove of olive trees. It had all the elements for a perfect evening, except that I wanted a heart-to-heart with someone rather than having to be polite. There was no hiding the fact that Cheryl had shaved my head, but had she told Tony what else we’d done. Told him about our “unfinished business”. That’s what it was, as far as I was concerned and however genial a host Tony was, I couldn’t see me cosying up to his wife while he was there.
Cheryl apologised that she hadn’t had time to prepare a proper meal, but the cold platter of local produce was the tastiest food that I’d had since arriving in the resort. I savoured the wine, but was conscious that the pace was slow. This wasn’t going to be a boozy evening, by any means.
It became clear that Tony had been briefed. There were no questions about what my husband/boyfriend/partner did. Conversation was light and flowed easily. Nobody mentioned my shaved head, just as you wouldn’t really expect a discussion on your hairstyle at a “normal” social gathering. Rick was far from my thoughts.
‘I hope you won’t think of me as rude, but I’m going to have to leave you ladies, if that’s alright’ Tony said. He drained his glass and put his napkin on the table.
‘There’s a match that he wants to watch’ Cheryl informed me.
‘Enjoy!’ I called after him.
I looked at Cheryl. Cheryl looked at me.
‘Thank you for having me’ I said.
‘It’s a pleasure. I’m just sorry that things have worked out the way that they have.’
‘It was on the cards. Nothing to do with this’ I joked, pointing to my head.
‘Didn’t he like it?’
‘That’s the strange thing. He didn’t say, one way or the other. He went on a quest to get another look at you, but when it was handed to him on a plate, it was almost as if he didn’t know what to do.’
‘Maybe it wasn’t a secret, guilty pleasure anymore?’
‘I really don’t know. It’s like giving someone a present and then having them throw it back in your face.’
‘Is that why you came in? For him?’
‘It wouldn’t have crossed my mind if he hadn’t noticed you, but I don’t think that’s why. Obviously, what you said in the coffee shop put it front and centre, but I think I was just curious to see what would happen.’
‘Is that why you wanted to meet for coffee?’
‘I don’t know. It’s all a bit up in the air at the moment. I don’t know anyone here. I can’t really go somewhere on my own and sit without being pestered.’
‘So you texted me because you didn’t have anything else?’
‘God no, that’s not it. I texted you because it got a bit rushed in the salon.’
‘What did you want to happen, if we hadn’t been rushed?’
‘I don’t know. Now you say it like that, I feel a bit silly. I shouldn’t have come’ I said, flustered.
‘I’m glad you did’ she said, putting a comforting hand over mine. ‘You know, Tony wouldn’t usually leave guests to watch football. I asked him to’ she said. She put her napkin on the table and stood up.
‘You didn’t have to do that’ I said.
‘I thought you’d be more comfortable if he wasn’t here.’
She was undoing the buttons on her dress, just like in the salon. I looked at her aghast.
‘But Tony…’ I said, as the two sides of the dress parted and she slid it off her shoulders. She was naked underneath it. Didn’t this woman do underwear?
‘Don’t worry about him’ she said.
My eyes were fixed on the gold chain that was strung between her nipples. She smiled at me.
‘That’s better’ she said, sitting back down.
‘I didn’t expect that’ I said, taking a sip of wine.
‘Tony and I don’t bother much with clothes.’
‘I can see that’ I chuckled.
‘We like our guests to be comfortable though, so don’t feel that you need to’ she said. The perfect hostess.
‘You’re a bit more easy-going than I’m used to’ I said, still unsure.
‘It’s the sun, the way of life. It just makes you want to let your hair down’ she laughed.
‘I would if I could’ I replied.
‘You’re not at home now. You can do anything you want.’
‘I think I’d shock myself if I did what I want.’
‘Don’t let me stop you’ she said with a little touch of her chain.
‘Nice necklace, by the way’ I joked, with a nod towards the chain across her chest. She smiled.
I took a deep breath. She was watching me, waiting. I was far from home. Newly single. Newly confused about my sexuality. I slid forward on my chair and, obscured by the table, pulled the hem of my dress up and my knickers down. I worked my shoes through the leg-holes and held my knickers aloft. Cheryl smiled.
I half stood and eased the chair back from the table before positioning myself so that I was perched above the seat, legs spread, hooked over the arms of the chair so that I didn’t topple.
‘I take it that isn’t something you do at home?’ Cheryl said.
‘Never’ I replied, easing my lips apart with my fingers. I didn’t have the excuse of being drunk, but here I was displaying myself like a peacock. Cheryl took a sip of wine.
‘Tony’ll be disappointed to have missed this’ she said.
‘I’m sure he’s enjoying his football’ I laughed, easing myself up carefully. ‘Anyway, there’s something that I didn’t get round to last time’ I said as I eased off the chair and moved round to her side of the table.
I slipped my dress off and knelt down, placing my hands on her knees. I eased them apart and looked up at her. She shuffled forward to make it easier for me.
‘Another first’ I said as I dipped my head.
