The Start of Something New: Volume II Chapter 1 — New Beginnings

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After a bit of a hiatus, our favorite cheerleaders are back.  Katie’s mission is accomplished but there are still plenty of adventures to be had, & the team’s hair journey is far from over.  Something has been unleashed.

 

For anyone new to the series, or for those who need a refresher of where things left off, here is a link to the previous chapter, which contains links to all of the chapters from volume one.

 

https://www.hairstorynetwork.com/stories/the-start-of-something-new-mission-accomplished/

 

As we begin Volume Two, please note the shift in perspective, as this has truly become an ensemble tale.

 

I hope you all enjoy & know that further chapters will be coming out regularly, going forward.

 

 

 

A New Bond Is Formed

It was another decisive victory for the football team.  This one by the widest margin yet.  The team was on fire, & the cheerleaders were ecstatic.  As they headed back into the house, the rest of the weekend free for them to do as they pleased, Betty reminded Heather to meet her in her room in fifteen minutes.

 

“This will be fun. I’ll find a way to break her out of her shell.”  Betty said to Emma & Katie as Heather ran off.  “Don’t worry, she’s in good hands.”

 

“That’s one lucky girl.  You’ve always been the fashionista.”  Katie replied.  “I’m gonna go take a nap.  This week has been exhausting.”

 

“The last two weeks really.”  Emma added while reaching over & rubbing Betty’s quarter inch long copper fluff, as Katie headed off to her room.

 

“Yeah, I know, I really need to figure this out.”  Betty smirked.

 

She’d been doing much better & was no longer mourning the loss of her hair but was still having trouble figuring out exactly what to do with it.  She didn’t mind it short, but also, felt maybe it needed to grow out a bit.  Both Evan & Emma had been good so far with her indecisiveness, but she knew next week, she’d be in Evan’s chair no matter what.

 

“I’d better go change & get ready before Heather shows up.”  Betty headed upstairs to her room.

 

Betty was just finishing up getting ready when there was a soft knock on her door.

 

“Is that you, Heather?  Come on in.”  Betty shouted out.  The door creaked open slowly & Heather stepped in.  Her nearly bald head, with the finest trace of stubble just beginning to show, poked out from a blouse buttoned all the way up to the top & tucked into a pair of jeans.

 

“Um, hi.  Is this OK?”  Heather asked Betty as if looking for permission.  Betty took a step back & looked closer.  Then moved closer.

 

“Not really, but I can fix it.”

 

Betty reached over to Heather & grabbed the sleeves of her blouse & with a good tug pulled the sleeves off at the seams.  Heather let out a gasp.

 

“Hold on, not done yet.”

 

She then reached over to the buttons & undid the top two.  Ideally, she would have liked to have undone three, but wanted to ease Heather into this & didn’t want to push things too far.  Then she untucked the shirt & undid the bottom two buttons, grabbed the ends & tied them together just above the waist, showing the slightest bit of skin between the bottom of the shirt & top of her pants.  Finally grabbing the top of her blouse by the shoulders & giving a bit of a tug to readjust, she took a step back.

 

“There, much better” Betty smiled, obviously very proud of her work.

 

“I – I – I can’t go out like this.”  A horrified Heather stammered.

 

She was used to always being as covered up as possible.  This was a big change & she knew it was only the beginning.  Of course, the biggest change had already happened.  To think, less than 24 hours ago, her hair hung down well past her butt, which was already shorter than she was used to but now it was all gone.  ALL GONE.  She didn’t even realize it was possible to have hair this short, if you could even call what was on her head hair.

 

She had to remind herself, she had done it willingly, however misguided it may have been & she had felt more exposed during that time than she was now.  There was a reason for that, but she desperately wanted to escape right now.  In truth, she realized, as much as she hated Shandra now, she used to idolize her, & if Shandra had done this to her, she wouldn’t have hesitated.  Betty had been done wrong by Shandra too, so maybe that shared feeling would be something they could bond over.

 

“Relax kiddo, you look amazing.”  Betty reassured “& this is nothing.  Hey, trust me.  We’ve got to match this new look you’re sporting, & don’t worry I need a new wardrobe as well.”

 

Betty put her arm around Heather & led her out of the room & down the stairs.  As they were heading out the front door, Emma turned & faced them.

 

“Have fun, you two.”  Emma winked at Betty & gave a thumbs up.

 

Betty & Heather left & walked over towards Betty’s JEEP.  It was a beautiful mid-September day, without a cloud in the sky & just a slight breeze in the air.  They got in the car & as Betty backed the car out & they sped away; she pulled the windows down & let the breeze engulf the car.

 

“I guess this is one advantage of having next to no hair.” Betty shouted over to Heather.  “I could never do this before.  If I ever opened the windows, with my hair… what a mess I was in for whenever I got to my destination.”

 

“Yeah” Heather was only half listening as she gazed off & thought about all that had transpired recently; even more so what was to come.  How far was she willing to take this?  To say she was already outside her comfort zone would be an understatement, but then her comfort zone involved her hair, & that wasn’t coming back any time soon, she’d have to readjust, or it would be a long painful road.

 

“Hey, kiddo.”  Betty broke Heather’s trance.  She snapped her fingers. “Yo! Heather!”  Heather turned & faced Betty.  “Hey,” Betty smiled “Welcome back.  Seems like I lost you there for a minute.  Everything ok?”

 

“I guess.”  Heather wasn’t really sure how to respond.  She was grateful to Betty for all she was doing for her but still really in shock over what she went through.  “It’s just a lot” Heather rubbed her head unconsciously.  “I can’t believe I look this way now.”

 

“I hear you.  It suits you though.”  Betty smiled at Heather trying to be as comforting as possible.  “Honestly, you had too much hair before.  It overwhelmed you.”

 

“Ok, maybe, but…” Heather conceded.

