Under his cape

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I decided to do another quick sweep of the hair salon. Not that it really needed it, the unisex salon was particularly quiet but we had to stay open as much of our mostly male customers preferred walk ins.

I didn’t really even need to be here. But I couldn’t resist the urge to see Aaron, the particularly good looking hairstylist at work. He was the son of the owner and was being trained up to run the families salon business.

We had gotten to know each other well over my time filling in for a summer job. We were the same age had similar hobbies but despite everything I couldn’t muster the confidence to ask him out.

“Looks like we’re done for today Riley, you can clock off early if you want”

“Oh it’s fine I’ll stay and help lock up”

“It’s really no problem I don’t mind locking up on my own”

“Well I’ll stay and keep you company then”

“OK if you insist” a cute smile spread across his face as he looked back at me.

He walked over to his salon chair as if preparing to put away his tools. Only to pause an idea forming in his mind.

“Tell you what as we’ve got time to kill I could do you”

“Urr what” I looked over to see my crush staring right at me. His salon chair pointing as if waiting for its occupant.

“Oh no I don’t need a haircut right now”

“Are you sure it’s on the house”

“I’m good thanks”

“Do you just not trust me” he joked, in a mock offended tone.

“No” I shot back a little to defiantly.

“Come on Ry you can’t just come here and twirl that ponytail around it’s like your taunting me”

“Maybe I am” I teased tossing my tail over my shoulder and twisting a few of its strands around my fingers.

“I think deep down, you want to get it cut” he walked towards me as he spoke.

“Do I now” I blurted out in a defensive tone.

“Yes, why else do I always catch you looking at me as I work”

What could I say to that. Not that what fascinated me more was his butt then whoever was in his seat. He pulled out the scrunchy that held up my ponytail. Leaving the dark brunette to lock spill over my shoulders in a silken vail.

“I’ll even throw in coffee on me”

That did catch me off guard. Was he asking me out? I looked up into his eyes and thought for a second. That second doomed my hair. He could see in my eyes that I had considered it. And I could seen in his eyes that he wasn’t going to let me go now that he knew that.

He intertwined his fingers in both my hands and stepped backwards towards his chair. Like a dancer being lead I followed him. I bit my lip as nerves flooded over me. My feet awkwardly suffling after him. Once at the chair he slowly planted his hands on my shoulders, just enough to guide me into the seat.

He turned the chair to face my reflection. Then I felt his hands running against the side of my head. Slowly massaging against my scalp as he gathered the mass of hair together into a long ponytail. The sort that swung in the wind as I walked and ever so slightly curled. Then he placed two fingers against the base of the tail and wrapped the ponytail around them, twisting as he went. He removed his fingers leaving a twisted messy bun behind.

“Hold this” he instructed and I reached up holding on the soft mass of silky straight hair.

Then, just as I had watched him do hundreds of times before but never in my wildest imagination to me, he tighted a strip of paper against my neck. In a flunt rehearsed flick a cape fluttered over me. He pulled it tight to my collar and secured it. Just like that my fate was sealed. I realised my chance to escape had past, the lightweight of the cape would act as a prison until my capture decided otherwise.

“Can you just trim the ends, please” I said as he removed my hand from the bun, letting my hair fall freely. The feistiness of the previous exchange was replaced with a timid almost plead. As if I had been reduced to a little girl.

“Oh no” he pumped up the chair up to the desired height. “How long have you had this hair? 3, 4 years atleast by the length, I think it’s time for a change darling” his voice was softer now.

“But I love my hair” I whimpered. I hated how much he made me sound like a school girl being told off.

“That doesn’t mean you won’t love your new hair” He began to comb through my hair as he spoke. “Change can be good”

I sat silently, watching him brush through the pristine mane I had cherished all those years. He gathered the hair to the back of my head again where his hand held it in position. “You have such nice cheekbones and cute little ears. They don’t need all this dragging the down”

He tossed the tail over my shoulder so I could see it resting beautifully against the cape. “This has to go”

He paused for a moment as if giving me a last chance to back out. But I remained silent, my mouth and throat too dry to speak. Only my eyes could plead with him.

“Good girl” he said after the moment passed. His hand reached to a black elastic band that he used to bind my ponytail in place.

I looked down. Reminding myself to breathe as my heart pounded out my chest. It was no use. The girl in the mirror’s face shone a bright shade of pink under her captures eyes.

“I’m going to need you to be brave for this part”

The air left my lungs as he lifted up a pair of silver scissors and positioned them at the base of her tail. I looked away as he started to cut. Rather then sawing through the hair, he would use the scissors to target some of the connecting strands and snip away at the base of the ponytail one by one. This made the process take even longer as he enjoyed cutting away at years of work maintaining and pampering the silky locks. With one last snip I knew it was over. The pressure of his hand pulling on the tail left and my head felt lighter.

