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It was a wonderful jam session. Yes, the band was definitely going to work, Bennie thought excitedly. She eyed Ophelia, the new guitarist she?d met at the student union-cool enough, and could strum the hell from a guitar, but eh. Her looks needed something-not the way she dressed, pairing haphazard t-shirts with sweaters to give this apathetic-yet-cool-look, or her styling, with a flawless vertical labret poking from plump lips. No, it was definitely her hair: long, straight, mousy, pulled in a ponytail and looped now, it had to go.

Bennie watched Ophelia take off her guitar and put it in her case. As she did it, there was a visible wince as the guitar strap pulled on a few stray strands that flowed down her neck and hit her shoulder blades. ?Must be pretty painful, having that long hair get tangled in your strap.? Bennie said neutrally as she watched Ophelia unwind her hair-it fell longer than she had expected, about to mid-back.

?Yeah, it is,? Ophelia replied, thoughtlessly finger-raking her hair back into a ponytail. ?And having a ponytail is so conventional, but it?s the only way to keep my hair out of trouble.? Bennie gently pulled a missed strand into the ponytail. Her hand grasped the scissors she had brought to trim some tape for her drums. She couldn?t, no. ?Yeah, I?ve been debating cutting it, but what then? A bob? Ew, preppy!? Bennie grinned. This chick was perfect, all right. She took a firmer grasp on the red handles of the scissors. Ophelia paused and twisted half her hair into a pigtail, elasticing it. It was too tempting, swinging down her shoulder. She opened the scissors and closed them, a satisfactory snip was heard. Bennie now held a foot-long pigtail in her hand, with a stumpy sprout springing from Ophelia?s head.

?Hey!? Ophelia cried, but she was grinning. ?I guess you made up my mind for me, eh?? She asked, as she removed the elastic from the stump. She shook her head. The newly cropped half swished around her face and rested an inch or so above her shoulders, the other half swung at its old length. She pulled a comb through it and began combing the short half. ?So nice and soft.? She cooed. She dragged the comb through her long hair, reached the first tangle and stopped. ?No point to combing what?s going to be dirt on the floor. Get on with it.?

?Even it out?? Asked Bennie, already crunching the scissors though the long half.

?No, shorter!? Replied Ophelia excitedly as the last piece of her mane hit the floor. She didn?t need to say that twice. Bennie trimmed the nape even to the hairline and began to slide them up to create a taper. She could hear Ophelia gasp at the sensation of the cold scissors against her neck. She continued, snipping soft bangs in. She ran her fingers through the front, which was still a long bob.

?Chin length?? Asked Bennie. Ophelia shook her head and pulled the front back. ?All off.? Bennie closed the shears along Ophelia?s ears and small, delicate ears laced with hoops and barbells appeared. Bennie began snipping away, and soon a stylish, vaguely dykey crop began to replace the hair that had flowed down her back for most of her 19 years. A few three-inch long pieces obscured her vision as the last remnants of the mane hit the floor. Bennie used the shirt Ophelia was wearing as an impromptu towel and gathered the mousy locks, their ugly color enhanced by their limp, snipped status.

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