 

“Hey, didn’t you choose this?”  Betty countered.  “Evan was going to cut a lot less off & you would have had an opportunity to stop multiple times along the way.  You would have looked cute with a bob.  Kind of like what Melissa has.”  Heather put her head down & began to sniffle, her eyes glistening as tears formed.  “But this looks good too.  This looks GREAT!”  Betty tried to recover & cheer Heather up.  “You look great & just wait ‘til I’m done with you.  Just be open minded & embrace this opportunity.”

 

“Thank You.”  Heather replied in a barely audible whisper, as she tried to stifle back her tears.

 

“What was that?” Betty had heard her but was trying to engage.

 

Heather cleared her throat & said a little louder.  “Thank You.”  She paused briefly “I said Thank You.”  She wiped away the tears & looked up.

 

“Ok, so we’re almost there.  Do You remember your assignment?”  Betty questioned.

 

“I think so.  I have to get new clothes.  You want me to look for things outside my comfort zone.  Things I wouldn’t normally wear.  You’re going to pick out clothes as well.  I have to try everything on.  Whatever I find needs to either be low cut on top, high cut on bottom, lack or have short sleeves.  Ideally, you’d prefer at least two of the qualifications, but one can be ok, depending on how much it shows & if I can justify it.  IF I find something that hits on all three, we’ll —” she paused. “Well, honestly it doesn’t matter because I doubt that will happen anyway.”  Heather rattled off as if she had been rehearsing it all night.

 

“Spot on, kiddo.”  Betty beamed as she pulled into the parking lot.  “Showtime! We’re here.”  Betty parked & they got out of the car.  They walked toward the Boutique & Betty opened the door for Heather & guided her in.

 

Meanwhile, Back At The House

“I can’t believe that bitch went & shaved her head!”  Melissa said to no one in particular, though Shandra was the only other one around.  Melissa, always aiming to wear as little clothing as possible was lounging on the couch in a tiny bralette & the shortest shorts you could imagine & still call them shorts.  She was twirling the hair of her shoulder skimming bob around her finger absentmindedly.

 

“Hmm, what’s that?”  Shandra, in a bright green sports bra & black bike shorts, not even bothering to look up as she was mindlessly scrolling through her phone.  Her teal mohawk lay flat & just hung there, one of the rare times, Shandra had not bothered to style her hair since getting the mohawk.

 

“Heather!” Melissa, now slightly annoyed, exclaimed.  “I just can’t believe it.  I go & get over a foot cut off my hair.  This is the shortest I’ve ever worn it.  This is considered short by most people’s standards.  Not on this team though.  STILL THE LONGEST ON THE TEAM! This is EXACTLY what I DIDN’T want.  I might as well have left it as it was.”

 

“Oh, … yeah.   Well, she looks good.”  Shandra, now aware of Melissa, but still not looking up from her phone.  “Something seemed a bit off with her earlier, but she really flew.  That lack of hair really adds to her aerodynamics.  I mean, yeah, your ponytail was epic flying through the air.  That little stub you have now though just isn’t the same.”

 

“WOW” Melissa was taken aback.  “WoW, Shandra! Really?  You do know this whole thing is all your fault anyway, right?”

 

“My fault?  In what world is it possibly my fault?”  Suddenly, Shandra took interest & sat up, looking away from her phone.  “Come on Melissa.  What exactly is ‘all my fault’?”

 

“Seriously?”  Melissa sat up & leaned in.  “Seriously, Shandra?  Remember the whole sleeping with Betty’s boyfriend?  That started this whole thing.  WE HAD MEETINGS! YOU SAT IN THIS VERY ROOM.  THAT’S WHY YOU HAVE THAT MOHAWK!”  Melissa stood up & went over to confront Shandra.  “BETTY & HEATHER PRACTICALLY SHAVED THEIR HEADS DIRECTLY BECAUSE OF YOU.  For very different reasons, but BECAUSE OF YOU!!!  The twins only kept their hair long because you INTIMITATED THEM !!!”  Melissa started to back away to avoid any confrontation & do something she’d regret.

 

“I never would have even done this if everyone else hadn’t.  You think you were attached to YOUR HAIR?! Hi, my name’s Melissa, I love my hair more than anything & it’s my best feature.”  She stretched out her hand to offer a shake.  “Pleased to meet you.”

 

“Whatever,” Shandra scoffed.  She stood up to leave.  “Free will, & no more bullying.  Everyone gets to do whatever they wish with their hair without pressure.”  She brushed past Melissa & as she exited the room shouted back “Except ME! By the Way” Melissa was left standing there stunned.  Shandra popped her head back in “OH, & if it really bothers you that much, if you don’t want long hair that much, maybe you should just cut the rest off.  You’ll probably look better anyway.”  Shandra headed off down the hall & up the stairs.  A minute later her door slammed shut.

 

Anna walked into the room, wearing a sweatshirt & gym shorts, yogurt cup in hand, a spoonful in her mouth. “What’s going on?” she asked around the spoon. Swallowing, she continued, “I heard a lot of shouting.” Seeing Melissa was visibly shaken, Anna sat and put an arm around her teammate, holding the spoon in her mouth, “Are you ok?”

 

“Yeah…” Melissa reacted still a bit shaken.  “Yeah, it’s fine.”  Melissa turned to leave “God. She is so oblivious” Melissa mumbled under her breath as she walked out.

 

Back At The Boutique

Betty found herself over at the swimwear section.  She COULD use a new bikini or two, but Heather – well, that girl should be living in them.  Fairly confident that not only had Heather never worn one before it’s probably never even entered her mind as an option.  That needed to change.  This would be a big challenge though.  There was no doubt Heather would look absolutely stunning in any of these, getting her to even try them on would take some creative thinking.  Then, her eyes stopped on one in particular.  This was perfect for her.  Perfect, but no way she’d ever wear it.  It was a very colorful floral halter string bikini with matching bottoms.  OK, throw it on the pile, long term goals.  There were plenty of options for the now.  Betty wasn’t sure what style was best for Heather or rather what style she might be most open to, but they would figure it out together.  This was a process & only step one.

