The Last Thing I Expected

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Hey all here’s my first story, hope you like it! (Please give me feedback in the comments)

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Emily

My friend Emily looked stunning today. She had just gotten a beautiful bob cut, which perfectly suited her delicate face and petite Asian body. I couldn’t hold myself back from giving a compliment

“Its absolutely gorgeous Emily!”

“Thanks Allie, I had it done on the way to work today. A new Japanese salon opened up downstairs. The service was excellent. There was almost no wait, they gave me a really soothing head massage, and the best part was that it only costed me $20.”

“$20? Haircuts in New York City for only $20? That’s unheard of! I should stop by soon”

Emily replied “Ya Allie you should check it out! I spoke to my stylist in Japanese but I’m sure you’ll find someone there who speaks English”

Whoa, I thought. There goes that. A stylist who might not speak English? That’s a disaster waiting to happen.

The Salon

As I left work that afternoon I couldn’t help but notice how clean and modern the new shop was. There was a woman in the first chair getting her hair cut short pretty much like Emily did. Behind her was a man getting his hair all buzzed off and in the third chair from the window was a little girl getting a long layered haircut.

The next morning as I passed by the office on my way to work I had a mini deja-vu feeling. There seemed to be another customer in the front getting a bob, another man in the second chair getting his hair shaved off, and a lady with long hair getting a long layered cut. I couldn’t help but think about how cheap these haircuts were. My stylist charges me $150 to cut my hair. As the VP of product development at a big tech company I could afford it, especially given that I had no big expenses. Single, with no kids, splitting a tiny apartment with my best friend, I felt justified with my expensive haircuts.

The Change

But today everything was about to change. My boss, the CEO, had me called into the office. This couldn’t be good.

“Listen Allie, we’re laying you off. Since our sales have been staggering for years and our analysts point out that all of our new products have been failures ever since you became VP of product development, the board voted to fire you. I tried convincing the board to let you stay, maybe switch you to a different role, but they wouldn’t hear it. I’m sorry Allie, but you’re going to have to pack your bags.”

My world was shattered. There goes my salary. I’m now unemployed. Holy Shit.

I picked up my phone to tell my roommate Alexa – OMG! I see a message here with a picture of Alexa and her boyfriend roses and and a ring. Alexa just got engaged. “Hey Allie! You’re the first person to know, Jared and I just got engaged! Let’s celebrate tonight at the bar.”

I quickly packed up my stuff at the office and made my way out. In the elevator I couldn’t help but notice my reflection. I’m wearing designer clothes- a fitted business suit and black skinny jeans. 4 inch red Chanel heels, a full face of makeup, and my long blonde hair was freshly blown out. What’s wrong with me? Why am I still single ? Aren’t I attractive enough?

Finally, the elevator door opened. I started walking home, and, as expected, passed the new salon. In the first chair I saw another woman getting a bob, but the second chair was open. Here’s my chance to spice up my look. Maybe this way I’ll get some attention tonight at the bar. My expensive haircuts haven’t been getting me any attention anyway, and besides, I can’t even afford them anymore.

The Cut

I walked right in, looked around, and saw the lady in the second chair motioning me to sit. The shop was way bigger than I thought. There must have been 30 chairs in a row. They all faced the mirror, and there were pictures by each station. It looked like they were pictures of the stylists.

“I need a bit of a change. Maybe some layers or a trim or something…. I don’t know just make it sexy” I said to my stylist. She was clearly Japanese, and replied with a thick accent “Coming wash.” Then I followed her to the back of the salon to the washing station. She turned on the warm water and started massaging my scalp. Wow, this was nice. And oh! Another lady came over and started massaging my neck. Then I hear a flick and the chair starts massaging my back. This felt divine. I didn’t want it to end.

Scalp Massage

First she massaged my head for what felt like 5 whole minutes before applying the first round of shampoo. Then she gently massaged the sweet-smelling shampoo into my scalp before conditioning. Then she started applying a creamy product which felt really nice. It felt thick and foamy. Wow, Emily was right about this head massage.


The massage wasn’t over yet. My stylist moved on to using her nails to massage. It was kinda unusual but still felt good. She scraped my scalp in short quick  motions over and over. When she finished she applied another round of cream. This time, she started to scrape the foam off but with only one fingernail. Starting from the front of my forehead she started scraping. Actually it didn’t even feel like her fingernails anymore, but my eyes were closed and I was too busy relaxing to notice what she was really doing.

Scrape after scrape she was moving all over my head. The scrape even made this nice noise. Soon the neck massage finished, the massage chair was flicked off and my head was tightly wrapped in a towel. I followed my stylist back to the chair. “Damn”, I thought, ” this scalp massage really rejuvenated my scalp.” I was feeling the plushness of the towel against my scalp in a way I’ve never felt before. It was incredible.

Second Thoughts

As we walked back I started to have second thoughts about the cut. I’m pretty, I’m young, maybe I shouldn’t mess with my hair after all. I’m sure with time I’ll find someone for me. I sat down, thinking that I’ll just pay the $20 and leave. But my stylist quickly said “I are coming back” in her thick accent and walked away to get something.

As I was waiting I started looking carefully at the pictures by each station. The first chair had a picture of a bob, the third chair of a long haircut, and at each chair the pictures looked nothing like the stylist. Interesting, I guess they just randomly placed them all over the salon.

Just as I noticed the picture by my station my stylist came back. She was holding what seemed to be lotion. I guess we had more massaging to do. Then she lifted the towel off my head and I was so confused.

The Reveal

I started at the mirror. But it didn’t look like me, although it had to be me. Where’s my hair ? I turned my head, and the bald lady in the mirror turned her head too. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I. AM. BALD. And all of a sudden everything clicked. The cream she used in the sink was shaving cream. The scraping was a straight razor. The lotion my stylist is now putting on my head is aftershave lotion. And those pictures – they’re pictures of the cut you’ll get at that seat. Since the stylists here barely spoke English they basically used the pictures at each chair to communicate with their clients. That’s why clients sitting in the first chair always get bobs, in the third chair get long cuts, and people sitting in the second chair like me get their head shaved.

I stood up, handed the stylist $20, and stared at the mirror. I am bald.

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