Tickets For Hair

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It wasn’t even 7:00 and Brianna’s phone was blowing up.  She ignored it the first five times, but now, fully awake,  reached for it on the night stand…”I’m gonna kill whoever this is…First day of summer break and I don’t even get to sleep in”…She knew who it was before she picked it up, her best friend Mary.  Mary had always been a bit high strung, but she had been Brianna’s closest friend since the met in preschool.

Wiping the sleep from her eyes, Brianna read the three texts that Mary found so important to send, the first one at 6:20 that morning “Brianna, have you seen who all is coming in concert this summer?”  She was shaking her head that her friend found it so important to wake her up with such trivial things…”There’e like 6 concerts we just have to go to, but I don’t know if I can even afford one of them.  Taylor Swift is over $200 a ticket”.  Brianna had seen the list of shows coming this year, but she knew that it was just a dream to be able to get to go to any of them…”The owner of the arena is having a contest to promote one of his wife’s charities.  It’s called Tickets for Hair.  They’re giving front row tickets to the first 50 girls who donate their hair”  There was no way Brianna was going to cut her hair.  It reached nearly to her waist, never once seeing the inside of a salon in her 18 years, instead her mother would just trim an inch or so every few months.

She texted back to her friend…”Hey Mary, good luck with trying to get those tickets, but count me out”.  Mary immediately texted back…”I know you’ll never cut your hair, but I need you with me so I don’t chicken out”  Before Brianna even got to respond, Mary had sent another text…”It starts in an hour, so I’ll be over in like 10 minutes”  Brianna rolled her eyes as she set her phone back down…”So much for going back to sleep”  Then she quickly got dressed, and started her make-up before Mary was at the door.

Mary wouldn’t stop talking the whole ride to the arena…”I can’t decide which concert I want to go to”  Meanwhile Brianna made it perfectly clear that she was only going for support, and told Mary that she could forget any ideas about convincing her into donating her hair when they got there.  Mary again insisted that she just wanted her there for support and nothing else.

They worked their way into the crowd of about 100 people.  Mary had already registered and stood, nervously holding Brianna’s hand as she waited for the names to be chosen.  The host came out, and after introducing a few dignitaries and the barbers and stylists who were volunteers for the day went on to say there was a special incentive being offered this year…”The four people who give the biggest donation will be given 2 tickets for every concert for the next year, and the person who donates the most will be given a special offer”  Mary was bummed because her hair was only just past her shoulders, nowhere near the longest there.  She turned to Brianna, but before she could open her mouth Brianna stopped her cold…”I told you it’s not going to happen, so forget about it.”

They stood, looking around as the group of stylists made their way through the crowd.  It was Mary first who realized that everyone’s eyes were now focused on Brianna.  As the group came nearer, Brianna figured out that they were looking awfully hard in her direction.  Then, before she could react, she is being led towards the stage,.  She kept turning around, trying to call for Mary to come with her, but with all the loud applause, she was not heard.

Once she was on the stage Brianna’s head was swirling, people were coming at her from all directions wanting to shake her hands, and telling her how brave she was for doing this.  She was still trying to tell them that she was only there to support her friend when the woman who ran the organization came over and told her that her donation would make 5 wigs for young girls.  Brianna was now feeling totally pressured to actually go thru with whatever they planned for her.

She was taken to a seat at the side of the stage, and sat there as they started to bring up girls 6 at a time to have their hair cut.  While a few just had the minimum 12″ cut off, the majority of them ended buzzed down to the scalp.  Brianna was getting more and more nervous as more girls came to the stage.  Her eyes were starting to water as she saw Mary sit in  the chair closest to her.  Mary gave her a huge smile as the cape was put around her neck, then almost in slow-motion to her, she watched Mary’s hair falling from her head in long chunks with only skin remaining.

Once Mary was finished, they brought her over to sit with Brianna.  The girl who led her to the chair commented to Brianna…”You two will be twins in just a few minutes.”  As she went to sit down Mary gave Brianna a big hug, and all Brianna could do was stare at the dark stubble on Mary’s head where there used to be a beautiful head of hair.  Still unable to put a complete picture together of what was about to happen to her, Brianna focused back the action going on.  Minutes later, a couple of women from the charity came over and presented her with a contract.

Brianna tried to read thru the contract, but with the music and noise of the event and the woman telling her about all the great thing that were about to happen to her, she couldn’t really concentrate on what she was reading.  What she did read was something about maintaining the look and a confusing sentence saying something about reversing the process.  She tried to read it again, but by then the woman told her she needed to sign the contract because it was her turn.  Still unsure of why she was going thru with it, she signed the contract and handed it back.

Within a few seconds The owner of the arena and his wife were on the stage, and they called Brianna to the center of the stage.  Brianna was in a bit of a trance as she looked out in the crowd and focus on nothing but all the skin-headed girls who were now cheering her on.  As she stood there the husband and wife were reading out just what Brianna had agreed too.

“This beautiful young lady has bravely agreed to become the spokesperson for our charity for the next year.  As a reward, she will be given VIP access to all the events held in the arena, including meeting with all of the artists that come, and talk about what we do at many other events as we try to expand the charity”  Mary was floored when she heard what Brianna would get to do, after all she didn’t want to come in the first place.  “Lets give Brianna Scott a big cheer as she starts her journey for the charity”

A cape is swung around her neck, any thoughts of running away could now be put to rest.  Brianna sat nervously as the husband and wife turned towards her, each with a clipper in their hands…”Now for the ceremonial first cut”  A photographer started snapping pictures and as the flash distracted her attention, both clippers were pushed up the side of her head.  Brianna gasped at the site of the long strands of hair sliding down each side of the cape.  The husband and wife moved in close as the photographer took several close-up shots of the three of them.