 

Heather was struggling.  She knew what she was supposed to be doing & there were a lot of really nice clothes.  Really nice, but they just didn’t feel right.  She did find a few options that she thought she could be ok with, but not nearly enough.  She didn’t want to disappoint Betty but wasn’t sure how much she was supposed to find.

 

“Hey, kiddo, how’s it going.”   Heather looked up & saw Betty standing there, an arm full of clothes.

 

“Um, ok, I guess” Heather spoke softly.  “Are those for me?”

 

“No, these are actually for me.  These” Betty reached behind her & pulled the cart FILLED with various clothes & other accessories. “Are for you.”

 

“Wow” Heather’s jaw dropped.  “That’s a lot.  That’s way more than I was expecting.  I guess this was harder than I thought.  I only found a few things.” Indicating the items she had picked out.  “I’m really trying though.  I promise.  This is such an amazing opportunity & I’m so appreciative to you for everything.”  Heather fought to hold back tears.  “I’m sorry.”

 

“You’ve got nothing to be sorry for, kiddo.  I know this isn’t easy for you.  I’m proud of you for even getting this far.  Why don’t we head back towards the dressing room & see what we’ve got” Betty stated, as she reached out for Heather’s hand & started to lead her to the back of the store.

 

At The House

Emma, dressed in a black sports bra & matching gym shorts, wearing a backwards baseball cap that had her hair pushed back from her forehead & her running shoes, closed the front door behind her & headed down the steps.  Just as she was about to put her earbuds in her ear, she spotted the twins laying out on towels on the front lawn & headed over to them.

 

“Hey, you’re blocking our sun.”  Jessie, in her solid green Bandeau Bikini & sunglasses, stated, as she tucked the longish, by this team’s standard, hair behind her left ear.

 

“Yeah, Emma, what gives?  We don’t have much time.”  Jenny, allowing her classic bowl cut to lie naturally & wearing a brown & yellow polka dot halter, added.

 

“Sorry, girls” Emma remarked as she took a step back.  “I was just about to head out for a run when I saw you two laying here & wanted to say ‘hi’ I’m surprised you were here.  No dates tonight?”

 

“Oh, we have dates” they both said in unison while turning to look at each other.

 

“That’s actually why we’re out here, we have about an hour before we need to get ready.”  Jessie explained.

 

“Separately” Jenny added.   “We convinced Tim & Tate we wanted to do separate things so we’re actually going out on different dates.”

 

“You guys are really embracing that individuality thing, aren’t you?”  Emma smirked.  “Well, have fun.  I’m off.”  With that, Emma backed up & putting her earbuds back in her ears, took off.

 

“We Will!” the twins shouted after.

 

Still At The Boutique

Heather had never tried on so many clothes in her life.  It’s not that she necessarily minded, she’d just never paid much attention to fashion or her clothes before.  She had a feeling that was going to change going forward.  Even if she, herself, didn’t care, Betty was going to stay on top of her & make her pay attention.

 

The other thing about it was Heather was spending way more time in just her underwear than she was used to.  Every time there was a new item, it was take the old one off, put the new one on.  Open the door, let Betty see it, make some comments, close the door, repeat.  The positive was that she was finding she actually liked most of what she was trying on.  Most of it was clothes Betty had picked out.  After what felt like forever, Heather was starting to near the bottom of the pile.

 

“I think we’re almost finished.”  Heather stated through the dressing room door. “I only see a couple more items left.”

 

“That’s great, kiddo!”  Betty responded.  “You’re doing an amazing job, & we’ve found a lot of great outfits for you.  They all look amazing on you.”  Betty was impressed.  Heather was handling this well & seemed to be way more receptive than she thought.  Now, if Betty could actually get Heather to WEAR the outfits & feel comfortable leaving the house in them, that would be a major win.

 

She still had that bikini in her cart & was debating if she should have Heather try it on or not.  Heather had been very open & receptive to everything, but she didn’t want to push it, on the other hand, Betty knew how fabulous she’d look if she could just get Heather to see it.

 

Heather opened the door.  She was wearing a tiny red crop top with spaghetti straps that ended about two inches above her belly button & a black mini skirt that also fell about two inches above her knee.  It was definitely one of the “riskier” & daring outfits Betty had found but something everyone else on the team had plenty of & wore all the time.  Heather looked amazing in it, & Betty was starting to notice the amazing figure that Heather had been hiding.

 

“I don’t like it” Heather protested.

 

“This looks so good on you.  You have such an amazing body & this really shows it off.”  Betty complimented.  “What is it you don’t like?”

 

“Just that.”  Heather slowly brought her arms in front of her, as if self-conscious & trying to cover up.  “I really feel exposed in this & like I’m drawing all this unwanted attention.”

 

“Hey, kiddo, you do realize that most of the team dresses very similar to this most of the time, don’t you?  Hell, Melissa would probably still think it’s too much clothing.”  Betty replied.  “You don’t think in a room full of girls all dressed like this, you don’t/didn’t stick out the way you were always so covered up.  That plus all that hair, you were easy to spot.  Granted, now your lack of hair will have the same effect but at least you’ll be dressing the part.”

 

“I Guess” Heather whispered.  “This just so isn’t ME, though.”

 

“Is that?” Betty pointed to Heather’s head, which 24 hours earlier sprouted long, luscious locks that flowed all the way down her back & past her butt, but now lay bare & it would be generous to call even what remained stubble.

 

“You just had to go & remind me, didn’t you?”  Heather backed up, sounding dejected.  She found her way to the small bench in the dressing room & sat down.  “It really is gone, isn’t it?” She managed to get out while trying, desperately, but failing to fight back tears.  Betty stepped in & sat down next to her trying to offer some comfort.  Heather looked up at her.  “Why was I so Stupid?”  She was full-on bawling at this point.

