Anticipating tears, I hid my face in my hair. Thick and dark brown, when worn down it hung nearly to my waist. Usually glorious, my mane now made me look like Cousin It.
“The picture looks fine,” Brad tossed the print onto the bar. “You always look cute.”
He gave me a smug smile. I couldn’t see it, but I knew every time I did this. Again, I cringed at it from under my curtain, smelling like a fresh coat of Herbal Essences. The smell of fear.
Brad sometimes treated me like a little girl. “Jilly. I wish you wouldn’t hide behind your hair all the time. You have such a pretty face.”
I couldn’t help it. When upset, I always hid behind my hair. It was my security blanket and …I just couldn’t control myself. That fact alone made me feel even more childish and ashamed.
“I can’t help it,” I murmured, trying to sound cute-as if being cute could justify me.
“Maybe we should just cut your hair, then.” he suggested, fading into a sort of nervous chuckle.
The truth is, I always did want to cut my hair but never thought I would ever have the guts to do it. He brushed a silky lock out of my face and kissed at my partially-developed tears. I tried not to look directly at him. My blue eyes rolled across the floor, as if looking for something but merely avoiding assertive connection. We shared the most brief smile and I ventured another look at my senior volleyball picture. I’ve always been a tall girl with full curves, sometimes sexy, but unflattering in all manner of athletic wear. I looked like an oaf. And to boot, the photo was taken right after I got that black eye in practice. A small part of me thought I looked like a badass. Yeah right.
“So. Do you want a haircut?” asked Brad, acknowledging that I hadn’t answered. To say no would have been a lie. But I didn’t have the courage to say yes.
I studied the floor, unable to say anything. Patiently, he carressed my shoulder, so I looked at him, awkwardly hoping to somehow convey my plight… and my wish. Brad gave me a hug and nuzzled the nape of my neck, where my hair was its softest. He’d always respected my shyness, never once pushing me into anything.
“It’s all right, baby.” he whispered, stubble grazing my cheek. “You know,” he looked away from me, “I’ve always cut my family’s hair. Why don’t I cut your hair a little bit at a time. And if you want me to stop, just say stop. Will that work?”
He nurturingly held my hand and eventually I nodded and gave a little smile to my volley ball picture. Goodbye hair.
“That sounds good.” I smiled and immediately felt excited to have a new look, then equally scared of how much attention I might get for it. Scared to lose my security blanket, then again excited to be free from it. After all, I couldn’t help myself. I deserved to have all my hair cut off.
We brought a lower stool into the well-lit bathroom and Brad draped a sheet over my shoulders. I had been hoping Brad and I could have sex while I was over tonight. I worried about how long it might take him to just cut a little at a time. I was beginning to feel turned on by the excitement and danger before us. I pictured myself with a dainty little french bob, bouncing on Brad’s Little Slugger. Hopefully we’d have time after this haircut. And shower.
Brad gently sucked at my bottom lip and buried his hands in my hair. He gave me an intense look, as if this haircut was really going to affect him.
“I love you so much,” I whispered and kissed him again.
“I love you too.” he was so dreamy. “Would you like some music?”
“How about Alkaline Trio?” I shrugged.
He popped in a cd in the other room, I felt more confident as Keep ’em Coming blasted through the basement.
Brad sprayed my hair like a pro and ran a thick comb through it. “All right. I’m going to start cutting and I’m not going to stop until you say stop. Okay?”
“Okay,” I gave him a thumbs up and braced myself.
He slowly snipped across my shoulders, really working those scissors. We both knew my hair should end up shorter than this. I figured he was giving me a little chance to chicken out. How sweet. All the while his breathing grew heavier. Periodically he gave me looks of such intensity, adding to my own anxiety. I couldn’t meet that kind of stare.
“Are you okay?” I swallowed.
“Yeah,” Brad shrugged and sniffled. “I’ve always wanted to do this. You do have such beautiful features. I’ve always thought it was a crying shame to hide behind all that hair-even though you have such beautiful hair. You know what I mean.”
“Thanks,” I blushed and pulled him in for a smooch, running my tongue along his upper lip. My slight overbite dug gently into his sweet tongue. There was nothing I wouldn’t do for him. In fact, I decided to let him cut my hair as short as he wanted. No matter how short he cut it, I would not tell him to stop.
Next, he cut along my jaw line, snipping so carefully it seemed like this was clearly how short he intended to make the final cut. The shearing was so loud in my ear. It echoed between the tiled walls. I loved the warmth of Brad’s hands on my neck and the coldness of the scissors. He brushed the snipped hair from my shoulders. What remained was now shorter than I had ever, since I could grow hair, remembered having it. My neck felt so cool. I turned my head quickly from side to side, as short locks twirled about sensually. Then I did a sexy hair whip, hoping Brad would figure out what I was in the mood for.
