The Start of Something New: Mission Accomplished

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It’s time for the next installment with our favorite NCAA cheerleaders.  Katie and Evan have managed to convert most of the team.  Who’s up next?


Special Announcement:  This is the final chapter in this particular Volume.  However, there is still plenty more story to tell and these girls aren’t going anywhere.  For anyone who is new or those who have lost track, here are quick links to the entire series in order for anyone who wants to follow along.


The Start of Something New

The Start of Something New: Katie’s Mission

The Start of Something New: The Next Volunteer

The Start of Something New: The Fundraiser

The Start of Something New: A Unique Style

The Start of Something New: Summer Break

The Start of Something New: Kelly’s Welcome Week

The Start of Something New: School Colors

The Start of Something New: An Unexpected Addition

The Start of Something New: Team Building

The Start of Something New: Twins No Longer

The Start of Something New: Another Domino Falls


Stay tuned for all new adventures, goals, and stories from an all-new perspective coming at you soon.



Under Pressure?


Heather was the lone hold-out.  Since last Friday evening, the entire Cheer Team had very short or no hair at all.  Everyone except Heather that is.  It was certainly understandable.  Her hair was long, even by long hair standards.  Easily the longest on the team.  Comparing my old waist length hair, pre-mohawk, seemed short compared to her.  Hanging down well past the bottom of her butt, it was almost too long.


It was meticulously kept and in amazing condition, though.  It was also some of the most stunning hair you’d ever see.  She was tiny, incredibly petite, standing barely 5 feet tall.  And to match her tiny stature, she was humble, meek, modest, incredibly sensitive, and almost virginal in many, or really, most ways.  She was also very shy and cheer was the one thing that kept her from being a total reclusive hermit.  This all made her really stick out.


Last Friday had been a party-like atmosphere and everyone was having a good time.  Evan came back to work his magic on all the girls, getting us ready for our away game last Saturday.  Having already shorn the twins a couple days earlier, Melissa approached Evan and had wanted to do something as well.  She wouldn’t commit to going as short as the rest of the team, but was ok with a just above the shoulders bob and an undercut, as long as she could still make a ponytail.  The rest of the girls went in and out of the chair throughout the evening.


Everything seemed to be going well and the team dynamic was at an all-time high.  We were super charged, cheering the football team to another huge win on Saturday.  Saturday evening, however, things changed.  Several of us girls were lounging around in the living room.  Some had gone out.  The twins were on another date with Tim and Tate.  The boys couldn’t get enough of their new looks, but they hadn’t gotten to spend much time together since their previous date on Wednesday night.


Suddenly, with no warning or apparent reason, Heather burst into tears and ran off.  Emma and I looked at each other, carefully following after her.  We knocked on the door and cracked it open.  Heather was lying on her bed, with her face buried in her pillow, her hair cascading all around her.


Looking at me knowingly, Emma asked her, “Hey, are you ok?” We both knew why, of course, but it’s always nice to ask.


“Yeah, I’m ok” Heather sat up, her hair flying everywhere.  Tears streamed down her face. “It’s just, well –“


Emma sat next to her, doing her best to reassure her, “It’s ok, you don’t have to cut your hair.”


“It’s not that I don’t want to, I mean I don’t, but also my hair has never even been above the top of my butt since I was younger than 6.”  Heather explained.


“You know, my hair used to be down to my waist, this time last year,” I said, trying to relate to her.  “I went in for a new style after the season, and Evan chopped it all off.  It was unexpected and I was unprepared when it happened, but at this point I can’t ever picture my hair being long again.  Even just a few inches feels long, now.”


“I was against all the short hair on the team as well,” Emma added, “at first and my haircut was completely unexpected as well, but I’ve come around and love it. I’ve kept it short for quite a while now.  It’s your choice, though. We both support whatever you want to do.”


“I don’t want to quit the team, but I also don’t want to be the only one with such long hair.” Heather began, “and even if I could imagine picturing myself cutting my hair some, everyone has such extreme short hair now, what other choice do I have?”