 

“No, kiddo, you’re not stupid, not at all.  Perhaps a bit misguided, at least in this instance, but definitely not stupid.”  Betty was doing her best to console & make Heather feel better, but this really wasn’t her territory.  Where was Katie, when she really needed her, Betty thought.

 

“Do you regret it?”  Heather inquired.

 

“My hair?”  Betty gave a deep sigh.  “That’s a loaded question.  I regret that I allowed Shandra to hold that much power over me.  I regret that I acted on impulse, which resulted in Katie needing to shave my head.  I miss it & it’s been a major adjustment, but overall, no I don’t regret it.”  It was a bit of a lie, but Betty also felt this was what Heather needed to hear.  “Hey, we can both go through this together.”  Betty added, “We’ll be like Hair buddies.”

 

That got Heather to crack a smile.  “I like that.”  She stated as she gave a little laugh.  “Thank you for being such a good friend.”  Heather reached over & gave Betty a big hug.  “I don’t know where I’d be without you.”  They both stood up & Betty started towards the door.  “I guess this is ok, but I may not wear it for a while.  Is that ok?”

 

“Of course, it is, kiddo.”  Betty turned & gave a thumbs up.  “This is a journey.  I don’t expect you to transform yourself overnight.”

 

“Well, my hair did.”  Heather chuckled, as she closed the dressing room door, starting to change into the next outfit.

 

Checking In At The House

“Don’t worry about it so much.  You’re doing a great job.  Melissa trusts you.”  Elsa reassured Janie.

 

“I know, but I’m still the youngest on the team, how did I get such a huge responsibility?”  Janie retorted.  They were both in the kitchen.  Janie was microwaving a Hot Pocket & getting a bowl of chips.  Elsa was preparing soup.  Both girls were comfortably dressed.  Janie in pajama pants & a T shirt; her Miley Cyrus inspired haircut disheveled & everywhere.  Elsa in shorts & T shirt, with her hair always on point & properly styled.  They were both in for the night & had no plans.

 

“Jacqueline graduated.  You fill a need.”  Annie, whose hair was the only one on the team currently not styled by Evan, chimed in from the table.  She was reading the paper & trying to decide whether to go out or not.

 

“Gee, that’s reassuring.”  Janie rolled her eyes as she walked over to the fridge to get a drink.

 

“How about a movie?  Hey, either of you want to come?  You know I hate going alone.”  Annie asked.

 

“Sorry, A, I’m not going anywhere tonight.  I have a huge term paper I really need to get going on.”  Elsa responded, turning to Janie “While, accurate, maybe the phrasing wasn’t the best.  I think what Annie is trying to say is there are certain key positions on the team that we need filled & they go to the best qualified person each year.  While there is some moving around if needed sometimes people grow into a position.  Tanya was an amazing flyer all four years & they both made a great team.  Unfortunately, they graduated.  Can you really say Heather isn’t best suited for the flyer position?  You should actually take it as a compliment that you have such a prominent & important position as a freshman, that you’ll only grow into it over time.”

 

The microwave beeped & Janie went over to get her snack out of it.

 

“I suppose that’s true.  Melissa’s just actually taller than me, so I’m just a bit surprised, I guess.”  Janie answered while waiting for her Hot Pocket to cool.

 

“Talk to Emma & Coach?”  Elsa shrugged.

 

So How Are Heather & Betty Doing?

“Hey kiddo, great job & I know you’re probably exhausted, trying on so many new clothes.  I’ve just got one more thing left for you to try on & then I think we’re done.”  Betty tried easing Heather into this next step.

 

“I don’t think so, are you sure?  I’ve got nothing else in here.”  Heather stated from behind the door.

 

“Yes, I know.” Betty answered.  “I have it here.  I didn’t give it to you yet.”

 

“Don’t I have enough clothes?”  Heather asked.  “I’ve never tried on so many clothes in my life.  I’ve never gotten this many clothes at once.  What else could possibly be needed?”

 

“Swimwear” was Betty’s simple response.

 

“Oh” Heather said softly from behind the door.  “I don’t think I really need that right now, though.”

 

“You never know when you might have a need for a good swimsuit.”  Betty tried to be as positive as possible.

 

“Well, I do have a bathing suit.  Two in fact.  I brought them with me from home.”  Heather began.  Then after a long pause “But I suppose there’s no chance you’ll ever let me get away with wearing them.” Heather let out a deep sigh.  “Alright fine, let’s get this done with.”  Heather cracked the door open just enough to reach her hand out.

 

“Don’t worry, it’s just one.” Betty handed Heather the bikini & awaited her reaction.

 

“Where’s the rest of it?”  Heather asked from behind the closed door.

 

“That’s it, that’s the whole thing?”  Betty enthused.

 

“This isn’t a bathing suit…it’s dental floss!”  Heather exasperated.  “I’m not wearing this.”

 

“Heather!” Betty pleaded.

 

“Fine” Heather gave in.  “I’m not coming out though” Heather paused for a moment.  “Or letting you in.”  Betty let out a sigh.  Well, at least she would put it on.  That’s something.

 

“Eww, I’m practically NAKED!”  Heather exclaimed.

 

“No, you’re not.  I’m sure you look great.”  Betty replied.

 

“That’s not really the point.  My underwear covers more than this!”  Heather retorted.

 

“I’m coming in.”  Betty declared.  Before Heather had a chance to object the dressing room door opened.  Heather shrieked.  Betty froze.  Standing there was Heather, a modern-day Aphrodite.  Betty was 100% straight & totally into the guys, but she had to admit, Heather had one of the best-looking bodies she had ever seen.  She was wearing a pink bra & matching panty, over which she wore the string bikini Betty had picked out for her.  As suspected Heather looked stunning in it & would be the envy of every girl, if she ever got the confidence to put it on & wear it outside the dressing room.

 

“Get Out!”  Heather shouted, suddenly very aware of the situation, as she slunk down & threw her arms in front of her, doing everything she could to cover up as much as possible. “Get Out! Get Out! Get Out!”  Betty backed out & nearly had the door slammed in her face.  She heard a muffled sobbing.

