“Eleanor?!” my friend squeaked.
“shhh… you better not tell anyone”
“I mean he is cute but I can’t believe that Jack’s your crush”
“it wouldn’t be a high school crush if it was realistic would it. I should never have told you” I said, sinking back into my chair.
“isn’t he dating that cheer leader, Louise”
“yes. So you better not tell anyone”
“ok, I wont” she passed for a second “but at least, you know he has a thing for blondes”
I rolled my eyes.
It was a stupid crush. He’s way out of my league, probably the best looking guy in school, in both the rugby and football teams, and has the eye of every girl in our year.
Who am I next to him. Some nerdy girl who spends most of her time in the library. While I wasn’t unhealthy, you wouldn’t describe me as fit and bulky librarian glasses with a face full of freckles didn’t make me the most conventionally attractive. The feature I was best known for was my hair, long platinum locks that fell straight to my waist.
I would often play with my hair, fiddling with it or braiding it to relieve stress. It was the only feature that people complemented me for and had became more of my identity then was probably healthy.
Later that week, me and some of my friends stayed back at school for a study group. It started as just an informal hang out under the justification of study, but as exams approached we where forced to take it more seriously.
I had just said goodbye to the last of our group, when I noticed Louise. Was she coming from a detention? I didn’t think they gave detentions to over sixteens. As I left the school she followed behind through the entrance and down the drive. Her footsteps suddenly quickened.
“Eleanor, is it?”
Louise was a beautiful girl. A body fitting the captain of the volley ball team, spotless skin and long blonde hair. It wasn’t as long as mine but fell to her lower back in bouncy waves.
“yes, Louise?” I tried to hide that I knew her name.
“just the person I was looking for. I was wondering if you could held me with something”
“oh, uhh sure”
“excellent, do you mind coming with me my house is just around the corner”
I was a little taken back by her request. But found myself following her.
“what do you need help with?”
“oh, it’s a, urr… uni thing, yes I would ask some of my friends but I’m not sure they would me much help. It wont take long”
We turned of the road and headed up the drive to her house. She wasn’t kidding when she said just around the corner.
“oh, ok then” I had already applied to early entry and became the expert in my friend group.
“make yourself at home, my parents won’t be back” she said inviting me in.
Click, she locked the door behind me.
“I hear you have a crush on Jack” Louise approached me getting slightly to close.
“what? I… I”
“don’t try to deny it. Now, do I need to beat you up?”
“or I could get some of my friends to tell the teacher you cheated on your course work. Ruin that perfect record of yours”
She leaned in closer. One hand caressed my chin while the other pinned me still. Don’t cry, I told myself as tears grow in my eye and slowly rolled down my cheeks. She had me paralysed in fear over what she might do, what power she has over me.
Louise leaned in closer. Her already soft voice softer as her lips whispered into my ear.
“don’t worry, just do what I say… and I won’t hurt you… ok”
My body was a statue, still and unmoving. My eyes, wet and puffy, met hers, icy blue and eager.
“ye…” A finger touched my lips.
She pulled away, her face was now more then an inch from mine. Her hand grabbed mine, dragging my frozen body up the stairs to her room. I was sat on her bed. The mattress sank as she lied next to me.
“what to do… to you?”
Her hand was placed on my shoulder. Then it reached up to my neck, her cold fingers against my frozen skin. Louise’s cold touch left my neck and turned to my hair stroking the platinum silk.
Louise left the bed and wrapped around me. Towering in front of me, looking down at me, my head in line with her chest. Her hands continued to stroke my hair.
I must of looked pitiful, like a pet being played with by there owner. Louise bit her lip, and I could see a brainwave flashing through her head. She untucked the hair from behind my ear and ran her fingers down my hair. Her finger touched my lips again.
She turned her hair flicking behind her and left.
I cried. What was happening? how was she doing this to me?
I tried move but my body had been told to stay still. Seconds felt like hours but I did as I was told.
Louise returned with a pair of kitchen scissors. She placed them on the bed and knelled behind me. Her hands gathered my hair slowly and my hair was pulled into a ponytail. She held my tail and pulled the tie into place at the base of my nape.
“no” I mouthed, but not even a squeak left my lips.