It’s Friday Night and the Mood Is Right


A few minutes later, Emma and I left Heather’s room.  It was the last any of us discussed it.  Then, Friday night rolled around again.  Evan was back and everyone was getting touch ups to get ready for our home game tomorrow.  Emma choreographed a brand-new routine and everyone was so excited to showcase the new look team for its home debut.  Betty was in the chair discussing options with Evan.  The poor girl was completely unsure of what her plan would be long term and she had been struggling to even deal with it in the short term.


Slowly, in walked Heather, shy and timid as always.  She stood off to the side almost hiding, but also as if to make sure we knew she was there.  She was in her sweats and her hair, immaculate as always, was hanging down her back, straight and silky.  Emma noticed Heather and started to walk over, signaling me to join her.  It had been a rough week, and neither of us were sure exactly what she would do, but would support her decision no matter what it was. And protect her from whatever backlash might come.


“I’m ready” Heather stated as we reached her.  “I can donate this, right?” She asked pawing at her hair.


“Absolutely! Of Course!” We both replied in unison.  “Are you sure?  We promise it’s really ok if you don’t want to.”


“No,” she said with a surprising firmness,  “I’ve given this a lot of thought.  I’ve agonized over this all week.  I’ve worked up a lot of nerve and I want to fit in with this team.  I’ve made up my mind, please don’t try to talk me out of it.”


“Do you know what you want?” I asked, as I signaled over to Evan who indicated that she could be next once he was done talking with Betty.  “Do you want us to take you somewhere private or are you going to be ok here in the open?  Whatever makes you most comfortable.”


Heather cleared her throat “I want to donate ALL of it.  It’s ok, it can be done here but is it ok if I cry?  I’m probably going to cry.  A lot.”


“You wouldn’t be the first and I’ve held many a hand during Evan’s initial cuts.”  I answered.  We all came together for a hug.


“Do you want to just go over and let Evan start, or should I announce it for everyone to know?”  Emma asked.


“Please, no.” Heather pleaded.  “I’m ok sitting there and letting it happen, but I really don’t want any extra attention on me.” I knew that she’d already get plenty of attention if she went through with this.


“Heather, I’m ready for you if you are.”  Evan said as he walked over.


“Not really, but I might as well get this done with.”  Heather replied.


“You have really amazing hair. It’s in amazing condition,”  I heard Evan try to reassure Heather as they walked towards the chair.


“Thank You, but that isn’t really what I want to hear right now.”  Heather replied softly.


I walked over towards them as Heather sat in the chair.  As she sat down, Heather asked if she should take her sweatshirt off.  Evan told her whatever makes her comfortable, she could leave it on or take it off, he also has a cape, if she preferred.


She took off the sweatshirt, to reveal just a sports bra underneath.  This was certainly something more than just a haircut.  This was the first time any of us had ever seen Heather wear so little.


The only time we had ever seen her in just a sports bra was changing in the locker room. Even then she usually tried to hide and cover herself up or change as quickly as possible.  Heather looked up and must have noticed the shocked expression on my face.  Emma had found her way over and was just as surprised as me.


“This is part of my plan,” Heather took a deep breath as she started to explain.  “I’ve always been very modest.  This is something I never would have considered.”


“I’m embarking on a new journey and this feels right,”   Heather continued.  “The truth is this is the 1st time I’ve even worn this little outside of a bathroom or locker room.”


“Even there, you often cover up as much as and as quickly as possible.”  Emma was quick to interject just in case she thought we didn’t notice her presence.


“Right, well, I figured with all my hair about to be gone, I won’t be able to hide any more, maybe I would try to open up a bit more.  This is my start.”  Heather explained.  “It’s why a simple T-shirt or other top wouldn’t do.”  We all nodded in understanding.


She tried to position herself in such a way to still try to cover herself, but ultimately failed.  This was just one more thing for her to get used to.  Evan gently brushed her hair, I then watched as he grabbed some hair ties, tying her hair off in multiple ponytails just above her shoulders.


“Stop,” Heather tried to muster with all her might, bringing back her shocking firmness. ”All.”


Evans stopped and asked, “All?”


Heather cleared her throat, “I want to donate ALL of my hair.  If I’m going to do this, I might as well make it count.”


“Sure thing” Evan starts taking out the ties and began retying, this time with many more ponytails and much closer to the scalp.  I decided I should probably help out.  Emma joined me.  Betty, having not gone too far, also saw what was going on and came back over.


