The Start of Something New: Volume II Chapter 5 — Great Expectations

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So, it’s time for the next chapter, in the lives of our favorite cheerleaders.  This chapter is a bit shorter than some of the recent ones, but there is no shortage of tension and developments.

 For anyone new, please check out the link below which takes you to the previous chapter.

  https://www.hairstorynetwork.com/stories/the-start-of-something-new-volume-ii-chapter-4-new-developments-expectations/

 Here is the link to the first chapter of this Volume:

  https://www.hairstorynetwork.com/stories/the-start-of-something-new-volume-ii-chapter-1-new-beginnings/

 Finally, here is the final chapter from Volume one.  From there you can find links to all the chapters of Volume one.

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

  Now that you’re all caught up:

  

Promises Made, Promise Kept?

After the Football team’s latest decisive victory, the team had a couple of weeks off.  The football team had their bye week and then another away game, which the cheerleaders were not attending.  With a current record of 7 — 1 and only 4 games left in the season, they were guaranteed a winning record and a huge improvement over last year’s team.  With the way the team was playing, a bowl game or some kind of post season was a realistic option.

Heather was settling into her new look and lifestyle quite nicely.  It had now been over a month since that fateful day when her life changed forever, yet in many ways it seemed longer than that.  She felt like a completely different person.  She no longer missed her hair at all.  While she enjoyed the bald look immensely, and kept the back and sides shaved smooth as often as she could, she preferred just a bit of hair on top but not much more than about a quarter inch and found the #2 guard suited her perfectly.

.While she still kept up her challenge, she discovered a few unanticipated obstacles.  At first, Heather made a conscious effort in choosing her wardrobe and pushing her limits of what felt comfortable, but she quickly adapted and soon found herself preferring some of the more revealing outfits, that she never would have dreamed of just a short time ago.  Ever since she returned from the mini vacation with the girls, she found nothing to be off limits.  She was most drawn to sleeveless tops and plunging necklines.  Bonus any outfit that provided both, but she always preferred at least one on a daily basis.  The team had gotten quite used to this new Heather as well and no longer pointed it out, which meant she wasn’t getting the attention that she suddenly started to crave, anymore.

It hardly mattered, though, as she ventured out on campus and no longer felt any need to hide.  While she didn’t necessarily draw undue attention to herself, she sure drew a crowd and was definitely noticed most places she went, and she loved every minute of it.

Heather continued to join Emma on their daily runs and Heather was getting quite good, and fast.  She no longer had trouble keeping up and occasionally even found herself briefly challenging Emma for the lead.  They would return to the house and go to Emma’s room, where Heather would proceed to give Emma a fresh shave.  She would then go to Shandra’s room and do the same.

Heather found that she enjoyed the process and was growing more and more interested in all aspects of hair, always willing to discuss it and help any of the girls with whatever they wanted.  There was a big difference between the two experiences, however.  Emma genuinely enjoyed having her head shaved and was very chatty the whole time.  Shandra was much more business and very quiet.  She didn’t really enjoy having her head shaved but did so willingly because she wanted to stay on the team.  Heather, for her part, still held resentment to Shandra but also admitted how much happier she was and never felt more herself in her entire life.

Always wanting to be the best teammate she could and not wanting to disappoint anyone, Heather decided to be the workout partner for both Jenny and Jessie.  It was a lot and she often felt overwhelmed, but on the positive they both had the same routine, so it was easier for her to pick it up.

Overall, Heather’s life was amazing, and she had never been happier or more positive in her entire life.  Everything was going well, except for one issue.  Unfortunately, she was willing to let this one problem ruin everything.

It had been a month and a half since Betty cut all her hair off.  Ever since, she had struggled mightily with her identity.  She had never defined herself by her hair… until she didn’t have any.  Now, she was finally hitting a point where her hair had grown into a nice little pixie.  With a little styling she found that she could actually work her hair and have it look good.  It wasn’t the long, cascading, tight ringlets she had had her entire life but for the first time since her cut she was actually, genuinely, happy with her hair.  Given the status of the team, she wasn’t sure how long she could let her hair get anyway, but she was happy with what she had, and if this was her future she would keep her cute little pixie going forward.  There was only one problem, but it was a big one and she was dreading it.

