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Miriam’s New Friend

Miriam was not quite prepared for the way that she would be treated. Sure, she was sporting a haircut that was brutally short and humiliating. Still, it couldn’t get worse, could it? She had to hope not. When she and her mother got home, her mother finally consented to let her go to the library to work on her project.

As Miriam looked for a hat to wear, her mother rubbed the shaven sides of her daughter’s head and smiled in admiration. “Rather a good choice, getting your hair cut so short. I think I made a good choice. You look very smart.”

“I look like a moron,” snapped Miriam. “Thanks to you!”

“One more word and I’ll ground you for a very long time. I’ve had about as much of your backtalk as I can stand. You’re lucky I don’t smack you across the chops right now!”

Miriam was aware her mother was brutally embarrassed by her behavior, but she was angry. “No hat,” Miriam’s mother said. “Go without one. Let everyone see how awful you’ve been.”

Miriam felt a fresh wave of anger roar through her, but bit her tongue before she said anything. Her mother was displaying fresh cruelty she didn’t know about. She grabbed her school bag and bolted for the door.

People gave her strange looks and many stared at her as she walked to the library. Once she got there, her friends we working in a booth. She felt the wave of nauseating fear overcome her. What were they going to do? She could imagine that they’d just brush it off as one-time thing. No such luck.

Stella started to howl and pointed to Miriam’s head. Several people around them started hissing “Shhh!” but Stella was laughing so hard tears were rolling down her cheeks. Anthony was trying very hard not to laugh hysterically.

“Yeah, I got a haircut. Will you be quiet?”

Stella was laughing so hard and loud the librarian came over. She was an older lady, and she gave Miriam a stern look. “Young man,” she said to Miriam. “You should know better. Be quiet,” she continued, hissing at Stella. “If you can’t quiet down, I’ll have to ask you to leave!”

“Young man! She called you young `man’,” roared Stella, pointing at Miriam. “If only she knew!”

The librarian grabbed Stella. “You will leave! Now! You too,” she said, grabbing Miriam’s arm. “Go cause trouble somewhere else!”

Stella continued to laugh uncontrollably. The first test of Miriam’s haircut was an abject failure. Miriam wanted to shoot herself now. The librarian couldn’t even tell she’d been a girl when she woke up that morning! Despite her blouse and tight jeans, she was perceived as a boy! A boy with a ridiculous haircut. Wow, her mother really knew how to be cruel!

Miriam ran off as soon as they were outside and went to the park. Her pink blouse seemed to attract what eyes her brutally short flattop didn’t. She was so embarrassed! And her mom wanted her to keep it like this! Unbelievable!

As she sat in the park, off away from other people and cried to herself, she reached up and felt the sides of her head. She thought maybe it was a nasty nightmare. Stella was just a particularly bad element of a nasty bad dream.

The cool breeze snaked through her extremely short hair, but still she refused to believe it. Nothing that awful could have happened! She was so quiet. Then she remembered getting drunk and loud at that party. She was getting her due punishment for having Mom come get her in the middle of the night! The brutality of the punishment began to sink in. Her mother was extremely angry and had made Miriam pay for her bad behavior. She certainly wasn’t likely to go to more parties and drink in the future. Maybe her mother would relent as soon as she had a night to think it over.

Miriam’s hand rubbed the side of her head. All she felt was the thrill of bare skin under her fingertips. It was as real as she could imagine. No, she thought to herself, this is no bad dream!

“Is that a boy or a girl,” one kid asked his friend as they biked by her. She didn’t dare look up. “I dunno,” the other voice said, receding into the distance. “Looks pretty stupid on a girl!”

A fresh wave of tears began to well up in her eyes. It was as if the whole world was conspiring to punish her. She deserved it, in any case!

When she went home, her mother seemed to glow triumphantly. “Stella called and asked me if your hair grew back yet,” she told Miriam. Miriam just looked miserable and went right to her room. At dinner she toyed with her food and did her chores silently. She had a very heavy heart.

Her mother came to her room after her chores were done. Miriam decided to put on the most feminine things she had, a lacy bra, a frilly, pink pair of panties and a silken robe her grandmother had given her. “Miriam,” her mother said, “I know you hurt. But I hurt so much more inside. I put my trust in you to do the right thing. You know you’re not old enough to drink! Or to be out that late.”

Miriam nodded. “I let you down, I know. But you.you.” she started to well up. “I’m a girl, mom!”