 

“I’m sorry.”  Betty apologized through the door.

 

“For what?”  Heather answered.  “Coming in, or giving me this in the 1st place?”

 

“Both?”  Betty definitely was sorry & really hoped she hadn’t pushed things too far.  Heather opened the door & came out of the dressing room.  She was dressed as she had been earlier, now with the blouse once again fully buttoned & tucked back into her jeans.

 

“Here.”  She stormed past Betty & threw the bikini at her.  She kept walking out of the back room & as she headed through the store she shouted back.  “By the way, you owe me a new blouse.”  then proceeded towards the front door & out into the parking lot.

 

The ride back to the house was in total silence.  Betty desperately wanted to say something.  She hoped she hadn’t set things back but also didn’t want to make things worse.  She let Heather pout & just hoped for the best.  Maybe when they got back to the house some of the other girls could help out.  As they pulled up to the house & parked, Heather got out of the car & slammed the door behind her.  She made a beeline for the house & went inside & right upstairs & into her room.  Betty followed right behind carrying several large bags.

 

“Wow, that looks like a lot of stuff.”  Emma commented.  “I take it, it was a successful trip?”

 

“Well….” Betty began.  “It started off great, but I think I pushed too far.”  Betty set the bags down “I’m not sure where things stand right now, but I don’t think Heather is super thrilled with me right now.”

 

Everything’s Going To Be OK

There was a knock on Heather’s door.  Heather hesitated, unsure if she wanted to answer or not.

 

“Heather?” There was another knock.  “Heather, it’s Anna.  Can I come in?”

 

“Yeah” Heather sighed.  Anna opened the door & stepped in.

 

“I was asked to bring these up to you.”  Anna was carrying two large shopping bags.  They were the same two Bags from the boutique that Betty was carrying just a moment before.  She put the bags down & looked at Heather.  Anna was shocked by what she saw.  Heather was standing in front of her, still in her jeans, but with her blouse completely unbuttoned & open.  Her pink bra showing & nothing else.  Anna’s mouth dropped.  “Um…,”

 

“Thanks.” Heather, suddenly realizing the state she found herself in, quickly pulled her blouse & attempted to cover back up.  “Anything else?”  Not trying to be rude, but also feeling incredibly uncomfortable.

 

“Nope, heard you had a good time.  It’s super cool that you got to go do that with Betty.  She’s super awesome.”  Anna turned & exited as quickly as she appeared.  She kept shaking her head & mumbling as she walked down the hall & back down the stairs.  Heather was quite the hottie; it was a shame she was always so covered up.

 

Heather wasn’t necessarily mad or upset with Betty.  She was just emotionally drained.  It had been a crazy & eventful 24 hours & she was still dealing with a lot.  Sure, that last ask was a bit much, & Betty probably knew it, but Heather didn’t want to let that ruin the rest of the day/experience.  The truth is she had fun.  Of course, she would never let on exactly how much she enjoyed spending the day with Betty, but it was already having an influence.

 

Heather stood in front of her mirror.  She took a deep breath, finished taking her shirt off & just stood there forcing herself to look.  After a moment she unbuttoned her jeans & took those off as well.  Standing there in just her underwear, Heather took stock.  This was a strange site indeed.  Without her long hair draping around her body, she felt truly exposed.  However, in just the short time since she had joined the team & moved into the house she had been “exposed” to more skin than in all her life previously.  Heather subconsciously rubbed her head.  This certainly was the biggest change of all.  She didn’t necessarily hate it but wasn’t sure if she liked it…yet.  She definitely didn’t love it & it was going to be a huge adjustment, but also knew it was done & she needed to get used to it.

 

After another minute she had made a decision & exited the bathroom & got dressed.  For now, she put on a pair of her sweats.  She was going to challenge herself, but for now she needed comfort, and food; she was hungry & her clothes weren’t going anywhere.

 

Date Night

Katie & Evan haven’t gotten to see much of each other lately.  At least privately.  Sure, they saw each other last night, & many times last week but that was around the team.  Of course, it was cutting the teams’ hair, which was their favorite past time.  Tonight was different, it was just them & they were celebrating.  They were both reflecting on their time together & the goal they set that very first meeting that had just been fulfilled.  Things had started off slow but picked up speed the past couple of weeks.  The catalyst seemed to be Shandra cheating with Betty’s boyfriend.  While neither of them condoned Shandra’s behavior, neither could say they were unsatisfied with the results.

 

“Well, Babe, well done. You got the entire team.”  Evan congratulated his beautiful girlfriend, whose mohawk was even sharper than usual.

 

“Was there ever really any doubt?”  Katie smiled back at him.  “I mean I guess there was some luck involved, but I would have eventually found a way anyway.”  She then let out a deep sigh as she stirred her drink mindlessly.

 

“Everything ok?”  Evan asked, sensing something was wrong.

 

“Well, no.”  Katie started, “it’s just, well, now what?”

 

Hatching A Plan

After a quick meal break, Heather was back up in her room & got right to work.  She took the bags of new clothes & dumped their contents out on her bed.  First, she needed to get organized.  Betty was very good at picking out clothes & made sure there was plenty of variety.  There were plenty of sleeveless options, a bunch of crop tops, tanks, & many low-cut tops.  She had a bunch of skirts, shorts & mini dresses.  There were a lot of possible options & Heather could have some fun mixing & matching.  There were things that she thought she might be ok with wearing now (not really, but she was determined to push herself to make it work) but there were plenty of clothes that she knew she just wasn’t ready for.  She put those aside for longer term goals.

 

Her challenge was a simple one: wear at least one new clothing item every day.  She’d start small & easy.  She wasn’t ready to wear most of these outfits “out” but around the house, with her teammates?  That she could do.  She could just put something on & hang out in her room, that wouldn’t count.  She needed to have it on for at least an hour, outside of her bedroom, it had to be noticed by at least one other person & she couldn’t draw special attention or act differently in any way.  She also wasn’t going to tell anyone.  This way it was an honest & true reaction.  She would keep a chart & keep track of what she wore & what the reaction was.  Then she could see how she progressed & how comfortable she got.