There was a knock on Betty’s door.  “Come on in.”  Betty was standing in front of her mirror, in a light blue blouse and black capris.  She was in the process of styling her hair, which had a small snap hair clip on the left side.  Heather entered the room as Betty turned to face her.  “Oh, hey, kiddo.  How’s it going?”

Heather closed the door and then walked over to Betty’s bed and sat down as she let out a deep sigh.  She was in a white tank top and short bright red athletic shorts.  “Betty, can I ask you an honest question?”

“Of course, kiddo, you can always ask me anything.”  Betty stopped fussing and sat down next to Heather.  “You know this.  What’s up?”

“You and I are friends, right?”  Heather asked, then continued without waiting for an answer.  “I can trust you and you can trust me, right?”  She took a deep breath, trying to find the best way to ask what she really needed to know.  “It’s been a few days since I shaved Shandra’s head.  When do I get to shave yours?”

Betty figured this was coming and had been dreading it.  She didn’t plan on deceiving Heather and knew that she had promised her that she would do it.  She hadn’t counted on her hair finally getting to a point she was happy with and now having her head shaved was the last thing she wanted to do.  If only she hadn’t waited.  She should have just gone ahead and done the full shave weeks ago and then it would have been done.  Now she was stuck.  The last thing she wanted to do was disappoint Heather, but she also hated the idea of parting with her hair, now that she was finally starting to be happy with how it looked.

“Oh, kiddo.  I know I promised you, didn’t I?”  Heather nodded.  “I know, and I said after Shandra’s head shave.”  Heather again nodded.  “And you’ve been good about not pushing it or saying anything.”

“I was hoping, you’d come to me.  I gave you a few days, like you asked.”  Heather explained.  “I was trying to wait until you were ready.”

“I appreciate that, I really do.”  Betty rubbed Heather’s back, trying to stall thinking of what she should say.

“Betty, you’ve been super amazing, and I don’t know where I’d be without you.  I’ve completely changed from that shy, meek, girl that I was when I joined the team.  I’ve never been happier, and I love the person I’m becoming, and I have you to thank for that.”  Heather gushed, “But we originally bonded over our hair, and you made a promise to me.  We were in this together and I remember being so excited when I did this whole job.  You were so encouraging to me, and I’ve wanted to share this whole thing with you.  I love it and these clothes are amazing, in fact I’d love to go back and continue to enhance my new wardrobe, but Betty, I want to be able to trust you.”

“I know.”  Betty let out a deep sigh “I’m so proud of you, and you’ve adapted to everything so well.  I had every intention of following suit, and I know I promised you, my hair.”  Betty ran her fingers through her hair.  “But I’m actually liking my hair.  For the first time since I cut it off, I’m not hating it.  If I hadn’t already committed to you, I’d easily keep this going forward and I now realize I made a mistake waiting.”  Betty admitted.  “I did make a promise to you, though.  Give me a few more days?”

“I trust you.”  Heather started to stand up.  “Please don’t let me down.  Shandra nearly destroyed me.  I couldn’t handle it if I lost you, too” She turned to the door and walked out.  Betty stood up and looked at herself in the mirror.  What was she going to do?

 

A Retreat and An Ultimatum

Nothing more was said of Betty’s hair.  Heather and Betty kind of unofficially avoided each other as the week dragged on.  As the new week began, a change occurred, and everyone noticed.  On Monday morning, for the first time in a while, Heather was not ready when Emma came calling.  She did not want to get up and retreated to bed.  Once she finally joined Emma downstairs, she was wearing sweats and completely covered up.  She did more walking than running and when they returned back to the house, Heather immediately retreated back to her room and not Emma’s.  Jessie and Jenny had similar experiences and grew concerned.  Heather spent as little time around the house as she could.  She’d attend class, in her old clothes, and kept her head covered in hoodies and when she wasn’t in class she was in her room.  By Tuesday night, even Shandra was asking what was up with Heather.  Nobody had any ideas.

Emma, always concerned about the wellbeing of all her teammates, tried to figure out what happened and get to the bottom of things.  Plus, she was feeling extra motivated as it had been two days since her head had been shaved and it was starting to get itchy.

