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Becky?s life would never be the same. Uncle Marvin stroked Becky?s head and comforted her over the sudden and tragic loss of her parents. Becky your Aunt Beth and I have discussed it between our selves, and we want for you to come live with the girls and us. Her Aunt, Uncle, cousins Kim and Gayland were the only family she had left in the world.

I?m so glad to be here with you girls said Becky. I don?t know what I?d do if I didn?t have you for family, there is nowhere else in the world I could go. It?s just this dreadful heat and humidity here in Mississippi. I can?t believe ya?ll live here without air conditioning. It?s only May and I?m so hot I?m about to roast.

Come here Becky, said her cousin Kim, let me brush your beautiful hair, and I?ll pin it up for you when we?re done. It?ll be better for you if you keep it pinned up like it was when we saw you at the funeral. I?ve always loved your auburn hair. I?ve been jealous of it over the years. Your mom loved your long hair, and always spoiled you with girl things and trips to the beauty salons. I always wished I could be like you. Set down Becky, I?m dying to brush your hair. My god it feels like silk! It must be over three feet long. You know Becky; daddy doesn?t waste his money on beauty parlors and the like. As a matter of fact, he?s not real keen on girls haven long hair either. Look at Gayland and me; have you ever seen us with our hair longer than collar length?

Actually, no, why is that Kim? Now that you mention it, you?re right, you girls have always had short hair. Do you just prefer that way?

Becky, your not listening, I don?t know if it is because daddy always wanted boys instead of girls, but Gayland and I have never been allowed to grow our hair long, well except when daddy was away to war. Seems like such a long time ago. We grew our hair for over three years. My hair was not nearly as long or beautiful as yours, Gayland?s too. Anyway, daddy came home and was not even back a week when he said: ?Line up girls, It?s time for a hair cut?. We both knew what he meant. You see dad?s got this thing about keeping our hair short. No matter what we say or how hard we beg, once a year he breaks out his clippers, and we look like the neighbor boys for the rest of the summer until our hair starts growing back.

That?s horrible Kim, your sixteen! He really does that? All your life? He wouldn?t do that to me, would he? Oh my god, please not my hair. For seventeen years I?ve never had more than a trim.

Set still please and let me finish brushing it out, and I?ll get pinned up nice and tidy. We don?t have much time; cause daddy will be home any minute. I love your hair Becky, I hope for your sake that Daddy will not treat you the same as his own.

That night at during the normal evening small talk over supper, Daddy spoke up and said: ?Becky, are you settling in OK?? Now that you are with us, I want more than anything for you to feel like one of the family. Bye the way girls, Friday is the last day of school. Don?t be goin nowhere till after I get home.

Ok daddy both girls chimed together.

Oh, and that goes for you too Becky.

Uncle Marvin, I?ve got a date, I mean appointment at DMV, you know to get my drivers license. You know I?ve got to do my hair so the picture will look good.

You?ll get there on time, I promise, they don?t close till 5:00pm. I?ll be done with you girls by 4:30 and I?m quite sure that not a hair will be out of place. Now don?t be runnin off now, you hear!

Yes Sir Uncle. May I be excused?

Becky rushed off to her bed to grieve and cry over the thoughts that her uncle was actually going to cut off all of hair tomorrow. No, this can?t be happening, mom always loved my hair and told me how beautiful it made me look. She said how in the light it sparkled gold and copper and was priceless.

The next two days past and the girls were all on their way home from school.

I can?t believe its summer already said Kim. Daddy gonna shear us like sheep in less than an hour.

Gayland said, I don?t mind really, I kind like the way it feels right after daddy first runs the clippers over our heads. It? kind of fun actually. The vibration makes me feels funny, kind of tingly. Actually, I?m ok with the haircut. It?s not so bad Becky, you?ll see.

The girls arrived home and heard rustling in the garage.

Out here girls, line up; it?s time for a haircut!

Gayland was the first in the chair, and oh my god thought Becky, Uncle Marvin truly is shaving her right down to the scalp. Her shoulder length straight brown hair fell like rain as it slides down her cape to the garage floor. There?s no guard on the clippers, and she?s nearly bald. Horror filled her thoughts and raced through her body. Yet, there was something else. At the same time she felt kind of a rush.

Gayland got up from her seat and began rubbing her nearly bald head.

Here, feel it Becky, see it?s not so bad.

Meanwhile, Kim was up next. The knots grew in Becky?s stomach as she continued to watch as her other cousin?s pretty blonde hair began to pile up on the floor as well. I?m next, I can?t believe this. All of my beautiful auburn hair will soon be on the garage floor as well. Surely, my Uncle Marvin will not do this to me. While terror griped her, there was some other primeval emotion that stimulated her at the same time. What would it be like to feel her waist length hair be reduced to spiky stubble? It?s too much to bare, I love my long hair. Yet, she had no choice but to submit. She had no other place to go. Clearly her uncle was going to buzz her hair off.

Kim was done.

Next! Her uncle cried out!

I?m so sorry Becky said Kim, just close your eyes and it won?t take long.

Becky sat in the same chair that she watched her two cousins get their heads shorn like sheep. She closed her eyes as her uncle put the cape around her neck. She couldn?t help but wonder about the feelings she felt as she watched her cousin?s hair tumble to the floor. It felt like a fire simmering to a boil in her blood. She tried to shake it off, it just felt like a dream that she hoped she could wake up from.

Uncle Marvin gathered half the hair from the left side of her head and held it out above her shoulder. Good lord girl you?ve got enough hair for 5 girls. A loud snap brought the clippers to life. Just as quickly, the roaring sound of buzzing started at the back of her head and roared up and over through her beautiful hair. Massive amounts of hair slid down the cape like a molten landslide.

Becky?s heart began to race and her insides to rush like no feeling she had ever felt before. Her beautiful hair falling to the floor, she wanted to cry; yet it excited her beyond tears. Almost as soon as it began, she heard her uncle say: ?All done, good till next year!? She began rubbing her head. The feeling was indescribable. Your right Gayland. I wasn?t so bad. And it feels good in this miserable heat. Uncle Marvin, Becky asked, do I have to wait till next year?

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