Opening Up

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Part 1 – Suzy’s story

 

It felt so strange to walk down a street and see people again. It wasn’t the same hustle and bustle as before the lockdown, but there was enough people about to make it seem like life would eventually return to something close to normal. On the plus-side, there was no chance of getting shoulder-bumped as you walked and you could almost see people planning the best route to navigate round any other person in their path to allow a decent degree of clearance.

I wondered how that was going to work once I got back to the salon. With the best will in the world, a hairdresser has to be in the ‘danger zone’ to do their job. In days gone by, the only risk that would’ve entailed would have been some lecherous guy with wandering hands. Now the risk was invisible and the perpetrator would be long-gone by the time any ill-effect was apparent. Life was so much simpler when you could deal with things with a sharp word, a slap or just an old-fashioned more severe haircut than had been asked for.

I knocked on the salon door and waited. Laura had asked me to come in for a chat about her plans to re-open the salon once lockdown was over. Ultimately, it was her salon, so she could do what she liked, but I was pleased that she felt she could turn to me for an opinion. I’d worked for her for nearly three years, so I liked to think that I’d earned her trust by now. In the “good old days”, she’d left me in charge while she went on holiday – who knew when that was likely to happen again.

She opened the door and stood back.

‘Hi Suzy’ she said with a smile. ‘Long time, no see.’

Hi Laura’ I replied, entering the salon while she stood further back from the door. ‘We’re not quite at the “air-kiss greeting” stage, are we?’

‘Sadly not. Lovely to see you again anyway.’

We walked through the empty salon and climbed the stairs to her office. It all seemed wrong somehow. I was used to the place humming with activity and conversation, but it was silent and bereft. I was pleased to see that there was coffee waiting.

‘This is so much better than staring at you through a screen’ she said, handing me a coffee.

‘Absolutely’ I replied, still trying to grasp the significance of being in the same room as someone who was technically an “outsider”. We’d chatted on and off since the salon had to close, so we didn’t have much need to catch-up on what had been happening. The purpose of this get-together was symbolic as much as anything. It meant that we were close to getting back to what we wanted to be doing.

‘Have you decided when you’re going to re-open?’ I asked, taking a sip of my coffee.

‘That’s what I wanted to chat about. My gut-feeling is that we should be fairly low-key. I’m thinking of opening the doors on Thursday if we get the go-ahead, but I’m not actually going to make a big song-and-dance about it. I want to wait until next week before I send out emails to the regulars and just start out with a couple of you in. If we get swamped, I’ll call Jenny and Max in. How does that sound?’

‘So it’ll just be me and Dani?’

‘That’s what I was thinking, but it depends.’

‘On?’ I prompted after an undue pause.

‘I’m thinking about a re-launch without a re-launch, if that makes sense’ she said. I waited for her to continue. I could feel her eyes examining me.

‘People have changed while they’ve been cooped up. We’ve all had time to think, time to re-assess ourselves’ she explained. This was starting to sound more profound than hairdressing should be. I nodded and waited for the big-reveal.

‘There’s been loads of people on social media chopping their hair off for one reason or another’ she said ponderously. I wondered where she was going with this. ‘I thought that maybe we should be looking to cater to them, people who were maybe long-haired people, but who want to stay short. People who didn’t want to go short under their own steam, but now want to give it a go, if it’s done professionally, that sort of thing’ she said, pleased to have got to the end of her proposal.

I pondered for a second. What she seemed to be saying was that we should cater for people who wanted to cut their hair. In a hair salon. Radical! Was I missing the point?

‘Don’t you think that people would want to distance themselves from anything that reminds them of the lockdown?’ I ventured, wondering if I was being too controversial.

‘Maybe, but don’t you think the whole thing has made people think differently about themselves?’

I’d never realised that she was so concerned about how other people thought.

‘Possibly’ I replied, firmly on the fence. ‘What had you got in mind?’ The ball went sailing over the net and firmly into her court.

‘Well, I think we need to project a different image as a salon. We’ve got four stylists about the same age, all attractive women, if I’m allowed to say that these days. And all four have long, glossy hair, like we’re in a shampoo commercial or something.’

I looked at her own collar-length bob, clearly in need of a maintenance cut, which I suspect was the real reason behind the request for me to come in today. I sat there, the guilty bearer of long, dark hair, that I sometimes wished was jet black, but had never had the heart to go through with it. I waited for her to continue.

‘I want some variety, want people to feel welcome, even if their own hair isn’t as impressive as yours, for whatever reason.’

‘So does that mean you’re bringing someone else in?’ I asked, wondering how that would work. The four of us stylists got on well and adding someone new to the mix might upset the balance.

‘Preferably not. I want one of you to specialise in the short stuff, like a new department type-thing’ she said.

‘So a barber really?’

‘I’d rather think of it as a short-hair specialist’ Laura replied.

‘Okay. What happens if none of us want to do it?’

‘Let’s see shall we?’ Laura replied with a wry smile.

‘So who’ve you got in mind for it?’ I asked.

She looked at me, the smile still present.

‘Me?’ I asked, pointing to my chest in surprise.

‘Why not?’

‘I don’t know. I like what I do, I suppose.’

‘Why not give it a go and see what you think? You never know, you might like it.’

‘But I thought you wanted to get away from the four long-haired stylists’ I observed, realising the obvious, even before I’d reached the end of my sentence. ‘You want me to cut my hair?’ I added.

‘That’s why I asked you, apart from the fact that you’re great with the clippers. You’d look so good if you went short’ she said.

I reached up to my neck as if to reassure my hair that I would protect and defend it with all my being.

‘I don’t think I’ve ever had hair that showed my neck’ I said.

‘Now’s your chance’ Laura replied as if she were suggesting something that I’d always wanted to do, but had never had the opportunity.

‘Can’t I do it without cutting my hair?’ I offered.

‘That would spoil the image I want to create.’

‘Shouldn’t we get a feel for how it’s going first?’ I continued.

‘I want to set our stall out from the moment that door opens. I want to put posters up, have an introductory offer, you know. So we need to be ready to come out of the starting blocks.’

‘That doesn’t leave you much time if none of us want to do it.’

‘Which is why I’ve asked you. I’ve been thinking about bringing you in to the business more and this would be a first step.’

‘I’m flattered. You mean being a partner?’

‘Not from day one, but you’ll certainly see your pay go up and then once we’re up and running, we can make it more formal.’

She was looking at me again.

‘I need to talk to Kev’ I said. ‘After all, he has to look at me’ I said, trying to make light of the situation.

‘By all means. I’ll need time to talk to the others if you don’t want to do it though’ she said.

‘No pressure then’ I joked.

‘I’d hate to think that you feel pressured. I hadn’t actually expected to be able to open the salon just yet, so it’s caught me by surprise too’ she confessed. I nodded, trying to appear sympathetic, but actually trying to picture myself without my long hair.

‘I’ll let you know once we’ve talked it through’ I promised.

‘Please’ she replied. She drained her cup and put it down. Our meeting was apparently over. I picked up my bag and made to leave.