“Betty, you and Heather are close.”  Emma started.  “Do you know what’s going on with her?”

“Not specifically.”  Betty began, “But I might have an idea.”  Betty sighed “Unfortunately, I think I may be responsible.”

“What’s going on?”  Emma inquired.

“I haven’t shaved my head yet.”  Betty stated matter-of-factly.

“Huh?”  Emma stared at Betty, unsure where she was going.  “You don’t have to, and hey, it’s starting to grow in nicely.”

“Yeah, thanks, I know.”  Betty explained.  “That’s basically the problem.”  Betty let out a sigh.  “Remember a couple weeks ago, when we went away on our trip, and you let Heather shave your head?”

Emma smiled and rubbed her head “How could I forget?”

“Right, well, remember that she really wanted to shave MY head, and I promised her she could…” Betty continued “After Shandra shaved hers, and this goes back further.  When Heather first got her hair cut and we all ended up in her room?  We bonded over our hatred for Shandra, and we agreed to be ‘hair buddies’. I encouraged her to keep her hair short and supported her decision to do the full shave.  She said she would if I agreed as well.”  Betty paused and looked down. “But now for the first time my hair has actually grown in a bit and is starting to look good.”  Betty looked into Emma’s eyes “Emma, I don’t want to shave my head anymore.  For the first time since I cut my hair, I like how it looks.”  She paused and took a deep breath “But I’m also proud of Heather and all the advancement she’s made.  I don’t want to disappoint her.”

Emma gasped and covered her mouth “Oh, Betty!”

“I know.”  Betty collapsed into Emma “I don’t know what to do.  I’m such a horrible friend.”

“You’re not horrible.”  Emma consoled Betty.  “Betty, you are one of the sweetest, most honest people, I know.  I know you mean well, and you only had the best of intentions.”  Betty looked up at Emma and smiled.  “However, this was a bit of a misstep.”  Emma sighed.  “You know I’ve been all about free will and giving everyone the freedom to do as they choose.  I want you to feel you have control over your own choices and make your own decisions.  That being said, you need to fix Heather.  She’s bringing the entire team down.”

“I know.” Betty reluctantly agreed.  “I have to shave my head, don’t I?”

“I’m not going to answer that.”  Emma smiled, “But Betty, do it fast.”

 

Promotion Is The Sincerest Form Of Flattery

“Ok, Janie.  You’re sure?”  Anna and Janie were hanging out in the living room.  Anna had her laptop nearby and was getting ready to start filming.  “It’s ok, if you’re unsure.  I just don’t want to start promoting you because once I do, you’re committed and then there’s no backing out.”

“I’m sure!” Janie enthused.  “I promise I’m all in.  Shave me Bald!”

“Ok then.”  Anna replied.  “Let’s get you out there.  See what kind of response you get.”

“Oh, I’m nervous.”  Janie stated.  “Yes, I want to do this but what if nobody likes me?”

“What’s not to like?”  Anna reassured her.  “Janie, you’ll be fine.  Just be yourself.”

Anna then proceeded to film her intro video.  She reminded everyone of her previous head shave and that she would be doing it again and that this time she wouldn’t be alone.  While many of the details were still being worked out, one of her teammates just couldn’t wait and wanted to introduce herself.  She then turned the video on Janie.  After Janie introduced herself, Anna proceeded to “interview” Janie and answer all of her followers’ questions.

Janie discussed how just a few months ago her hair hung down to her waist.  She was excited to have cut it so short and adapted to the style quickly.  She thought she was done and was content to just maintain her look going forward, but being around this team, which had seemingly become addicted to haircuts, this wasn’t enough anymore.  As soon as Anna mentioned shaving her head, Janie couldn’t not do it and suddenly it was all she could think about.

Anna warned her followers they would get to see a lot of Janie over the coming weeks.  The two of them had a lot planned and they weren’t alone.  Anna teased that at least one more teammate would be joining them and that it could be even more than that.

There’s Always Another Way

“So, if Runt stays in her funk, Do I still have to shave every day?”  Shandra blurted out to whoever was listening.  Several of the girls were gathered around the kitchen table or milling about the kitchen preparing food.  “It’s not my fault.  I swear!”

