Refreshed

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Rolling off the covers as sunlight filtered into her room, Megan grabbed her phone, quickly sending out a message to her besty Cara.

(Hey babe, lockdown’s officially over! Why don’t we finally head out and grab a nice coffee while savouring the cool fresh air!)

(Wow! That sounds great! But… I can’t)

(Why????!??!! 🙁 🙁 🙁 )

(Well I’m starting a new job today. Gotta make some cash after all my splurging on online shopping…)

(What?!?)

(Sorry! It’s not so bad actually! I’m working in a cafe by Hill Avenue, yknow just at the upper part of the city overlooking the square? Why don’t you grab a coffee there! There’s a great view and if I have a break we can chat!)

(Alright catch you there then! Bout 4pm)

(Yup see you!)

Sighing lightly, Megan ruffled her fingers through her scalp and long brunette hair which fell mid back. It had been a tiring four months. Constant lockdowns and fear of the that damned virus had kept her cooped indoors with just Netflix and takeouts, barely keeping her sane. At least it was official now, everything was over and it was time to meet some friends in person. It was time to relax!

Sitting up, she glanced quickly at the clock. It was already 12PM but at least she had a couple of hours before meeting Cara. Another sigh escaped from between her lips. With the end of the lockdown also meant that she’d have to return to the office. No more 8.55AM alarms, hopping right out of bed and right into a morning meeting with nothing but pjs. “Just great.” Megan mumbled before slumping back down onto the bed in defeat. You win some, you lose some.

Mustering her determination, she eventually managed to pick herself up and get off her soft fluffy bed almost 30 minutes later. It was time to wash up and get ready for her first bestie date in forever. Dragging herself into the bathroom, she stared at her own reflection. Four months of growth had caused her previously well kempt shoulder length locks to turn into an overgrown tangle and her eyes were puffy from sleeping too much. “Ugh… I look terrible. I really need to freshen up before I get back to work…” The only silver lining was that she hadn’t gained much weight during this ordeal…

“Alright Megan! You gotta snap outta this! Everything is fine!” Megan declared to herself after taking a deep breath. “Post lockdown life begins anew here!”. Psyching herself up, she finally kicked into gear and started to get ready.

An hour and a half later, she was clad in a casual outfit, a simple white tank top and denim mini skirt, coupled with a ripped denim jacket, just perfect for the cool air of spring. Unfortunately, her voluminous hair had refused to cooperate and all she was able to do was to tie it up in a ponytail. Heading out of her apartment, she took the bus to Hill Avenue and arrived there an hour later.

Taking a deep breath of the fresh mountainous air, she exhaled. “The sweet air of freedom really does taste better! Ahh I’m a little early but I suppose since Cara works at the cafe, she wouldn’t mind if i’m early…”

Hill Avenue was a straight road that was situated ontop of a small overhanging cliff which overlooked the entire city. Two rows of buildings flanked the road and the cafe was at the every end of the road, positioned right next to the edge of the hill, providing the best possible spot to admire the scenery of the city. The cafe was quite packed as this was a popular spot. Glancing around at the numerous waitresses scurrying around, Megan couldn’t find Cara within the crowd.

“Jeez where is she? Is she working at the back as a barrista?”

(Hey C, wru?? I’m here at the entrance)

(Huh aren’t you a little early? It’s not break yet! Give me abit, ima come out!)

A familiar figure strode out from with the cafe. Well somewhat familiar, this Cara spotted a sharp short bob that deftly grazed the bottom of her chin instead of having long flowing locks…

“Huh! Your hair!”

“Oh. Yeah I cut it short today!”

“Why? It was super nice before!!”

“Well… too many reasons… it grew out a lot and was getting hard to maintain. I wanted a change and I knew this job would be quite troublesome with long hair getting in the way… also partially impulse cause I just walked by and thought about it… either way we can chat later! Let me get you a seat and then I will find you when i’m free!”

After which, Cara quickly found Megan a nice seat that overlooked both the city and the other side of the road at the corner of the cafe.