 

She hadn’t figured out what her plan was around campus yet, but needed to come up with something, if to at least explain the drastic haircut.  She wanted to get started right away, but it was already getting late & wasn’t sure who else was around.   She reasoned, however, that both Betty & Anna had already seen her in just her underwear, which was already more than anything else she planned on wearing, counting that, she’s already way ahead of the game.  The challenge starts for real tomorrow.

 

The Challenge Begins

Katie woke up to her stomach grumbling.  She was Hungry!  Last night, with Evan, she had been fully satisfied but then worked up her appetite again.  Unable to focus on anything else, she headed down to the kitchen to see what she could find.  As she headed downstairs, & towards the kitchen, her eye caught an unexpected sight in the living room.  Heather was lounging on a couch reading a book.  It looked like she was studying.  Heather was not one to normally “lounge around” the house.  She was most often found in her room, when she was not involved in some other activity.  She also looked different, obviously, it was an adjustment for everyone, to see her with no hair, but no that wasn’t it.  Katie walked over to her.

 

“Hey, Heather.  You look great.  How’s it going?”  As Katie got closer, she saw the difference.  The girl who had always been as covered up as possible & wore the most clothes possible… wasn’t.  She was still way more covered than most on the team would be, but she was barefoot & wearing capris so the bottom half of her shins on down was completely bare.  The even bigger change was on top.  She was in a ¾ sleeve sky blue V neck top.

 

Heather looked up & put her book aside.  “Hi, Katie, it’s going well. I’m just trying to get some studying done.  It’s been a busy couple of days.”  Heather stood up & stretched.  Katie noticed another change.  The shirt was cut high, just above her waist & fit snug on her body.  When Heather lifted her arms, her shirt lifted as well revealing just a bit of her stomach.

 

“It certainly has,” Katie nodded, “but if this is the result” waving her hand in Heather’s general area, indicating her overall style.  “I hope to see a lot more of it.”  Katie turned & headed back towards the kitchen to continue her quest for food.

 

Heather smiled.  That was easier than expected.  It was only 20 minutes in, though, so she sat back down & picked up her book.  Besides, she was comfortable, maybe she’d stay this way longer/most of the day.

 

A few hours later Janie walked by & took notice of Heather.  She walked over & sat down in the chair next to her.  “You know, I thought my haircut was extreme.”  She stated in her southern drawl.  “I’ve got nothing on you.”

 

“Hmm?” Heather looked up from her book.  “I’m sorry, what was that?”

 

“My hair.  Well, your hair.”  Janie continued.  “Yours was even longer than mine, but now you have way less.  I thought I cut a lot off.”

 

“Oh, yeah, I guess” Heather absentmindedly rubbing her head.  “You look really good though.”

 

“Thanks, but you look amazing.”  Janie was fishing.  “Was it hard to do?  Do you like it?”

 

Heather sat up.  She looked directly at Janie.  “If I’m being totally honest.  I don’t know yet.  It’s definitely been a large adjustment, & I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow.  What I’m going to say.”  Heather had been ok around her teammates & kept herself occupied; she was really unsure of what kind of reaction she would receive on campus, & in class tomorrow.  She had been slow to make friends outside of her teammates, but she was friendly with some of her classmates.

 

“Well, I admire you.  I’ve been envious ever since I saw you.  I just haven’t really had a chance to tell you until now.”  Janie fawned.  She started to get up.  Heather stood up as well.  She had been sitting a while & needed to stretch her legs anyway.

 

‘Thanks.”  Heather reached out.  They both embraced.  Then Janie took off again.  Heather sat back down.  There was no mention of her clothes, but her hair or lack thereof was definitely a focus.  Janie had definitely noticed even though she didn’t say anything.  It’ll count.

 

A Deal Is Struck

After a long day, Betty was in her room, winding down getting ready for bed.  There was a soft knock on the door.  She walked over & opened it.  Heather was on the other side.  They hadn’t talked or seen much of each other since the car ride home from the boutique.

 

“Hi, can I come in?”  Heather, still dressed as she had been earlier in the day, asked softly.

 

“Of course, kiddo, what’s up?”  She opened the door wide & guided Heather in, she walked over to her bed & sat down, then patted next to her indicating Heather to join her.  “You’re looking great, by the way.”

 

“Thanks, I’m nervous” Heather explained, while sitting down.  “I don’t know how to handle tomorrow.”  She looked down rubbing her head.  “How did you handle it?”

 

Betty let out a deep sigh.  “I’m still figuring that out.”  She put her arm around Heather affectionately.  “I know that’s probably not what you want to hear.  I wish I had something better to tell you.”

 

“Why did I do this?”  Heather tries to resist crying. “Why did I shave my whole head?  If I was going to cut it, I could have just gone for a bob & maybe even a pixie & I’d probably be ok.  I mean the whole team already has short hair; it’d be easy enough to explain.  But this? Why?  How?”

 

“That’s true, & you’ll look cute in all those styles if you decide to grow it out.”  Betty tried to comfort.  “IF you decide to grow it out.  But as you said the other night, you were determined to do it, & if you’re cutting it anyway, why not cut it all?  It’s actually very admirable.”  She rubbed Heather’s arm.

 

“IF?  If?”  Heather questioned.  “You really think I’m keeping it this way?  There’s no if.”

 

“OK, kiddo, if you’re sure,” Betty reassured.  “But you look stunning & all that hair was hiding your beauty.  This look really brings out your eyes.”

 

“You think so?”  Heather blushed “You really think I should keep it like this?”

 

“I do.”  Betty smiled.  “Well, maybe you don’t have to keep it totally shaved, but I’d definitely keep it very short.”  She stroked Heather’s head affectionately.