It was the opposite of everything that I’m used to. Instead of hardness there was just lush, succulent softness. Leaves instead of stem. No need for warning signs about “Choke hazards”. I licked her, nibbled her, tasted her. Felt her fingers playing on my scalp, stroking my baldness. I felt liquid, felt the change of sensation. There was no sense of urgency, no client about to appear, we could just enjoy each other.
Cheryl came, pressing my head into her, both hands gripping me. I lapped some more and then eased back to look up at her. She was smiling.
‘You’re a natural’ she said, stroking me. I looked at her fingers. Wet, but not from her. She held one out for me to taste. It took me a moment. Olive oil. From the condiment set that was still on the table from dinner. That was what she’d put on my head.
‘Hope you don’t mind. There’s just something about a slippery scalp that really does it for me.’
I touched the clip on her left nipple and ran my finger along the chain to reach her other nipple. I was staring deep into her eyes while letting my hand slide down her body. I watched her expression as I slid my fingers inside her, felt her tighten her muscles. There wasn’t any need for words. Our eyes were locked while I finger fucked her. I think I was watching her to see if there were any signs that I wasn’t doing it right and she was watching me to see the expression of delight at my new discovery. That’s what I told myself anyway.
Everything told me I was doing fine. Her breathing was getting harder, her silent urging getting more desperate. I was going as fast as I could. Her eyes widened, she gripped my arm. Success! I planted a kiss on her mound and sat back on my heels, just watching her.
‘I don’t believe you’ve never done that before’ she said.
‘Not for someone else’ I confessed.
‘There’s a shower over there?’ she suggested, looking towards the outdoor shower at the end of the pool. Each of us took a swallow of wine before we went.
We embraced as we stood under the jet, bonded by what we’d just done. We washed each other, kissed, explored each other. It wasn’t the first time that I’d cum in a shower, but it was certainly the best.
There were towels in a storage box to the side of the shower, so we could dry ourselves (and each other) without having to go indoors. For the first time, the idea of being seen by the neighbours struck me, but a good look around me was sufficient reassurance. I’d known that it was reasonably secluded, but there’s no knowing who’s got binoculars or a telescope.
Cheryl looked at me and smiled complicitly. We headed back to the patio to get dressed. I picked up my knickers and put them in my bag, much to Cheryl’s approval. I slipped my dress on and was back to respectability in a matter of seconds.
‘I’ll do your eyebrows for you when we go in’ Cheryl offered.’
‘Thanks and thank you for tonight’ I said. ‘It’s just what I needed to take my mind off things.’
‘My pleasure’ she laughed.
‘I don’t know what I’m going to tell my mother’ I said.
Cheryl looked at me and then realised that I was only joking.
I helped carry in what was left of our meal, smiling at how normal it all seemed now. Husband watching football, wife clearing up in the kitchen. It was the bit in between that would raise eyebrows. Speaking of which…
Cheryl sat me on a stool and popped to her bedroom to get an eye pencil. She assumed the role of department store make-up salesgirl, painting me back to normality.
‘I haven’t actually asked you what made you shave your head’ I ventured.
‘Funny that. We haven’t really talked that much, have we, for some reason. I did it a couple of years ago after we’d been here for a while. I just got sick of it, turning a quick dip in the pool into a chore. I got one of the girls to just crop it for me, but that didn’t make too much of a difference. Somebody joked about me buzzing it, which I did, but I just did it shorter and shorter each time until I just decided to take the lot off.’
‘You obviously liked it.’
‘It was so liberating. I had to be careful in the sun at first, just like you, but I got used to it.’
‘Wasn’t Tony shocked?’
‘Not really. We’d settled into a new way of life here, we’d consciously decided to be more casual, more adventurous than we’d been back home, so he took it in the right spirit.’
‘And he’s never suggested that you grow it back?’
‘He’s got used to it. He can see the advantages.’
‘But he’s not done it himself?’
He has. Sometimes the urge takes him and he just tells me to run the clippers over his head. He’s in a shaggy phase at the moment, but it’ll come off before too long, I’m sure.’
‘Do you prefer him bald?’
‘I think he looks better bald, but it’s entirely up to him really.’
Just then, I heard a door opening.
‘Good game?’ Cheryl called out before she could actually see him.
‘We won, you can’t get any better than that. Anyway, how about you ladies? Had fun catching up?’
‘It’s been a lovely evening’ I said. ‘Thank you so much for having me.’ I wondered whether he actually knew. Had he popped out of his room at half-time and come into the kitchen to get a drink? He would’ve seen us. There was a certain thrill in that.
‘Nightcap?’ he suggested.
‘I’d best not, but thank you’ I said.
Cheryl rang for a taxi and before I knew it, it was hugs and kisses on the cheek from each of them. Cheryl walked me to the end of their path to wait for the taxi.
‘If you’ve got nothing better to do, text me tomorrow’ she said, with a friendly squeeze of my arm.
‘I’ll have to see how embarrassed I am when I wake up’ I chuckled.
The taxi came into view, bringing the conversation to a close. Just as I opened the car door, she leant in to me and whispered in my ear. ‘I’d love to watch Tony fuck you’ she said.
I was speechless and got into the car, only having time for a quick wave before the driver spun the car around. Her words flew around my head as we drove, mixing with memories of an extraordinary evening.