The Storefront Church

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Saturday night meant club night for college Juniors Monica and Sylvie.  The two beauties were there every Saturday, usually drinking on someone else’s dime.  This Saturday was no different, both girls wearing their best club outfits and hair and nails done to perfection.  The car was parked just down the road from the club, and as they walked the short block to the entrance they come across a new storefront.  Painted on the front windows, they read ‘New Earth Church.  All are Welcome.  Please Come Inside.’   As they looked thru the window, the immediately noticed that the 4 girls inside all wore the same short mushroom bowl haircuts.  Sylvie gave her room mate a slight nudge towards the door “Go on Monica, you big slut, they’ll straighten you out.”  The both laughed as they continued their walk to the club.

As they waited their turn to be let in the club it was Monica’s time to get her friend “Alright Sylvie, put your money where your mouth is.  Do you want to make a bet?”  Sylvie, never one to back away from a wager with Monica, couldn’t wait to hear what her friend had to say…”Bring it on.  You know I beat you every time.”  Monica laid out the bet…”Alright then.  If one of us doesn’t get a date tonight, then they have to go inside the new church and talk to them.”  Sylvie responded with a laugh, knowing that she always found a partner to be with at the club when she wanted one…”I’ll win this easy” she said as she shook hands with Monica.

The drinks came hard and fast for the two of them, and after 3 hours of drink and dance Monica finds Sylvie to tell her she was leaving with the hottest guy in the club.  Sylvie, on the other hand was only drawing the attention of the worst of them, and eventually decided to call it a night.  She asked Bobby the bouncer to car her an Uber, and decided she needed to get some air.

Sylvie crawled out of her bed just before 11 Sunday morning, still feeling the effects from the night before.  Just as she walked out of the bathroom Monica comes in the door, smiling about her night but also still feeling a bit lit.  Sylvie makes her way to the kitchen…”Mon, you having coffee?” Just then Monica bursts thru the door and holding a booklet in her hand yelling out…”I can’t believe you kept up your part of the bet.”  Sylvie, clearly in the dark about what her roommate was going on about…”Monica, please, my head is pounding right know.  What are you talking about?”

Monica laid the booklet on the counter, and Sylvie’s eyes opened fully as she saw the note clipped to the front…’Sylvie, thank you so much for stopping in.  I enjoyed our talk.  Here is the book we were reading from.  Let me know if you have any more questions. Peace to you,  Alice.’

Sylvie thought is was all just a joke…”Nice one Monica.  Where did you get the booklet from?”  Monica tried to assure her friend that she had nothing to do with, and had just found the booklet on the coffee table.  Monica still couldn’t convince her friend and retreated back to her bedroom to nurse the rest of her hangover.  Sylvie took the booklet off the counter, but rather than dump it straight in the trash, she dropped it back on the coffee table where Monica had found it.

The following week went as usual, but every time Sylvie walked by the coffee table, her eyes were drawn to the book lying there…’There’s just no way I went in that place.  It has to be a joke.’  This went on for several nights, and on Friday she plopped on the couch, finally done with the weeks work.  She planned on a short nap before starting her laundry, but as she sat there she found herself picking up the booklet and reading it to the end.

Saturday found Monica and Sylvie parking the car and walking towards the club as usual.  As they passed the store front Sylvie’s eyes turned to look inside, and was surprised when a face she remembered gave her a quick wave.  Monica, not letting this go unnoticed started on her friend…”Are you sure you wouldn’t rather visit your new friends instead of going to the club?”  Sylvie didn’t find her friend funny, and picked up her speed as the headed on.

The club was jam-packed with people, so the girls wasted no time hooking up with a couple guys, who bought several rounds of drinks drinks and even found themselves both taking a hit of ecstasy.  Monica soon escaped with her chosen partner, again leaving Sylvie on her own again.  Not knowing what her limit was, the rest of the night was mostly a blur for her.

It was nearly noon, and Sylvie was still hiding under the blankets on her bed.  She heard the familiar noise of the deadbolt turning open, and knew Monica had made it home.  She rolled over to continue her recovery when she heard Monica yell out…”God Sylvie, I can’t believe you went there again!”  Sylvie sat up in bed, still not wanting to open her eyes…”Monica, what are you screaming about?”  Monica opened the bedroom door…”Jesus Sylvie, you brought home a whole stack of books this time.  Your not going to join those weirdos, are you?”