 

“OK” Heather responded, “I’ll definitely think about it.”  She looked at Betty in the eyes, “but what about you?  What about your hair?”

 

“I should have seen that one coming, shouldn’t I?”  Betty smirked.  “I don’t know Heather; I’m still trying to figure it out.”

 

“Well, I think you should keep it short as well.”  Heather smiled “I will, if you will” Heather put her hand out as if to shake.  “After all, you promised we’d be hair buddies.”

 

“That I did.”  Betty liked Heather.  She saw how well she was responding to everything & saw an opportunity.  “Deal” She put her hand in Heather’s & they shook & then hugged.

 

The week flew by.  When Heather left the house, she dressed in her old clothes, which often consisted of a hoodie sweatshirt, which she wore up in an effort to conceal her hair, or lack thereof.  She was starting to feel comfortable enough around her teammates, with her new style, but wasn’t quite there with everyone else.  The adjustment with her hair was enough to deal with.  However, she continued her challenge & when she was around the house, she always tried to wear as little as she was comfortable with.  When she was at practice with the team, she no longer felt the need to completely cover up in sweats but wasn’t quite ready to match the rest of the team.  While most of the team was in just Sports bras & shorts, Heather wore leggings & a T-shirt over her Sports bra.

 

A Big Change To A New(ish) Look

Friday night arrived.  The Football team had another away game, & the Cheerleaders were once again going.  Evan arrived early & Jessie was standing at the door, in a grey racerback tank top & red athletic shorts, her hair crazy & unkempt, ready to greet him the moment he arrived.

 

“Hi, Evan” Jessie cheerfully greeted him.

 

“Hi, Jessie” Evan replied.  “You certainly seem to be in a good mood.”

 

“I am!” Jessie excitedly squealed, jumping up & down, while trying to contain herself but failing miserably.

 

“So, what’s up?”  Evan inquired while headed into the living room to begin setting up.

 

“Today’s the day.”  Jessie answered following close behind.

 

“What day would that be?”  Evan genuinely confused, tried to figure out what was going on.

 

“HAIRCUT DAY!”  Jessie jumped up & down clapping her hands.

 

“Well, yes, it is” Evan answered matter-of-factly.  “I’m here every Friday.”

 

“No, I mean MY Haircut.”  Jessie stopped.

 

“You want to go first?”  Evan waved towards the chair.

 

“You really don’t remember?”  Jessie sat down slightly dejected.  “Remember two weeks ago, when I came to you & said how much I loved my hair & loved it being short & couldn’t thank you enough?”  Jessie tried reminding him.  “I said I wanted to go shorter, but couldn’t copy my sister?  You told me to wait & you’d come up with something amazing for me?”  Jessie looked up at Evan.  “I’m here, you’re here, it’s been two weeks, let’s get to work.”

 

“Ok, Jessie.” Evan smirked.  “I do remember that.  Did you have anything in mind?”

 

“I just want it to be shorter than my sister.”  Jessie declared.  “Oh, & no bald.”

 

“Is that all?  That certainly leaves a lot of options.” Evan organized the last of his supplies.

 

“I know.”  Jessie smiled.  “I trust you completely.  I’m a blank canvas.”

 

“Ok, I’ve got something in mind.”  Evan walked over to the mirror & turned it around “But it’s going to be a surprise.”

 

Jessie’s mouth dropped open in shock.  Evan noticed this as he walked back towards her.

 

“You trust me, right?”  Jessie nodded in agreement.  “& you want it shorter than your sister’s?”  Jessie again nodded in confirmation.  “OK, sit back & relax, you’re about to lose a lot of hair.”

 

Evan got right to work.  He started by tying up the hair on top of her head into small ponytails.  He then took the hair that was left on her left side & snipped it off.  He picked up his clippers, attached the #1 guard & went over the right side of her head, tracing much of the same path that he did for her initial cut but enlarging it to cover a greater portion of the side of her head as he went.  He then went over to her left side & proceeded to buzz the remaining hair off, so that the left & right sides matched.

 

“Wait, you’re shaving it even more?”  Jessie started to tense up.

 

“Don’t worry, Jessie, this will look great on you.”  Evan assured her.

 

“Just please don’t shave my whole head.”  Jessie tried to relax a little.

 

Evan could only help but give a small chuckle.  Soon, he had finished.  He then took off the attachment & added a slightly longer one as he tackled the back of Jessie’s hair.  Jessie started to flinch & Evan could tell her breathing was getting heavier.

 

“Sorry, it’s just the nerves.  I trust you & know it will look great when it’s done, but not being able to see it is a bit nerve wracking.” Jessie tried not to fidget in the chair.

 

“I understand.” Evan said.  “I can put the mirror back for you, if you really want it.”

 

“No, it’s ok, the surprise will just add another element to it.”

 

Evan began blending the back & sides of Jessie’s hair, so it was a smoother transition between lengths.  He then put the clippers down & reached for the top of Jessie’s head.  He pulled out each of the tiny ponytails on the top of her head & allowed them to flop down around her.  He carefully combed the hair out & picked up a section between his fingers.  He then proceeded to snip off the remaining hair above his fingers.  After letting the hair drop, he picked up another section of hair & continued to snip.  This process continued for several minutes as Evan went over Jessie’s hair snipping it shorter & shorter.

 

Jessie watched as more & more hair fell & gathered around her.

 

“Woah, that’s a lot!” Jessie exclaimed.

 

“Well, you wanted it short.” Evan explained.

 

“I know!”  Jessie replied.  “I never said it was a bad thing.”

 

“True” Evan admitted.

 

Evan continued snipping away at Jessie’s hair, leaving behind strands of varying lengths between 1 & 2 inches in length all over.  Finally satisfied, Evan put his scissors down.  He reached over for some of the styling products on the table.  He sprayed some gel into his hands & started working it into Jessie’s hair.