“Ok, ladies, Heather here, is cutting off ALL of her hair and wants to donate it.  We need to tie her hair in many ponytails as close to the scalp as possible.  Then, I can go in and snip them all off” Evan explained.  We all started to pitch in sectioning off her hair.


“You’re gonna look great! Heather” Betty praised.


“You are amazing” I added.


Heather forced a smile and kept taking deep breaths.


“Do you need anything?” Emma leaned down and asked Heather.


“Um, maybe some liquid courage?” she asked meekly. “I know I’m not 21 yet, but I really think a few shots may help.  Also, can you ask Shandra to come over?  I want her here to watch this.”


I learned later that Heather idolized Shandra and the popular girl was a big reason why she was doing this.  Seeing Shandra and how amazing she looked, how confident she was, Heather had started wondering if she could feel that way as well.  Her hair was definitely her security blanket and something she absolutely treasured, but she also knew she lived a very sheltered life.


In her 19 years of life, she had never had a boyfriend, only ever even kissing a boy once or twice and never anything further.  She never smoked or tried drugs, had barely tried alcohol, having a sip of beer once and one other drink on a dare.  She certainly didn’t enjoy the taste, but did notice a bit of a rush.  Something she thought might help her get through this. I wish I had known all of that beforehand. Especially about how she felt about Shandra.


“I’ll talk to Shandra, but I don’t think she’s going to come.  I understand Heather, but you’re underage and we have a game tomorrow.  I’m sorry, but no alcohol, I’ll see if I can help you with something else though,”  Emma consoled Heather.  “I’ll be right back.”


Emma dashed off.  Betty and I both exchanged knowing looks at each other.  I put my hand on Heather’s shoulder.


“Relax, kid, I’ll be right back.”  I ran off to my bedroom.


I grabbed the hidden bottle of Tequila.  The same one Betty and I had used a couple weeks back.  I poured a couple of shots, then put the bottle back into hiding before hurrying back.


“Here,” I handed Heather a shot, “drink it quick before Emma gets back.”


“Uhhm, it’s ok, I don’t want to get in trouble.”  Heather whispered, with a slight quiver in her voice.


“It’s ok, kiddo.  I promise, you’ll be fine.”  Betty encouraged.


“A-A-Are you sure?” Heather questioned.


“Yeah, you’ll be fine.” I confirmed.


Heather grabbed the shot from my hand, took a deep breath and then threw it back. Swallowing, she shuddered and shook her head, letting out a soft noise that sounded like “E-yuck,” before regaining her composure.


“Thanks, Katie,” she said sweetly, eyes red from the burning of the strong drink.


“I’ve got one more if you want it, but be quick, before Emma gets back.”  I replied.


“Uhm, ok.” She replied softly as she put her hand out.


I handed her the shot glass, unsure if she actually wanted it, or if she felt like she should have it.  This poor girl was always trying to please everyone.  Good thing I planned on cutting her off after this anyway.  I figured she was a super lightweight and I remembered what happened with Betty and me. In fact, I probably wouldn’t forget that night for a long time.


Heather threw the shot back, stuck her tongue out, stamping her feet a few times.  “Ok, no more, I’m good now.”


“Well, that’s good, because you weren’t getting any more anyway,” I replied.  A moment later Emma walked back into the room, just as Betty and Evan were finishing up putting the last of her hair into ponytails.


“Sorry, hun, Shandra’s busy but wishes you the best of luck.  She’s proud of you.”  Emma declared as she rejoined us.


I could tell she was lying, but good on her to protect Heather, right now.  I have no clue what the girl saw in her older, much ruder teammate, but this would crush her.


“Oh, ok.” Heather replied softly, clearly disappointed.  “I guess I’m ready then.  Can you hold my hand?”  Betty and I both nod in agreement.  “I’m probably going to cry.  In fact, I expect it, but please know it’s ok and I absolutely want to do this, so don’t stop until it’s done no matter what happens.”


We all agreed.  Emma sat down on the floor, looking directly at her, there for moral support and encouragement no matter what.  Betty and I were on either side holding her hands, which she had a tight grip on.  Evan came around, scissors in hand, standing in front of her, making sure she was ready.  Heather looked up.