‘I’ll be in touch’ I said, still expecting her to ask me to trim her bob. She smiled a goodbye and I headed for the door, my mind whirring.

All the way home, I tried to imagine myself with short hair, tried to convince myself of the benefits, in the same way that I’d done with various clients over the years. Low maintenance, wash-and-go, all that sort of stuff. Except that it was a different kettle of fish when you were the one faced with the choice. I thought about the way that Kev would stroke my hair if we were in a cinema or somewhere like that. Was it because he liked my hair or was it just some sort of comfort gesture? He occasionally gave my hair a tug when we were in bed, but he didn’t make a point of it. He just sort of got caught up in the moment, as far as I could tell. Would he miss it? Would I miss it? Was I of an age (mid-thirties) where I should be thinking of going shorter anyway?

It was down to my bra-strap, so I could lose a few inches and still feel it brush my shoulders the way that it always had. Was I just being a big girl?

By the time that I’d pulled up on the drive, I realised that Laura hadn’t actually said what sort of style she’d got in mind and I hadn’t had the presence
of mind to ask. That was sort of important for what I was about to say to Kev. I pulled my phone out of my bag, still sitting in the car.

‘Hi Laura’ I said when she answered. ‘You had me so surprised that I didn’t actually ask you what you had in mind’ I said, without feeling any need for pleasantries given that I’d only left her ten minutes before.

‘Same as me, dear. Well, maybe a little shorter since you’ll be the face of that part of the salon’ she replied.

‘Really?’ I replied.

‘Really. Think of it as confirmation of our partnership’ she said.

Ok, thanks. I’ll let you know.’

‘Please’ she said.

We ended the call and I took a deep breath. Maybe it wasn’t so bad after all. I needed a drink.

Kev was surprised to see me back so soon. I think he thought that I’d gone off to broker world peace or something, rather than to have a chat with the boss of a hair salon. I poured us a glass of wine, disgraceful so early in the day, but absolutely necessary. We sat in the kitchen and I told him what was on offer.

‘So, she’s offering to go into business with you if you go for the corporate image, is that it?’ he said in the matter-of-fact way that he has.

‘It’s hardly a corporate image. It’s a small hair salon in an insignificant town, that’s all.’

‘But that’s what it comes down to, isn’t it. She wants to create an image for her business and you’re the cheerleader for that new business.’

‘Cheerleader? Have you been watching porn again?’

‘You know I like ’em a bit more mature’ he said, ducking to avoid the swipe that was coming his way.

‘So you think I should do it, is that what you’re saying?’

‘It’ll grow back. Be interesting to see the colour of her money first though.’

‘That’s just it. She wants it from day one, so that the brand is already there.’

‘Makes sense, I suppose.’

‘So you don’t care if I cut my hair?’

‘Whoa! I didn’t say that’ he replied quickly.

‘So you do care?’

‘I think I’ve just strayed into a minefield’ he said sheepishly. ‘I like your hair the way it is, but I’ll like it however you wear it, because it’s part of you.’

I looked at him. ‘Coward’ I said, punching his arm with a big smile.

‘Did I pass?’ he asked.

‘You survived, but mind where you tread’ I joked, finishing my wine. Much as I wanted another, that really would’ve been bad!

I picked up my phone and looked at Kev.

‘So I’m doing this?’ I asked.

‘If you want’ he replied. He saw my expression. Wrong answer. He leant forward and kissed me. Right answer. I called Laura, my gaze fixed on my man.

‘Hi Laura’ I said when she picked up.

‘Hi Suzy’ she said, sounding distracted.

‘Yes’ I said.

‘That’s wonderful’ she replied, sounding more engaged now.

‘Do you want me to ring Dani?’

‘Don’t worry about that’ I’ll sort it’ she said.

‘When were you thinking?’

‘I’m still in the salon if you wanted to pop back’ she said, catching me slightly off-guard.

‘Erm, sure. I can do that’ I said, trying to sound more accommodating than I felt.

‘See you when I see you then’ she said.

The call ended. ‘She wants me to go back in’ I said to Kev hesitantly.

‘No time like the present’ he said, wrapping me in his arms. I felt him stroke my hair.

‘Don’t or I won’t go’ I said, realisation dawning. He released me and stole a quick kiss.

‘Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do’ he said, slapping my backside as I turned away. I picked up my keys from the hall table and headed for the door.

I turned the music up in the car. I didn’t want to think about what was coming, I just wanted the sound to force anything else out. I parked the car and cut through the alley to the main street for the second time today and then experienced groundhog day when I got to the salon door.

Laura ushered me in and locked the door again behind me.

‘Dani not here yet?’ I asked.

‘I’ve not rung her’ Laura replied. That wasn’t going to give her much time to get here, even if she did only live a couple of miles away, I thought.

I followed her down the salon, towards the stairs to her office, but she stopped abruptly by one of the styling stations, nearly causing me to canon into her. I tried to look gracious as I took a step back. She looked at me, smiled and sat down.

‘I thought that I’d be your first customer’ she said, making herself comfortable. That took me by surprise.

‘Yeah, fine’ I said. ‘I thought that there’d be a separate section for the launch’ I said, tucking my bag out of harm’s way.

‘I was thinking along those lines, but then I thought that it might be better if you worked in amongst everyone else. Sort of cross-pollination, you know.

Maybe someone will be sitting there getting their “usual” and see something that they might like to try.’

‘Subtle’ I replied, picking a gown off the hook and swirling it around her. I don’t know why, but there’s always something about cutting the boss’s hair that makes me a little nervous. It’s sort of a stealth assessment and it’s difficult to tell if there was more depth to a look or a comment than was intended. I fastened the gown and engaged her in the mirror.

‘So, just a tidy-up’ I ventured, trying not to make it sound like an accusation that she was in need of a tidy-up.

‘I don’t know. I’ve been recommended to try the new service that the salon’s offering. What do you think I should do?’ she said. So we were playing that game.

‘Well’ I ventured, my mind impersonating a tumble-dryer. ‘Have you ever thought about going shorter?’

‘Yes’ she replied mischievously, not helping me one little bit.

‘You decided against it?’

‘My stylist didn’t give me a good reason to make the change’ she replied. That was as clear an indication as I’d get that she was expecting me to tell her why she should do something different. She’d always had a bob since I’d worked for her, slightly shorter on occasions, but pretty much of a muchness. She and I were as adventurous as each other.

I couldn’t use the “what would your husband think if you did something different?” approach, because he’d recently decided that his future pleasure didn’t lie with a middle-aged woman, however well-preserved she was. He saw his future with a twenty-something pub waitress who was looking for a leg-up in the world and was prepared to get her legs up in order to do it. As far as I knew, Laura had been single since then.

‘Well, what’s stopping you from throwing caution to the wind?’ I asked.

‘I’m not sure I’m that adventurous’ she replied. She was being deliberately contrary and I was getting annoyed.

‘You never know, you might like it’ I replied.

