Small Town Chronicles

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Hey guys, it’s been a long time since I posted something here. It’s a little long story this time, but I earnestly hope that you would like reading it.

 

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It has been a little more than seven years since I moved to the big city after living in a small town my entire childhood and adolescence. It was into one year of my birth, I lost my mother, and my father brought me up ever since.

Being a cop, he had always chosen comfortable looks over fashionable choices. Besides, in a small town like ours, people barely fancied extravagant dressings or styling.

So, he would visit the local barbershop every alternative Friday of the month and take me along with him. The barber, Joe, would crop his hair first, almost scalped to the bone—save for the little pelt on top—followed by the razor shave the sides and back. It was the mannish haircut of all, but it suited dad very much.

On me, Joe would go scissor happy as well, but thankfully, not as much as dad’s. But he would still use the clippers on me, cropping the hair short—like a little-boy-haircut. Up until twelve years, I endured the shortest haircut for a girl because dad wouldn’t simply let me make decisions.

“Every one of my friends in school has long hair!”‌ I‌ complained, whining my way home from another one of those horrible short croppings. It was summer actually, and Joe almost buzzed my head with half an inch on top.

“It easier to maintain, Ava,” he reasoned. “I have told you this so many times, little girl.”

“Dad, please. I promise I will take good care of my hair if you’d let me grow out. Please, daddy!” I made one of those melting faces that instantly brought a bright smile on his face.

“Christ, girlie. If you are going to make that face, I wouldn’t be able to say no.”

So, finally, I did convince him, and he allowed my auburn brown tresses to grow out. By fourteen, I had shoulder-length glossy hair that I let Joe occasionally trim the ends. I wouldn’t say that my father was entirely okay with it, but seeing I was happy, he didn’t object as long as my grades were good.

But adolescent is all about crazy decisions sometimes. My best friend—who was also my neighbor—decided one day that we would color our hair in blue streaks. And so we did, by investing our pocket money in buying inexpensive hair color.

To say that my father was livid would be an understatement. He marched me down to the barbershop the next morning and instructed Joe to give me good cropping as a punishment. I was partly grateful that the barbershop was empty that day, and no one had to see a fourteen-year-old girl receiving a little boys’ haircut as a punishment. But the knowledge didn’t make it easy to accept the haircut at all.

Joe sat me down and caped me in a jiffy. To make it more manageable for him, he tied my hair into a ponytail and ruthlessly sliced it off with his sharp scissors. In a moment, the entire growth was chopped off. The sight broke my heart as tears rolled my cheeks endlessly.

“Head down, Ava,”‌ Joe instructed, but at the same time, pushed it so that my chin press against my chest. Without any preamble, the clipper roared to life and started to mow the back in its path.

I didn’t bother guessing how short it would be because I heard my father speaking over the sound of the vicious clippers, instructing, “It should be as short as the summer haircut, Joe.”

“You got it, Paul. A nice summer-look,” Joe chimed happily.

My head was pulled up slightly, then tilted at the sides as the barber reduced the hair close to the scalp. Purposefully, Joe turned the chair away when he began to snip the top of my head. All I saw was large chunks of wet hair falling on the white cape.

Joe finally placed the scissors down and combed the front, giving a sharp side-parting. It was a miracle, I thought, that my hair needed a comb-over after the barber was done hacking it thoroughly.

I was about to get down from the chair when Joe removed the cape, but dad’s voice froze me up. “Joe, the razor shaving as well,” he directed, and Joe clamped his hands on my shoulders to drag me back into position.

Everything happened so quickly that words escaped me completely. Besides, I didn’t want to warrant my father’s anger.

The warm foam was smeared all around my ears and newly-cut hairline at the back, as the barber stroked the razor sensually against the strop. With his left hand, he guided down my head and began to drag down the sharp instrument. I have seen my father getting razored-sides so many times that I knew not to move an inch.

This dreaded razor felt exceptionally good and calming against my grated nerves at being shaved. Oddly, I never felt this good ever at Joe’s barbershop. Once done with the nape, he folded my ears and took care of the sides in no time. The man, for all his experience at hair-cutting, was remarkably quick with sharp instruments.

Dad paid for the haircut, and we briskly left the place. On my way home, I kept stroking the bare nape and fuzzy back, sadly reminiscing the loss of my long hair.

“You will have this haircut every other Friday like before,”‌ my father decreed once we reached home. “I don’t want to hear a single complain about it, Ava Maria Roberts.” When dad used my full name, I knew he meant business, and there was no changing his mind.

It was mixed feelings. On the one hand, I dearly missed my hair. But on the other, I craved the razor so much even though the outcome was brutal and bare.

