The Other Side

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Foreword: Wrote this one a really long time ago when I was still picking up the swing of writing haircutting stories. I didn’t really know how I came up with this story, I just randomly thought about how people of close relations like cousins and boyfriends/girlfriends could really convince and persuade people to get a shorter haircut. Anyway, I hope you guys like the approach to this one. 

Andrea walked out of the gates that led to the arrival hall of the airport. She grew a smile on her face the moment she spotted her beloved cousin, Samantha. Andrea quickened her pace, excited with the thoughts of spending the next week with her close cousin.

It was the start of summer vacation for the 16-year old Andrea. She was unsure of what to do for her summer, then Samantha, 16 years old too, had invited Andrea over to spend some time with her. Both of their parents had allowed of it because they’d never want to separate the two. The both of them were the closest of cousins even though they lived far away from each other. They’d communicate often through emails and social networks. They rarely got to meet each other, and if they did they made sure they spent as much time as possible together. And now, Andrea had left the comfort of her home in the city to visit Samantha in the country side just to spend more time with her.

Samantha welcomed her cousin with open arms as they hugged each other tightly in the arrival hall. They caught up with each other, commenting on how the other has grown and changed much since the last time they met. Soon they began proceeding towards the exit where Samantha’s red convertible was parked nearby. Andrea dumped her bags in the back seat and Samantha began driving towards her house.

“How’s your family been?” Andrea began making conversation.

“They’re doing great. They’re really excited to see you again after so long,” Samantha replied as they drove on the road under the beautiful night sky.

After an hour of driving, they made it to Samantha’s house. It was an average country house like any other. But to Andrea it was pretty alien considering she wasn’t so used to so much open space.

Samantha’s family- her mother, father and younger sister -welcomed Andrea and were very happy to see her after a long time. For the next week Andrea was going to be sharing a room with Samantha as part of them spending more time together. After Andrea had placed her bags in the room, she went downstairs to join Samantha and her family with dinner.

It was a rather cheerful atmosphere in the dining hall. Andrea felt rather elated as she conversed with her cousin’s family. The main topic of conversation of the dinner was Andrea due to her presence in the household. They talked about how she and her family have been doing, how school life was and her future plans since she was going to graduate soon.

After a hearty and filling dinner, Andrea returned with Samantha back up to their room. They both sat on their respective beds and continued chatting with each other, unbothered by however late in the night it was.

“Your hair looks really beautiful, Andrea,” Samantha complimented as she began stroking her cousin’s straight chestnut brown hair that reached slightly past her bra strap.

“Thanks. Though it is a real pain to keep it in good condition. Gosh, I really wished I could live a day without having to maintain all this,” Andrea voiced the displeasure in her beauty.

Samantha paused for a moment as she thought of a somewhat “solution” to Andrea’s problem. Though she didn’t know if her cousin would actually agree to such an idea…

“Hey, since we’re gonna spend a lot of time doing things together, why don’t we start tomorrow morning by getting the same haircuts?” Samantha offered.

“I don’t know about that, Sam,” replied Andrea.

“Aw, come on Andrea. It’s the summer time; a really perfect time to get something shorter with the heat coming in. You even mentioned how troublesome your hair was to maintain, might as well get something a lot easier to take care of , right? And besides, no one in the country knows you so a change like this won’t be so drastic with other people,” Samantha persuaded.

Andrea stroked her copper hair in contemplation. Maybe her cousin was right. She’d been having long hair for as long as she could remember and maybe it was time for her to bite the bullet and just go for something different and shorter. But still, what would people think of her when she got back home? Would she look bad of good?

“We’ll yeah, it’s gonna be a lot cooler and less troublesome and stuff, but what if it doesn’t look good?” she voiced her doubts.

“Don’t be ridiculous, Andrea. You have the perfect features for a short haircut. You’re gonna look stunning,” Samantha answered.

Andrea’s cheeks began blushing red as she was flattered by such a comment. She couldn’t accuse her cousin of lying, because Andrea knew that Samantha always told the truth.

“Alright then, we’ll get the same short haircuts tomorrow,” Andrea announced.

A big grin emerged on Samantha’s face when her cousin had finally agreed to her plan.

“You won’t regret it, Andrea. Anyway, we should get to sleep then, it’s gonna be a long day tomorrow. Good night An,” Samantha wished her cousin as she laid in bed.

“Good night, Sam,” Andrea returned the wish as she too laid in her bed.