‘I’m really not sure’ she replied.

I teased a tress from her crown and lifted it straight up. I took a breath.

‘Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. I’m going to take this really short on top and then I’ll take the sides in close and you’ll be gorgeous. Sound like a plan?’

I caught Laura’s eye in the mirror.

‘If you’re sure it’ll suit me’ she teased again.

‘Trust me’ I said, wondering whether I was doing the right thing. I picked up my scissors and reached for the point of no return.

Every now and again, you get someone who wants such a dramatic change that you just have to get rid of the weight unceremoniously. I’d done it a few times, but on the whole, a hairdresser’s life is uneventful. A trim here, a small re-style there. Something radical was to be savoured, with just a hint of uncertainty in case the client hates the result. In this case, the client was also my boss which compounded the pressure. I wavered, with the blades between two inches and one inch from her scalp. I looked at her in the mirror and she was just sitting, waiting, watching. This was some job interview!

I thought back to the earlier chat with her, about people chopping their hair off during the lockdown, how she wanted to have someone specialise in short cuts. I slid the blades down to the lower point and closed them. No reaction. I held scissors in one hand and a severed blonde tress in the other, both hovering above the inch or so that was left behind. I dropped the evidence behind her and went in for another go. Again, no reaction. I relaxed and tried to think of her as just another punter having their usual. The fact that a lot was coming off was neither here nor there. It was the only way that I could relax.

I was moving lower and lower, progressively removing her safety net and any opportunity to retreat or call a halt. I took a chunk from in front of her ear, just because I could and because I’d realised that she was silently daring me to go for it. I paused, and brushed the shorter hair at her temple upwards with my fingers. I let it drop and then repeated the movement. I smiled at her in the mirror and put the scissors down. I was about to pass the test with flying colours or join the unemployment line. I picked up the clippers from their hook and rummaged in the drawer at the next work-station for a guard. I flicked the longest ones aside with a dismissive finger and settled on a number four. I closed my eyes momentarily and screwed up my courage. I snapped the guard on to the body of the clippers and switched them on in a smooth movement as if I’d been doing this all my life. Laura tilted her head helpfully to the left to give me perfect access to her sideburn. The clippers slid upwards while I wondered quite what style I was actually aiming for.

The clippers moved from regular undercut to serious undercut and continued into full buzzcut as they negotiated the curve of Laura’s head with ease. This certainly hadn’t been the plan, but she sat there stoically, an impartial observer. For a few moments, she still had a section of hair at her forehead, which could have allowed her to go for a Chelsea cut if she insisted or if I wanted. She didn’t and I didn’t. The narrow strip went with the next pass of the blades. I changed my approach so that I was going front to back, rather than side to side and in no time at all, the bulk of her head was covered in soft bristles. I worked the lower slopes, clearing away the last few strands of her familiar bob.

‘There, now we can see what we’re doing’ I said, noting the trace of a smile on her face. Was that an approving smile or one that was a prelude to my unemployment?

I silenced the clippers and stood behind her to get a better sense of the canvas that I was working with. I actually thought that she looked better now than with the bob. She looked fresher, sharper. Maybe the bob had been tired and in need of revival, but now we’d never know. I was standing on it while I worked out where to go from here.

‘I think we can go a little shorter, don’t you?’ I ventured, testing the waters in case I really was going in the wrong direction.

‘Do you think I should?’ she asked, talking to my back as I fished a different guard out of the drawer.

‘Absolutely’ I replied at the same time as flicking the clippers back to life.

I’d swapped the four guard for a three, just to create some contrast around the back and sides and went behind her to start, out of the spotlight as it were. I moved the blades up the back of her neck and then back down and up again. Not that far, but far enough to get the effect that I wanted before moving around to her right. I went around and over her ear, sliding down in front of it to complete the pass. That fraction of an inch made all the difference, so I went a bit higher and then a bit higher. I paused for a moment.

‘That looks so good on you’ I encouraged, before removing any chance of blending the fresh three with the longer four from higher up. The clippers almost seemed to be leading, the way, with minimal direction from myself. The high side went, the crown went. Laura was well on her way to a number three all over, which would only mean one thing. We’d get to have another go at contrast with a number two.

Laura sat patiently and silently while I took everything down to the three and then dipped into the drawer for a two. I took control a little more, now that it was getting serious. She was my boss, not someone that would just walk out vowing never to return. I let the blades run within the demarcation zone that I’d visualised, reining them in as necessary, angling them just right to get the effect that I wanted. I told myself that this was my competition cut.

It had to be good. It had to impress the judges. Well, the judge. I sensed her watching me, but tried to ignore it. I swapped clippers, picking up the small, whining clippers to clean up her neck. Her head went down instinctively to let me stroke away the last traces of neck-stragglers. The whining stopped, the salon fell silent, I waited for the verdict.

‘I probably need to rinse off’ Laura said, cocking her lighter head to one side to look at herself from a jaunty angle. I stood back to let her get up and then walked with her to the basin. Whenever I’d trimmed her hair in the past she’d always appeared after work, already shampooed and ready to go. As far as I knew, she never let one of the staff shampoo her hair, so I was again in ‘Apprentice’ territory, under the microscope.

I watched her sit at the basin and helped her settle back into position against the neck rest. She was still holding her own counsel, keeping me in suspense, but whatever she thought, it was too late to do much about it. The water was running warm enough to jet across her shorn head, helped by my intrigued fingers. The confirmation that her hair was so short was weird. This was Laura, my boss, possibly my business partner and I’d just taken off most of her hair. I wondered what she was feeling. I couldn’t draw the process out any longer. The clippings had spun away down the drain and the water was running clear. I turned off the tap and drew the towel around her head to catch the excess water. Laura eased up to a sitting position and swung her feet back to the floor. She stood and headed back to the styling station, which for the time being, was inappropriately named. I rubbed her head with the towel a few times and then peeled it away to reveal my handiwork. Even though it wasn’t me sitting there, I was shocked at the difference.

‘I was thinking that a change of colour might be the perfect finishing touch’ I suggested, trying not to sound too hesitant.

Laura looked at herself in the mirror, processing the suggestion.

‘You know what, I think you’re right. I’ll have a look at the colour charts in a bit or maybe I’ll just let you pick something for me.’

‘Have a think. Anyway, let me just put the blower on this so you don’t catch your death’ I said, trying for a touch of levity. She sank back in the chair to let me waste some electricity on drying what little hair she had left. With a ruffle, she was done.

‘How’s that for you?’ I asked, wanting to know, but not wanting to know.

‘I should’ve done it a long time ago, don’t you think?’ she replied, leaning forward to get a better view. I wasn’t sure if she sensed the weight lifting from my shoulders, but for me, it was an immense relief. I leaned forward and unfastened her gown, still fascinated by the change. She stood up and surprised me by hugging me. That wasn’t what I was expecting at all.

‘Thank you so much, Suzy. I hope that I’m the first of many extremely satisfied clients of our little venture’ she said.

