Home » Location » Barbershop » Maria’s Charitable Sacrifice (Part 2)

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Saturday Afternoon-Evening

“Oh my God, Oh my God! What have I done?” Maria kept repeating to herself as she drove the short distance from the bank to her home and her parents. To Maria the five-minute drive seemed like an eternity as she by some miracle avoided any accidents on the way home. She was unable to take her tear-streamed eyes off of the rear view mirror. Each time she blinked, Maria prayed that the reflection staring back at her would be the Maria from the morning, the Maria with the long flowing auburn hair. She wanted this dream to be over. Instead she was living a nightmare. All she saw in the reflection was a stranger, an eighteen year old girl without a single hair on her now shinny bald head, to her horror, that girl in the mirror was her. “Oh God, Oh my God. what am I going to say to mama and papa? They are going to kill me. Oh my God, Oh my God” Maria Lopez repeated a final time as she pulled into the driveway.

Maria saw that her father’s pick-up truck was in the driveway and knew that there would be no delaying the inevitable confrontation that she was dreading. With her head hung low, Maria went to the back door of her home, hoping that by entering through the kitchen she could avoid the reckoning that awaited her. Just as she took the first step up the stairs towards her bedroom, her hope was dashed by her father’s voice in the living room. “Maria.chica de mi corazón, don’t run upstairs without saying hello and telling your mother and me about your day mi amor.”

Slowly Maria steeped down from the stairway and towards her parents and what she knew would most likely be her execution. José and Elena Lopez thought that they had closed the discussion of their daughter’s haircutting the night before with the admonition that to do so would have consequences. Maria’s impulsive and short-sided move for independence from her authoritarian parents had cost her the very symbol of who she was, most likely for years and years to come, if not for good.

A tear streamed Maria managed to utter “Hola mama, papa.” José Lopez barely got the word `chica’ out before the gasping sound of Elena and her lament “Madre del dios su pelo” interrupted him as she dropped her tall glass of iced tea to the floor. José reflexively swung his head around to his daughter only to find a horrific image crying before his eyes. “¿Chica, qué usted ha hecho? What have you done?” screamed Maria’s father as he jumped to his feet, throwing the newspaper that he had been reading to the carpet.

Maria ran towards her father and wrapped her arms around him as she forced the words out through her sobs “Papa estoy apesadumbrado, yo estoy tan apesadumbrado.” José released his embrace and looked Maria in the eye and said, “You are sorry? How could you do this chica? What were you thinking in your cabeza? Or were you thinking at all? ¿Por qué? Dígame porqué Maria. Tell me why you disrespected your mother and me and did this to yourself” stammered José.

Elena kept repeating, “Mother of God, what has she done?” as she sat back down on the verge of passing out.

“Mama, papa I wasn’t thinking. I am so, so sorry. Please forgive me,” asked Maria.

José, trying to calm down, said “How could you, how could you do this to us and to yourself? What did we do to you to make you ruin yourself?” As he said this, he once more embraced his daughter seeing the regret and torment she was going through. He added, “It will be alright mi querido” as he patted her on the back and brought her head to rest on his shoulder.

“Papa, what are you going to do to me for disobeying you and mama?” asked Maria, forgetting about the speech she gave Donna the night before about being eighteen and not caring about what her mother and father would say. At that moment she just wanted to be her fathers pequeña muchacha, his little girl with the long auburn hair.

José answered, “Maria, look at me, I am very disappointed in you. You are old enough to be treated like a mature young woman a mujer joven, but you still act like a little girl. I can’t think of any punishment that would be worse than what you have already done to yourself. Until your hair grows back, you will be reminded of your disobedience and disrespect to your mother and me.”

Having regained her composure, Elena added, “Chica tomorrow after Mass, we will go to the mall and find you a wig so you can cover your shame and not lose your job at the bank. Papa is right; you are old enough for us not to punish you. You will punish yourself each day as you watch your hair start to grow back. The only thing that could be worse is if we made you stay this way. I will find you a bufanda to wear tonight and to Mass tomorrow.”

Listening to her mother and father’s comments made Maria start to wail all over again. “Papa, mama, I can’t wear a scarf to Mass or even a wig. I’m not allowed to and I can’t let my hair grow back. I have to stay this way for a long time. Soy así que apesadumbrado, apenas deseo tomarlo todo detrás.”

Not understanding, Elena said, “Chica we know you are sorry and want to take it all back. But why can’t you wear one of my bufandas tomorrow? And what do you mean you aren’t `allowed’ to grow your hair for a long time. Díganos, por favor.”

Still crying, Maria recounted to her parents all the details of her agreement and contract with the charity organization, the hospital and the bank. Listening to Maria, her parents were in shock. They both asked again and again, how she could make such an agreement and sign a binding contract without thinking of the consequences.

