Here is the next installment in Cara and Rick’s story! I have lots of fun updates planned for my other series as well and maybe even a follow up to a popular standalone. If you enjoy this, be sure to check out my other stuff!
Flat Top Life
I was still staring at myself in the mirror, feeling the strangeness of the horseshoe shaped halo of hair on the top of my head when Rick got back from taking the newly transformed Hazel to her bus stop. Something strange had happened while he was gone, I had actually cried a little.
Since the first haircut Rick gave me, I had never cried during a haircut, even when I had been shaved completely bald and lost my eyebrows. But this haircut was different.
I don’t know why it bothered me so much but it did. Maybe because it was so obviously intentional, because, more than anything else I had ever done, it was so extreme, so masculine. I may have had a more androgynous look before, but I really did look like a boy in the military and, if I was honest with myself, I hated it.
Rick felt differently though. When he came back into the shop, I would have thought he would be getting straight to business, but he didn’t. He whirled the barber chair I still sat in around and kissed me on the mouth, long and hungry. Like he had been thinking about me the whole time he was gone.
”Hey, babe. I guess you missed me,” I said when he finally came up for air.
”You could say that. Let’s go to your room,” he said, offering me a hand.
I smiled, my concerns about my haircut fading into the background of my mind. I loved when he was hungry for me. We went into the back room and he fucked me. It felt incredible, his hard dick and ravenous desire for my body propelling me to finish over and over again before he finally reached climax.
We both laid there panting for a while before he finally shook his head and stood up. “Okay, now we’ve got to get ready for the day.”
I stood up and nodded, rubbing my strange feeling head. The landing strip was perhaps the strangest sensation. I had felt the top of my head bald and with hair, but not both at the same time. I picked up my hat, the spare I had after giving my other to Hazel and pulled it on my head, wearing it backwards.
”Nuh uh, no hats. When have I ever let you wear a hat at work?” Rick asked, pulling my hat off and kissing me on the lips.
“Oh right, sorry. I’m just not used to the new hair is all,” I said, ruefully stroking my landing strip again. Truthfully, now that the passion of our love making had faded, I was embarrassed for people to see my new hair. Probably more embarrassed than I had ever been. It almost made me want to cry again.
”What? You don’t like it?” Rick said, actually sounding disappointed.
”No! Of course I do! It’s just different,” I said, trying to recover. As much as I feared people seeing my new hair, I feared letting down the man I loved so dearly even more.
”Promise?” Rick asked, holding one of my hands.
”Promise,” I said, reverting to an old part of myself and lying to make the man in my life happy. It was worth it for Rick though. I’d be a hideous boy for the rest of my life if it made him happy.
He smiled, “Okay, good. Maybe I’ll let you keep it. Or maybe I won’t. You’ll just have to see.”
I smiled and nodded, “You’re so much fun. Whatever you think is best.”
”And right now, a flat top is what I think is best. Are you ready for all of the comments?” he asked, nudging me with his elbow as he opened the door, now dressed and ready to start a long day of haircuts.
I nodded, trying my best to hide my sadness from him. “It will be interesting for sure.”
Of course, he predicted the future. All day, the men who came into the shop laughed as soon as they saw me. Old men couldn’t believe a young pretty girl like me could ever do something like this, the young men asked if they would be having more competition for the eligible young women of the town. I laughed it all off but each comment broke me down a little more as the day went on.
The next day was a Sunday and if the men who came in to the shop had been bad, the church ladies were even worse. I wore my best sundress, wore some pretty dangly earrings, and spent twice as long on my makeup as I normally did, doing everything I could to feel like a girl, but it didn’t matter.
”Is she a lesbian now?”
“Does she want to look like a boy that bad?”
”The shaved head first, now this?”
”She looks hideous.”
All of their whispers, all of the gossip, I heard. I acted like I didn’t, played the game, gave hugs and smiles. But inside I could feel tears boiling up. That night I cried myself to sleep as I felt my head, after Rick had yet again ravenously fucked me. It was a good thing I had plenty of condoms for him or I would be ending up pregnant and with a flat top.