‘I’m glad you like it. You didn’t give me many clues, you know.’

‘I suspect that most of your clients are going to need you just to take charge and show them what it is that they actually want. They’ll have taken the first step by making an appointment or coming in, but the next move could well be yours. If they don’t get up and walk out, I’d say that you should let your creative juices flow.’

I smiled my thanks at her. She’d never been the most effusive person, although I’d always managed to be on the same wavelength as her, without the words always being spoken. Maybe we’d be good partners. She picked up the gown where I’d put it over the arm of the chair.

‘I’ll do that’ I said, reaching to take it from her. She gave me one of her looks and held the gown out expectantly.

‘Do you fancy a cup of tea before Dani gets here?’ I suggested, thinking that she was being a bit premature. Even if Dani wasn’t in the middle of something, it would take her fifteen minutes or so to get to town and park.

‘I’ve decided that we’re fine as we are’ she replied. I looked at her. She smiled and patted the back of the chair in invitation. I wanted Dani to cut my hair, if it was going to be cut. She was superb with a pair of scissors in her hand. It didn’t look like that was an option, not that Laura wasn’t a competent hairdresser, of course. I sat down and took in a deep breath while the fabric and air swirled around me for a moment before settling. Laura fastened the gown and patted me on the shoulder.

‘Ready to go short?’ she asked enthusiastically.

‘Not so sure about that’ I replied, the nerves starting to make themselves known.

‘You’ll love it and so will Kev’ she said, failing completely to re-assure me.

‘It’s a bit scary, my hair has been past my shoulders for as long as I can remember.’

‘Definitely time for something else then.’

‘Maybe, but I don’t need to tell you what it feels like to sit here thinking that there’s no going back.’

‘You won’t want to go back, I certainly don’t.’

‘We’ll see’ I said, deciding that it was too late to change my mind without looking like a complete idiot.

Laura had picked up a brush while we were talking and was now running it through my hair. I looked at her freshly-shorn head and wondered how she felt while she was brushing my hair with long, fluid strokes. Did she really have no regrets? Was she expecting that I would cut so much off? I’d ask her later, but I knew that I could never do it myself.

‘Look at all this’ she said, using the brush to lift a length of my hair out to the side. ‘Just think of the time you’ll save getting ready’ she added.

‘That’s no bad thing, I suppose. I know that it stresses Kev out if we’re going somewhere and I’m still upstairs with the dryer.’

‘Hasn’t he ever suggested that you should go short?’

‘Not that I can think of.’

‘Not even when he’s waiting and stressed out?’

‘I’m lucky. He’s quite calm, even then, but I just know that he’s secretly annoyed.’

‘Let’s make him happy, then shall we?’ she said, swapping the brush for scissors and comb. She paused. ‘Tell me, what would you do now, if you were standing here?’

‘You mean if I was sitting here and standing where you are?’ I joked.

‘Something like that’ Laura replied.

‘Well, I’d have done everything that you’ve done so far’ I started. ‘Then I’d ask what the client wanted, you know.’

‘Let’s do it from the point of view of the new approach. What would you do?’

‘I’d be telling the client that I was going to take her short. Not leave her in any doubt, but she could obviously still say “No”.’

‘Is that what you want to do?’

‘I’m okay’ I replied without any conviction.

‘So I’m going to take you short. Shorter than you’d think that you’d be comfortable with’ Laura said, looking like she meant it.

‘I thought you said you wanted me to have my hair like yours. Like you had it. That’s what I told Kev.’

‘When we spoke, I did say that you should probably have your hair a bit shorter than mine. For the salon. I still think that.’

‘I’d probably be okay with it a bit shorter than yours. I think Kev could cope with that.’ I had this vision of me with a Louise Brooks bob, rather than

collar length like Laura’s had been. That would finally give me an excuse to go jet black.

‘You do realise that I’m saying that I always want you to have your hair shorter than mine, don’t you? You’ve just re-set the benchmark this morning.’

‘I thought you meant your bob.’

‘I did. Now you’ve changed things’ she said.

‘I really need to have a think. A bob is one thing, I might’ve been okay with a short bob, but I can’t cut it all off. Not for a job. I’ll have to get another job if you insist that you want someone who’ll do that. Ask Dani, although I don’t think that she’d want to’ I babbled.

‘So you don’t like what you’ve done for me?’

‘I’m not saying that. You look great.’

‘But you can’t think it’s that great, otherwise you wouldn’t be so upset.’

‘I’m not upset, it’s just not for me.’

‘That’s fine, don’t worry. You seemed so enthusiastic when you were cutting my hair, I thought you were a convert. We can talk about it if you want, or if you’d rather go home, it’s fine.’

‘But what about the job?’

‘I’ll have a re-think. Have a chat with the others. It’s fine Suzy, really’ she said in that tone that made it clear that all was not fine. She undid the velcro fastener at my neck and released me. I told her that I’d head home for now.

The drive home was worse than the drive in. Gone was the flutter of excitement and trepidation and in their place was anger. Directed at Laura and at myself. Was it my fault? Had I misunderstood?

‘Hi honey, I’m home’ I called out as I closed the front door.

‘In here’ Kev called out from the kitchen. I went in. ‘You look great. It really suits you’ he said, looking up from the sandwich that he was making.

‘Ha ha!’ I replied.

He picked up that all was not well. I told him what had happened.

‘Fuck’ he said.

‘Yeah! Fuck!’ I replied.

‘I mean “fuck, you actually shaved her head!’

‘Well, not quite’ I smiled. When he put it like that, maybe it was a bit much. He did what he needed to do in the circumstances and reached into the fridge to take out the bottle of wine again. Talking it through with Kev (and the wine) did the trick and calmed me down. I settled back into lockdown mode and went back to my “pre-partner” way of thinking. I suspected that Laura would ask Dani or one of the others to realise her vision and that I would go back to just being one of the girls. That was fine by me.

The following day, I got an email from Laura telling me that she’d conducted a review of her business in the light of the recent enforced closure and that she unfortunately needed to make cutbacks due to the precarious financial position. I was that cutback. I shouldn’t have been too surprised, but it hurt, like any rejection hurt. I showed Kev, he hugged me. My world was still okay.

Thursday came. The day when I would’ve been going in to work for the first proper time since lockdown. I was in bed when I should’ve been getting ready. I rolled over and looked at Kev looking at me.

‘I’m unemployed’ I said.

‘No you’re not. I can think of plenty of things you can do’ he said, lifting the duvet to show me what he was thinking of.

I gave him the look that his comment deserved and got out of bed. I needed to maintain a routine.

By the time that I’d got downstairs, I’d got a text from Dani. “L says she let you go. Cant believe it. Must go for a drink.” How awkward would that be?

“Shit happens” I texted back.

A week or so passed, the lockdown had been extended slightly for salons, but Kev was back at work. I’d started to make enquiries with people that I knew, but there was nothing promising. Everyone was in the same boat, just wanting to get back to normality before taking anyone else on. For the time being, I insisted on not sponging off Kev. I had some savings and I was determined not to ask him for a hand-out. We carried on as we did before, except for the bit where I went to work.

