My Gift And My Reward. by EddyZ.
“Oh.Jennifer, look. Something for you?” Susan pointed at a poster on the notice board. I looked.
“Attention longhaired girls,” the heading read.
“Wow, would it be an invitation for an audition? They are planning a new school theatre group, you know, to start after the summer holidays.”
Susan smirked. “I don’t think that is exactly what it is meant. But read it, then you will know.”
When I did I was shocked. I saw two pictures of the same girl, one with long blonde hair and the other with a bald head. The text below said: “Would you sacrifice at least ten inches of your hair to help girls like her who cannot afford to buy a wig. It is a small sacrifice for you and the girls, who are bald as the result of chemotherapy or alopecia, will be very grateful. Your hair will be donated to “Lovelocks” an organisation which urgently needs your hair to produce wigs. You can make your offering next Saturday from 10 till 1 o’clock.” It was signed by a teacher and a number of pupils.
“No good for me,” Susan grinned, running her fingers through her short pixie-cut. “I couldn’t offer more than an inch. But you have plenty. How long are your locks? More than two feet I suppose.”
“Oh,no! I love my hair. I don’t want to ruin it.”
“You are exaggerating, Jen! Don’t pile it on. Ten inches won’t hurt. Look at me!”
“You are not me. I want to keep my long hair. Ten inches means at least one and a half years of growth.”
“What a selfish idea,” we heard a boy say behind our backs. “It is only hair and it will grow back as you are healthy. Think of these girls who are sick.”
I turned and nearly fainted! Behind me stood Edwin, the big hunk of our school, the best-looking boy for whom nearly all the girls would do anything if he only would date them. He pointed with one finger at the picture of the bald girl and nodded. Then he went. He had spoken to me! He was a senior and would soon graduate and I a simple 16-year-old teenager.
Susan smirked. “Well, Jen, that will do.”
The following days I couldn’t help remembering and considering what Edwin had said to me. He wanted me to have ten inches of my hair cut off? And would I do that for him? But I loved my long hair. It would take so long to get it back. I would be nearly 18 by then. I didn’t know what to do. Nevertheless I was restless that Saturday and though I didn’t want it, I all the same found myself heading for our school. I walked into the direction of the room where you could donate your hair. Only to have a look, I thought. On my way through the corridors I stood suddenly eye to eye with Edwin!
“Hi, Jennifer! Great that you changed your mind.” He gave me a beaming smile. I couldn’t speak. As if in trance I continued my walk to the concerned room and entered it. Apart from the hairdresser, a middle-aged man, there were two girls of the organizing committee, who took my personal particulars. I gave them, not believing that I really was going to donate some of my hair.
“Well, well, the later in the morning the better,” the hairdresser welcomed me. “You have a lot to give.” He literally pushed me in the chair when I hesitated in front of it.
“You are cutting ten inches, aren’t you?” I asked, feeling uneasy.
“Come on,” he said. “You have so much. Those poor girls have nothing. Wouldn’t you do them a pleasure? If I cut your hair at shoulder length, it wouldn’t be so bad, would it?”
I nodded. I was not able to protest. I felt like being executed, sitting in the chair in the middle of the room, while he throw a cape over my shoulders.
“Please, lift your hair,” he said and then he fixed the cape. He began to cut on my right side and made his way via the backside to the left. Quickly he cut off bluntly one tress after the other all around my head, all at the same length, as he told me. I couldn’t see it as there was no mirror.
“All done! Well, that wasn’t so bad, was it?”
“We’ll inform you which girl has got your hair,” said Dawn, who had taken my personal details. “Probably she will send you a letter thanking you.”
I only nodded. I noticed that Dawn and the other girl had very short hair, apparently they had made sacrifices themselves. As a matter of course! I went to a bathroom. When I was confronted with my image tears began to flow. My lovely hair devastated! It looked horrible! A hairdresser? At most a barber! No longer restrained by long locks the bottom of my hair stood out wildly making me look foolish.
Suddenly it stuck me. I turned and went back to the hairdresser.
He was cleaning up. No more were expected.
“Did you forget anything?”
“Yes, could you take off another ten inches?”
“Then I should have to take off all of your hair, leaving only stubble,” he said, looking at me.
“That is okay with me. Do it.”
“I can use a number two guard, so that your hair is cut to 1/4 of an inch all over,” he said.
“No, don’t bother about a guard.”
“Well, as you wish.”
He caped me again, pushed my head gently to my chest and switched on the clippers. I heard Dawn gasp.
“Gosh, you are the only one who had the guts.” She took my hand and pinched to encourage me.