José and Elena Lopez could not believe what they had just heard from their daughter. Mr. Lopez, while prone to emotional outbursts, just like his wife, always became the voice of reason at the end. To comfort both his daughter and wife, he told them that on Monday morning he would talk with the parties involved in the contract. He would also have the contract looked at by one of his clients that owed him a favor. Mr. Lopez had the reputation of being a solid and fare insurance agent. Mrs. Lopez told her daughter that she too would talk to some friends of hers that worked for the hospital that was part of the contract Maria had entered into.

Maria was just beginning to find a glimmer of hope in her situation, when the doorbell rang. Mrs. Lopez opened the door to find Maria’s best friend Donna standing in the doorway. She gave Donna her customary hug and asked her in. Being mindful of the culture Mr. and Mrs. Lopez brought with them when they emigrated from Spain twenty years before, she greeted them with “Hola señor y señora Lopez. ¿Cómo es usted?”

“Señorita Donna, come in,” said Mrs. Lopez. She continued, “As you can see we have a situation here.”

“I know Mrs. Lopez. I just wanted to see how Maria was and see if she was alright,” answered Donna.

Mr. Lopez said, “Donna, how did you know about Maria’s loss of her senses?  Don’t tell me you helped!”

Maria broke in with, “No papa, Donna tried to talk me out of it yesterday, but being the friend that she is, she stood with me when I let this happen. Please don’t blame her for my being stupid.”

“Maria you are not stupid, you are willful and misguided. yes. But you are never stupid. Don’t ever let me hear you speak those words again chica!”

Sheepishly Maria answered, “Yes sir, papa.”

“Maria, why don’t you and Donna go and visit upstairs, I will call you when dinner is ready, and Donna as always you are welcomed to sit with us and share our meal. Tonight I am making stuffed mushrooms, tapas, shrimp paella and for desert a lemon flan.”

Donna said, “Muchas gracias señora Lopez. My parents are out of town on business and won’t be back for a week. I would love to join you for dinner; that is if Maria wants me to stay.” Maria interrupted and said, “Donna, don’t even think of leaving me tonight. I need you to stay and to spend the night with me so I don’t do anything else stup. I mean misguided.”

Mr. Lopez added
, “Perhaps my Maria is right. It would be good of you to stay over tonight or anytime. I know you aren’t Catholic, but you are more than welcome to go with us to Morning Mass tomorrow Señorita Donna.”

Donna told the Lopez’s that would be wonderful and she would be glad to accompany them to Mass in the morning. As she and Maria started up the stairs, Donna said, “I’ll need to drive home and pick up a dress and a few things for this evening, then I should be good to go.” Donna then followed Maria up the rest of the stairs and headed to the bedroom.

Once secluded in the bedroom, Maria flew face first into her mattress and pillow as she began sobbing again. “I look terrible; I’m a frickin’ freak. How can I go out tomorrow like this? I’ll be the laughing stock in this town from now on.”

Witnessing her best friends despair, Donna joined Maria on the bed and took hold of her hand. “Hey amiga! Listen to me. You are not a freak. At least not any more than you were before this little makeover (that brought the slightest trace of a smile to Maria for a fraction of a second). Everything is going to be okay. Remember what Mr. Davis said at the barbershop, you are still beautiful. This is the first time since I’ve known you that you weren’t hiding behind a mountain of hair. Now your features have just opened up and put your beautiful face out there for everyone to see. I never knew how tiny your ears were and how long and slender your neck was. Don’t even get me started on those blue eyes and those apple cheeks of yours! Girlfriend, you are going to make this look work for you. I think I might be getting jealous here. With these brown eyes and Dumbo ears I know I could never pull that look off.”

Maria came to the defense of her friend and said, “Donna don’t talk about yourself like that, you have always looked so pretty. You are one of the best dressers I know.”

“Amiga, listen when you have thin brittle mousy-brown hair and big ears and big brown eyes, like me, you gotta make up for it some way. I compensate with my clothes and doing what ever I can with this mousy mop of mine. You didn’t have to do that. You looked so good even when you hid behind that red curtain of hair you had.

“Tell you what; I’ve got to run to my house if I’m going to stay over tonight. You are going to come out of hiding and go with me. No is not an option.”

Knowing that she couldn’t hide forever, Maria reluctantly got up and went with Donna. Donna then surprised her friend by pulling over after she had driven a few blocks and put the top to her convertible down. Maria shrieked when Donna started to unfasten the latches holding it in place and begged her to leave the top up. Donna explained that the only way to prove to her that she was not hideous was to force her to deal with the reactions of others. She told Maria, “You can be seen with me driving around town right now or you can walk three blocks home. Either way, you are going to find out that you have to deal with people. Besides, what are you going to do tomorrow at Mass and Monday when you go to work? You can’t hide it so you might as well deal with it.”