The first week went by and I slowly started to feel better. The landing strip filled in with my new chocolatey brown hair, the people in town got used to my new look, and the local cop who also had a flat top got a big kick out of seeing that my newest hairstyle had been inspired by him. He actually seemed genuinely flattered which made me feel better.
But, just as I was starting to feel better, on the one week anniversary of my first flat top, Rick sat me down and shaved my hair into a perfect flat top again. I was devastated. Rick fucked me, yet again, after closing and then left to go to his house once more.
I sat on a chair in front of the mirror in my room and cried, staring at my reflection. One week ago I had been willing to stay like this forever, but now I wasn’t so sure. I loved being Rick’s creation but I missed feeling like a girl. Even the undercut pixie I had felt feminine, whenever my hair fell forward and brushed my face it felt like I still had something to hold onto. Even the bald head and high and tight hadn’t been this bad. I could work those looks, let them highlight my neck, ears, cheekbones and my big, unnaturally brown eyes.
This was worse though. And so time went on, week after week with my hideous flat top. I did everything in my power to make sure nobody noticed I didn’t like it. Even when I chatted on FaceTime with Lyla, Beth, and Hazel. They all just thought I was crazy, even bald and eye browless Lyla who had kept up the look I left behind and would have rather had.
A New Client
As the warm Alabama fall turned into a cool and wet winter, my hairless head began to experience the cold. It was weird that even the small amount of hair in my flat top could keep parts of my head warm while the other parts were ice cold but that’s what happened.
On one particular cold day, I sat on my stool behind the cash register, waiting on Rick to finish up one of his regulars so I could clean up, I saw a car I had previously seen at church pull into the parking lot.
One of the ladies in the church, a nicer one who had never actually made fun of my radically short hair, an attractive woman in her 40s with big blonde southern hair stepped out. I was more surprised to see that her daughter, the one who had graduated from high school at the end of the last school year, step out.
Her hair was long and a beautiful auburn color and hung down still slightly damp from a morning shower. She wore a fleece jacket over a plain gray t-shirt and blue jeans, with a pair of cowboy boots on her feet, not unlike so many of the other girls in the small town that she lived in. She looked nervous and fidgeted with her hair as she and her mother approached the door.
”Welcome in,” I said as the door chimed and they walked in.
”Hey Cara, nice to see you,” the woman, named Angie, said.
Her daughter, named Taylor, smiled at me but didn’t say anything. She looked like she was about to cry.
”Y’all just take a seat, I’m almost done with Lester here,” Rick said.
”’Morning Angie, ‘morning Taylor, what are you two doing here?” Lester asked, looking at the two of them in the mirror.
”I was going to ask the same thing. I thought the both of you went to Sally’s salon?” Rick asked.
”For Taylor’s haircut today, we thought you might be better,” Angie said, patting Taylor’s thigh.
I cocked my head to the side and squinted at Taylor who refused to look up. I had no idea what a young girl, probably not even 19 yet, with long beautiful hair would ever need in a barbershop. But, as a quick rub of my head reminded me, I knew I needed a barbershop to keep up my look. Maybe I was inspiring townspeople, but I hoped that Taylor wouldn’t be following my footsteps on this particular haircut.
Soon Lester’s haircut was complete and, after taking Lester’s money and cleaning up his hair, I sat back on my stool. Taylor nervously took a seat and Rick pulled her hair up so he could tie a tissue paper strip around her neck and drape a cape over her body.
”So what are we doing today?” Rick asked, letting Taylor’s hair down and spreading it across her shoulders.
”Maybe you could help us decide,” Angie said, standing next to Rick and looking at her daughter in the mirror.
”Well I’m a barber. I normally cut men’s hair so I’m not sure how much I can help,” Rick said.
”But you were in the military, right?” Angie asked.
Rick nodded, “Yes ma’am, the Army.”
”Well Taylor enlisted in the Navy and she ships off to boot camp soon. She heard that cutting her hair short would be a good idea to make her life easier,” Angie said.
”But I’m kind of nervous,” Taylor said meekly.
Rick laughed, “Well of course you are. But look at how good Cara looks with short hair!”
I nodded and rubbed my head, “Right, short hair as a woman is so much fun! And my life is so much easier.”
”You’re not going to give me that flat top are you?” Taylor asked, tears welling up in her eyes.