A week became a month and nothing much changed, except that salons were allowed to open again. I filled my days by helping out at a charity that a friend worked at, so I kept my sanity. I’d had no more contact with anyone from the salon, which I thought was a shame, but it didn’t worry me too much. The thing that kept me going was that we’d booked a week away and were actually able to go, which was wonderful, after so long being trapped within the same four walls. It wasn’t abroad, but it was a seaside resort, the weather would be good and it would probably be the most satisfying holiday of my life, given all that we’d been through.

Actually arriving at our holiday cottage was wonderful, as was just sitting around watching the world go by, now that there was a world going by. Maybe not as busy as before, but people were out and about.

On the third afternoon, Kev and I were sitting having a quiet drink in a bar. After a while, I noticed him change his position slightly. His eyes moved in that way that signalled he was hunting and I wasn’t meant to realise. How many times does that happen when we’re out and he sees some girl bursting out of her dress and he strains for a better view that he thinks will go unnoticed. I usually let him have his fun, although I do try to see what it was that piqued his interest, just so that I can stay abreast of his current interests. This one did surprise me. The “target” was a slim woman, shapely from the rear-view that I currently had, on her way to the toilet by the looks of it. The one stand-out thing about her was that she was quite bald. Was it her baldness that drew his attention? I couldn’t see anything else, although she was walking away from me and could’ve been in possession of a spectacular pair of tits, but I didn’t think so. So it had to be the bald head that triggered his radar. I waited a minute, pretending to look around me a little.

‘I’m just going to the ladies’ I said, reaching for my bag.

‘Same again?’ he asked, pointing to my empty glass. I nodded and headed for the far side of the room.

When I got in to the ladies’ room, I saw her at the basin. It definitely wasn’t massive boobs that had caught his attention. She was a well-proportioned package, maybe late thirties or early forties. Nice-looking, but not enough to trigger a reaction from Kev under normal circumstances, unless I really was in trouble. It had to be the bald head. I checked my make-up in the mirror, pretending to have eyes only for myself at first. She was nearly done washing
her hands.

‘I hope you don’t mind me saying, but you look really good, like that, I mean…’

‘You mean bald?’ she finished, looking at me lightly askance.

‘Yeah. Sorry, I shouldn’t have said’ I apologised.

‘Not at all. I know some people assume that it’s a health thing, but it isn’t. Not mine anyway. I did it during the lockdown and I’ve just kept doing it.’

That was a relief.

‘Was it long before?’

‘It was over my ears, but not what you’d call long. Well, I would now, obviously’ she joked.

We chatted for a couple of minutes, easy with each other and then headed back into the bar. I wondered if she realised that I’d only gone in there to check her out. We approached Kev from behind, so he wasn’t aware of our approach. He was just sitting there flicking through his phone to while away the time. I put a hand on his shoulder and walked round to face him.

‘I must introduce you to my partner. This is Kev’ I said, realising that I didn’t actually know her name.

‘Hi Kev, I’m Linzi’ she said, holding up a hand in greeting.

‘Hi Linzi’ he said, slightly flustered at being caught unawares by the very woman that he’d been ogling a couple of minutes before.

‘I’m Suzy, by the way’ I said, realising that we hadn’t exchanged names during our previous chat.

We exchanged pleasantries and she made her way back to what I assumed was her husband sitting at an outside table.

‘She was nice, wasn’t she?’ I said. We weren’t in the habit of making friends while we were on holiday. We preferred our own company, just moseying around at our own pace, stopping at a restaurant whenever we felt hungry. We’d never been clubbers, not that there was any chance of that for the time being.

There wasn’t much demand for sweaty throngs despite various official pronouncements.

‘Seemed friendly enough’ he agreed, giving little away as usual.

‘Looks good bald’ I observed, trying to draw him out a little.

He nodded and reached for his drink.

‘Could’ve been me, if Laura had had her way.’

‘She wanted you to go all the way?’ he asked, more interested now.

‘Well, she said she wanted me to go shorter than her and I used a three and a two on her, so I wouldn’t have been far off the full Monty, I don’t think.’

I could see the cogs whirring in his mind.

‘What, you wished I’d done it now?’ I said, fixing his gaze. He tried to escape by reaching for his drink again. I waited.

‘I dunno. It might have been interesting’ he replied eventually.

‘Interesting? Not “you’d have looked really sexy and I’d have loved you to do it”. Interesting?’ I replied, my annoyance obvious.

I could see that he was about to dig himself a hole, so I held my hand up.

‘If you think it’d be interesting, why don’t you go and ask Linzi’s husband or boyfriend, or whatever he is, if you can borrow her for half an hour’ I said, more annoyed than I should be on holiday. Kev looked at me, took a healthy swallow of his beer and got up. I watched him walk across to the table where Linzi and her man were sitting, looking out to sea. He introduced himself to Linzi again, just in case she’d forgotten him in the intervening minutes and offered a raised hand to Linzi’s man. They chatted animatedly for a couple of minutes, and then Kev sat down at their table. Linzi turned to me and beckoned me over. I wasn’t in the mood, but couldn’t see a way to get out of it now. I picked up our drinks and walked carefully across to their table.

Linzi introduced me to her squeeze, Will, a man with a kitchen-fitting business and a rather nice body, not that I was interested in men closer to their fifties than their forties, even in shorts that were a couple of sizes too small for what they were trying to conceal.

I found it hard to stay annoyed, particularly as Linzi and Will were so easy-going. Both of them recently divorced, they didn’t appear to have any interest in simmering undercurrents, the likes of which had just bubbled up for me. Note to self: it’s not worth it! Will turned out to be quite the story-teller who soon had us all in stitches, even if he did avoid the one story that I suspected both Kev and I wanted to hear: how Linzi ended up shaving her head.

We were halfway through a late lunch before that nugget appeared. How Linzi had suggested that Will should let her cut his hair rather than walk about scruffy as he had been. He’d insisted that hair salons couldn’t possibly stay closed for much longer, but had eventually given in. He’d managed to find some clippers via an acquaintance and brought them home, before realising that this acquaintance hadn’t given him any guards for them. They’d lain on the counter in their kitchen for a week before Linzi had told him that she’d had enough and guard or no guard, he was going to sit down and let her tidy him up. He’d sat there while she sheared him and then much to Linzi’s surprise, told her to sit down in the chair that he’d vacated. She thought that he was teasing, so went along with him, but soon realised that he really had run the clippers right across the top of her scalp. It had taken her a while to get used to not having hair, but it was her turn to surprise him when she held out the clippers to him the following week and asked him to re-shave her.

‘It’s so much better than going to a salon and having to listen to the chat’ she said.

Kev and I exchanged glances.

‘Have I said something I shouldn’t have?’ she asked.

I could see the “Oh fuck!” sensation spread across her face as Kev told her that I was a hairdresser by trade. That led him in nicely to the story about me and Laura.