“Let me grab you a coffee and some biscuits!” Cara declared and the efficient her delivered a nice cup of cappucino and some biscuits in front of Megan.

“Alright I reaaaaaaally gotta go. Catch you in abit!”

Sighing once again, Megan picked up and sipped her coffee. This was totally unexpected. The Cara she knew had always had long hair! It was her crowning glory and she’d probably even qualify to be a shampoo model if given the chance! What possessed her? Ah well, she would get the answer out of her later! Continuing to nibble on the biscuits, she glanced around and took in the scenery whilst observing the many people walking up and down the street. Perhaps she might even find her next style inspiration… It was at that point she noticed a lady, dressed up sharply in a charcoal grey power suit and black heels, striding down the street as though in a hurry, with her breast length hair flying against the chilly breeze.

“Wow that’s a really nice suit. I wonder if I can ever pull such a look off at work. It looks amazing…” At this point her thoughts trailed off, she definitely had to do something about herself as well! What would her colleagues think of her, coming to work like a complete slob. As she continued to gawk at the suited lady, she noticed she had entered a shop just right opposite the cafe.

“O’Cam’s Razor… hmm its a barbershop?” Megan murmured to herself, unconsciously twirling a lock of her hair as she stared at the sign above the shop. It even had a huge glass wall facing the road, allowing anyone to peer inside and watch the barber plying their craft. She hadnt noticed this place previously as there was almost no activity going on there. Furthermore the barbershop seemed small with only 2 seats, both unoccupied at the present. Partially bored and partially fascinated, she decided to continue watching the grey suited lady and to see just what sort of haircut she was planning to get.

The moment the grey suited lady walked in, another lady strode out from the back to receive her. Befitting her role as a barber, she had a precisely cut blunt bob that lightly grazed the bottom of her earlobes, giving the impression of a very meticulous individual. Dressed in tight fitting jeans and a form fitting black top, she looked absolutely stunning. Simple but chic. The two exchanged a few words before the barberette very quickly ushered the grey suited lady to the seat closest to the glass wall, helping her with her suit and hanging it by the side. In a single flourish, the barberette tore a piece of tissue out from the table and tucked it into the lady’s collar, before immediately covering her with a billowy black cape with the poise of a seasoned expert. The two then continued to chat abit more before the lady pointed at the barberette and the two burst into laughter at this point. Unfortunately as Megan was too far away, she had no idea what the two were saying! But right after that, the barberette began to tie up the lady’s hair into a ponytail before buzzing it off with a quick swipe of her clippers.

At this point, Megan was almost completely enthralled by the sight. She had never stepped foot into a barbershop and the entire proceeding was just so fascinating. There was no hair washing or long drawn out consultation with the stylist. Just a few quick sentences and the barberette went to work! It was so terribly efficient! Gulping down a mouth of saliva, Megan even thought to herself how she would have felt in the lady’s heels! Very quickly though, she pushed the idea out of her head as something utterly preposterous. She wasn’t going to take the risk of doing something like this! She had her nice salon and comfortable massages to look forward to. Though it would be nice to have a change sometimes…

The barberette wasted no time after removing the ponytail. The lady’s hair now fell to chin in a rough bob and it was time to start shaping the final style. Pinning up the outer layers of her hair, the barberette grabbed her clippers, proceeding to shear the back of her head to stubble. She continued to pass the clippers over and over again the nape of the lady, determined to ensure that every last stray hair had been cut to size. It wasn’t till a good 2 minutes later that she had stopped, apparently finally satisfied with the first part of her handiwork.

“Those clippers do make short work of her thick hair…” Megan murmured as she continued staring at the show ahead of her.