Her mother nodded. “You are a young lady. You needed to be taught a lesson!”

“I look like a.like a.like a BOY YOU BITCH!” Miriam started to scream.

Her mother got up sharply. She reached as if to slap her daughter across the mouth, then she hesitated. Miriam flinched, prepared for her anger to get her the slap she deserved.

“Oh, you little hussy! I was going to relent and let you grow it out, but now! Now.” Miriam’s mother stood fuming, her cheeks red as cherries. “You will have to keep it all summer! And as long as I deem necessary! You haven’t learned your lesson yet, have you??!!” Now Miriam’s mother was doing the screaming. “I’ve had it with you defying me!”

She left and slammed the door behind her. Miriam knew her anger had gotten her in this mess. It was the first time she’d ever swore at her mother. She cried to herself for a long time. Eventually she fell asleep, exhausted by the waves of emotion wracking her.

The next morning she went to church with her mother. She wore a dress, but she felt more like a cross-dressing boy than anything. She saw people looking at her out of the corner of her eye. They started to whisper to themselves. She didn’t know whether it was worse that they laughed uproariously like Stella, or they quietly whispered like the churchgoers. In the end, she decided they were both equally as bad.

What was worse is Monday was school portrait day. Miriam’s mother had picked out a pretty pink dress for her to wear when picture day came. She got it out and made sure to smooth all the creases and wrinkles. “Wait until your grandmother sees your new hairdo,” her mother said, a gleam in her eye.

Miriam tried to apologize for what she’d done. Her mother shook her head. “It’s gone too far, Miriam Stacey! You’re obviously going to need a lesson in how to behave that you won’t forget. Tonight I’m going to touch up the sides and shave them down. No sense in your picture taken unless you have the crispest, tightest, cutest little flattop! I think you look so wonderful like this!”

That night, despite Miriam pleas otherwise, her mother shaved the sides of her head smooth again. The brief stubble that had grown was bare skin again. “That’s much better,” her mom exclaimed. “Now, off to bed like a good girl. School pictures tomorrow!”

Miriam had been planning to wear ribbons and a pair of ponytails to the side and with a part down the middle, but now she didn’t have enough hair to do anything with! So, as her mother applied some hair gel to her head to get the flattop to stand up straight and tall, she told her daughter: “It’s going to be a good lesson for you to learn. You’ll know I mean business from now on, won’t you?”

Miriam nodded, as she slid into the pink dress. Her mother looked her over. “A pretty dress and a pretty, short flattop. What a sight you make!”

The laughter was just as bad at school. Kids were looking at her all the time, giggling. The homeroom teacher didn’t recognize her at first wi
th the brutally short flattop. “Wow,” was all he could say once he got over the shock. “That’s some short hairdo you have Miriam.” The sniggers from her classmates were audible. “Are you going into the army?” the teacher asked. Ripples of laughter broke out and she miserably shook her head. “Oh well, you look nice for your portrait today,” he concluded and moved off.

The time for her portrait was 11 o’clock. She reported and the photographer looked her over as if he suspected some sort of trick. “Are you Miriam,” he asked, glancing between her and the clipboard he was holding.

“Yeah, I’m Miriam. Just call me Miriam Flattop. I was real bad and I got this as a punishment.” He was the first person she’d admitted it to. Anyone else who had asked was just told `I wanted to get one.’

“OK, Miss Flattop,” said the photographer. “Sit over there and let’s see if we can at least get some nice pictures of you.”

He had her in several poses and took about 20 pictures. As he told her she was done and could return to class, she saw the football captain come in, in a suit and tie, his hair gelled and neatly combed to the side. “Why look,” he exclaimed audibly. “It’s our newest freak! A girl who acts like a boy! Her mother even recognizes the fact!” Tears welled up and Miriam ran from the room.

At lunchtime she sat by herself and tried not to look at anyone. She felt completely miserable. She just wanted to fold herself up, and disappear until her hair grew back. Maybe everyone would forget how ridiculous she looked and felt. Still, though she wouldn’t admit it, there was something about the feel of the smooth skin that excited her too. She didn’t know what was wrong herself. It was bad enough she’d been humiliated, but now she was secretly starting to like it. Since her mom seemed bound and determined for her to keep a short, crisp, tight flattop, she guessed the sooner she got over it, the better.