“No, I said all!  I don’t want anything left.  I know you can get it closer. I see what you have done with Katie and the others.”  Heather said, determined.


Evan flashed a grin and put the scissors down.  He picked up the clippers, removed the guard and pushed the blades all the way to the shortest possible setting – 00000.


“How’s this?” Evan asked, showing the clippers to Heather.


“Perfect!” she exclaimed, the most confident we had seen her be yet.


You Don’t See This Every Day


“Here we go,” Evan turned the clippers on and plunged them into Heather’s hair, removing each ponytail one at a time.  There were a couple dozen little ponytails scattered all over Heather’s head in a grid-like pattern.  Evan grabbed one of them and held it up with one hand.  With the other, he took the clippers and pushed them back through Heather’s hair as close to the scalp as possible.


The clippers glided through her hair like butter and within a moment Evan was holding a more than 3-foot ponytail of hair in his hand.  Left behind was a completely bare patch of her scalp that looked more skin than hair.  It was the closest I had ever seen Evan take anyone’s hair, without actually shaving it with cream and a razor.  I looked down at Heather who seemed completely unfazed.  Evan placed the ponytail on the table next to him.  He then made a pass at the next one and did the same thing.


He made pass after pass, slowly removing Heather’s hair, one tiny, but very long, ponytail at a time.  I was in awe of what was happening.  I looked over at Betty and Emma. They were just as shocked as I was.  I looked down at Heather and she hadn’t even flinched this entire time.  Not a sound, not a single tear, barely any reaction at all.


“Wow, Heather, you’re doing amazing! How are you holding up?”  Emma broke the silence.


“Fine,” Heather deadpanned, continuing to stare straight ahead, showing no emotion.


“Heather’s a real trooper. This doesn’t happen every day,”  Evan happily chimed in, as he continued to systematically remove each ponytail.


There was basically no hair left at all on the top of Heather’s head.  Evan moved around to my side and continued working his way around her head, holding each ponytail, before buzzing it off, leaving nothing behind.  Soon there was more hair gathered on the table next to the chair than actually left on Heather’s head.


As Evan continued buzzing away each ponytail, I kept looking at Heather.  Heather just continued to stare straight ahead. Emma was still on the floor looking up at Heather, Betty and me were still each holding one of Heather’s hands.  I’m not sure it mattered.  It was like we weren’t even there.  None of us wanted to leave, but we got the sense that if we did Heather wouldn’t even notice. She probably would not have even cared if she had noticed.  By this time there were only a few ponytails left attached to Heather’s head, and Evan was making sure they weren’t sticking around long.


“Hey, kiddo.  You’re almost done!”  Betty cheered.


Heather didn’t even react, and I was starting to wonder if I should be more impressed or nervous.  Heather told us she was determined and knew exactly what she wanted, but this was actually starting to get a little freaky.  I looked over at Evan, who was down to three ponytails left.  He winked at me when I tried to ask if he thought she was OK.


I would have to ask if he had ever experienced anything like this before.  I watched intently as Evan severed the final ponytail from Heather’s head.  The last remnants of any hair were gone.  Heather’s hair has been reduced to stubble.  Actually, to say stubble was being far too generous.  Heather was basically bald.  After buzzing off each ponytail there really wasn’t much hair left, but a couple of quick passes all over took care of any remnants.  Evan put the clippers down.


“Ok, all set” Evan remarked.  Heather slowly got up.  She appeared to be in a bit of shock but can’t quite tell if it’s positive or negative.  Frankly, though, who could blame her.


“Wow, girl you look amazing,”  I was the first to speak.


“You really are stunning,” Emma chimed in as she got up off the floor.


Heather reached her hands up to feel her head,  “This feels so weird, is this really my head now?”


“Well, what do you think, kiddo?” Betty asks, running a hand over Heather’s freshly shaved crown.


“I-I-I don’t know…I think I like it,” she says hesitantly.


Her shocked expression slowly transitions into a smile. A confident one at that. She nodded, “Thanks Evan.”


Without warning Heather takes off.  Presumably looking for Shandra to show off her new look to.  This may not go well.  I looked down and noticed Heather’s sweatshirt lying on the ground.  As I went to pick it up, I started to call out to her only to be stopped by Emma who told me to let it go, she’d be fine.