However the clippers weren’t set away just yet. The sides of the rough bob were also pinned up and the barberette went to work on the lady’s sideburns. After sculpting the sides, the barberette placed down the clippers and looked up, out of the glass wall on a whim. It was at this point when Megan and her seemed to make eye contact, one feverishly watching the scene unfold, whilst the other held a fascinated look in her eye. Embarassed that her voyeuristic actions were discovered, Megan quickly broke eye contact and pretended to look into the coffee she had been holding in a hand, in an effort to pretend that she had merely glanced by and was now completely disinterested. However barely a minute later, she was unable to hide her anticipation, her eyes once again darting towards the glass wall.

At this point, the lady’s hair had been let down and the barberette was snipping away expertly with a pair of scissors. The hair was shortened into a straight line at earlobe level and the final bob was starting to take shape. What was most interesting was that even after that sharp line had been carved, the barberette didn’t stop there but continued to meticulously make tiny adjustments, further refining it until the bob was truly razor sharp. Simple but immacuately executed. The barberette finally dusted the lady off and helped her to her jacket. It was like a complete makeover. The once long haired professional now looked absolutely stunning, exuding vibes of a superwoman. A haircut truly could change one’s life. After making payment, the lady strode off with a huge smile on her face, completely satisfied with the result. Meanwhile Megan was absolutely transfixed by the sight. A tiny thought arose in her mind before being squashed. “Perhaps this was the sort of change I need to refresh myself with?”

She found herself gradually turning back to look into the barbershop where the barberette was now cleaning up, flicking and folding the cape. At this point they once again locked gazes. This time, a bemused grin formed on the barberette’s face. It wasn’t the first time already and she knew something was up. The barberette beckoned towards Megan and patted her chair with a huge smile as she looked at her. Megan blushed as she knew that she had really been caught in the act. However just before she did anything.

“I’m finally freeeeeee!” A shout camee from behind as a certain Cara plonked herself in the seat right next to her.

“Huh? What are you looking at?” Cara followed Megan’s gaze and noticed she was staring at the barbershop. “Huh? You want a haircut? Didn’t know you’d want to go to such a place.”

Snapping back into reality, Megan immediately turned to face Cara. “No no no. What are you saying! I was just bored waiting for you so I was just looking around.”

“Ohhhh I see. Sorry for taking so long. Though it’s funny. I got my haircut right there this morning as well!” Megan finally connected the dots. It was clear that the super precise bob came from an expert. Perhaps it wasn’t so surprising that Cara got her hair cut right there and then…

“Yeah! Tell me about it! What made you change your mind? I can’t believe you did it! It’s so short!”

“Well yeah… I was gonna get to it once you let me! So you know, we’ve been stuck in lockdown for like forever. My hair had also grown out quite abit but since we’ve always been at home, I got lazy to take care of it. No one was gonna see me anyways! Then I was looking for a new job since I’d been let go and this cafe was hiring. Needed the job for the cash and that was when I realised I had to do something about my hair. Well firstly it was messy and barely presentable… almost like yours heh, but at the same time I didn’t really want it to get in the way. I tied it up in a pony tail in the interim and to be honest, I didn’t expect to cut it this short at first…”

“And then??? Don’t leave me in suspense!”

“Yeah fine fine! So anyways I got to work early, and wanted to catch a whiff of the nice air and get a snack before my shift. So when I was walking around this street, I noticed this barbershop. Of course I’d normally never step foot within one, but my hair was really getting in the way with how hard the wind blows. I was a little frustrated and just wanted to get rid of it. At the same time, someone stepped out of this barbershop at that very moment with a really nice lob. That was the point I decided, this place looks decent, its open early and I can get something done immediately. Why not? Everything has changed, why not refresh myself and change my style too? Camilia, the barberette also saw that I was fixated on the previous girl’s lob and signalled me to come in as well. After that, the rest is history! I think you’ve seen that Camilia has a great bob that her partner Ollie does for her when she’s around and she also suggested that I take it a little shorter, so it’s easier to manage. Couple of snips later and here you have it!” Cara announced as she smiled exuberantly.

“She even gave me an undercut and its super cooling with the breeze. Try touching it! It’s super fuzzy!”

Although slightly hesitant, Megan eventually reached out to feel Cara’s undercut and she was right. It felt amazing in a way she had never expected before.