“Can I sit here,” a voice asked, close to her. Miriam looked up. It was Becky, who was sort of the class punk. She had closely cropped dark hair in a crew cut style, was wearing a black studded leather belt and jeans, a Misfits T-shirt and had on dark lipstick. Miriam had always sniggered at her and now she felt like it was going to come back to haunt her. She nodded slightly and Becky sat down next to her. Someone nearby said, “look, the two freaks are hanging out.” Becky gave the offender a vicious stare and they turned away to mind their own business.

“Your new hair style is causing quite a stir, I’m sure you know.” Becky said, staring at Miriam. “What made you do it?”

Miriam felt like telling her to shut the hell up, but a tiny voice warned her that her anger got her into this mess. She considered for a moment. “Well, I wanted to get a haircut,” she said, trying not to look too nonchalant.

Becky shrugged. “Whatever. You’re not a very good liar.” Miriam felt like getting up and storming out but Becky spoke again as she felt her anger about to explode. “You get punished?”

Miriam suddenly felt her anger run out of her and she slumped her shoulders. She nodded miserably. “My mother,” she said in a tiny voice. “She had to get me from the police station at 3 AM and this is how she punished me. Then I called her a bitch and she told me I have to keep it this way for as long as she tells me.” She couldn’t believe she was telling Becky, that weirdo Becky, this information from her own private inner sanctum! With a sudden wave, she realized how hard it must have been for Becky to fit in, when she didn’t look like the rest of the girls.

Becky nodded. “Oh, you were at that party! I guess the kid who held it has been grounded for about 6 million years. He’s got to quit football and join the glee club.” Becky giggled and Miriam started to smile. Suddenly all the hecklers seemed to recede into the distance, like an express train roaring out of the station. She was starting to like talking to Becky!

“Glee club, huh.” Miriam said, quietly.

Becky grinned. “See, your haircut’s not so bad when you look at it.”

“Thanks,” Miriam started to say. She became aware of the kid who had hosted the party walking by. “Well, I might have been grounded, but at least I didn’t get a flattop and made to wear a pink dress!”

Miriam felt herself sinking into oblivion. Was there no end to the taunting? Then her angel spoke. Becky snapped her head around. “Hey! Shut the hell up, Mister Glee Club!”

Some of the guys around him started to laugh and the kid looked abject. “Look who’s talking? Freaky Becky!” But she just shrugged off the insult. The boy who was now the newest member of the Glee Club seemed to get the worst of it. Miriam heard one kid say, “Glee Club? Are you for real?”

Miriam started to feel a bit better. “Look,” Becky said to her. “I know that you used to laugh at me and call me not-so-nice names. Bit different now that you’re on my side of the fence, isn’t it?”

Miriam nodded. She swallowed hard. “I’m sorry.” she started to say, but Becky waved her off. “Don’t sweat it. You live, you learn. You need a friend. Want to make up and be friends?”

Miriam looked at the hand, bedecked in silver bracelets and black fingernail polish. She was tempted to reject Becky, like she used to do, but something made her say it would be a bad move. “Sure,” Miriam said and shook Becky’s hand. “Thanks for supporting me.”

“Sometime I’ll tell you about why I get my hair cut so short. It took a while before people got over it. You’re wearing a pretty pink dress. That’s not helping you keep much of a low profile.”

“School portrait day,” Miriam said. Becky nodded.

“Yeah, I had mine at 9:45. I know I looked OK, but I bet you looked ravishing!”

Miriam blushed hard in embarrassment. “What do you mean?”

Becky grinned as the bell rang announcing the end of lunch period. “I told you, I’ll tell you sometime.” They got up to go back to class. “Walk tall,” Becky advised, “but tell people the truth. Tell them you got a punishment haircut. Maybe it will help deflect some of the hurt.” They agreed to meet after school, to walk home.

The rest of the day Miriam tried to do as Becky had suggested, but it was hard. However, the laughs seemed more distant now and less frequent. It still hurt, but not as bad. Even when someone hit her in the back of the head with an eraser and said “Hey, baldie girl, can you get that for me?” She felt her eyes beginning to well up, but she just brought the eraser to the teacher who gave the offending student detention. He asked her to stay behind a moment when the bell rang.

“Miriam,” he said. “You look like I used to when I was about your age. I don’t know why you’re sporting a flattop, but you look nice in it. You seem to carry it well. And what’s more, on Friday you would have whipped that eraser back at him, but today you did the right thing. Is there anything you want to talk about?”

She didn’t hesitate. She spilled her guts about what had happened to her. Her mother punishing her with a flattop, calling her mom a bitch (she didn’t even flinch when she used the word in front of the teacher), getting heckled and laughed at and then making friends with Becky.