“Shandra!” Elsa chastised.

“Are you really, still calling her that?”  Katie questioned.

“She likes it.” Shandra answered.

“Does she though?”  Katie continued to challenge her teammate.

“Well, she doesn’t mind it at least.”  Shandra conceded.

“The answer is yes by the way.”  Katie confirmed.

“What answer?”  Shandra played dumb.

“To your question.  Do You still have to shave every day?”  Katie repeated.  ‘The answer is yes.”

“Well, I’m two days behind then.”  Shandra scratched behind her ear.

“I can take care of you.”  Katie stood up.  “Come on, let’s go.”  She grabbed Shandra’s arm and pulled her out of the kitchen and dragged her behind her and up to her room.

 

A Promise Kept

Heather sat on her bed, with her back against the wall and her knees up to her chest.  She was in black sweatpants and a black hoodie zip up sweatshirt.  She had been crying and for the first time in weeks, missing her hair and her old lifestyle.  She also felt alone.  She was distraught.  She felt let down and betrayed.  She couldn’t believe she allowed herself to get deceived twice.  As if being hurt by Shandra wasn’t bad enough at least she could partially blame herself for that and she now knew Shandra better and her reputation.  But Betty, no what Betty did was far worse.  She actually really liked Betty. She felt a strong connection to Betty.  Betty had befriended her, they hung out together.  She trusted Betty and opened up to her.  Heather wanted to go home; she didn’t know how she could go on and face her team, but she also knew going home wasn’t an option.

Suddenly, there was a knock on her door.  “GO AWAY!”  Heather shouted back; she wasn’t in the mood to talk with anyone.

“Kiddo, It’s me, Betty.” The voice on the other side responded.

“LEAVE ME ALONE!”  Heather definitely didn’t want to see Betty right now.  “I don’t want to talk with you.”

“Please, kiddo.”  Betty pleaded.  “I have a surprise for you.”

“I don’t care! I don’t want anything from you.”

“Really?  Nothing?”  Betty questioned.  “It’s time.”

“Time for what?”

“Really, kiddo?  What have you been wanting from me the past few weeks?”  Betty informed “Look, I’m not going to stand out here all day.  I’m ready, but my nerve won’t last.  Grab all your equipment and supplies, meet me in my room within 15 minutes.  If you don’t show up, I may have to go find Katie.”

Heather looked up.  She pulled the hood down off her head and smiled.  This was it or at least she hoped this was it.  The moment she had waited for.  At least, that was what she was hoping.  Ok this would go one of two ways, she’d show up in Betty’s room, ready to shave her head.  When she left, either Betty would be Bald, or she’d be dead to her.  There is no in-between and it would be a worse offense than anything Shandra ever did.

Heather got up and went into her bathroom.  She got herself ready and gathered everything she had that she might need.  She quickly changed and headed out of her room and down the hall.

Betty was in her room, pacing nervously, breathing deeply.  Yes, she was shaving her head, yes, she was doing it willingly, yes, she was hoping to bring Heather out of her funk and get her friend back.  She also hoped Heather actually showed up.  She felt terrible about how Heather was feeling, and this was a small price to pay.  That didn’t mean she didn’t have doubts or that she was excited about it.  At least she knew in about two months she could get her hair back.  She liked this style, it’s too bad it had to go.

After what felt like an eternity but was really only a few minutes, there was a soft knock on her door.  “Kiddo, that you?”  Betty headed to the door.  “Come on in!”  She opened the door.  Heather stood before her.  Betty reached out her arms for a hug.  Heather brushed past her.

“Hey” Heather began.  “So, I’m here.”  She threw her bag down on Betty’s bed then turned to face her.  “Should we get started.”  She dug through her bag and pulled out her clippers.

“Woah, Woah, Woah.”  Betty put her hands up.  “So, we’re all business, now, huh?”  Betty closed the door and sat down on her bed.  “Can we talk first?”  She patted the bed next to her hoping Heather would sit down.

“I’d rather not.”  Heather was acting cold and stern.  “Are we doing this or not?”  Heather was growing impatient and didn’t want to be dicked around.