The next morning both girls woke up at 7 a.m. To Andrea, it was a really early time since she wakes up later to go to school normally, but she didn’t mind it as she was just excited to have fun with her cousin. They both got ready and had a light breakfast before heading out the door. As what they discussed last night, they were going to get their haircuts first.

The girls jumped into the Samantha’s red convertible and they got moving to town. The journey there was a quick one, as in less than half an hour they made it to their destination. They parked the car and they both exited the vehicle. Andrea was partially nervous to getting her haircut short but also pretty excited that she was making a change. Furthermore, her cousin was going to do so with her and she was going to stick by her no matter what.

They both walked along the street, the summer sun casting it’s relentless heat onto the cousins. After a few minutes if walking, Samantha felt relieved when she reached the place.
“Well, here we are,” Samantha announced.

Andrea stopped in her tracks and peered to the shop. Her eyes widened when she saw the words ‘Laura’s Barbershop’. She peeped inside the large window to see what the sign had depicted; a barbershop. It had a waiting bench at the back and two barber chairs which had a large mirror mounted in front of each of them.
“A barbershop, Sam?! Are you serious about this?” Andrea questioned her cousin.

“What’s wrong about it? Just because it’s a barbershop doesn’t mean it’s only for men. The owner does girls’ hair too. I’ve been going here for a while now. Don’t worry, it’ll be alright, I promise,” Samantha replied assuringly.

Andrea didn’t argue further as she really didn’t want to make her cousin upset. If what she said was gonna be right, then she might as well just follow along. Samantha then pushed down the handle of the barbershop door and walked in followed by Andrea.

“Good morning Samantha,” Laura, the barber – or more of a ‘barberette’ – welcomed.

“Good morning, Laura. I’d like you to meet my cousin from the city, Andrea. Andrea, this is Laura,” Samantha introduced the two.

They went over and shook hands. Andrea was rather stunned by Laura’s appearance. For a woman barber, she did look quite pretty. She seemed like the average woman who had a sense of fashion and took care of her looks.  Laura had blonde tresses that reached just past her shoulders. Her eyes were a hazel colour that contrasted her fair skin.

“Welcome to the country side, Andrea. I’m sure you’ll love it here. So, who’s up in the chair first today?” Laura invited.

Samantha told Andrea to sit on the waiting bench as Samantha wanted to go first. Andrea agreed as Samantha went over to the large barber chair and sank herself in it. Laura then gracefully flung a red cape above Samantha and let it rest on her shoulders while it covered her entire body. Laura then removed Samantha’s ebon black hair from under the cape, letting it rest just past her shoulders. She then clipped the ends of the cape to ensure they were securely fastened.

“What’s it for today? The usual summer haircut?” Laura requested.

Samantha gave only a nod in response. Andrea watched as Laura went over to the dresser to pick up a spray bottle and a comb. Again, this was different to her as normally customers got their hair shampooed and not just dampened with water at the salon Andrea goes to. Her eyes fixed on the barberette as she carefully sprayed mists of water onto her cousin’s hair and combed out the tangles in her shoulder-length tresses.

Laura then replaced the spray bottle with a pair of scissors. She opened and closed them a few times to test them and then went over to the back of her customer. Samantha closed eyes as her head was pushed forward with her chin square on her chest. Laura combed down the hair on her nape and positioned the scissors on the middle of her neck. All Andrea heard next was SNIP SNIP SNIP as she witnessed her cousin’s ebon locks cascading down onto the floor.

Laura then moved over to the left side as she gently tilted Samantha’s head to the right. The scissors were positioned right at her earlobes. Laura then went in and loped off the hair that was below the earlobes. Andrea saw as her cousin’s black hair fell onto her shoulder and slid down onto the cape.
Andrea was mesmerized by how fast Laura worked. Within minutes she had moved over to the right side and had cut it the same length as the left.  Normally the hairstylists at the salon she usually went to worked slowly and were meticulous with their work. But for Laura, she worked fast and was also precise with the cutting.

Laura then moved over to the front of Samantha and began combing her hair down which covered her entire face. She then placed the scissors just above her eyebrows. Andrea gaped in anticipation as the scissors went SNIP SNIP SNIP across Samantha’s forehead, sending her brunette locks raining down onto the cape and leaving her with blunt bangs that framed her face.

Once the bangs were shaped and touched up, Laura returned the scissors and comb back onto the counter and picked up a hair dryer. She then began blow drying Samantha’s hair whilst running her fingers through it, drying the hair which altered the length slightly. Once the drying was done, Laura turned it off as Samantha slowly opened her eyes. A smile grew on her face in satisfaction of the sight of her summer haircut.