For the first time, maybe ever, Heather was filled with confidence.  As she went off in search of Shandra, she felt the breeze both on her head and along her midriff.  She looked down, but for the first time ever, she realized she was not embarrassed and did not care that she was “exposed.” In fact she rather liked it.  She stood up straight and walks with a purpose.


Her smile grew bigger and bigger as she heard many of the other girls talking and complimenting her.  They were all impressed and proud of what she did.  But she tuned them all out as soon as she spotted Shandra.


As she approached Shandra, she said, “Hi Shandra, look what I did.  You inspired me andI never could have done this without your influence.”


Shandra stopped and looked Heather up and down. She only scoffed and walked away.  Suddenly, Heather’s smile was gone, her previous confidence completely gone.  Her eyes started to well up and tears began streaming down her face.  Suddenly, very self-conscious, and not wanting to be seen this way, she attempted to cover herself up as she ran off crying.


A Big Loss But An Even Bigger Gain?


As she ran past Emma, Betty, and me we exchanged glances. And here we go again.  We gave her a moment and then heard a door slam as we followed after her.  Emma knocked on the door.


“Heather, Hun, can we talk?” She asked.


“Go away” the muffled voice replied from the other side.


“We’re not leaving until you let us in.”  I echoed.


“Leave me alone! I don’t want to talk” The muffled voice on the other side responded.


“Ok, I can’t leave her like this.  I’m coming in.”  Betty said, shrugging, ever the impetuous one. She started to open the door.


“NO!” Heather shouted, but we entered anyway, sitting on the couch across from the bed.  She was in the same position Emma and I found her in last Saturday night.  Except for one obvious difference.


“Please leave,” was all Heather would say.  Betty got up and walked over to Heather, sitting next to her on the bed.


“We’re not leaving, kiddo, you might as well talk.  What happened?  You were so confident.  I thought you were enjoying yourself.”


“Shandra blew me off,” Heather was still sobbing uncontrollably but sat up.


“Is that all? Kiddo, Shandra is not a nice person.  I hope you didn’t do this for her.  You know what she did, right?  You know she’s the reason behind my hair, right?  You were at the meetings,” Betty said gently.


“I thought I was different.  I thought she liked me.  She’s amazing and always made time for me.”  Heather started to calm down.  She was still very visibly upset, but the crying had slowed.


“You realize she probably just liked your hair, right?”  I responded. Perhaps not my greatest words of comfort, but Heather needed to know who she was dealing with.


“I guess I do now,” Heather began dejected “Oh no, my hair,” she reached up and felt her head.  “It’s gone!  A lifetime of growth.  It will take forever to grow back!”  She started tearing up “I can’t believe I did this.”


Betty reached over and pulled Heather into her. “It’s ok, you look great.  Shandra’s why I have no hair either.  We’ll get through this together.”


Heather stopped crying and looked up.  She looked at all of us, daggers in her eyes.  “I hate her!”


“We know dear, she’s on a lot of people’s list, right now,” Emma stated.  She went over and sat on the other side of her.


“Are you ok?  Really?  I know you loved your hair and maybe some misguided thoughts led you here, but it’s done.  You can either sulk and be miserable or you can embrace this and enjoy yourself.  What is your goal?  What did you want?” Betty asked.  “There certainly seemed to be a bit more going on than just a haircut and you certainly seemed to enjoy the experience.”


“I don’t know really.  This is so unlike me.  I’ve always had long hair, it’s never even been above my waist, honestly, I’d never even had the slightest inkling to even cut it a little bit.  I know a lot of kids like to change their look and experiment, but that was never me.  I’ve never even been on a date, I don’t smoke, I‘ve barely ever had alcohol, I’ve never really put myself out there or taken any kind of risk.  For whatever reason, I took to cheering, but that’s about it.  It’s my first time away from home.  I just wanted to get along and fit in.  I saw you” she pointed to Betty, “and Shandra and how awesome you looked.”