Sylvie shook herself awake as she walked into the living room…”Stop fucking with me Monica.  I know you’re just playing with me.”  Then Monica showed her the note on top of the stack of books…’Sylvia, I’m so happy you came back to see me.  Here are the books you wanted to read.  I can’t wait to see you next Saturday, or sooner if you want.  Your friend, Alice’

Sylvie tried to insist that Monica was playing a joke on her, but she did remember the girl she had seen, plus she had never told Monica that her name was actually Sylvia, the same as her grandmother.  Monica couldn’t believe that her friend had returned back to the storefront church…”Damn Sylvie, just how stoned were you last night?”  Sylvie stood there quietly confused over what she saw on the table.

The next week kind of dragged on, it was the last week before spring break, so everyone’s mind was on having a break.  Monica was going to be heading to the beach for a week, but this year Sylvie had decided to save her money and stay home.

Friday morning and both girls were in the bathroom, getting ready for the day.  Sylvie had finished her shower and stood at the mirror in her towel putting on her make-up for the day.  Monica stepped from the shower, and as she moved in for her turn at the mirror she commented about Sylvie’s hair…”Damn Sylvie, your getting quite a few split ends back here.”  Sylvie turned to catch s look of what Monica was going on about…”I know, I’m going to go to the salon in the student union while we’re on break.”

After classes ended, Monica was on her way to the airport for some fun in the sun, while Sylvie decided to spend the first night of her break laying around the house.  Sylvie took her spot on the sofa, watching some TV, and eating take -out.  The whole time she is sitting there, she is staring at the stack of books on the table.  Picking one up, she thinks to herself…’Did I really want these books?’ and starts to look thru the first few pages.   It was four hours later when Sylvie was brought out her fixation on reading the books, by a text from Monica letting her know she had landed.  Sylvie was now aware that it was well past midnight, and she had spent over five hours reading the stack of books.

Saturday morning, Sylvie was up early and ready to go.  She decided to head out for a haircut, followed by a nice large coffee.  She looked at the stack of books on the coffee table, trying to decide if she should return them, but in the end figured it best to stay away from the storefront.  Walking in to the student union, she notices the hair salons doors are still closed.  She walks up and sees a sign posted ‘Hair Logix will be closed during Spring break for remodeling’.  She decides to head off campus, remembering that there is one of the big chain salons not far from her favorite coffee spot.

Sylvie gets the largest coffee they had, and takes a seat right by the window.  She starts scrolling thru her phone, only to hear a tap on the glass.  Looking up, she recognizes Alice outside, waving at her.  Sylvie, always being polite, waves back at her, which Alice takes as an invitation to come inside.  Alice, coffee in hand, walks to Sylvie’s table…”Want some company?”  Feeling a bit trapped, she invites Alice to sit down.  They exchange a few pleasantries then Alice asks her what she was up to this morning…”I’m going over to the Supercuts to have my ends trimmed when I finish my coffee”  Alice shakes her head…”Sylvia, that place closed a couple month’s ago.”

Sylvie figured she would have to find another place within walking distance, and picked up her phone.  Alice started to write something on a napkin, handing it to her…”You should try here, just ask for Dee and tell them that I sent you over.”  Sylvie looked at the note ‘Nancy’s Beauty Parlor  351 Third Street’  Sylvie politely told Alice thanks, and said she would check them out.  Alice told her she had to head to the church to get ready for tonight’s meeting, of course, telling Sylvie she hoped she would come.

Sylvie finished her coffee, and looked at the note…”I really want my hair cut, but a beauty parlor?”  As she walked out, she decided she would walk by the place and try to see if it was as old fashioned as it sounded.  A few blocks of walking and she was coming up to the shop.  As she turned to look inside, she was surprised that there was a chair right in front of the window, and the girl sitting in it smiled and waved her inside.  Feeling like she had been caught staring at the girl, Sylvie decided to go inside.

The girl in the chair got up and greeted her as the door closed behind her, the girl introduced herself as Dee. Sylvie was pleasantly surprised by the girl, shoulder length blonde hair with bright pink highlights and one side shaved to the skin.  It wasn’t the old lady beauty parlor she had in her mind when she read the note.  Dee invited her to have a seat and asked what she could do for her.  Sylvie just wanted to have the split ends trimmed, but for some reason she told Dee that Alice had sent her there.  Dee perked up as she put the cape around Sylvie’s neck…”Oh, Alice is just the greatest, she sends so many of you girls to me.”