“All done for you, Sam,” Laura announced as she unclipped the crimson cape and removed it.
Samantha stood up from the chair and began running her fingers through her new haircut which reached exactly at her earlobes. She felt so happy that she was ridden of such a burden for the summer. She then walked over to the waiting area where she was met with a hypnotized Andrea. Andrea couldn’t take her eyes off her cousin’s new haircut as it made her look so dazzling even though the haircut was short and simple.

“Next!” Laura called out to her next customer as she turned the chair to face Andrea.
Andrea then snapped out of her trance as she realized she too was going to get her haircut.
“Don’t worry, you’ll be fine, An. I’m sure you’ll look great,” Samantha reassured her cousin as Andrea stood up.

Andrea returned her cousin with a quick grin as she slowly treaded towards he barber chair. Her stomach was in knots by the time she reached the chair. She carefully placed a foot on the footrest of the chair followed by the next foot and then sunk herself in the chair.

A huge sigh of exasperation came out of her. The chair felt soooo comfortable. Unlike the ones at the salon, this chair was very well cushioned felt very warm and welcoming. Laura turned the chair to face the mirror and began running her delicate nail-polished fingers through Andrea’s hair.
“So, Andrea, what’s it gonna be for you today?” Laura asked her customer.

“Well, Sam and I made a deal that we were gonna do everything together for this vacation, and our first activity was to get the same haircuts,” Andrea answered with a slightly nervous tone in her voice.
“So, the same short bob haircut for you too?” Laura clarified.

Andrea gave a weak nod hesitantly. She began fidgeting all over, knowing that she had sealed her fate and it was only matter of time before her beloved hair was going to be all on the floor. She tried to calm herself, but she never knew that she was so fond of her auburn hair.

“You seem a bit scared about this. Is this your first time going short?” Laura inquired.

“Uh, yeah,” Andrea admitted.

“Well don’t worry, Andrea. You’re gonna look great. Plus, it’s gonna feel really nice and cool,” Laura reassured as she turned the chair to face Samantha in the waiting area.

Laura had done this to add the suspense to her customer’s haircut. She then went over to the dresser and fetched her red cape. She then flung the cape elegantly above Andrea and allowed it to settle over her shoulders whilst it draped her entire body. She clipped the ends of the cape and then picked up a spray bottle and a comb.

She sprayed mists of water into Andrea’s chestnut brown hair whilst combing through the tangles. Once the hair was damp enough, Laura replaced the spray bottle with her pair of scissors. She then began sectioning Andrea’s hair out distinctly into the two sides, the back and the front.

Since it was Andrea’s first time going short, Laura wanted to have a little bit more fun with her and make her cringe. Laura turned over to Samantha in the waiting area and gave her a wink. Samantha took a moment to digest what Laura was implying. Samantha then beamed as realized what Laura was about to do after she saw her cousin who was rather fidgety under the cape.

Laura gently tilted Andrea’s forward and began combing down the hair at the back. Instead of just diving in with the scissors, she impishly positioned the scissors slowly. The cold steel of the scissors sent shivers down Andrea’s spine as she anticipated what was going to happen next. Laura then leisurely began snipping across Andrea’s neck, making every snip as audible as possible. Tresses of Andrea’s tawny hair began descending past her neck down towards the checked floor.

Laura then gently forced Andrea’s head to the left as she moved over to the right side of Andrea’s head. She began combing down the hair which flowed from Andrea’s head and sat idly on the cape. Laura then carefully placed the scissors right at Andrea’s earlobe as she paused for a brief moment to let a bit of apprehension sink into Andrea. Andrea shut her eyes before Laura slowly snipped right across, sending her brown locks raining down onto her right shoulder which slowly slid onto the cape which covered her lap.

Andrea peered over at her severed hair. Her mouth threw open wide in surprise of how much hair there as. She then gave a worried look to Samantha who was giggling at her cousin’s reaction.

Before Andrea could react further her head was tilted to the right. Laura combed down the hair on the left side of Andrea’s head to ensure it was straight. She then settled the scissors right at the earlobes. Just like on the right side, Andrea instinctively shut her eyes in anticipation. Laura then snipped right across, sending all the hair that was below the earlobes plunging down onto Andrea’s left shoulder. The auburn hair then slowly slid down onto the crimson cape which concealed Andrea’s body.

The one thing that Andrea had realized after each snip was that the pile of hair that collected at her lap area only grew bigger, which added on to her nervousness as she couldn’t see how she looked like until it was all over. And then came the part which she dreaded the most.