Her hand pulled my tail straight. The kitchen scissors sunk into my hair loose hairs flew from my head. Each stroke of the blunt blades took more and more hair from my head. Louise continued to saw away at my thick ponytail. I thought it would never die until suddenly the pulling on my tail stopped and my head was made lighter.
Louise got up in front of where I sat paralyzed. A beautiful ponytail in her hand. My beautiful ponytail. She looked down at me. A smug smile crossed her face as she secured it with a second tie and placed it on her dresser.
“follow me” I was instructed.
I was now able to move but just to follow Louise to a bathroom. My reflection meet us, a choppy uneven bob making me look like a librarian twice my age. Louise opened a cupboard and pulled out a box of something.
“what is that?” I asked.
“did I say you could talk?”
I shook my head.
“you don’t talk without my permission, understand?”
I nodded, a new tears forming in my eyes.
“good girl” She said.
Louise took my glasses and placed them on the sink. I squinted trying make out what she was doing. She started reading something on the back of the box, holding it still I just make out a word on the front. ‘Dye’
I gasped as cold water hit my head. Louise had leaned me over the side of the bath. She wielded a shower head and, as per instruction, took care to wash all the dye out my hair. The water turned a dirty brown as she took care to rinse every strand of my hair.
“this will be over soon”
One by one every section of my hair was washed. Until satisfied, Louise turned off the shower. A warm towel met my shivering head. I was brought back to Louise’s room. She sat me on the floor next to her bed so she could dry my hair.
“I am jealous of is how quick this dries. huuh, now for the final cut”
Louise grabbed a brush and a new pair of scissors. Smaller and sharper then the kitchen scissors that hacked of my mane. She budged close behind me so each leg was either side of me. The towel was put around my shoulders stretching onto her lap.
“sit still for me, there’s a good girl”
My hair was sectioned and held together at the top in what was like a high ponytail. Only the length wasn’t enough to be a ponytail and many of the hairs to short to fit inside had to be pinned in place instead. The hair at my nape was free and that’s where she started. Cutting small sections of hair in line with my chin until she was happy with the length of my nape. More hair was freed and cut.
My nape was cut then my sides and crown leaving only my front left. Louise combed these last hairs up and cut them into face framing curtain bangs. She put down her scissors and I felt her hands in my hair again. Her finger massaged my scalp pulling my head back into her neck. The weight of Louise’s chin pushed into my crown.
She pet me like I was some puppy.
“I’m not done” her hand stopped mine from reaching my ‘bob’.
She pulled me up and sat me on her bed. Her hand, still holding my wrist, removed my now obsolete hair tie. Louise’s face was again un-comfortability close to mine, her grin controlling me. Her fingers went back to petting my hair.
Two fingers separated my crown and tied it into a loose half up. She folded the ponytail over and around itself before securing it to in place with three bobby pins. Louise freed two strands to frame my face. Then my glasses where finally returned.
Louise guided me to her mirror revealing my new hair. It was short, chin length, so that even with hairs down looked like an updo. It was curlier without the weight pulling it down giving a naturally wavy, messy look. What scared me the most was the colour a bronzy brown with a warm hint of red.
I saw the ponytail, my ponytail. It looked like it was from a different person. The girl that walked in not the unfamiliar figure in the reflection.
“I don’t need to worry about you now do I?”
I shook my head.
“your not going to have any idea’s with Jack… right?”
“ok, you can go”
My body stayed still frozen with fear as she lay back on her bed getting her phone out. I didn’t know what to do.
“go fuck off”
I wanted to run home but didn’t want my family or anyone to seem me like this. I ran until I found a bench and cried until I couldn’t anymore.
“did you see what Eleanor did to her hair” I over heard a boy say.
“yeah, what a pity to ruin such nice hair” Jack replied.
Louise passed by giving sight me a smile before joining them. Her hair was down held in a hair band. It looked like a braid but her hair wasn’t long enough to be hers. I soon realised it was mine.
I hated her. How she had treated me. What she did to me. The power she had over me.
And all over a jealous crush.
She had done one thing. I no longer had a stupid crush on Jack. I had a very stupid crush on someone else.