“Looks like you learned a lesson or two since Friday. I’m sorry you got the punishment you did, but if you need anything or just want to talk, please see me. I’d be glad to listen if you want an ear.”

She thanked him and he gave her a slip of paper. “Better get to your next class,” he said with a wink. She found herself looking at a late pass.

After school, she met Becky and they started to walk home. Unbidden, Miriam told her about the teacher and the eraser incident. Becky just nodded. “I think I know. You have Mister Baker?” Miriam nodded. Becky nodded as well. “He’s about the coolest teacher on the Earth,” Becky said.

As they walked, Becky spotted an ice cream parlor. “Hey, want to get a sundae? My treat. I have a part-time job.”

Miriam felt like running and hiding, but she refrained. “OK,” she said.

As t
hey ate their sundaes, she became aware that Becky was looking at her more and more. She put it down to her unusual haircut. Then Becky asked an odd question as they were finishing up.

“You like it shaved? Does it give you a little shiver up your spine when you touch it?”

Miriam looked at her strangely for a minute. “Of course not!”

Becky laughed. “Remember, I can sense when you’re lying. You do get a chill when you touch it, don’t you?”

“Well,” Miriam started to say but Becky cut her off.

“I thought so. You can admit it to me. We’re supposed to be friends, right?”

Miriam nodded. “Right now, you’re the best friend I could hope for!”

Becky smiled. “I hope I live up to that. Still, don’t you just want to shave it all? Completely bald to spite your mother?”

Miriam looked shocked. “No, I can’t imagine doing that!”

“You’re nearly there. Looks like a #1 on top. Not much going on there. A razor shave would get you all nice and even. You have thought about it, I take it?”

Miriam was going to vehemently deny it, but she held back for a moment. “The other night,” she found herself saying, “I was dreaming that I was back in that barber’s chair. The hot and steaming towel was wrapped all around my head. He lathered up the shaving cream and applied it all over. He started to shave it and I woke up. I was all wet.”

Becky nodded her understanding. “So, you have thought about it! I guessed you might have.”

Miriam looked at her new friend in horror. “Do I need to see a shrink or something?”

“No,” Becky said with a smile. “I think you’re developing a fetish for having your hair cut. Some people have it. I have it.”

“You?” Miriam couldn’t believe what Becky was telling her. “Sure,” Becky nodded. “Why do you think I have a boy’s haircut? Not that it’s just for boys!”

Miriam felt like Becky was telling her something that was wrong, but she realized after her dream that, deep down inside, she was inviting the haircut. Her mother, rather than punishing her, was showing her what, deep down, she wanted to be like. Maybe that explained the sudden changes that had come over her. How she had awoken with a wet pussy after the head shaving dream. Miriam started to work the word `fetish’ into her mind to associate it with her hair cutting experience. Suddenly, she realized Becky was right and breathed a sigh of relief.

As they came to Miriam’s house, Miriam was aware that Becky was walking more closely to her than ever. “Tomorrow,” Becky said. “We’ll go to my house and I’ll show you some of my photos of people with short hair. Girls,” she stressed. “with short hair. I think you ought to give a lot of thought to getting a shave. Go all the way.”

Miriam nodded in consent. “I think I will go for it.”

“Don’t do it to spite your mother. Well, not too much. Do it for yourself. Everyone deserves to know what it’s like to have a smooth, shiny head.”

“You gonna get one?” asked Miriam. “I will if you do,” Becky replied in an almost breathless whisper, now standing incredibly close to Miriam. Unlike a week ago, Miriam didn’t flinch away from Becky’s distance. “Perhaps tomorrow, we can make out too,” Becky said and their lips merged in a passionate kiss a moment later. Miriam wrapped her arms around Becky and she so wanted to drag her into her own body, to draw strength from the other girl. All too soon, Becky broke the kiss and drew away.

“More where that comes from, but I know you’re interested,” Becky said. “I’ll see you tomorrow at school?”

“Sure!”

Becky smiled and continued on her journey to her own house. She blew Miriam a kiss and walked quietly away. Miriam stood, as if planted in the ground, mesmerized by the attractive allure of Becky’s kiss. She had never in her life imagined she would kiss another girl, let alone Becky. Then she smiled. Now, she couldn’t imagine it any other way!

Watch for the next segment: Chapter 3 – Miriam Shocks Her Mother

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