”No of course not! We can do something more feminine for you. Maybe a short pixie cut. I know the Navy regs even though I was in the Army. Short, maybe buzzed on the sides, a couple inches on top and I’ll blend it in around the edges. Maybe even a taper fade too,” Rick said, toying with Taylor’s hair as he imagined his next steps in cutting her hair.
”I don’t know what that means but will it look okay? And will it be easier to style than the bun?” Taylor asked.
”Of course it will look okay. And, if you keep it trimmed, you won’t even need to really style it after your showers,” Rick said, gathering the long hair on her crown up in a clip and fastening it on the top of her head.
”Okay, just do it before I get a chance to change my mind,” Taylor said.
I got excited at the thought of seeing a new transformation, this one not a broken or abused girl, but instead someone with the love and support of her parents who was about to head off on an epic adventure. At least that’s how Rick saw his military service.
”Angie, you can grab a seat. Do you want a water or some coffee?” I asked.
”Do you have cream and sugar?” Angie asked as she sat in one of the chairs that was lined up against the glass.
”Yes ma’am,” I said, pouring her a cup of coffee.
”One cream and two sugars, please,” Angie said.
I made her coffee and brought it too her just in time for Rick to begin snipping off a low ponytail that he had pulled the bottom section of Taylor’s hair back into. The newly short hair fell around her plump cheeks and I saw her lip quiver.
Rick picked up his clippers and snapped on a number 3 guard. He flipped the switch and the hummed to life. Giving Taylor no chance to back out, he pushed her head down gently with one hand and plunged the clippers into her nape. Auburn hair tumbled down into the young woman’s lap and I heard her sniffle.
Rick continued buzzing hair away, not brutally but quickly and cleanly as if he was trying to make the haircut hurt less. “You okay kid?” He asked her.
”Yeah I’m fine,” she said, her throat sounding tight.
He buzzed up the the back of her crown where the hair was sectioned out and soon her nape was finished. He was always so quick and the cutting looked so effortless. I had always hoped Rick might teach me one day to cut hair but I doubted I’d ever be as good as him.
Lifting her chin and tilting her head to the left, Rick began to buzz up through the right side of her hair, sending more hair tumbling to the floor and into her lap. Taylor refused to look at herself in the mirror, instead choosing to lock her eyes onto the toes of her boots where she could see the least amount of hair on the floor or in her lap.
The right side was finished quickly as well and Rick shifted his client’s head and began buzzing up the left side. I knew from experience that Taylor’s head already had to feel so light after having lost so much hair. She’d be experiencing what I felt, to a lesser extent, as her hair would likely be cold through the winter.
“So Cara, you love having short hair, right? Tell Taylor that it’s going to be okay,” Angie drawled in her sweet southern twang.
”That’s right. Being a short-haired woman is great. And you’ll have a lot more hair than me too so it will be even better,” I said, telling her the truth about short hair, but faking my enthusiasm for my own terrible haircut.
”Even a flat top like yours?” Taylor asked shyly.
I did my best to laugh and rubbed my head, “Yes, even a flat top like mine.”
Rick looked over at me for a moment, his eyes perceiving something. I wasn’t sure what, but I knew he would tell me eventually. He wasn’t one to let something be on his mind for long.
Soon Taylor’s sides and nape had been roughly buzzed off short and Rick swapped his guard out for the number 2. He buzzed all the way up to Taylor’s mid temple level on the sides and around the back, fading the hair into the slightly longer hair next to her crown. Then he switched to the number 1 guard and faded in the edges at well so she had a neat, clean looking taper fade.
With the sides and back finished, he set his clippers down and I could see Taylor’s shoulders sag in relief, like the worst was finally over. But if she chose to keep up this cut, I knew she’d find herself in the base barber’s chair at least once a month during boot camp. Hopefully that man or woman would do as well as Rick did.
Rick now let the long hair on Taylor’s crown down from the clip. It was almost weird seeing a combination of the old Taylor and the new side by side like that, but Rick wasted no time and soon had her hair gathered up in a ponytail, the tie maybe three inches from the top of her head. Using his razor sharp scissors, he snipped through it with ease and Taylor’s mop of thick hair tumbled into her face.
