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"I’m leaving in 10 minutes for work. If you’re going to ride with me, you’d better get moving." I still had much to do. My hair needed to be blown dry, make-up applied, lunch packed.

Twenty minutes passed and Jay impatiently sounded the angry horn on our SUV. I came rushing out, breathless, and for the third time this week had caused us both to be late for work. "I’m sorry, honey, I’ll try to get up a little earlier tomorrow."

"This isn’t going to happen again," he said, "by the end of today I’m going to make sure you will never again jeopardize my career."

His cryptic message left me wondering all day. I couldn’t concentrate for fear of what would happen before day’s end. I knew I had pushed too far. When the closing bell sounded the end of another fast and furious day of stock trading, I was almost too tired to move. But knowing how frustrated Jay was, I hurried to the main door of the exchange and saw him grinning at me from behind the wheel of our vehicle.

"Hi Sweetie," he warmly welcomed me as I entered the warmth of the Explorer. "We have some business to take care of, don’t we?" Driving in the opposite direction of our routine trip home, we sharply turned into the one-man, old fashioned barbershop where the old, Italian, white-haired man waited for his next customer.

Bruno hopped off of the red leather barber chair and looked at Jay, inviting him to sit down. "Right this way," he motioned to Jay.

"No," Jay responded. "It’s not for me. We’re here for Carla to get what she’s been needing." With that, I gasped as Jay firmly led me by the hand and sat me down in the barber chair. I knew from that moment, I was no longer in control of what was about to happen.

"Crew cut, Bruno. Give her a #1. We’ll show her some mercy." The crisp tissue was secured around my neck and the cape tied to keep me protected. Bruno firmly grabbed my chin with his left hand and thrust my head back. He startled me with the sound of the clippers and I began to cry.

"Absolutely no crying," Jay demanded, but I was unable to stop. "All right, take off the guard. She gets to keep no hair."

Again my head was thrust back and the cold steel of the clippers began their work. With each pass I could feel the coolness of the air against my newly shorn scalp. In a matter of minutes the chair was being turned toward the mirror so that I was able to see what had just happened to me. I gasped. Jay said, "Get used to it, Carla, this how we’re going to operate from now on." I’ll keep you good and shaved every day so that we won’t have problems in the morning any more. You will need to bring me the clippers every night before bed so that I can prepare you for the next day."

With that, Bruno was paid and we quickly left for home. From that day on, I knew that Jay meant what he said. I dutifully brought him the clippers every night so that he would be assured that I would never be responsible for making us late again.

 

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