Laura began combing down Andrea’s hair from her crown forward, enveloping her face and her vision completely. Andrea’s heart began beating rapidly as the icy metal of the scissors were placed right above eyebrows. Andrea grabbed tightly onto the seat handles and sealed her eyes as if she was in a roller coaster ride. Before she knew it, the scissors slowly went SNIP SNIP SNIP right across the forehead, causing Andrea’s auburn hair to rain down onto the cape, leaving behind perfectly shaped blunt bangs.
Andrea slowly opened her eyes and was horrified that she could actually see, signifying that her hair had been chopped. She never had bangs in her entire life because she always thought she looked funny and weird. She gazed over at Samantha, who was awestruck by her cousin’s new appearance. Samantha gave her cousin a thumbs up which sent a brief wave of reassurance through her.

Laura then replaced the scissors with a hairdryer. She began blow drying Andrea’s hair, allowing the summer cut to take its perfect form into a short bob. Andrea’s head felt cool while her hair was being dried. Once the hair was completely dried-up, Laura turned off the hair dryer and returned it back to the dresser.

“All done for you, city girl,” Laura announced teasingly.

What came next was the moment of truth. Was she going to look horrible and be filled with regrets? Or was she going to look amazing like how everyone said she would be. Laura then slowly turned the chair around to let her customer view her new haircut.

Andrea froze at the sight of her reflection. She wasn’t even sure if the person staring back at her was her. Either way, the person in the mirror looked really cute with a short bob and straight bangs. Laura came over to the back of the chair and unclipped the cape followed by removing it. Andrea calmly got out of the chair, gradually accepting that the reflection was her.

Samantha immediately got up and grabbed her cousin by the arm.

“You look wonderful, An,” Samantha commended on Andrea’s new look.

Samantha fished out twenty five bucks and paid Laura, politely telling her to keep the change. Samantha then led Andrea out of the shop into the open air.
“You look traumatized, An,” Samantha pointed out.

“I feel so lightheaded…. And it feels so cold… I just- never saw myself like this before,” Andrea replied.
Samantha grinned at her cousin.

“Have you tried touching it?” Samantha suggested.

Andrea slowly brought her right hand up to her hair. She ran it through her bob and then brought her left hand up along. Andrea closed her eyes while she enjoyed such surreal feeling that was right on her head. It was short, but it felt so good being that way.

“Now try shaking your head,” Samantha continued.

Andrea then gently rocked it back and forth. She chuckled at the good feeling as she began violently shaking it in every direction. Samantha just stood by, watching her cousin enjoy a haircut which she had recommended herself.

“Alright, that’s enough playtime. Let’s go. I gotta go stop by the grocery shop to get some things for my mom and then we can hit the road,” Samantha instructed.

As they walked along the street, the cool wind blew past the two girls. Andrea shivered at this. The wind never felt so cooling to her, especially with so much hair which shielded it off before when she had long flowing hair. Once they reached the grocery store, Samantha walked in as Andrea declined to enter since she wanted to have a bit more fresh air and get used to her haircut.

“Oh my god, is that you, Andrea?” called out a familiar voice.

Andrea turned herself to face where the voice came from. She was stunned when she realized who it was.

“Oh, uh, hey Luke. What are you doing here?” Andrea greeted her crush.

“I’m on summer vacation with my family here. Wow, you cut your hair real short. It really suits you. You look really cute,” Luke complimented.

Andrea’s cheeks flushed red at her crush’s comment.

“Oh, thanks Luke,” she replied shyly and embarrassingly.

“Listen, if you’re free sometime this week, maybe you wanna go out or something?” Luke offered.

“That’ll be great, Luke,” Andrea replied with a half-smirk, while inside of her she was bursting with joy that her crush had actually asked her out.

“Alright, I’ll call you then. See you around,” Luke said before he left.

Just as Luke walked away, Samantha came out of the grocery store. She saw the awry smile on her cousin’s face and got a little suspicious.

“What did I miss?” Samantha inquired.

“Oh nothing, I just happened to stumble with my crush from school. He said he really liked my haircut and he also kinda asked me out….” Andrea caught her cousin up to speed.

“See? I told you you wouldn’t regret this haircut. Well, we better going now,” Samantha said as they began their trip back to the house.

While on the trip back, Andrea enjoyed every moment there was a breeze of wind and would take the chance to play with her hair. She looked over into the side mirror and grinned at her short hairstyle. She wondered why she had never tried such a thing before. It was probably because her mother had always insisted she keep her long and in good-condition like a lady.

Well, mom’s gonna kill me when I get home. But at least it’s for the better…

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