It was early evening before it registered with any of us that we’d been chatting for so long. We went through the “invitation and polite refusal” dance before Kev and I ended up going back with them to their holiday home for coffee. I walked up the drive thinking that the kitchen-fitting business must pay well. They said that it was only a rental, but even so, it was lovely.

Will showed us around while Linzi did the catering thing. The more I saw, the more I thought that we should upgrade the next time that we came here. It was stylish and comfortable, without being too ostentatious. The living room had a wonderful picture-window that looked out over the sea, so whatever the weather, you could just sit there and watch. The telescope just to one side was purely for wildlife he said, not that we’d thought anything else.

Linzi appeared, wheeling an old-fashioned hostess-trolley laden with cups and goodies.

‘Isn’t this lovely. I found it in a closet in the kitchen. My granny used to have one and I thought that it was such a shame to keep it hidden away. Now

I’ve got the perfect excuse to use it.’

She handed us a cup each and I looked at the biscuits arrayed on the trolley. I was tempted, but just knew that it was a slippery slope.

‘I brought these out especially for you’ Linzi said, lifting a flowery biscuit tin and presenting it to me. ‘I think you’ll like them’ she said. She worked at the lid with her fingertips, easing it off before angling the tin for me to make my choice.

‘There’s only one, but I thought you could share’ she said, watching my expression. It was only when I lifted the contents clear of the tin that Kev and Will saw what was on offer.

‘Guaranteed to take weight off’ Linzi said as she watched me examine the clippers that were the tin’s only contents.

I looked at her. I looked at Kev.

‘Hopefully they meet with your professional approval’ she said.

‘They’re a good brand, certainly’ I confirmed.

‘We’re proof that they work’ Will joined in.

‘I don’t know what to say’ I said, flustered.

‘You should treat yourselves’ Linzi urged.

‘I’d have to think about it’ I said, aware that I was flicking my hair in that reflex action when you know that the topic has turned to hair. It’s almost as if it’s trying to say “look at me, aren’t I lovely!”. If only it knew.

‘What do you think Kev, fancy it?’ I asked. There’s nothing like being put on the spot.

‘I’d have to think about it’ he mimicked.

‘She’s very good, you know. The cuts heal really quickly in the sea air’ Will jested.

Kev looked at me. I shrugged my shoulders. He looked at each of our hosts in turn.

‘Give us a sec to get set up’ Linzi said without further discussion. An unspoken command got Will out of his seat and heading for the kitchen. He was back in moments, carrying what looked like a dustsheet and a stool. He spread the dustsheet on the floor and positioned the stool so that the victim had a soothing vista of the ocean. Linzi had picked the clippers out of the biscuit tin where I’d returned them and was standing poised for action.

‘Who’s going first?’ she asked expectantly.

‘You’d better slip that off, Linzi love. Don’t want to get it covered with hair now, do you?’ Will said, gesturing at her sun-dress.

‘You don’t mind, do you?’ she asked Kev.

‘There’s an offer he can’t refuse’ I said, wondering whether it would’ve been better to have just let Kev have his smutty little thoughts in that bar and not to have pursued Linzi into the bathroom.

Without further ceremony, buttons were undone and Linzi was folding her dress to put over the back of an armchair. The fact that she was only wearing a tiny pair of panties hadn’t escaped Kev. I was also able to confirm my initial diagnosis that she hadn’t got the biggest boobs in the world. She had, though, got a pair of the prettiest, still perky, topped with nipples that were probably intended for the next size up. Attached to this pair of boobs though, I’d have to say that her nipples were the stand-out feature.

‘Don’t worry about safe zones or anything like that. I’ll work from behind you, so you’ll be fine’ she said. I still couldn’t believe that I was seeing this.

Kev stood up and looked at me. I picked at the hem of his tee-shirt.

‘It’s only fair’ I said when he realised that I was suggesting that he should take his top off.

Kev sat down and Linzi positioned herself behind him, clippers in hand. She closed the gap between them, pressing herself against Kev’s back, with the emphasis on flattening her boobs against him. She reached forward with her clipper hand, turning them on in transit. Her action was confident, drawing the clippers back towards her without hesitation, together with a strip of Kev’s hair. His hair hadn’t been the longest in the world, but he always had it scissor cut rather than clipper cut. Now even clippers would be of no use on that strip for a while. She’d taken him straight to the skin, as she’d have to, since they hadn’t bothered to get hold of the guards from their friend. I looked at Kev. I looked at Will. Kev was as I’d expect, considering that someone had just shaved a path across the top of his head. Will was more of a surprise, particularly since he’d taken the opportunity to take his shorts off while all eyes were on the main attraction. He was happily sitting there, cradling his cock as if he didn’t have a care in the world. Linzi followed my gaze.

‘Will, not when we’ve got company!’ she chided.

‘You don’t mind do you, love?’ he asked, looking in my direction with a satisfied smile.

‘Feel free’ I replied, pleased that I was where I was and he was where he was.

‘I’d ask you to give me a hand, but what with all this social distancing, I’ll sort myself out’ he said. Thankfully, Kev didn’t turn round. He was too pre-occupied with what Linzi was doing to him to worry about what Will was doing to himself. I was torn between two spectacles that I hadn’t ever expected to see, although Linzi’s action was much more urgent than Will’s. He looked like he was in for the long haul.

I was actually amused by Linzi’s technique, wondering why she insisted on making it difficult for herself by keeping her torso tight to Kev’s back. She was really struggling with the back of his head, but she persevered gamely, with the result that in a few more seconds, my handsome Kev was bald. Linzi finally peeled herself off Kev’s back and came round the front to admire her handiwork.

‘What do you think?’ she asked, turning to me.

Nice tits, I thought. ‘Different’ I said.

‘He looks great!’ she said, congratulating herself.

I knew what was coming next. Well, I thought I did. Linzi ran her hands up her torso and cupped her boobs, before sliding her hands back down. Her fingers caught in the waistband of her knickers and there I was, staring at a perfectly shaved pussy. Any suspicion that it had been accidental was dispelled when she slid them all the way down and stepped out of them. Still facing me, she lifted her right foot and placed it on Kev’s thigh. Her right hand restored some respectability, although that was only a by-product of the fingers that she’d obviously slid inside herself. I could sense that Will’s interest had been heightened by this little trick, so much so that he was now on his feet.

Surely they weren’t going to…

Linzi was maintaining a safe distance from me and her head was a reasonable distance from Kev. However, she was still using him as a prop when Will manoeuvred himself behind her. She braced her left hand on her thigh expectantly. I was transfixed by the sight of her guiding Will inside her, all the while resting her foot on my boyfriend’s leg, making him complicit in whatever this was. He didn’t really know where to look, but his eyes settled on me eventually. I’m not sure what he could have made of my expression, faced with such an impromtu exhibition. I could see the bulge in his shorts and felt sorry for him in a way, not knowing what I was thinking. I looked at Linzi, a woman who I’d only met today, getting fucked in front of me, my boyfriend a prop in the scenario in more ways than one. All the while, I was sitting in an armchair as if I were having tea with the vicar on a summer’s evening.