After a couple of months, I resigned to my fate and accepted the short haircuts whenever my father would deem proper. In summer, he would instruct Joe to crop it down even further and shave the sides a little higher. And by little, Joe would shave it at least two inches above the ears.

The only good thing about stepping into Joe’s barbershop twice a month was meeting Brian, Joe’s son, who was a year senior to me in school. Brian was totally out of my league, but at sixteen, the heart wanted what it wanted. I stopped minding how short Joe was cropping me, as long as I got to spend minuscule moments with Brian.

Years rolled by, as I watched him dating someone prettier than me, with long hair and doe-eyes. Smitten as I was, our little conversations at the barbershop, where Brian would help out his father, kept me happy.

After my eighteenth birthday, I left for college and only came back seven years later. And all these years, apart from home and dad, could never fundamentally change the small-town girl within me—at least that’s what I thought. However, outwardly, I wasn’t the short-haired girl anymore.

A couple of layered hairstyles and balayage looks later, I fixated my mind on the medium length hair, cascading down my shoulders. While living in the city, several friends and acquaintances complimented me on the look, and I wondered, how would they react when they would learn that I have always been the girl who preferred haircuts at a barbershop.

“Ava, my darling girl!” my dad greeted me warmly as I melt into his embrace. Happiness felt so overwhelming that I was tearing up.

“I have missed you, daddy,”‌ I whispered through the haze of tears as he gently stroked the back of my head. Dad was so consumed to hold me in his arms that he didn’t comment on the long hair ever since my return.

In the afternoon, I decided to take a long, lazy stroll on the streets I have grown up and visited the nearby park. While returning home, my eyes fell on Joe’s Barbershop. I thought it would be a nice gesture to pay a visit to the old Joe, who was also a good friend of my father.

It was when I pushed the door open and entered that I realized the barbershop looked so much different than what it was seven years ago. It was well-furnished now, with modern interior decoration, and a few more added chairs. However, the familiar smell of after-shave, the clippers hanging from the hooks, and the ceaseless sound of clacking scissors elicited a wild excitement in me.

Unconsciously, my hand reached up to touch the thick hair around my shoulders. My mouth dried when I saw a large clipper was shearing the head of a little girl—around twelve years old—as the barber shorn her in the same fashion Joe did to me.

“Can I help you, Miss?” I heard someone as I spun around.

The sight of him—Brian—whooshed the air out of my lungs, for he was the least expected person I thought I would encounter. The last time I saw him, he was kissing a girl, and I ran out of the place like a crazy dork, never to confront again.

And now, after seven years here he was—standing before me, looking like a charming gentleman in a barber’s coat. I realized that I was still enamored with him. “Umm…”

His hazel eyes squinted and then lightened up with a radiant smile. “Ava Roberts?” he asked, even though he unquestionably got it right.

“Hey, Brian. How have you been?”‌ I asked shyly, mentally kicking my ass for drooling like a stupid girl.

“I am doing fine. What about you?”

“I moved in here for some time,”‌ I told him.

Our conversations went on and on, as I came to know that he took over the barbershop as Joe slipped into self-retirement. We joked and reminisced of our childhood days, and often met for drinks and outings. Neither of us was seeing anyone, and into months of our resumed friendship, a certain intimacy grew on.

“God! You were so out of my league!”‌ I‌ squealed and laughed as I told him how smitten I was with him. But it was his reply that surprised me.

“You were such an introvert, I didn’t how to approach. Besides, your dad was a cop,”‌ Brian stated.

“So what?‌ Daddy would have liked you!”‌ I reasoned.

It seemed to me that coming back to my small town was everything I have been waiting for. Later that evening, when I came back home, I saw my father arranging old pictures of mine and sorting them out in an album. In the era of digital photos and backup in the Cloud, photographs were a refreshing change.

“Dad, what are you doing with these?”‌ I asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.

“Oh, nothing, sweetheart. I was looking at your old pictures,” he said with a soft smile. In his hand, was a picture of the fifteen-year-old me, holding a prize I won in a competition I couldn’t recall. I was wearing a blue dress with the shortest summer haircut administered by Joe.

“You were my darling little girl,” he said so fondly that it tugged at my heart. “But you are so grown up now.”

“Daddy.” I went up and hugged him tightly, mumbling, “I am still your little girl.” He laughed huskily, the sunlines crinkling around his eyes, as he pressed a soft kiss on my forehead.

That night, I couldn’t sleep even for a second. I tossed and turned to no avail as dad’s voice kept floating into my ears hauntingly. But you are so grown up now.

When I woke up the next day, I knew what I had to do. Maybe it wouldn’t have made a world of difference, but at least, I had to try and make an effort.