Maria decided to stay in the car and continue to Donna’s home. To her surprise the looks she got were looks of encouragement and satisfaction. There were but a few snide looks or remarks and those came from people that were regarded as jerks anyway.

On the way home, Donna told Maria something else unexpected. It seems that she had an appointment booked to have her own hair cut and styled in a couple of weeks. Maria was surprised when Donna told her she would cancel it and get a much shorter hair cut than she had planned by going with her to the barbershop that Maria would visit every morning. Donna had planed to just get the split ends trimmed and not have more than an inch or two taken off of her hair that reached just past mid-back length. She told Maria she would have the barber cut it so that she would have a bob cut that was well off her shoulders and neck and get bangs that would be just above her eye brows.

On the way back to the Lopez’s home, Maria started to smile and said, “This isn’t going to be as bad as I thought. This is all going to blow over in a month or two and everything will be okay.” She also confessed that she liked the reaction from most of the people that she had seen on the short road trip. She also told Donna that the feeling she was getting by driving around in an open convertible was awesome. It was like she felt sensations on her head and neck that was making her tingle on the inside and out. Lastly, she asked Donna to not go and get all of her hair hacked off just for her sake. Maria told her to keep her hair long since she liked it that way. Donna told Maria that she was going to go ahead and get a good haircut and new style. She told her that she had been inspired by Maria’s bravery and sacrifice. She also told her that she wanted to find out what it was like to drive around without massive lengths of hair blowing around her face and see if that tingling feeling would be as good for her as it was for Maria. She assured Maria that her haircut would not be so short that her self-described elephant ears would go flapping in the breeze like a favorite Disney character. They then agreed that Donna would join Maria on Tuesday morning for her new haircut since Donna had already made a commitment for Monday morning.

Sunday

The Sunday Morning Mass went without incident. Maria and her parents did get many looks and after Mass many questions. To their surprise, several of the parishioners complemented and congratulated Maria for her brave sacrifice to charity. Before leaving the church, Mr. Lopez spoke with a fellow church member who was a lawyer. Mr. Lopez explained the terms and conditions of the contract to her. He left with the knowledge that the lawyer would review and research the contract that Maria had entered into. She gave no promises as she did not have all of the details.

Maria could only gain more confidence after the reception she received during and after Mass. Seeing the change in Maria, Donna talked her into going shopping and out for a late lunch. Both girls went back to the Lopez home and changed from respectable church clothes and into casual attire. Donna then helped Maria apply her makeup and advised her that since there is no hair, she now has a larger area to work with. Extending her blush and eye makeup did wonders, not that she really needed it. Maria was magnificent looking in her button up blouse, floral skirt and sandals. A pair of blue gem stud earrings and small pair of silver hoop rings completed her look. Donna chose to take casual to the max with a pair of denim shorts, trendy tee shirt and thong style wedge shoes.

Before Donna pulled out of the Lopez’s driveway, Maria asked her best friend to help her put the top down on the convertible. Maria’s spirits continued to rise as the day was spent shopping and browsing. Once more she received praise for her commitment to the charity (as people who watched or read the news recognized her and came up to her).

That evening a different person from the one that came home on Saturday greeted her parents. Maria was beaming with self confidence and an attitude that she was indeed going to be okay. She told her parents she was still looking forward to the day in a month or two when she could start to grow her hair back; but, until then she was not going to have any regrets. Both parents were happy for their daughter in that she was not going to be miserable for the time it took her to get her hair back. They knew she had learned a valuable lesson. They also reassured her that they would continue to do what they could to try to get her released from the contract she had entered into.

Monday

Mr. Davis was at his bank early Monday morning. He had in his office a customer with several accounts. The customer was very taken by all the publicity that had occurred over the weekend, so much so that she wanted to do her part for the charity. Having seen Maria’s courag
e and sacrifice, she too wanted to have her hair cut and donate the locks to have a wig made. The problem was that see was afraid that she would chicken-out when the time came. Mr. Davis suggested that she have Maria there for moral support and have it done Tuesday morning when Maria would be at the barber next door for her daily head shave. Davis’s customer thought that would be a great idea and agreed to be there at the designated time. On her way out, she stopped by the area that Maria was working in and introduced herself. She told Maria that she had been such an inspiration, that she also would have her hair shaved and then made into a wig for a cancer patient tomorrow just before she has her head shaved. The customer told Maria that having her there for moral support would be what keeps her from changing her mind. Before leaving, she told Maria, “I hope you don’t hate me, but I will be making a monthly donation of $100.00 each month to the charity drive.” Maria’s heart sank with that comment, but hid it with a gracious smile and a thank you.