Will was controlled and restrained, in no hurry to finish what he was doing. I started to admire Linzi’s flexibility, tried to decide if I could actually do what she was doing. I wondered how long it would be before Kev made the suggestion that he and I should give it a go. Linzi was relaxed, apparently at ease with having two strangers watching her at such an intimate time, one of them so close that he could reach out a hand and take a much more active part if he wished. Linzi was watching me watching her. She licked her lips in a way that I actually found quite erotic, which surprised me. I’d never felt the urge to stray into home territory, taking the view that there were more than enough men for me to work my way through, if I chose, before I needed to sample my own kind. I was jolted out of my attempt to rank previous boyfriends by ingenuity when Linzi raised her right hand. A hand that still held the clippers that she’s been too pre-occupied to put down. I realised that my own right hand was actually stroking my left boob.

‘Kneel’ she said gently, looking at me intently, with no apparent acknowledgement that she was in the middle of a gymnastic fuck. I looked at her. I looked at Kev, his newly-bald head so alien to me, unfamiliar, alluring. I wanted to stroke it. I wanted him to stroke me. I was fully clothed, outside the
action.

‘Kneel’ Linzi urged again.

I slid forward off the seat, easing myself down to my knees. I was looking at Kev, I was looking at the woman with the fabulous tits getting gently fucked from behind, her man looking out over the vast sea. My knees touched the carpet. My view was different now that I was lower, more explicit. I could see Will’s balls sway with each stroke, see his shaft disappear and re-appear. Linzi was smiling. She reached out her hand. I lowered my head. I heard the clippers. I felt the clippers. I thought of Laura wanting to do this to me. I wondered why the only two people to have wanted to shave my head were female.

The clippers reached the maximum distance that Linzi could achieve, given that she was currently anchored to the spot by her man. I waited for more, but it didn’t come. The clippers went quiet and tumbled to the floor. I sat back on my heels, able to see more than carpet now. Linzi’s leg wasn’t braced against Kev anymore, both feet were on the floor and she was firming the platform for Will, hands on her thighs, arms locked. Will was no longer interested in passing shipping, his mind was now fully on the task in hand. He was fucking Linzi now with real purpose, all the while staring at me. Kev was watching, still inhibited by my presence.

I changed position, sitting back now, legs spread, looking into Will’s eyes. I slid my dress up, slid my knickers down. Fingers of one hand traced the hairless skin of my pussy, the fingers of the other explored the hairless skin across the top of my head. Will was thrusting harder now, Linzi gasping. Kev had finally taken the hint and released “little Kev” from the confines of his shorts, his hardness out of my reach. I should say that “little Kev” is what we call him, but he isn’t exactly little and is quite enough for me! Now we’ve cleared that up, I could go back to Will’s eyes feasting on me, alternating etween ruined hair and liquid pussy while he entered the home straight. Kev got to his feet, cock in hand and approached me, calculating how many strokes he needed to finish the job in hand. The answer was “not many”. With a final bit of encouragement, he launched a stream of jizz that managed to land either side of my new wide-parting, paint my face and etch a new pattern on my dress, all with the same spurt. As I looked down to assess the damage, a roar from Will signalled to the world that his work was done. I looked up, into the wide-eyed gaze of a very satisfied woman. My eyes wandered lower, fascinated by the sight of Will withdrawing from Linzi and the first signs of his cum oozing from her.

‘That’s what you call a “socially responsible orgy”, I suppose’ Linzi said, regaining her poise, although slightly breathless. ‘In the old days, I’m sure we’d all have shared a bit more, but there you go. It was fun though!’

‘There’s two bathrooms if you want to clean up’ Will offered, pointing the way down the corridor. It didn’t appear that he thought there was anything weird about standing there, cock relaxing, while he assisted guests in his house.

Kev and I shuffled off, both of us probably wondering about the reaction of the other. I’d never done anything like that before and I suspect that Kev hadn’t. Not my solid, reliable Kev. We’d watched porn together, but being so close to live action put us on another level.

The bathroom was as you would expect, well-provisioned for guests, with a shower made for two. Kev and I got in together, soaping each other tenderly before attention turned to the area above the shoulders. I held his bald head in both hands, kissing him long and hard, feeling something else long and hard stirring lower down. My right hand went lower to offer encouragement, but he eased it away with his own.

‘After’ he said, looking at my hair.

If it was at all possible, I’d almost forgotten what Linzi had done. My hair was hanging the way that it always did and despite Kev’s recent deposit, I was still trying to keep it away from the jets so that I didn’t have to go to the bother of drying it. Kev though, could see the reality of that brief visit from the clippers.

‘Will you still love me?’ I asked, realisation dawning.

‘I’m not sure about that. I’ll still fuck you though’ he said with that cheeky smile of his.

‘Not here though?’ I said.

‘They put on a show for us’ he said.

‘I’m not sure you deserve it. You ruined my dress, you fucker!’ I said, slapping his bald head playfully.

We got out of the shower and were just drying ourselves when Linzi appeared at the door with a satisfied smile on her face, shamelessly naked. I was still fascinated by her nipples and knew that she was aware of exactly where I was looking.

‘Come on lovebirds, we can’t let you go home like that’ she said brandishing the clippers aloft. I looked at myself in the mirror, skunk-stripe splitting my long dark hair, but didn’t feel any sense of loss. I’d railed against Laura’s proposal to cut my hair off, but now it was as good as gone, I felt somewhat detached from the whole process.

‘We’ll be out in a sec’ I told her.

‘We can do it here easy enough. Bend forward for me’ Linzi instructed. I looked at her, surprised at her proposed method. She wasn’t one to make it easy for herself. I instinctively assessed the distancing situation, but decided that if I was bent at the waist, there wasn’t much risk to either of us. I took a final look at her boobs to keep me going and leant forward as requested. I marvelled at my hair hanging down, how it tried to cover for the missing strip to give the appearance of all being there. I looked at Linzi’s dainty feet, a small flower design on her left ankle. She was still not quite close enough to do what she intended, planning the best approach no doubt. I looked behind me to see Kev’s feet and ankles. It was a strange perspective. Kev’s feet moved closer. I felt hands on my haunches, a finger opening me, a cock sliding in to me. I looked back just to check that it really was Kev and was relieved by the familiarity. I hadn’t wanted to do this here, but now I felt “little Kev’s” gentle progress, I wanted nothing else. Kev was matching Will’s earlier restraint, in a way that I was finding exceptionally erotic. I’m not sure that I could be bothered with Tantric endurance records, but this was certainly an approach that I’d want to experiment with once we were on our own. My assessment of Kev’s technique had distracted me from the real purpose of being bent double in someone’s bathroom. I watched Linzi’s feet get closer, felt a light stroking on the back of my head and then saw strands of my hair puddle on the floor. That was one way to deal with cum in your hair! Kev was stroking my back while fucking me with almost imperceptible movements, Linzi was stroking my head, my hair was tumbling and I was awash with the most fabulous sensations.