The director of the event came towards Brianna….”Don’t worry, we have the best barber in town to cut your hair, followed by the best Esthetician to finish your new look.  Just thinking of a barber having his hands on her beautiful hair made Brianna more nervous  She had seen her brother get his hair buzzed off at the barbershop and always thought it was outrageous at how the barber would just sheer him down to nothing, like a sheep.

The emcee called for the winning barber to come to the stage.  Brianna watched as the man came in to view, and had a lump in her throat as she saw it was the same fat, bald man that cuts her brothers hair.  He smiled as he leaned in close to her…”It will be worth every penny to get to take all this from you.”  She sat completely still as he held his clipper up yo her forehead.  It was one last second for Brianna to wonder what she had agreed to, and then it began…

The old man ran the clippers slowly from front to back.  As he moved to make another pass Brianna was able to see the giant tv monitor showing the hairless path the clippers left behind, feeling the acid bubbling up in her throat more and more.  The barber cheered, along with the crowd as another row fell to the side, Brianna’s eye watering heavily as her hair fell.  She looked towards Mary, who was at first happy that Brianna went for it, but now she too was crying at what was happening to her friend.

As the barber made several more passes, Brianna’s new look came into view.  She had barely stopped sobbing over all of her hair being on the floor when the emcee called over the esthetician.  Brianna had no idea what an esthetician actually did other than skin treatments, so figured she would be getting some kind of beauty treatment as part of the contract

The woman introduced herself, then told Brianna that she would start with her eyelashes.  Brianna sat perfectly still as the woman started bringing her tools close in towards her eyes.  Unable to focus so close to her eyes, she was unable to see the woman snipping off her upper lashes right against her eyelids.  She then told Brianna she was going to put a pair of googles over her eyes to protect them.  Once they were in place she then started to fit a cap over Brianna’s head, fastening the strap below her chin.  When Brianna asked what it was for.  The woman didn’t hesitate as she explained the procedure in a technical manner…”This is a new tool of mine called the Milton Light System.  You are having LED photo-therapy done on your head, which will block the androgen production on your scalp”  This meant nothing to Brianna, so she quietly, waiting for the woman to finish whatever she was doing  The woman did her best to explain to Brianna.  “This will give the greatest possible effect for what we are trying to do today.

As she sat there, still unable to see, the woman came over and applied an ice-cold gel to her eyebrows.  She jumped a bit as the cold gel hit her face, then before she could ask, the woman held a device at her forehead.  Thinking it was just part of the beauty treatment, she sat quietly as the woman ran the tool repeatedly over her brows.  Within a few  seconds she started to feel a slight stinging on her forehead.  The woman, steadying Brianna’s head as she worked tried to calm her…”Sorry, but the laser still stings a little.  Good thing I’m not doing your whole head.”

Brianna calmed a bit at first, thinking the pain would subside in a minute, then she thought about what the woman said lasering her brows.  ‘I hope she at least makes them look good’.  By then the gel was being wiped clean, along with her brows.  There was now nothing left but a line of reddened skin above each eye.  Brianna, still unaware of what had just happened asked the woman how they looked now, prompting the woman give an answer that Brianna didn’t expect.  “After your year is up I’ll show you some excellent techniques for drawing on some eyebrows, unless you have gotten used to the new look.”

Brianna reached up to her brows, and started to cry again as all she felt was smooth skin where her beautifully shaped brows used to be.  Just then the esthetician pulled the cap off off Brianna’s head and started to wipe her head with a wet cloth.  Brianna was, at first enjoying feeling of having her head rubbed, but then realized what she was feeling was a cloth being rubbed against her now bare scalp.  She started feeling somewhat nauseated as she realized she was bald now, and in no hurry to see what she looked like.

She swallowed hard and asked the esthetician about what she had done to her hair.  The woman explained that the light therapy has caused her follicles to release all the hair that was left on her head, and will block any future growth until we reverse the process after your year is up.  A year from now we will use a different light therapy to stimulate new growth, and you should start to see some hair come back after 5 or 6 monthly sessions.

Brianna was getting upset that her hair, which she thought would be back in a year wouldn’t even begin to grow back until 6 months after that…”What about my eyebrows?  Will you use the light on them too?”  The estetician then broke the news to her…”No dear.  Your brows are gone for good now”  Then Mary came over telling Brianna over and over how incredible she looked, but Brianna just couldn’t believe her.

As the photographers were getting set up for her photo shoot, Brianna was offered a mirror to see her new look, but held off, fearing she would break down in tears and wouldn’t be able to stop.  She sat as they took hundreds of publicity shots for the charity, still refusing to look at herself.  Then as they were getting ready to leave, she finally decided it was time to see her new look.  As she turned towards the mirror, her jaw dropped as she saw he reflection, from the top of her head that now looked like has never had hair, to her forever gone brows, but what shocked her most was the lack of any eyelashes.  Her once beautiful green eyes now looked unremarkable without her lashes framing them.

Once they were back in the car, Mary tried to make light of the situation…”We’re going to have a blast a year long at all the concerts”  Brianna, the reminded of how this all happened in the first place set Mary straight…”The only way you’re going with me is if you look just like I do.”  Mary could only think about the tickets..”Sure, I’ll buzz my head whenever we go to a show”  Brianna though had the last word “No.  I mean we’re going to shave your head as smooth as mine when we get home, and don’t think I’m letting you keep those brows either.”


Thanks to P.B.B. for the story idea.

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