I built the courage to look in the mirror. As I did I was met by the sight of Aaron holding aloft my hair as a trophy. The hair swayed the same in his hand as it had done behind me on all of my morning runs. He lay the 20 inch tail on his work top infront of me, the severed locks more beautiful than I ever realised they were on my head.

“Well done for being so brave Ry. I know change can be scary but you needed this”

His fingers then stroked against my scalp. He used his thumbs to collect together all of the hair atop my head, following an invisible line along my eyebrows. He formed the same twisted messy bun only this time securing it with a pin. It looked so small,  a tiny ball of hair, nothing compared to the mass I held moments ago.

My eyes flickered up to the mirror before shooting back down again. I shuddered from what I saw. The hair on both sides of my head was short it could be at most chin length. I squirmed under the cape my hands clenching on to the armrests while my feet swung nervously. He reached out and picked up something.

“Can put your chin down for me sweetie” he moved my head forwards until my chin pressed against my chest. “That’s a good girl”

Then I heard the familiar click and then buzzing of his clippers. The ones I had watched him use on hundreds of male customers. I jumped as I felt the first mechanical vibrations echo against my neck.

“Don’t worry, Ry” his hand comforted my shoulder “your been a very brave girl for me, but I need you to be brave a little longer”

The clippers ran up my nape until they met my hairline. The sound changed from a buzz to a mowing sound as my hair tried to resist the clippers advance. I felt wave after wave of loose hair tumble onto my neck as he approached where my crown was separated out. Then the clippers returned to my nape and started to mow through a second strip next to the first. I looked up at Aaron, a cute wide smile on his face and adorable puppy eyes, he was clearly enjoying himself.

His hand pushed my head to the side. Now I could see him work his clippers mowing into what remained of my hair. He gently folded my ear to allow his clippers to run over them. With every pass more and more hair slip down the cape into a small pile on my lap. Once he cut the final strand on the left I could see how brutally short it was. Barely half an inch remained of what only moments ago would have fallen past my breasts.

He moved to the back again and started towards the other side. Leaving me to look at my newly exposed ear. It looked vulnerable having never been without the thick blanket that covered it moments ago.

“I know it might be a shock at first but change always is. I’m sure you’ll grow to love it in no time at all”

By now he was folding my other ear. The pile of hair growed slowly in my lap until the last long hairs where sliced off. Aaron changed something on his clippers and moved my head forwards again. He ran them back over the already short hair not going as high this time. He continued this on both sides of my head only to change the attachment again and repeat the process.

Then I watch in the mirror as he removed the guard completely and ran it into my nape. He didn’t go as high but he still reached in line with my eyes. The blades cutting under where my ponytail had been moments before. He went slightly higher over my ears and as he cut away away at my sideburns I could see the full effect. The hair seemed to fade from the darkest third of an inch on top to the palest of bare skin. He put the clippers down and used a straight razor to neaten up the cut.

“Nearly done now” his voice as smooth as the sensitive skin now revealed on half my head.

He removed the pin holding the ball of hair on my head together. His hand raised the hair high twisting a tower above my head until his scissors returned cutting into the hair barely an inch above my head. Lose strands fell from the tower until with a triumphant snip the hair was severe. Keeping his hand high, Aaron let strands of hair rain down in a waterfall into the pile on my lap.

He began to comb my hair into a side part then picked up the clippers again. He added a guard and pushed them against my forehead.

“Ready?”

I gulped  as they ran into my hairline. He drew them back cutting a strip of hair as he went. With a few quick passes he had reduced all the hair on my head to a neat, even third of an inch. He changed the guard again to smooth out where the newly cut hair met the fade.

“All done” he said, brushing the lose remnants from my head.

He scratch his hand above my ear. As if he was tucking my hair back only there was no hair to tuck. “I think I might owe you more than a coffee” he joked.

“Yeah” I was still in shock. But my mind started to escape it’s transe.

“How out we tidy and lockup. Then get something to eat and maybe drinks afterwards”

“That sounds good” my voice still sounded timid. I was only just starting to ease my breathing.

He removed the cape sending the pile of hair flying onto the floor. I looked so small in his chair, but not as small as I felt.

“Mind if I keep this, if you don’t want it that is” he gestured at the ponytail still layed out on his worktop.

“Sure” I still remained too under his spell to move. I couldn’t muster the strength to leave his chair. My hands remained in my lap scared to feel my newly shore scalp.

“I believe this is yours” he handed me the scrunchy that only half an hour ago held my hair in place.

I looked down at it. How long until I would have a ponytail again? A year and a half for the slightest tail, 4 or 5 for one as glorious as I had had only this morning. I thought about all the braids, buns, half ups, twists and curls I could have done only an hour ago.

But if this handsome barber, with just a few words and the gentlest of touch, could strip my of my once cherished long hair. I knew it would be without my beloved ponytail for a long time.

 

fin

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