Dee laid the chair back, and gave Sylvie a nice wash and condition.  After a towel dry she began combing thru Sylvie’s long hair.  Sylvie still hadn’t told her what she wanted done, but when she saw that Dee had pinned up all the hair on the top of her head and was combing down the back and sides she knew it was time to say something.  “I just want the split ends cut off.”  Confused, Dee makes eye contact in the mirror…”That’s not what I usually do for the girls Alice sends to me.”  Sylvie then figured out that Dee was planning to give her a bowl cut, just like all the girls at the church…”Oh, no.  I’m not joining the church, my salon was closed so Alice gave me your name.”

Dee was somewhat sad, as she secretly loved giving drastically short cuts, and Alice had sent her quite a few heads to have fun with…”Are you sure?  You’d look awesome with really short hair.”  Sylvie looked hard in the mirror, she had always wanted to try short hair, but was always worried about how it would look…”Do you really think I could pull it off?”  Dee was not about to let a chance pass her by, in her eyes every girl looks better with short hair…”Hell yes.  You’ve got a perfect face for short hair.  Think about how happy Alice would be when she saw you.”  Sylvie finally decided it was time to try a new look…”Okay.  I guess I want to try a shorter look.”

Dee was more than happy with her choice..”So, are we going to make Alice happy then?”  Still afraid of going to drastic, she begged off…”How about something to my shoulders?”  Dee, still wanting her to go shorter suggested a french bob, pointing to a picture on the wall…”It’s a classic look, always in style.”  Sylvie loved it, and swallowed hard as she nodded her approval.

The picture she was shown was a longer version, about mid-neck.  The cut Dee had in mind was going to be much shorter, ending between chin and lip length.  She wasted now time taking away Sylvie’s long hair, not wanting her to have a change of heart.  Sylvie’s eyes watered as she saw 15″ lengths of hair falling to the floor, but she was still happy with the decision.

Dee’s work was precise, and after repeatedly going over the cut, all that was left was to clean up the bottom.  As much as she wanted too, she held off on giving Sylvie an undercut, and just cleaned up her neck.  Sylvie was nearly speechless as she looked at herself in the mirror.  It was much shorter than she thought it would be, but she was happy with Dee’s work.

Dee helped her from the chair, and Sylvie was surprised at the cost for the cut. Looking at the prices posted at the desk.  Men’s cuts $20.  Woman’s cuts $30.  First timers half off.  There was no way she was only going to give Dee $15 for her great work, so she gave her the $40 she would have spent at the chain salon.  As she headed for the door Dee said he goodbye, with something added…”Come back when you’re ready for that bowl cut.  Those are only $20″

The rest of the week Sylvie was happier than she felt for a long time.  She met Alice for coffee a couple more times, enjoying her company and her repeated love of Sylvie’s new look. Alice had given her new books to read, and Sylvie spent hours of her break time enjoying each one.

Saturday came, which meant it was time for Monica to return.  Seeing Sylvie’s new look as she came thru the door, Monica was less than approving of her new look…”Did they really do this to you at the salon?”  Sylvie, not trying to defend herself…”They were closed for break, so a friend recommended another place to me.  I love it.”  Monica couldn’t fathom why any girl would want short hair…”What friend?  It wasn’t your new psycho best friend from church, was it?”  This upset Sylvie…”She recommended the place, but I picked the cut.”  Monica just gave a curt laugh…”At least it isn’t a stupid bowl cut.”

Sylvie went into her bedroom.  Sitting there she realized that Alice was becoming a much better friend than her room mate of 3 years.  When she thought of Alice, she couldn’t picture her with any other haircut.  She also realized that Alice was always a happy, upbeat person, who saw the goodness in everyone.  While Monica was mostly focused on getting drunk and hoping in bed with random guys.

Monica had only been home for a couple hours, but she was getting ready to head out to the club…”Come on Sylvie, get ready to go.”  Sylvie wasn’t at all in the mood to go out, she had started to grow tired of getting hit on by slimy guys, and waking up every Sunday with a pounding hangover.  “You go have fun Monica, but I’m going to pass.”  Monica was more than annoyed at the loss of her wingman…”What are you going to do instead, go sit at church with your buddy?”  Sylvie decided it was best to ignore her remarks, and retreated to her room.