Betty raised an eyebrow.  Something more was going on and she needed to figure out what it was.  She stood up and walked over to Heather.  “Hey, it’s me.”  Betty smiled at Heather.  “And this” she reached up and grabbed her hair.  “It’s all yours.  Shave me down, take it all off.  Whatever you desire.  My hair is your canvas, I promise.”  Betty paused and looked directly into Heather’s eyes “but we need to talk first, and you’re not leaving this room until we do.”

 

Different Name, Results The Same

Shandra sat down on a chair in Katie’s room.  Katie draped a towel over her shoulders.  It had been a while, but Katie had watched Evan do this many times and she was confident she could do just as well.  She gathered her supplies and got started.

“Have you done this before?”  Shandra asked nervously but attempted not to show it.

“Relax Shandra.  I’ve had plenty of experience with my own hair and I’ve watched Evan do this thousands of times.”  Katie showed all the confidence she could.

“I think I’ll just wait for Heather.”  Shandra started to get up.

“Sit!” Katie shoved Shandra back down.  “I’ve got this” She squirted the shaving cream into her hand and began to massage her hands before spreading it all over Shandra’s head.  Shandra remained still and silent.  Katie picked up the razor and slowly began stroking Shandra’s head with short quick strokes.  “I have to say Shandra, it’s been a while since you and I have been alone together in a room.”

“Yeah.”  Shandra replied gazing off and not fully paying attention.

“I bet you’re happy to be rid of the mohawk.”  Katie was making quick work of Shandra’s head, but was trying to engage her in some way, but Shandra was having none of it.

“Uh Huh.”  Shandra answered.

“OK, well, I guess I’ll just finish this up and send you on your way.”  Katie gave up and finished Shandra’s shave in silence.  Finishing up the first pass, Katie reapplied the cream and began the process again.  After a few more minutes, Katie finished up and after whipping down her head, sent Shandra on her way.  Shandra got up and walked out of the room, without saying another word.

 

It’s Now Or Never

Emma was relaxing in her room when she heard a knock on the door.  She got up and opened the door.  It was Jenny.

“Hey, Emma.  I just wanted to follow up on the calendar idea.  I was talking with my friend.  She said if we want to get it out by the end of the year for next year, she said we’d really be pushing it if we went past this weekend.  I know that’s a tight timeline, but we’re not going to the game, this week, so we could get it done.”

“I think it’s a great idea, Jenny.  But we have to get the whole team to agree, and then we’d still need to figure out who was in which month and get props and supplies and everything else.  I just don’t know that we can get it all together that quickly.”  Emma was quick to respond.  “We can definitely consider it for next year though”

“Can we at least try?”  Jenny requested.  “See who’s interested?  I’ll spearhead this and do all the work.  My sister already offered to help out and she has a friend in the theater department that might be able to get us some stuff we can borrow.  Please?”

“Alright, I suppose it could be fun.”  Emma relented.  “But you need EVERYONE to agree.”

Jenny squealed with excitement “Don’t worry about that, just help me gather everyone in the living room, later.” Jenny turned and headed out of Emma’s room and skipped down the hall.

 

12 For 12

The team started to gather in the living room.  It was late and most of the girls were in various stages of getting ready for bed.  It was unusual to have an emergency meeting on such short notice, but it would be quick and hopefully, positive.  Anna and Janie were sitting on one of the couches along with Shandra.  Melissa sat on another couch next to Jessie and Elsa.  Annie was in one of the reclining chairs, while Katie sat on the other couch by herself.  Emma and Jenny stood at the front of the room, waiting for everyone to settle in.

“Has anyone seen Betty or Heather?  We really need them here.”  Emma asked the group.

“Yeah, hold on, we’ll be right there.”  Betty’s voice shouted from the stairs as they both descended arm in arm.  As they reached the bottom of the stairs and were laughing and giggling with each other, they walked into the room and everyone’s jaws dropped and they all froze in shock.

Betty, who was in a bright yellow sleeveless button-down crop top and black capri pants, was completely bald.  There was not a single hair left on top of her head and it was as smooth and shiny as a bowling ball.  Equally, as shocking was Heather, who not only was out of her sweats but was wearing the barely there string bikini top that she last wore on the final night of the girls’ trip and the shortest pair of green shorts anyone had ever seen her wear.  She was putting Melissa, who seemed to have an aversion to clothes and always tried to wear as little as possible, to shame.