 

“Now, Jessie, this style does require a little bit of work & some upkeep, but it’s minimal & I think you’ll find it is well worth it.”  Evan informed her, as he continued working the product into her hair.  He reached for his comb & began teasing the hair, so it would stand up.

 

“Evan!” At that moment Katie, in a green T shirt & blue gym shorts, walked into the room.  “You started without me, babe.”

 

“Hi Katie!  I’m sorry, it’s my fault.  I just couldn’t wait any longer.”  Jessie apologized.

 

“You certainly are the impatient one, aren’t you.”  Katie ribbed as she approached the pair.

 

“Hey, I waited two weeks!”  Jessie smiled.  “Of course, what this is I’ve waited for, I still have no idea.”

 

“Jessie told me she was ready for anything.  The only rule was it had to be shorter than her sister.”  Evan cut in.  “I even turned the mirror so it’s a total surprise.”

 

“It certainly will be” Katie smiled at Jessie as she reached up & scratched her perfectly styled mohawk.

 

“I can’t wait!” Jessie squealed in delight.

 

“Luckily, you won’t have too much longer.  I’m just about finishing up.”  Evan declared as he put the finishing touches on Jessie’s new hair.

 

Evan had Jessie stand up & take a few steps towards the mirror.  Jessie closed her eyes, while Katie went to the mirror & turned it back around.

 

“OK, you can open them.”  Evan declared.

 

Jessie slowly opened her eyes & just stared.  She gasped & her jaw dropped.  Slowly, she turned her head in all directions, unsure what to think.  She reached her hand up & felt the sides of her head, which had been buzzed down & slid her hand up to the crown, where there was a sharp line dividing the top from the bottom.  As her hand went to the top of her head, the short one-to-two-inch lengths were spiked up in all directions.

 

“It’s called a fauxhawk.”  Evan explained.

 

Jessie continued exploring her new hair for several minutes.  She stood expressionless & neither Evan nor Katie could get a true read of what she thought.  Then Jessie cracked a smile & giggled.

 

“This is AWESOME!”  Jessie started laughing while she continued fondling her hair.  “Now, THIS I can get behind.”

 

“So, you like it then.”  Evan smiled.

 

“Like it?  No, no, I don’t like it.  Not at all.” Jessie got serious.  Evan & Katie exchanged confused looks.  “Like it? I freakin’ LOVE IT!”  Jessie wrapped her arms around Evan “You’ve outdone yourself.  Thank You so Much, Evan!  You truly are amazing!”  Jessie turned towards Katie, “Katie, your boyfriend is the best don’t let him get away.”  She starts to skip out of the room.

 

“I have no intention of doing so!” Katie shouted after her.  She laughed.  “Wow, Evan, I know you’re mine, but do I really need to worry about these girls.”  She sat down in the chair.  “Might as well take care of me now, since no one else is around.”

 

“Don’t worry, babe, none of these girls hold a candle to you.”  Evan reassured her as he started to prep for her shave.

 

The Confrontation

Annie was still going to her own barbershop as a result of last semester’s salon fundraiser, but Emma planned a meeting with her, coach, & the salon owner to see if there was a way to work something out so she could be with the team.

 

Melissa was still hating her hair & had a lot of remorse.  She only cut it so as not to have the longest on the team, yet it’s still the longest & she couldn’t bear to think of going any shorter.  She would have been better off doing nothing at all, but that option was gone now & she had to get by.

 

Heather was actually excited for Friday night & another visit with Evan.  She had something planned & was prepared for it.  Of course, nothing could be quite as dramatic as the previous week, but she felt like she needed to finish the job.  She wore a new short pair of capris & put on her best Sports bra.  Just like last week, she needed to dress this way when she sat in Evan’s chair.  She quickly threw on a zipper up sweatshirt but left it unzipped, as she headed out her bedroom door & down the stairs.

 

“Hey!” Heather heard from behind her.  “Hey, Heather!”  Heather turned around & found Melissa standing behind her.

 

“Oh, hi Melissa.”  Heather said softly.  “I was just on my way to visit with Evan.  What’s up?”

 

“Yeah, about that.” Melissa started “I can’t believe you went & shaved your head.  What are you trying to prove?”

 

“Prove?  What do you mean?”  Heather didn’t really like confrontation & was a little concerned about how Melissa was acting. “I’m not trying to prove anything.”  Heather looked around desperate to find a way out of this.

 

“So, why’d you shave your head then?”  Melissa started getting louder & more confrontational.  “Didn’t like your long hair anymore?”  Melissa was just a few inches from Heather at this point & towered over her.

 

“N-N-N-O-O” Heather stammered.  “No, that couldn’t be further from the truth.  I loved –” she paused “LOVE my long hair.”  Her eyes darted looking for any way to escape.  “I just –”

 

“You just what!”  Melissa challenged Heather.

 

“I WAS TRYING TO IMPRESS SHANDRA!”  Heather shouted as she ducked under Melissa & ran down the stairs.

 

Anna & Emma were standing in the foyer near the bottom of the stairs.  They looked up as Heather came running down.

 

“Hey, slow down.”  Emma called out.  Heather stopped & was doing all she could to avoid bursting into tears.  “What’s wrong?”

 

“Nothing,” Heather responded taking deep breaths.  “I’m fine.”

 

“Are you sure?”  Emma showed concern looking up & seeing Melissa.  Heather nodded.  “OK, well, if you’re sure, Evan’s here if you’re ready for a visit.”  Heather took off her sweatshirt & threw it to the side, then proceeded to walk into the living room, with a newfound confidence.  “Melissa, can you come down here please?”

 

Melissa headed down the stairs & slunk over to Emma.  “Melissa, have you been harassing Heather?”  Emma inquired.  “You know we won’t stand for any of that.”

 

“Did she have to shave her whole damn head?”  Melissa protested & stamped her feet.

 

“SHAVE IT! SHAVE IT ALL!”  Anna, Emma, & Melissa all turned towards the living room following the sound of the voice.  They headed over & looked in.  Their jaws all dropped.

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