We shared a look, both knowing my hair was now too short to hide behind. It was so cute on me, just long enough in the front for me to tuck behind it my ear or wear in an updo at our senior prom. It was perfect. Short, but nothing extreme. Nothing that would warrant much of an explanation. Just a good twenty inches shorter than my old look.
Brad clicked on his clippers, which tickled, shaving away the soft hairs on my neck. You’ve got So Far to Go played on the stereo. Lucky for me, it seemed like this haircut was nearly over. I felt faint with arousal, at the hum of the clippers near my ears, dangerously close to a cut wildly shorter. I ran my hand over the fresh stubble, sparse on the bottom and more prickly as I moved my hand up, feeling parts of me I’d never felt before. Feeling so hot. Brad brushed away the little hairs from my neck and breathed onto me, grazing his lips against my bare nape. I smiled down at the huge pile of brown hair in my lap, feeling so free. Ready to be released.
We pulled out the comb again and combed my hair forward. I guess since I didn’t say stop, I let him go ahead and give me short bangs. They were cute and made my eyes even more present. I batted my eyelashes at his vision in the mirror and we exhanged a flirtation giggle.
“I like this so much,” I said, tucking my hair behind my ear and checking myself out. My drop earrings dangled below my hair line. I loved it. “Do you like it?”
“Yes,” Brad sighed, smiling. “You haven’t told me to stop.”
“No. Don’t you want to stop?” I felt a pit in my stomach, remembering my decision to let him cut as. much. as. he. wanted.
“No. I want to keep cutting.” he sounded like a young boy, eager to go so far into the woods without fear of getting lost. Without regard for how I was going to look and what I was going to have to say for myself when I got home.
I tensed my shoulders, wincing as he took his first cut. To my relief, he only took the cut one step further, snipping my hair into strands about an inch or two long, into what was shaping up to be a normal pixie cut. I was beginning to feel like a different person. So exotic. So daring. Looking into the mirror, felt very different from that. I looked like a mom, albeit a hot mom. At this length, my hair was quite voluminous. I suspected Brad was hoping I’d want him to keep cutting after this one.
“I’m going to go ahead and buzz this if you don’t tell me to stop,” Brad darkened, but I just nodded, showing him I understood.
He put a guard on the clippers that seemed to be the second to the smallest. The smallest one was really small. Without fuss, he started buzzing at the back of my head and, while I expected him to leave the top as it was, which would have been the logical next step, he just kept buzzing. He was giving me a total butch, buzz cut.
Fuck I thought. What was I going to do? Tell him to stop? No. I deserved this, to punish me for being unable to control my need to constantly hide in my hair, which I never would have had the guts to cut short. Brad was saving me. He deserved to have his way. I began to feel the warm air from the vent graze my scalp. My beautiful hair, once halfway down my back, was now just a dark shadow on my head. There was no more fringe. No more sideburns. Nothing. Just my blushing cheeks, wet lips, and anxious eyes. Below the sheet, piled high with clippings, both long and tiny, I snuck a hand down my pants and felt that I’d gotten wet. No surprise, my freshly trimmed pubes were now longer than the hair on my head.
“Are you done?” I asked, tamely.
“Not until you tell me to stop.”
I shrugged, having already accepted my fate. I wouldn’t dare tell my beloved pervert to stop. Everyone was going to think I had gone crazy, just because Brad was, surprisingly, a freak about cutting my hair. There were a lot worse qualities he could have.
Brad snapped the guard off the clippers and scraped away most of the hair I had left on the back and sides, leaving me with what I think is a ‘high and tight’. My skin was white where it was shaved.
“You’re a very brave girl,” he noted.
“Everyone’s going to think I’m crazy.” I let him know.
“Crazy about me,” he wrapped his arms around me and nuzzled my freshly clipped neck. I may have moaned audibly at the touch of his breath on stubbled scalp behind my ear lobes. His nose grazed my earring.
To the tune of Radio, I examined my reflection, really feeling like a total badass. Who cares if people say I’m crazy? Why not brave? I felt like riding a motorcycle to school and ripping off my helmet for the world to see. I thought about crushing it on the volleyball court, my size and my haircut intimidating the shit out of all opposition.
I stood up and and straightening my low-cut t-shirt. It was time I properly thanked Brad for helping me to get rid of my security blanket, and unveil the new me.