Once Monica left, Sylvie went into the living room, picking up another of the books Alice had given her.  She was surprised a short while after when Alice called her…”Sylvia, I was surprised I didn’t see you with your friend going to the club.”  She went on to explain to Alice that she was getting tired of the club scene, and the after effects of going there.  Alice, of course understood what was happening to Sylvia, she was starting to mature thanks, in part to some of the reading materials Alice had given her.

The next few weeks were more of the same between Monica and Sylvie.  Sylvie poured herself into her work, wanting to be totally prepared for finals week, while Monica was still a regular at the club, usually waking up in some guys bed on Sunday morning.  It was about that time that both girls decided that it was the last year they would room together.  They were becoming more and more different from each other.

Sylvie sailed thru the last of her finals, deciding to treat herself to a coffee before heading home.  As she sat there looking out into the street, she thought about the last time she sat here, and what happened after she left.  Her hair had grown out, and like most short cuts, needed regular maintenance.  Walking out of the shop, instead of turning towards home, she headed towards the beauty parlor.  Ten minutes later she was in front of the shop, and there was Dee, gleefully waving her inside.

“Sylvie, it’s so good to see you.  I knew you’d come back for another visit.”  She was led straight to the chair, and after exchanging a few pleasantries, she was caped and tilted back for a shampoo.  Dee sat her up, and after toweling her off, started to put all the hair on top of her head into a few clamps.  Once she started combing thru the back and sides Sylvie realized what she was planning…”Um, Dee,  I just want my bob cleaned up.”  Dee kept combing thru her hair…”I told you to come back when you were ready for that bowl cut, and here you are.”  Confused Sylvie tried to get Dee to stop…”So the only cut I can get is a bowl cut?”  Dee looked straight in the mirror.  “You heard what I said when you left last time, and you came back.  Alice told me to expect you here before school was out.”

Now Sylvie’s thoughts turned to Alice, and how good a friend she had become in the last couple months.  As her mind wondered, she was suddenly aware of an unfamiliar buzzing sound.  Her eyes looked in the mirror just in time to see Dee holding a set of clippers coming closer to the side of her head.  She had a split second to react, but instead decided to do nothing.  Dee worked quickly, and in no time the side of Sylvie’s head was taken down to nothing more than a brown shadow where her hair used to be.

Sylvie watched in amazement as more and more hair fell around her.  She knew that this would be a major turning point for the rest of her life.  It was only a minute, but to Sylvie it seemed like an hour.  Dee set the clippers back on the counter, and with her hand under Sylvie’s chin turned her head from side to side…”There, that’s so much better already, that will be the last time you see long hair there.  Now for the rest of it.”  Sylvie already felt the change that was happening to her, she had said her final goodbye to the sexy party girl, knowing she could never go back there again.

Dee combed down all the hair from the top of her head, then like she had done many times before, started to cut around Sylvie’s head.  Dee always gave first timers the shortest of cuts, the bottom of the cut a full inch above Sylvie’s ears, dropping down slightly in the back.  Sylvie just sat and smiled, as Dee finished the bowl by taking her bangs halfway up her forehead.  Some expert work with her thinning shears and the cut was finished.  Dee took the time to show her how to give it a more finished look by curling the bottom under, but on most days it would be just the ultimate wash-n-go haircut.  Before she walked out the door, a return visit was scheduled in 3 weeks.

As soon as she got outside, Sylvie was on the phone to Alice, funny thing was, Alice guessed what she had called for.  “Hi Alice, do you want to meet up for coffee?”  Alice told her she wanted to see her right away, but she was already at the church this morning, so Sylvie should stop by to show her the new look.  Sylvie thought about it for a brief minute, this would be the first time she would be going there when she wasn’t completely out of it, and wasn’t sure what to expect.

To her surprise everyone there was as nice as Alice, making her feel totally comfortable with her surroundings.  Within a couple hours of being there Sylvia, as everyone there knew her, had even figured out her new living situation.  Alice and her room mate had an extra bedroom, and they weren’t going to take no for an answer.

Sylvia stayed in her new house over the summer instead of returning home, preferring being with her new friends rather than waste the summer with her parents.  Once the school year started, she would see Monica walking by the church on the way to the club, and usually with a different guy when she left.  She was so happy to have put those days behind her.  Sylvia’s senior year at college was her best one, making the deans list each quarter, and graduating with honors.  She decided to keep living with Alice, and of course they were both in Dee’s chair every 3 weeks.

 

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