Using a spray bottle, Rick wet Taylor’s significantly shorter locks before setting at them with a comb and scissors. He would pull up a section with the comb, hold it between his forefinger and middle finger and snip it off. Over and over again, Rick did this, sending short bits of hair showering into Taylor’s lap and even onto her cheeks and shoulders. He stopped occasionally to use a blow dryer on its lowest setting to blow the dusting of hair off of her face.
He combed the hair in multiple directions to make sure it’s fell naturally, snipping off bits and pieces of hair as he went. Soon Taylor’s once long hair was rendered into little more than a tuft of hair that was maybe two inches long at its longest. Rick finished the job using thinning shears to thin out Taylor’s incredibly thick hair.
Rick finally took his trimmer and used it to shape the edges on Taylor’s hair, shaving a line around her ears and on her nape as well. When he was finished, Taylor’s hair was cut into a cute, albeit brutally short, pixie cut. It looked beautiful, but Taylor hadn’t looked yet and I knew the waterworks would be starting as I prepped a box of tissues.
Using a small amount of pomade, Rick worked his hands in the short hair on Taylor’s crown and used his skillful hands to add feminine looking texture as he pulled the hair up into a slight casual looking faux hawk. He then used his blow dryer to blow the hair off of her face and shoulders and swept the cape off. Finally he removed the tissue paper strip from her neck and was finished.
”Taylor you look so beautiful!” Angie said, immediately trying to get out ahead of any bad feelings her daughter might have.
”Yes! You look so good!” I said, adding my voice to the cause.
”That’s right, kid. You look good and, more importantly, you look ready for boot camp. Now go ahead and look at yourself,” Rick said, patting her on the shoulder.
Taylor looked up and her eyes immediately filled with tears. I was impressed though, that none of those tears fell. Her lip quivered but she let out a sigh through pursed lips and nodded.
”Okay, I like it. This will work,” Taylor said, turning her head side to side and taking in her new appearance.
”That’s right. It will work,” Angie said, walking over to kiss her daughter on the cheek as she clearly hid some sadness of her own at seeing her daughter so thoroughly changed.
”How much do we owe you?” Angie asked, looking at Rick.
”You know active duty military and veterans get their hair cut for free here,” Rick said, winking at Taylor in the mirror.
Taylor stood up and hugged her mom and then, much to my surprise, wrapped Rick in a hug. She then even came over to the counter and gave me a hug as well.
”I’ll be back again, after boot camp for a trim. Whenever I get leave,” Taylor said, standing by the door and nodding her head full of newly short hair at us.
”We look forward to having you, sailor. Even if you did join the wrong branch,” Rick said with a wink.
Taylor grinned an embarrassed smile and walked out of the door. Angie kissed Rick on the cheek, “Thanks, Rick. And thank you, too, Cara.”
Angie followed her daughter to the car and pulled out onto the road and left. I could sense that Rick was proud, seeing the next generation of service members would be okay if Taylor was an example of them.
”Now, what’s wrong with you?” Rick asked, turning and looking at me with an eyebrow raised.
”What do you mean?” I asked, immediately attempting to deflect the attention from myself.
”I mean you’ve been mopey for weeks. Are you missing Hazel? Maybe we can get you two together, or link y’all up for a FaceTime call?” Rick asked.
”No, it’s not that,” I said, looking down, my horseshoe of hair revealing itself to Rick.
He walked over and lifted my chin, standing close to me. “Then what is it, little mama?”
Tears stung my eyes as I looked back up at him, my lip quivering, “But I don’t want you to be mad at me,” I said beginning to enter into a real cry.
”Hold on! Why would I ever be mad at you?” Rick asked, wrapping his arms around me in a hug.
”Because,” I said but stopped before blurting out my feelings.
Rick sound down on the counter next to the cash register and looked at me. “Look at me.”
I shook my head and looked down.
”Look. At. Me,” he said with a firmness that wasn’t threatening, just concerned.
I met his eyes. I could see his pupils dancing from eye to eye, his earnest affection written plainly in them.
”Caroline. I love you. Tell me what’s wrong,” he said.
My eyes opened wide. He had never said those three words. I didn’t even care that he used my old name. Suddenly, I felt safe, safer than I ever had with a man that hadn’t been my father.