“Wait till you feel it for yourself! I’d totally recommend it! It’s completely different when you experience it on your own!”

Lightly biting her lip, Megan took a deep breath and composed herself. Cara was right. The haircut rejuvenated her and felt absolutely fantastic. Megan wanted to make a change but she didn’t dare to do so. Although she had always had well maintained shoulder length hair, the thought of a change frightened her. What if she’d look funny? Would her colleagues laugh at her?

As though Cara could read her mind, she continued. “Well I know what you’re thinking. What if I look weird? What if it doesn’t fit me! Please! You’re the hottest person I know! In fact, I think your old hairstyle was too boring and frumpy anyways. You need a change and this is the perfect time! Hmm you know what? Let me help you! Just give me a moment.”

Cara immediately rushed into the cafe and a minute later popped out again. “Alright your bill is settled, lets go! My boss let me off early just for today!”

“What? Go where?” Megan was a little confused at this surprising turn of events. Her mind had yet to understand what was going on.

“Silly, to get a haircut.” Cara explained as she pointed at the barbershop.

“Huh? Nooooo! It’s alright I have an appointment with my…”

“Your salon? Please! So you’d go back to looking normal and boring? No way you’re coming with me…”

Grabbing Megan’s hand, Cara quickly dragged her away towards the barbershop…

“Hello! Camilia! Are you free??” Cara announced the moment the duo entered.

“Hello Cara, wasn’t expecting to see you so soon… hmmm? Who might this be?” Camilia asked curiously.

“Is this girl your friend?” A mischievous smile appeared on the barberette’s face.

“Uh… Hello, I’m Megan.”

“Nice to meet you Megan, I’m Camilia and welcome to O’Cam’s Razor! As you might have already known, we specialise in short razor sharp cuts.” Camilia grinned.

Megan’s face was now completely red in embarassment. Unsurprisingly, Camilia had recognised her and she must have known that Megan was completely entranced by the previous lady’s bob haircut.

“Soooo anyway, my friend here wants a haircut. She needs a change and a complete refresh!” Cara piped in.

“Uh wait….I…” Before Megan could finish her sentence, Camilia had cut her off, right as she ushered her into the barber seat which Megan had been fantasizing about.

“Shhh, theres no need to worry. I will take good care of you.” Before another word was spoken, she tucked a tissue into Megan’s collar and whipped the cape around her, whilst moving her hair out of the way. As the cape snapped into place with a click, it sounded as though Megan’s path of retreat had been closed off. She had barely had any time to register what had happened from the moment she was dragged off by Cara. Perhaps part of her intentionally remained in a daze, just so that someone could get her in here…

“Alright so what should we do for you today? You’re hair looks to be in an absolute mess and we really need to do something about it. Something short.”

“Well I usually get my hair trimmed to shoulder length…” Megan weakly replied.

“Hmm? But I remember you really liked Sandra’s haircut. That’s the name of the grey suited lady who just left.”

“I uh…”

“You know what, why don’t we do something similar! You have the perfect features for it. That way you can show off your slender neck to the world. Plus, it’s professional and perfect for any role you might be in. Sexy and work ready, a versatile hairstyle for any occasion!”

“Yeah you totally should do that Megan! Then we can be fellow short hair buddies too!” Cara once again interrupted. Would it kill her to not speak so much?? Megan grumbled internally but part of her also felt a slight hint of anticipation.

“Alright thats settled lets get to it! I do enjoy cleaning up a long haired girl!” Camilia cheered seeing Megan submit to her fate.

After swiftly adjusting Megan’s pony tail lower, she grabbed a pair of clippers off the table and flicked them on with an almost ominous buzz.

“Are you ready?” Camilia continued to smirk, clearly enjoying the situation whilst watching Megan squirm in her seat.

“And here we go!” Immediately later, she plunged the clippers right into the ponytail, slicing through it with a single swift motion without hesitation. Holding the now severed ponytail in hand, she placed it right in front of Megan. “A souvenir, if you so wish.”