“You both seemed so confident and like your hair didn’t even matter.  It was inspiring.  The whole team has such short hair, I couldn’t be left out.  I know I was blessed with amazing hair.  Honestly, it’s probably the one best things in my entire life, I figured if I donated it and let it go to a good cause it would be worth it.  I know I didn’t have to shave it all off, I’m sure some kind of pixie cut or even a short bob would have been acceptable, but I’ve always played it safe my entire life, and again, Shandra’s hair looked so good, and so did yours, I figured if I was going to do it, I might as well really go for it.”


“But well,” she continued, hanging her bald head,” I’ve always lived such a sheltered and covered up life.  Honestly, this is the most exposed I’ve ever been, but I thought maybe, well if I was going to do this, maybe other things needed to change, and while maybe this seems like a small thing, dressing like this is actually, already, a huge step for me.”


“Oh, kiddo” Betty comforted.


“Besides, I overheard her talking the other night.  She was with a bunch of the other girls.  She was talking about how much she loved her new hair, how freeing it was.  She was glad that she had gotten it cut, how much she has enjoyed her haircuts.  She talked about how cool it was having it so short and how it was so much better than long hair, that it made her stand out.  She said we should all be so lucky.  As I was walking away it got me thinking.  I decided maybe, if I did it too, Shandra would be impressed, and I could be like her.  I know, it’s silly, right?” Heather confirms.


“No, no not at all,” I began.  “I was fairly strait-laced and used to have long waist length dyed blonde hair, not that long ago.  My boyfriend broke up with me and transferred schools, so I decided I needed a change.  I went to Evan’s salon, looking for a new look, but nothing like what I ended up with.  All these tattoos and piercings came along with the new hair.  It was eye opening. I discovered who I really am.  Now, it’s your turn. The three of us will all look out for you and help you discover your true self.  No more tears though, ok?”


Heather nodded in agreement “What’s done is done I might as well accept it.  No more tears, I promise, besides I cried enough during my haircut, and then just now I don’t think I have anything left.  I think I even peed a little.”


We all looked at each other and smiled.


“You didn’t cry at all.  Not a single tear.  We were actually quite impressed.”  Emma responded.


“I didn’t?”  Heather sounded genuinely confused.  “It felt like I did.”


“Nope, and kiddo, I don’t think you peed.  I think it was… something else.”  Betty interjected.


“No, it was, I definitely feel it, maybe the alcohol had a bigger-,” Heather started.


“Alcohol!” Emma looks at me and Betty “We’ll discuss that later.  Heather, have you ever-,“ she paused, too uncomfortable to continue.


“Pleasured yourself?” Betty blurred out to finish her captain’s question.


Heather looks at both of them confused, “How do you mean, like did something for fun?”


“Um, not exactly,” I chime in with a nervous giggle.


“Then what?”  Heather started and then realized, eyes opening wide. “Ewww gross.   NO, NO, NO, definitely NOT!”


“I think out girl’s had her first sexual experience.”  Betty giggled.


“Oh God, this is so embarrassing.”  Heather dejected.


“No, not at all, kiddo, and Heather –” Heather looks up,  “—Heather, I think this look –” Betty rubs Heather’s head “—I think it’s here to stay.”


“I don’t know, I need some time.  I mean I don’t dislike it, it’s just such a big change.”


“True and it’s only the beginning.  I’m taking you out.” Betty stood up,  “After the game tomorrow We’ll come back here, get changed into our best outfits and then I’m taking you out on a shopping spree.  You and I both need new wardrobes to go with our new looks.”


Heather looked up, smiling again for the first time, since coming upstairs.  “Really? You mean it?  That’s so kind of you.”


“Think nothing of it, anything and everything you want.  Us no-haired girls gotta stick together, right?”  She wrapped her arm around Heather and pulled her close. She ruffled her own short, soft hair.


“Alright you two, we’ve been gone a while, you ok? Let’s head back down.” Emma stated.


“You two go ahead, we’ll be right behind you.” Betty replied.  Turning to Heather “Let’s get you cleaned up first.”


As Emma and I headed back downstairs, Evan was waiting for us. “Everything ok?”


“Yeah, we’re all good.”  I answered.


“Good, because you two are the last up.”


Emma sat down in the chair.  “I’ll go first, this way you two love birds can go off and have the rest of the night for yourselves.”  She winked.


We certainly would have a lot to celebrate.  Mission accomplished for one.

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