Rita sat at her vanity lovingly running a brush through her long, dark hair. She loved her hair, and so had her father. When he passed away a few years ago, when she was six, she promised that she’d never cut it, so she’d remember him by it. She trimmed it, but never cut more than an inch off.
And she had kept that promise for eleven years. Her wavy, thick mane hung down around her waist now, and its beauty was only matched by the beauty of her smiling face. Just a few hours earlier, at her mother’s party, the women were complimenting her on how much of a gorgeous young woman she had grown into. Rita was afraid that this may have made her mother jealous, because she had just gotten a nose job and spent a couple of hundred dollars on her own hair at the salon last week.
Rita placed the brush on her vanity and was about to go to bed when her mother through the door open. By the way she walked, Rita knew that she was drunk.
“Mom, what’s the matter?” Rita asked, the worry showed in her shaking voice.
“You little slut,” her mother slurred, “Had to take all the attention, did you? I spent a Hell of a lot of money to look my best and you had to take all of the attention, didn’t you?”
“I’m sorry, I won’t do it again,” Rita pleaded as she tried to decide on the best way to handle the situation.
“You bet you won’t,” the drunken woman swore as she moved behind Rita. As she sat in the chair, Rita saw the glint of light against metal, and cried out, “No, Mom, please,” but it was too late. Her mother grabbed a handful of Rita’s dark tresses and, while laughing, cut through them with the scissors. Rita sat there, stunned and unable to do anything, as her mother chopped away at the mane the she had promised her father would never be cut. The long locks piled up on the floor as the blades relentlessly clicked together. Rita tried to get up, but her mother pushed her back down. Rita’s bangs, which once hung down to her shoulders, were mercilessly hacked off just above her eyes.
When the cutting finally stopped, the mother looked at her daughter in the mirror and smiled. “That’ll do it,” she mumbled under her breath as she staggered out the door. Rita, holding back her tears until her mother left, burst out crying when the door closed. Her hair, once her crowning glory, once flowing in cascading waves to her waist, now lay in piles at her feet. The hair the was left untouched was a mangled mess, all different lengths. Rita picked up the scissors and began to clip her dishevelled mane, trying to make the best of a bad situation, but in the end it still looked bad. She cried some more. Now her crowning glory looked like it had been cut by a blind man. It looked like a boy’s haircut. She hated it, and hated her mother for doing it to her.
She stayed in her room for several hours before venturing out to go to the bathroom. When she entered the hallway she noticed the light coming from her mother’s room, even though it was really late at night. She pushed the door open some more and saw her mother sitting back in the chair in front of her make-up table. She was still fully dressed, her make-up was still on, along with her jewelry, and her hair was still in the upsweep style she had had it set in earlier. Rita moved closer to her mother and found that the woman was out cold. Rita smiled, she felt the woman deserved it. Rita had never really noticed how pretty her mother was, with her bright blue eyes (now shut) and long blonde hair. The last thought stuck in Rita’s mind as she looked at her brutally short hair in the mirror.
Absent-mindedly, Rita wandered from the room and re-entered a few minutes later with the scissors in her hand. She gazed at her mother sleeping quietly for a moment before pulling one of the loose tendrils in between the blades. Then she clicked them together. She looked at the golden hair in her hand and felt the rage build up inside of her. Rita was surprised she could be so vicious.
She quickly undid her mother’s hair and brushed the golden mane out with a hairbrush that lay on the table. Rita had never known how soft and silky her mother’s hair was, nor how long it was either. The woman always wore it up in tight buns. But the golden, curly tresses hung down a few inches past her shoulder blades, and soft, wispy bangs framed her beautiful face until Rita got her revenge, that is.
Rita took a thatch of her mother’s hair by the woman’s forehead in her hand and took a deep breath as she pulled it into the scissors. The blades tore through the long locks, leaving Rita with the hair in her hands and her mother with a clump of extremely short hair. Rita hadn’t realized how close she had cut it until after the deed was done. The blonde tuft of hair couldn’t have been longer than a half of an inch, and a wide grin spread across Rita’s face.
She took another handful of the golden tresses and made short work of them. Again and again the scissors ripped through her mother’s mane and each time more of her hair gathered on the ground. Giggling the whole time, Rita was having the time of her life. She would take one long strand and cut an inch off, then another inch, then another until she reached the scalp, where she would take another clump of hair and start all over again. By the time Rita was done, her mother’s new hairstyle reminded her of the one that Susan Powter wore on TV. More than pleased with herself, Rita placed the scissors on the vanity and picked up the shorn hair. She dumped it onto her mother’s chest and left the room, laughing all the way.