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I loved my long hair when I was a kid. Long, blonde, and beautiful, it was my most precious possession. It stretched almost half-way down my back. I brushed it and stroked it almost all the time. My dad hated it that I obsessed over my hair so much that he when he took my brother to get a haircut, he took me too, just so that I wouldn’t have it any more.

I remember that day like it was yesterday. May 2, 1993. When the car pulled up to the shop, I looked at him and asked, "Daddy, why are we here?" He didn’t answer. We walked in together. When I took one look at the barber, I cringed. The barber was probably old as the hills. I was surprised the old man wasn’t dead. At the time when it happened, my brother, Scotty, was 7 and I was 9. My dad made my brother get a buzz cut for the summer, like he always did and the barber told him $10.

But my dad said that he wasn’t done and he looked over my way. He nodded his head towards the chair, "Your turn Mel." My heart skipped a couple beats when I sat down. The barber put the cap on me and pulled my hair back. I knew something wasn’t right, but I didn’t want to say anything. I was too scared to. He asked me what I wanted but before I could say anything my father said, "Same as Scotty. Make her look like her brother."

I thought he was joking but he wasn’t. "You mean it sir? Just like her brother?" the barber asked and my father nodded. My brother only had about 2 inches of hair left on his head. I don’t wanna be a skin head!! I thought to myself.

I tried to resist but my father said, "Knock it off Mel or else I’ll have him shave off all your hair." I stopped. The barber pulled my hair into a pony tail and with on snip, there went all my lovely hair. My life, my soul, my hair was gone. I had nothing left after that one second that seemed like an eternity. He put the pony tail on the counter and then he snipped off my bangs. I had cried, but my dad said to suck it up and take it like a women. Is a women supposed toe be a skin head at 9 years of age?? I thought.

He then turned the chair around and made me look into the mirror. I had saw my pony tail, and I wept. Then I saw what I looked at, and I wept even harder. The barber took a tissue and wiped my eyes, "It’ll be over soon little lady." I looked at the hair in the cap, I looked at my pony tail, I looked at the hair left on my head, and then I looked at him. He just gave me a faint smile. I thought it was over. Nothing would have been worse, but then it came.

He grabbed the clippers, put a #3 guard, and turned them on. I jumped, but he just put his hand on my shoulder. I saw my dad grin in the background. "Right down the middle Marty." That’s what he said to the barber. I had no clue what he meant at the time. But I soon was about to find out. He poised the clippers on my bare forehead. I began to have Goosebumps. Without any hesitation, he ran those clippers right down the middle of my head. I looked in fear as I watched him do it. Then he went for two more passes on my head. I didn’t know the person in the mirror now. Soon all the hair on the top of my head was shorn. Then he made me lower my head and when I saw the mounds of hair on the cape, I wept like I never wept before. He started to shave my nape. At first I enjoyed the feeling but after the last bits of hair fell, the tears began to stop. When stopped the clippers and took the cape off, and put my head down and walked towards my father. I didn’t look at him nor did I say anything to him. The barber put my ponytail in a bag and handed it to me. He said I should keep it so that I can remember how long my hair was. But never will I go into another barbershop, after being sheered like a sheep, at only 9 years old.

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