Linzi was in no hurry, but I could tell that Kev’s resolve was starting to fail. His movements were more pronounced, not yet thrusts, but not far off. Linzi added to the pool of hair with each of her deliberate strokes and I just wanted it to never end. Linzi’s movements had stopped yielding any result. I could feel the sensation, but there were no more additions to the mound of hair that was covering my feet. She turned the clippers off and took a step back. I eased myself upwards, trying not to impact the sterling work that Kev was doing, but wanting to get a better look at Linzi. I wasn’t upright, but I could see her face now, see those boobs. Who’d have thought that I had a secret hankering for other women’s tits? Probably something deeply psychological there, but for the time being, I just held out a hand to her, trying to get her closer to me. She moved forward. I had a handful of boob. I reached round behind her and gripped her arse-cheek, signalling to her to turn around. I pulled her closer to me, so that my head was against her back. The pressure of my head urged her to fold at the waist so that I could grip her in a bear hug create to some sort of macabre pantomime horse.

I felt more stable now that I was braced against Linzi, but still widened my stance in preparation for the coming storm. Kev was dialling it up now, fuelled by the sight of his bald partner groping another bald woman. I concentrated on his rhythm, trying to guess just how much he had left. We were in unknown territory here, what with the variables of head-shaving and other people added to the mix. My normally reliable calculation was irrelevant and I just had to go with it. I needed to dig in to resist his thrusts and was grateful for Linzi’s extra weight to stop me from being shunted across the floor.

He was close, very close. I squeezed Linzi’s boobs harder than was polite when Kev tensed against me, flooding me with a fresh batch of warmth. I panted against Linzi for a few moments, releasing my hold on her as we started to de-couple.

Linzi was all smiles when she turned to me.

‘Sorry about that’ I said, nodding towards her reddened boobs.

She waved away my concern and urged me to look in the mirror. I put both hands up to my head, trying to convince myself that it really was my head. The luscious, long hair that I’d cared for over the years was gone, looking less-impressive now that it was lying on the floor.

‘I bet today hasn’t worked out the way that you’d planned when you came out this morning’ she said, re-establishing the distance between us.

‘Funny you should say that’ I replied, turning to Kev to hug him. ‘We couldn’t borrow your shower again, could we?’ I asked.

‘Be my guest. I can shave you both when you come out if you want, or you could enjoy it in the privacy of your own home. Whichever you prefer.’

‘Let’s get cleaned up first’ I said, heading in to the shower again.

I was aware that Linzi was still in the bathroom while we were in the shower, so it was all business-like. No chat, no messing. We washed and got out, without even savouring the new sensations of our baldness. That would have to wait until later. Linzi had actually got fresh towels out of the cupboard for us and was holding them out when we stepped out of the enclosure. I could live like this.

She’d made good on her offer and had used the time while we were in the shower to set out a stool and to put a can of shaving foam and a pack of razors on the vanity. It would’ve been rude to refuse, so I sat on the side of the bath while Kev took a seat. I wanted so much to take a picture of this naked woman shaving my man’s head, but couldn’t bring myself to even ask. What if she agreed? I couldn’t walk round with porno pictures on my phone. Instead, I admired her well-practised technique and those boobs. Until I’d seen hers, I’d been more than happy with what Nature had given me, but now I was thinking that I wanted bigger, darker nipples. Maybe I’d get piercings? Maybe that would make them more assertive. That could be Kev’s birthday present. Her approach to shaving was as considered as her clipper-work. Gentle, but efficient. My previously bald man was being made smooth in a way that I was sure that both of us would enjoy later on.

I stroked Kev’s head as we switched places, finding myself tingling at the perfect smoothness that he now sported. I could honestly say that I’d never

found shaven-headed men that attractive, but maybe that had more to do with the man than with the choice of haircut. “Bald Kev” was a distinct improvement on “conventional Kev”, particularly once he’d rinsed his head under the basin tap. I sat quite still while Linzi smoothed shaving cream over my scalp, wondering whether I’d need a third shower before we left. I smiled at Kev, sitting there where I’d been, “little Kev” straining to get a better view. Kev wasn’t bashful in the least, not the way that I’d expected him to be. The new razor slid across my scalp. I closed my eyes and revelled in it, a slideshow of memories from today flicking through my mind.

Once Linzi declared me done, I bent over the sink to rinse my head, amazed at the feel of the warm water running unobstructed across my skin. Linzi dabbed my head dry and then there I was, a hairless reflection.

‘I’d kiss you, if we were allowed’ I said.

‘There’s a lot that I’d do, if we were allowed’ she replied, with a smile. ‘Come on, let’s show Will what we’ve been up to’ she urged.

She led the way back to the lounge where Will was looking comfortable in his armchair. He was relatively respectable in a pair of shorts, unlike the three naked figures that had appeared before him. I’d got my stained dress in my hand and was looking to see where I’d left my knickers.

‘You took your time, didn’t you?’ he said, knowing full well what had been going on. It wouldn’t have surprised me to find out that he’d been lurking at the door while we were otherwise occupied.

Kev rescued his shorts and tee-shirt and tossed me my knickers to put on to restore some modesty. Linzi had disappeared for a moment, but came back carrying what turned out to be a sun-dress.

‘I always feel a little awkward walking through town with a streak of cum down my front’ she laughed. ‘You can drop this back tomorrow’ she offered kindly.

Linzi herself made no attempt to get dressed, happy to see us to the door naked, as if it was something that she did every day. Maybe she did.

‘Thanks for a lovely afternoon’ I said, wondering quite what one did say after what we’d done.

‘A pleasure’ Will chipped in. I couldn’t really say that the pleasure was all ours, because it certainly hadn’t been.

I promised to let Linzi have her dress back and took Kev’s hand to walk up the path towards home.

‘I can’t believe that’ Kev said.

‘What?’

‘That people have changed so much now, that you resist opportunities that you would’ve grabbed with both hands not so long ago.’

‘Such as?’

‘I would’ve, you know’ Kev said.

‘Fucked her, is that what you mean?’ I said, trying to sound outraged. Kev looked at me sheepishly. ‘I would’ve too, both of them’ I added, my smile putting him at his ease again. He rubbed a hand playfully across my scalp.

‘Watch it, baldy’ I retorted.

‘If only Laura could see you now’ Kev said.

‘I was thinking that. Fuck her!’ I said, just a little too loud for a family resort. We headed back to our cottage, knowing exactly what the evening had in store.

3 responses to “Opening Up

  1. I am happy to see you returned after all that went down, Rayzur, you are an amazing writer, all of you are, I never ventured into writing my own, so I just devour your stories, I am also glad the whole rating system is gone. Rating is bad, we can’t always cater to everyone’s tastes. Please keep it up, I’ll devour all stories you keep writing, and hope toe-read your old ones too, when there is nothing new that’s what I do, I re-read a story from the site.

    Thank you for writing and please keep doing it!

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