“Hey!”‌ Brian greeted me, wearing the crisp white barber coat. “I didn’t know you where coming,”‌ he told me with a small peck on my cheeks.

“Well, I didn’t know about it either.”‌ I smiled nervously, wringing my hands. “I, umm, wanted to ask you something. How would you like me in short hair?”

Brian looked puzzled. “I thought you don’t like short hair on yourself.”

So I narrated the whole incident that spurred me into cutting my hair. I was also slightly concerned, wondering how would Brian react, having my hair cut short like I had as a teenager. But I took the shot.

To my utter surprise, his face glowed brightly. “Ava, you are beautiful anyway. Since you hated having short hair and always complained about it, I never dared to say this to you before that short-hair suits you very much.”

“You are kidding?” I gaped.

“Sweetheart, I am a barber. Do you honestly think that I wouldn’t appreciate a sharp, short-hair look?”‌ he confessed sincerely.

I sighed happily, knowing I had taken the best decision despite it wrecked my nerves. So I asked him skeptically. “Well?‌”

“Sit down,” he urged, pointing towards the leather chair. “What are you waiting for?”‌

I quickly hopped on the chair as he caped me before tying a strip of tissue around my neck. With part-excitement and part-trepidation, I sat still on the chair. Back in the day, it always brought me some sense of resignation as I knew how Joe was going to cut my hair. With Brian, I had no clue whatsoever.

Coming behind me, he slowly let my hair lose, finger-combing them, and gently stroked my nape. It was downright sensual and erotic. “Would you mind if I show you the haircut once I am done?”‌

“Sure,”‌ I‌ agreed after a moment’s thought. “You do know the haircut your father used to give me?‌ It’s short around here, and here…”‌ I kept motioning, fishing out my hand out of the cape.

Brian chuckled as he put my hand back under the cape. “Babe, it’s called short back and sides. And, yes, I know the haircut my father gave you every alternative Friday,”‌ he replied like he was explaining a child.

“Fine.”‌ I rolled my eyes, pouting.

“But I will customize the short back and sides a bit. You would love it.”‌ He winked and quickly spun the chair around.

With great care, he brushed my hair and gathered into a low ponytail. Without sight, I relied on the little sounds of his movements and instruments. For example, the roaring clippers changed its noise the moment it came in contact with my hair. Since it didn’t touch the scalp, I knew Brian was chopping off the length—the same old technique used by his father years ago.

Once the tug on my hair loosened, I felt the length of hair rubbing against my sensitive nape that hasn’t been revealed in years.

“Can I feel it, please?”‌ I begged Brian.

“Certainly not!” he clipped out but began to run his warm, calloused fingers moving up and down my exposed neck in a teasing manner. “Trust me: you won’t regret the look,”‌ he murmured.

“Hmm…” Hungrily and unashamedly, I leaned into his touch.

I was almost gushing in my knickers when he abruptly stopped and declared, “Let’s get on with the real haircut now.”

My hair was quickly parted into three sections at first as I saw Brian attaching a small guard on a clipper and approaching me. “Don’t move your head, Ava,” he instructed, pushing my head all the way down. His voice was all serious and I knew he meant business.

But it was so hard not to squirm and wiggle a bit when the vibrating machine comes in contact with the scalp, moving up. Not only could I sense the hair being shorn ruthlessly but also feel the severed hair slithering down my neck.

Brian, on the other hand, purposefully flicked his wrist and deposited most of the hair on my lap. The clippers hummed continuously, grazing all over my back and above the occipital bone.

“I guess he wouldn’t cut it shorter than Joe,” I hoped and prayed because I didn’t know if I was mentally ready for an almost-bald look.

Once the back was done, the Clippers were turned down momentarily as Brian titled my head sideways. Without wasting a precious second, he drove the clippers from my peach fuzz up to high up my temples—and skilly flicked the wrist. The thick bunch of auburn hair slapped the cape and slid down on the floor, joining the rest.

I couldn’t help but compare at this point that Brian, as a barber, as much quicker than Joe but definitely gentler. He proceeded to the left side now, bending my head to the left as the right side was presented for the hungry machine to devour.

Not being able to see the haircut but merely watching the hair fall around me mercilessly was a darkly sensual feeling that surely prompted my inner hair fetish.

Moving onto the next step, brian doused my hair with a spray bottle and gave a good combing. It gave me a faint idea that my hair was terribly short at the back and sides.

Brian combed the front which was the longest section of all, touching my chin. This time, he picked up the gleaming sharp scissors and unceremoniously began to hack the length, shortening them far too short for my liking.

I shivered every time scissors snipped my hair or when Brian saw fit to douse my head with a spray bottle. The mist of cool water against my erotically blazed skin was arousing.

