The old boy

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Karen didn’t really know her grandfather and was ecstatic to him come visit. He had been in a nursing home on the east coast for some time. His doctor finally accepted the plea from his daughter to let him come visit.

The boy was an older gentleman who was pushing eighty-five years old. In younger years, he served in the military as a staff sergeant. He once told Karen,”I served under general Patton. Man, that dude was a clean-freak”. Every story he told made the little girl laugh hard.

Karen’s grandfather was assigned a care-giver to watch over him for the visit. One day, the parents of Karen decided to go out for a date night. They entrusted the care-giver would watch over Karen as well as the old boy.

Karen was coloring a picture on the coffee table and the old boy was fast asleep in the recliner. The care-giver took the opportunity to take a smoke-break and stepped outside. Everything was quiet except for Karen humming to herself.

Then, suddenly, the old boy woke up from his nap. He smacked his lips and groggily rose from the chair. His eyes looked down at Karen, who was smiling at him. The old boy pursed his lips and said,”Who let your hair grow this long, boy?”

Karen gazed at her grandfather, confused,”My parents? I’m a girl”

Her grandfather grunted,”Parents these days. They’re all hippies, don’t know how to raise kids. Especially boys. Come on, let’s get you cleaned up”

He offered his hand for Karen to take and she reluctantly took a hold of it. The two of them walked into the kitchen. Karen was seated in a chair and was asked,”Where does your daddy keep his razor nowadays”

”Um… in the bathroom”,Karen answered. Her grandfather smiled and told her to stay put as he went to grab the tool.

When he came back, a towel and razor kit in hand, the old boy wrapped the towel around his granddaughter’s shoulders, fastening it with a knot in the back. He clicked open the kit and took out the clippers that lay inside. The clippers were plugged in the wall and switched quickly on and off to test it.

The old boy chuckled,”I haven’t heard that sound since the beginning of basic training”

One of his meaty hands picked up a medium sized guard and attached it to the clippers. Its switch was flicked on and the blades whirred to life. Karen’s heart began to beat faster than a drum as her grandfather wasted no time in running the clippers over her head. Brown strands of hair rained down as Karen’s head was turned this way and that. When the clippers were done for the moment, Karen’s hair was less than an inch long.

Karen secretly hoped that the care-giver or her parents would return home soon, to stop this. But no one came as the old boy removed the attachment from the clippers and tilted Karen’s head down. The clippers went up Karen’s head and left the sides of her head bare. Her grandpa killed the clippers and ran his hand over her head, dusting off the little hairs from her head.

”I could leave you like this”,the old boy said,”But I should just finish the job. Hold still”

With that, the clippers were revved up one last time. The top of Karen’s head was then mowed down to be bare like the rest of her head.

”There we go”,the old boy switched off the clippers, putting them away,”You won’t have to go back to the barbershop for quite a while. Now, let’s clean this place up. It looks like a pigsty”

Karen and her grandpa swept up the kitchen and threw all of her hair into the trash. After that was done, grandpa left Karen in the kitchen and went back into the living room to take another nap.

The girl rubbed her head. There was nothing but short stubble that was very prickly to the touch. She walked to the bathroom and turned on the light. A petite figure in a flowery dress and not a hair on their head was looking straight at Karen in the mirror.

After a couple of minutes, Karen’s parents came home and found Karen coloring at the coffee table. The two gasped in horror at the sight of Karen with barely any hair on her head. Her mother asked,”Who did this to you sweetie? Where is the care giver?”

”Grandpa cut my hair short”,Karen confessed,”The care-giver left to go on a smoke-break”

The caregiver returned five minutes later and was scolded for leaving grandpa alone with Karen. But the caregiver said she was innocent since she didn’t know that grandpa would wake up and do such a thing. In the end, there wasn’t much that could be done.

Karen’s grandpa was taken back to the nursing home. Before he left, he said to Karen,”You look beautiful with short hair. I think you should keep it”. Karen just smiled and waved her grandfather off.

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