“Sorry, we’re late.  Hope you weren’t waiting to long.”  Betty remarked as they took their seats on the couch with Katie.

“WOW” Katie silently mouthed to Betty.  “You look amazing.”

“I know, right?”  Betty grinned back as she rubbed her head.  “I feel amazing, too.  Who knew?”  Katie smiled back and indicated Heather.  “Yeah, I know.  We’ll talk later.”  Betty replied, turning her attention to Emma and Jenny.

“Oh MY GOD!”  What’s going on!?”  Melissa blurted out, breaking the silence.

“No, Betty, you’re just on time.”  Emma responded, trying to refocus the group.  “Melissa.”  Emma turned toward the blonde and gave her a stare, turning back to the group.  “Ok, thanks for coming.  I aim to keep this very brief.  Jenny.” She turned to Jenny, giving her the floor.

“Thanks, Emma.  So, if you all remember last week, I mentioned about us possibly putting out a calendar for next year as a fundraiser.  Thing is, if we want to get it out, in time, by the end of the year, we have to act fast.”  Jenny began.  “Basically, we need to shoot it this weekend.  Now I know it seems fast, but I think we can get it done if we all pull together.  So, we’re here to vote.  If everyone agrees it’s something they want to do, then we’ll move forward.  If not, then we won’t.”

“Ok, so just to be clear, EVERYONE needs to be on board.  If even just one of you objects, then we don’t proceed, but it will be open ballot so your choice will be known to everyone.” Emma clarified, “Also, this probably goes without saying, but just so everyone is aware and there is no confusion later on this is a bikini calendar.  Now, I know for most of you this isn’t any sort of issue but if anyone has a question or feels uncomfortable in any way, please speak now, so we can address it.  Any questions?” Multiple hands shot up as they looked over towards Betty and Heather.  “About the calendar.”  Emma added.  Most of the hands dropped, except Janie.  “Yes, Janie?”

“Hey, yeah.  I think this is awesome and I vote yes, but I was just wondering, how do we decide who gets what months.”  Janie wondered.  “Also, I’m no stranger to bikinis, but I’m not sure I have any that would suit what I think we’re going for with this.  I do look forward to hopefully getting one that does and will go with whatever y’all suggest.”

“Good question, Janie.  So, we’re still determining that, but everyone will get to make a request.  If we do this, everyone can make a top three.  Hopefully, everyone can get at least one of their top 2 choices, if not their top choice.  If too many people request the same month or no month gets requested, then we’ll talk to everyone and work it out.”  Jenny chimed in and really tried to sell it.  “Once we know your month, we can discuss your theme and find something that suits you.”

“My Boutique has a huge selection of all styles.  I’m sure I can help with whatever anyone needs should it become an issue.”  Betty interjected.

“Right, thanks for that, Betty, but first everyone has to agree.  So, I guess let’s just go around the room.  I’m ok with it, and I assume you, Jenny, are as well” Jenny nodded in agreement.  Emma turned towards her right.  “Shandra?”

“Sure, why not.”  Shandra responded, barely looking up from her phone.

“Anna?”

“Absolutely, anything for the team.”

“Janie, do you stand by your vote.”

“MMHMM, I don’t care what month I get; this will be fun.”

“Melissa?”

“As long as there’s no haircutting involved, I’m in.”

“No, I think you’ll be ok.”  Emma giggled “Jessie?”

“Always support my sister.”

“Elsa?”

“I would love to.  Would be a nice token to remember everyone by.”

“I agree, I’m a yes.”  Annie cut in, before being asked.

“Ok, thanks for that.”  Emma responded.  “Katie?”

“Yeah, I guess I’m partially responsible for even needing this new fundraiser, of course I support its replacement.”

“It’s not just you.  We all bear some responsibly” Emma remarked.  “Betty?”

“Yeah, I’m a team player.  If everyone else is on board, I am as well.”

“Great.  Heather?”

There was a long pause.  Everyone else had voted yes and all eyes were on her.  “Um, yeah.”  Heather finally replied.  Then she smiled “But only if I can have August.”

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