He spent a great deal of time at the back, using scissor over comb and then moved on to taper the sides with the buzzed temple—at least that’s what I thought. Hair rained around me like crazy, forming a circular shape around the chair.

“I haven’t cut such thick hair for a long time,” he commented as he vigorously rubbed my head, loosening the short clippings.

I didn’t know what to say and stayed mum. Once he seemed satisfied after a thorough shearing with the scissors, he moved on to grab a clipper from the hook—the one without a guard. I dared not ask but felt it gliding high up my back and sides for a brisk while. When it was finally switched off, and he placed all the instruments down, I sighed knowing it was over.

“Brian, you’re killing me!” I whined as he unfastened the cape. “Can I turn now?”‌

“Patience, Ava!” he admonished as if I were a child. “We are not done yet.”

“But…what else—”

He quickly shut me up and draped a towel around my shoulders. It dawned on me that Brian always saw Joe giving me a good and clean razored touch in the end. Even though I forgot about it under the haze of excitement, but Brian certainly did not.

“You forgot the most important step of a barbershop haircut,” he reminded.

I smelled the fresh foam before it was smeared around my head, and if I wasn’t wrong—far higher at the sides than Joe ever did. It seemed that Brian was one step ahead of his father when it came to brutally short haircuts.

Sitting stoically, I wondered if anyone would recognize me at all.

I didn’t see Brian picking up the razor, but when he titled down my head, I felt the blade dragging down in slow passes. It was evident that he was carving a higher hairline than my natural one. Giving in to the sensation, I boldly began to enjoy and revel in it.

The tight grasp of his fingers on my newly-shorn head, the way he maneuvered at his pleasure and scalped the sides at his will, catapult me into headiness. He finally finished the sensual shaving and wiped off the excess foam with the towel. The drying took less than a minute, and I wasn’t surprised.

At last, I was released from the chair. And before I even turn towards the mirror, my hand reached back to feel the back of my head.

“Oh, my God,”‌ I murmured into the mirror, looking shell-shocked.

It was SHORT–in capital freaking letters. The back was half smoothed and tapered into fuzzy to slight length at the crown. The sides were quite high, but the layering was beautiful.

“What do you think?”‌ Brian asked as he fluffed the top. Unlike Joe, he didn’t give me a sharp, clean side part that resembled a schoolboy, but added a generous volume for a trendy look.

“It’s amazing!” I exclaimed, still running my fingers delicately. “I have to admit, I wasn’t expecting so short, but strangely, I don’t look like a boy.”

Brian grinned from behind me and reached up to caress around the occipital bone. “That’s because I layered this portion, unlike I do on men. It gives a sense of crown to a woman’s head.”

At his statement, I swirled around and quicker an eyebrow suggestively. “Is that so?”

“Relax. I don’t think there’s another woman as brave as you to go for something this short a haircut,” he revealed.

“Seriously, this is damn short but so cool. I won’t be needing a comb for a month, at least,”‌ I‌ said, trying the grasp a bunch of hair on my head but couldn’t.

Brian stepped forward and ensnared his hands around my waist. Thank God, he put up the CLOSED sign before he began with my hair. “How about not using a comb ever again?”‌ he whispered his wet lips dancing against my neck.

A short haircut like this forever? “Oh,”‌ I breathed. It was a titillating suggestion in a thrilling moment.

“It’s ok if you want to grow it out a bit and then…”

I kissed him, drowning the rest of his words into a muffled whimper as our tongues began to do the talking.

“I would happily go on without a comb,”‌ I told him, breaking the kiss.

After spending the rest of the day with Brian, I took off for home. On my way, I kept wondering how dad was going to react to this. He had always seen his little girl in short hair. It didn’t take long to know his answer.

The second his eyes fell on me—he didn’t blink, but a surprising smile decorated his lips. And the first phrase that slipped out of his lips was, “My little girl.”

“I thought you never liked the haircuts Joe gave you.”

“At that time, no, I didn’t, but you were right, daddy. It’s easy to maintain short hair,”‌ I confessed.

“You bet it is, love,” Dad said and ruffled the top playfully like he used to do when I was a child and pouting for having her hair cut short.

To my father, the short haircut was merely the symbolism that I was ‘his little girl’. It wasn’t a form of discipline or regulation he wanted to enforce but simply a father’s love for his daughter.

And every time, he went for his haircut, I accompanied him too. While I thoroughly enjoyed sitting on the chair, being shorn and shave by Brian, it was always funny as hell to watch him maintain the straight face in front of my dad.

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Author’s Note: Please let me know your feedback in the comments. I would love to hear what my readers have to say.

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