I felt the cold metal on my nape and heard the humming sound that changed as the hairdresser pushed the clippers into my hair mowing a path up to my crown. The feeling was unspeakable. It excited me more than I could say. He started again next to the path he had just made. After a short time my nape and the back of my head had been bared and I felt the air cold at my skin. Next were the sides and now I saw sheets of hair falling down. He moved carefully around my ears to remove all of the hair. Only on the top of my head I still had rather long hair but that didn’t last long. He mowed right through the middle, from the front to the crown and repeated this on both sides till nothing was left. To make sure that not a single wisp had been overlooked he made a number of tours over my head. Then he removed the cape, while Dawn started to collect the shorn hair.
“Are you satisfied now?” he asked.
I raised my hands and rubbed my shorn head. “It feels like sandpaper. I wold like it smooth. Would you mind shaving my scalp?”
“No, I don’t. You have supplied us with such an amount of hair that I couldn’t refuse that. Wait a minute.”
He put a towel in the sink and let hot water in. He covered my head with shaving cream, then wrapped the towel around my head. After a few minutes he took it away and lathered my head again. With a straight razor he scraped over my head, warning me to sit still. After every stroke he wiped off the razor with another towel, draped over my shouders. The scraping and scratching sounds and the feeling of the razor gliding over my scalp aroused me still more than the clippers had done. It was awful and I had wanted it to last forever. He surprised me when he lathered my head for a third time and shaved it again, now with a safety razor, every time feeling if he could discover the faintest trace of hair. At last he was ready. Again he examined my scalp carefully if he could find anything that resembled hair but all in vain. He wiped me clean. “Well, there you are. Smooth and clean. Feel it.”
I did. “Thank you so much.” I started to leave the chair.
“Wait a moment.” He took a flacon and rubbed an oily lotion into my scalp. “That eases the irritation caused by the shaving.”
I thanked him again – “No, you are the one who has to be thanked. You have been very generous making such a big sacrifice.” – and went again to the bathroom. I rubbed my hands over my head, which was smooth and a little greasy.
“Wow, that feels good,” I said to myself. “The new me! I cannot believe that I did this. My lovely hair! Five years of growth gone in less than an hour! I must be insane! But I don’t look bad. Not at all! As far as I can see my head is well-shaped and my ears don’t stick out. Well, I made perhaps two girls happy. And that feels good too.”
My new appearance caught, of course, much attention when I entered the school on Monday, though the news had already spread beforehand. Everyone patted my bald head and many admired my guts. Even Edwin came to me.
“I love your new look,” he said, “especially for the reason you did it. I didn’t expect you to be so brave. You really have surprised me and I would like you to accompany me at the graduation ball. Would you accept?”
Again I nearly passed out. My mouth became dry and I gasped for breath.
“Y… Yes,” I hackled. Then I came to my senses. “I would love to, Edwin.”
“And don’t you dare to wear a wig,” he laughed.
I had never been so happy in the whole sixteen years of my life. Being the dance partner of that much-desired golden boy! Every girl in the whole school would envy me! They would have done anything to be chosen by him. And I had not even planned it! Didn’t I miss my lovely hair then? Oh, I certainly did, but I hadn’t sacrificed it to seduce Edwin. I hadn’t even thought of that.
Want to know what happened further? Well, my brothers laughed at me when I came home that Saturday and my parents were upset. They thought that I had gone nuts. But after I had explained they could appreciate what I had done. Although my mother didn’t understand why it had to be done two times. I couldn’t make it clear as well.
The graduation was nearly a month later and in the meantime my hair had grown to 3/8 of an inch. No, I couldn’t go to the ball like that. I decided to go to a barbershop and asked: “Will you please shave me as smooth as you can?”
The barber did not object and again I enjoyed the scraping of the razor. When I asked him how much I owned him, he said, “Oh no, no charge. I seldom have the opportunity to shave a lovely girl. It has been great fun.” He smiled. “If you want to keep your head smooth, you may come back at least twice a week.”
I also smiled. “I don’t know. I intend to let my hair grow again.”
I was proclaimed queen of the ball. Of course Edwin left school. He went first on vacation and afterwards he left our town for University, so I didn’t see him any more. But being the queen a lot of boys took interest in me, so I had no trouble in getting dates.
I really wanted to let my hair grow. But you know how it is. Before it has gained some length there is a period that it looks horrible. I couldn’t stand that. But I didn’t go back to that barber. Susan and I were alone at home and I said: “I think I shall shave my head again. Will you help me?”
She was reluctant at first. “I have not done that before.” I convinced her that it was not difficult, took her to the bathroom and she shaved me with my father’s razor. Once accustomed to it she began to like it and we did it at least two times a week, sometimes three. She noticed how much I was thrilled and one day she said: “I should like to feel it myself. But my mother would kill me if I came home with a shaven head. Maybe you could shave a little at the sides and back.”
Well, we did. Her mother didn’t seem to bother, so we went progressively further till she had a flattop
But now the summer is going to the end and soon we must go back to school. Time to let our hair grow? Maybe, or….
Comments welcome to [email protected]