I nodded before I finally spoke, reaching a hand up to my head, “Rick, I love you too. So much. I’m just tired of looking like a man.”
A slight smile formed on his face as he squinted at me, tilting his head to the side. “You mean the haircut?”
I nodded, ashamed but feeling safe in my shame, “I’m sorry, I know you like it so much. I don’t want to take that from you, but I miss feeling like a girl.”
He burst out in laughter, something I did not expect. “It’s not funny!” I said, hurt by his callused response.
Shaking his head and fighting down his laugh, he disagreed. “Little mama, it really is funny.”
”Why is it funny, you rude man?” I asked.
”Because the only reason I’ve been keeping up this haircut is because you said you liked it!” He said, rubbing my head affectionately.
”What? I only said that because I saw how much you liked it. I didn’t want to disappoint you!” I said.
”Ma’am, just because I liked it didn’t mean you had to say you liked it. I know I’m in charge, but I care about your opinion too. I just want you to be willing to try everything once and if you don’t like it, you tell me. Deal?” he said, ending his statement with a question.
I wiped my tears with one of the tissues I had gotten ready for Taylor and nodded, “Deal.”
”Alright, now how do you want to take care of this flat top? We can grow it out for a while or I can just shave it off and start fresh so we can grow your hair into something a little more feminine. Maybe like your old haircut, or something like Taylor’s,” he said sweetly.
”Can you just shave it off?” I asked.
”Of course. Just clippers or do you want the razor again?” Rick asked.
”Maybe just the clippers? I kind of like the roughness and I want hair again. I know it’s silly because it’s only like a day or two of difference but I like the idea of having it,” I said.
”Come grab a seat. Then you can sweep up your hair and Taylor’s hair too,” he said, walking over to the chair and turning it to face me.
I took my familiar seat in Rick’s favorite chair and smiled at him. “I’m sorry, I’m still getting used to being in a healthy relationship.”
Rick tied a tissue paper strip around my neck and draped his favorite black cape over me. “Well you’re in one now darlin’.”
”You mean it?” I asked looking up at him in the mirror as I eagerly awaited my new haircut.
”Of course I do, what do you mean by that?” Rick asked as he dusted the blades of his clippers off.
”I just mean, all we ever do is have sex and work together. Sure we grab dinner and stuff but, like, we aren’t really moving forward. We haven’t even stayed together for a whole night,” I said.
Rick paused for a moment, looking sad. “You’re right. I don’t know why this is so hard.”
”Because of your wife?” I asked cautiously.
He sighed. “Maybe. It’s why I haven’t brought you to my house. She was the last woman I had there. And before you she was the last woman I slept with.”
”She died didn’t she?” I asked. James had told me, but I knew Rick wouldn’t have liked knowing that we talked about such an intimate detail in his life behind his back.
He nodded, still looking down at his clippers.
”Babe, I promise to give you as much space as you need. As long as I’m not just a hookup to you. Or some sexy hair slave. I can be both of those things, but I want more than that too.”
He looked at me, “All of that stuff is fun. Give me time and we’ll get there. I promise. I know you think you’re lucky to have me, but I’m the one who’s lucky.”
”Now, lucky man, can you please shave my head and get this ridiculous haircut off of me?” I asked.
Rick smiled and kissed me. “Of course I can. I love you.”
”I love you too,” I said after our kiss was over.
He flipped the clippers on and ran them straight into the small amount of hair on my head. “Then let’s get rid of this.”
It took him no time at all. He had redone my cut first thing that morning and so all he had to do was shave my little horseshoe. And with each pass of his clippers, I felt better. When I was done and newly bald, just a trace of brown stubble covering my scalp. He blew the blow dryer over my head and I smiled.
He removed the cape and the strip of paper from my neck and I stood up, rubbing my head. “So much better.”
With a kiss on the lips, a rub on the head, and a pat on my ass, he nodded, “Agreed. Now clean this mess up, we have another customer that just pulled in.”
I turned and saw the old pickup truck in the parking lot, an old farmer in the driver’s seat. Grabbing my broom and dustpan I set to work, a weight lifted from my shoulders and a flat top removed from my head.