The Brother’s Idea

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“Elizabeth, can you come downstairs your brother will be here soon?” My mother shouted up at me. “Coming,” I responded. It had been 4 years since I last saw my older brother. Last I had heard was that after graduating from hair school (or whatever they call it) he got a job as a barber. He lived in the city so he wasn’t able to visit us until now.

I checked my outfit in the mirror then went downstairs just in time to see him walk in. “Ugh we missed you so much Chris you don’t even know,” my mom blabbered. I stayed in the background feeling awkward because of how long it had been since we last saw each other. He gave hugs to both of my parents then he turned to me.

“Lizzie, oh my god it’s been so long. Look at you, your practically a grownup now.” He ran over and engulfed me in a hug picking me up off the floor easily. “It’s nice to see you Chris,” I said quietly, not being able to breath much with how tight his hug was.

He stepped out of the hug, finally, and looked at me up and down. “You used to be so little. Where has the time gone?” He said and both of my parents laughed. “It’s been 4 years Chris of course I look different. I’m not 12 anymore. Also most people call me Eliza now,” I said with a little more attitude than intended but I wanted my point to come across. He raised his eyebrows and chuckled looking at my mother. She shrugged and they both laughed it off while I stood awkwardly in the corner. Chris set his stuff down in his old room and before long it was time for dinner.

I was eating my dinner silently as my parents were talking to Chris about where he worked. They asked if he liked it and the atmosphere, all the stuff I didn’t really care about.

“Lizzie, remember when I used to cut your hair because mom didn’t like to pay for those kinds of things.” My muscles stiffened,”Yup I remember.” My eyes were looking at my plate but I could feel Chris staring at me. “Ugh you used to hate it so much. You would always squirm and you wouldn’t be still until I threatened to tell mom.” He laughed at the memory but I didn’t. He was the reason my hair never grew out because he would cut it to my earlobes every freaking month. I was so happy that my mother let me grow my hair out when he was away. I never got it cut after that, I guess you could call it trauma. “On that note, when was the last time you cut your hair Lizzie? It’s super long.” I finally looked up at him and he was staring at me, waiting for my answer. “The last time you did it was the last time it was cut.” I said it as quietly as possible to give myself somewhat of a chance but he heard me.

“Lizzie, that was 4 years ago. You’re long overdue for a haircut.” His words hit me like a ton of bricks making me accidentally drop my fork on the glass plate. The noise was very loud and I said a quick sorry before picking my fork up again. “I don’t really want a haircut Chris. I think my hair is fine as it is.”

“It’s so damaged and way too long. It’s the summer, you can’t go around with long hair like that you’ll overheat!” I was about to reply with another now but my mother spoke before me. “That’s a great idea Chris. You could do it after we finish up dinner?” I faced my mother, my mouth wide open in shock. “I really like my hair long and I’ve had long hair in the summer and it never bothered me. I’m sixteen can’t I make my own choices now?” I was practically begging my mother. “Lizzie you’ll be fine. I’ll take great care of you. It’ll be just like old days.” My mother nodded at him and smiled and with that my fate was decided.

I excused myself from dinner early and basically ran to my bedroom. I tried not to freak myself out, telling  myself that he could be trimming my hair. It might not be that bad. I changed into comfortable clothes then laid on my bed anxiously awaiting Chris to get me.


There was a knock at my door and before I could even get up Chris walked in. He had on sweatpants and a tight shirt on that showed off his muscles. I wondered if he did that on purpose so I would reconsider trying to run away from him. “I set up all the stuff in the bathroom so all I need is you.” I started to shake a little bit. “You know you really don’t need to do this. I could always just go to a salon so you wouldn’t have to worry about anything.” I tried to back my way out of this mess. “Stop stalling Lizzie and get up,” he said with a smirk plastered on his face. He walked over to where I was on my bed and gripped my shoulders making it impossible for me to run away. The grip never loosened all the way to the bathroom. He walked in with me then closed and locked the door behind him.

I looked at the little station he set up. It had chair and his tools on the counter. My eyes widened when I saw the clippers but it was even worse when I saw a belt. I turned around, “What do you need the belt and clippers for?” He laughed at me and lead me to the chair. “The belt is so you won’t squirm like you did when you were little.” My eyes widened, he was going to restrain his own sister. I looked up at him not sitting in the chair, I was waiting for the other part of my question to be answered. He understand then said, “Lizzie did you honestly think you were getting out with just a trim.” I started to back up but he pulled me towards the seat quickly putting the belt around me and the chair so I couldn’t move my arms. “Chris please I really don’t want to do this.” I struggled against the belt trying to find a way out. “Lizzie, you’re growing up. Grownups don’t protest about a haircut. All this hair does is drag you down. I never understood why so many girls like long hair. I doesn’t do anything for them. Shorter hair brings out their features and shows confidence, don’t you want that?” I shook my head aggressively which only caused Chris to smile harder. “I missed doing this Lizzie,” and he put a cape on me.

He pulled my hair out from under it and started combing it. He got the scissors from his station and went back to me. He placed the scissors a little above my shoulders to where I could see everything and started cutting. I couldn’t contain my tears at this point. Within seconds my butt-long hair was reduced to a long bob. He waved the hair in front of me like some trophy and placed it on the counter. That didn’t help my crying at all. He turned back to me but he didn’t have the scissors anymore he had the clippers. “No, Chris, please just leave it like this!” I said through my sobs. He looked down at me, “Stop fussing, you’ll look great. You might even like the sensation.” He moved back behind me and turned the clippers on. His hand moved my head down into my chin and he placed the clippers at my nape. He moved them up without warning causing six inch pieces to fall down around me. I had a pool of tears and hair in my lap. When I was finally allowed to look up I saw that the hair on the back of my head was no more than a half inch. Chris grabbed a different guard from the counter and moved my head down again. He placed it on my nape but when he ran it through my hair it didn’t go as high as it did before. I just accepted it at this point, I didn’t have any more tears to cry. My head was raised up again but I didn’t want to look in the mirror. My gaze was down at the floor as Chris grabbed the scissors again to cut the top. Chunks of hair flew around me and I didn’t know how much hair I had left. After 5 more minutes of painful cutting he looked at me. “You’re finally done little sis.” I cringed at his words.

He removed the cape and belt from around me. I looked in the mirror and gasped. My hair was now a pixie that wasn’t even two inches at the top. “I’m so happy I did this. You look so much better Lizzie. You can finally see all of your face.” Honestly, you didn’t hate it. It would take time to get used to it and you would probably never do it again but it wasn’t horrible. You smiled at your brother and thanked him, feeling the cool air on your head as you walked out.

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