Staring into the mirror, Megan’s hair now hung in a rough bob just below the chin. She gulped as she stared at her slightly unfamiliar reflection. She had always had shoulder length hair so this technically shouldn’t be too surprising! However those few inches made her look and feel like a completely different person. Whilst Megan continued to stare at her reflection, Camilia continued to work, pinning up a few layers of Megan’s shortened locks.

“Is this the first time you’re getting an undercut?”

“Yeah…”

“Well then you’re gonna love this.”

Snapping on a #2 guard, she immediately started to buzz her nape, taking care to slowly cut off every single stray hair. Megan on the other hand was feeling completely ecstatic. It was her first time and the vibrating clippers felt absolutely wonderful. Even though a torrent of hair was falling down all around her, none of it mattered as she closed her eyes and savoured the moment. Camilia didn’t seemed surprised in the least, taking her sweet time to ensure that every hair was trimmed into it’s rightful place, constantly flicking the clippers over and over again. Finally, after ensuring that both the sides and the back had been sculpted to perfection, she turned the clippers off, much to Megan’s disappointment.

“Disappointed? Well don’t be! You’re gonna have to come back a lot more to maintain this.”

Blushing as she knew that Camilia had caught her enjoying herself, Camilia continued to speak. “Well theres nothing to be embarassed about! It feels great after all! But you know what’s better? Try feeling your nape.”

Megan tentatively reached out to feel the back of her head and shivered slightly as her fingers brushed across the short bristly hairs. “See what I mean?” Camilia laughed. “Alright you have plenty of time to feel it later, let me finish your haircut before we continue.”

Right after that, she unpinned the rest of Megan’s hair and started to get to work on finishing the cut.

*Snip Snip Snip* Every cut was deliberate and slow, as the rhythmic sound of the snipping scissors echoed around the barbershop. Megan’s hair was gradually shortened to earlobe level. Within another 15 minutes the earlobe length bob looked complete. “We’re not just done yet, this just isnt sharp enough! Every haircut here must be absolutely razor sharp!” Making tiny minute snips, Camilia continued to refine the bob, ensuring that every last hair was the exact same length and perfectly in place. Once that was done, the meticulous barberette took a step back to admire her handiwork.

“Hmm I think you’d look great with bangs.” And before Megan could react, *Snip Snip Snip*. Camilia had taken the liberty to cut a set of thick eyebrow level bangs.

“Perfect, now lets clean this all up!” After making a few final adjustments to Megan’s bangs, she grabbed some shaving foam and lathered up Megan’s now bare neck.

“Hold still while I finish this.” Camilia warned as whipped out a razor and started to shave off any loose hairs.

“Perfect! Take a look for yourself!” The zealous barberette announced as she whipped off the cape in a single flourish. Megan stood up and could finally see the completed style. It was a short and precise bob that was very slightly angled from the bottom of her chin to the bottom of her earlobes, gradually revealing a part of her buzzed nape. Coupled with her thick bangs, it screamed chic and trendy. She looked both assertive and sexy, perfect for work as well. Most of all Megan felt completely reborn! Seeing how Megan was simply grinning to herself as she stroked her own nape, Camilia smiled.

“Wow you look like a million bucks! Told you you’d look amazing!” Cara exclaimed from the side.

Megan beamed, “This is great! Thank you Camilia!”

“Well you’d better come back every 3 weeks so I can maintain this style. The effort to keep it looking good doesn’t come easy!”

Nodding eagerly, the duo made a follow up appointment, paid and left for home.

A completely new look but a completely new way of life as well. Megan was truly refreshed. Perhaps this was the start of something new after all.

 

 

 

One response to “Refreshed

  1. Great story! Wanted to let you know you know there are a few places where it looks like you may have done a find-replace and a word with “cam” in it winds up having “Camila,” with whatever letters come before or after it. For example, there are at least two places where I think you meant to use the word “came,” but it’s showing as “Camilae.”

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