As soon as his customer left, Mr. Davis called the barbershop next door and told him of the plan for tomorrow and that she would be accompanied by Maria. He again offered to pay the barber for this customer’s haircut even without the media publicity. Davis suggested to the barber that since this customer is very nervous and might want to back out, that he ought to just plow a path right down the middle of her head with the clippers first thing so that the damage would be done and she would have no choice but to follow through with the haircut. The barber said, “Just like we did with Miss Lopez.” He added to Davis, that since he had paid for a months worth of head shavings for Maria in advance, he had purchased a new set of clippers with the windfall. He explained that these clippers were designed to cut the hair to a micro millimeter of length and then it had a built in blade that would shave off the remnant of hair that was left at the same instant. This way there would be no need to clip someone and then go back and do a separate shaving. He said to Davis, that unless someone else came in today to have a head shave, he would break that set of clippers in on his valued customer. Davis told him that would be a great idea and from the look of things, he may very well get to use them quite often if the publicity continues. The barber said great, this will be a win-win for the both of us.

The day went on as normal or almost normal. The publicity over the weekend had several non customers come in mostly to see the huge lock of Maria’s hair that was put on display and to hopefully get a glimpse of Maria. Several of these people went up to her and offered their words of encouragement and many made special donations to the charity. Maria being a trooper with a new found confidence, smiled and thanked everyone who made donations, while realizing that with each donation her wish of being able to grow her hair back was going to be delayed at least another month.

About an hour before time for Maria to leave, Mr. Davis came over to her and did his best to conceal his hidden attraction (bordering on lust) for her. He had some bad news for her. He told Maria that the customer that would have her hair cut and shaved with her tomorrow called and would not be able to be there due to an emergency; but, she would be there to make her hair donation on Wednesday. Mr. Davis said he wanted her to know so she wouldn’t have to wait for the customer tomorrow morning.

Tuesday

Maria woke up looking forward to getting to work and more importantly getting to spend a little bit of time with her faithful best friend Donna before they each went to their respective jobs. Donna was working in a day care center over the summer to save some money before classes at the local university started in a couple of months. Like Maria, she was planning on working full time and taking evening classes in the fall.

Each girl pulled into the parking lot between the bank and barbershop within a minute of each other. Both young ladies were fashionably dressed. Maria was in a black skirt and white blouse with polished black heels. Donna had on a pink dress that came to her knees and matching pumps.

After greeting each other with a hug and a few pleasantries, they entered the barbershop at the same time. The barber got up from his chair and welcomed them both. He said, “So Maria, I see you have brought a friend with you today. You know you are starting to send me so much business, I just might have to start sharing a portion of my profits with you.”

Maria said, “This is my friend Donna and she has decided to get a major haircut today. She was with me on Saturday when I got my haircut; now it’s my turn to lend my support to her.”

The barber took the cape off the back of his chair and flicked it open, and then he said, “Well let’s get started. Donna since you are my newest client, please take a seat.” He then pulled up Donna’s hair and clasped it in one mass while he got a tissue strip and tightly wrapped it around her neck. Maria witnessing this thought to herself, `Wow, Donna was right. She has got some real elephant ears. I’m so glad she’s not getting the same style I have. During a hard breeze, she would take flight just like Dumbo.’ The barber then spread his cape out and over the front of his chair enveloping Donna. After securely fastening the cape he un-clasped the mass of hair and let it fall around his cape.

Remembering his conversation with Mr. Davis, he quietly turned around and reached for his new set of clippers and made sure they were on the closest setting possible. Just then Donna started to describe the cut she wanted by saying, “I’ve decided to go with a little less length than I usually.”

Sensing that she was trying to back out of the donation, he said “Don’t worry, Mr. Davis told me you might be nervous and try to back out of the haircut. I’ll fix you right up.”

Maria and Donna realized something was wrong; but, before either could say a word, the barber flipped the switch on his new clippers and they came to life making an unusually very low humming sound. Without ceremony, he planted the clippers at the middle of Donna’s forehead and plowed a path down the middle of her head, erasing the center part that she had for years and leaving an absolutely hairless swath of alabaster like skin.

In unison, both girls shrieked, “What are you doing?” Before they got that sentence out, the barber and his quick reflexes had bore a second path down Donna’s head. Two large clumps of severed hair dropped from her scalp and cascaded down the barber’s cape, coming to rest on Donna’s lap.

The moment Donna & Maria screamed, the barber lifted his clippers and said, “Ladies we were afraid you would chicken out of your donation. Mr. Davis and I agreed that this was the best way to go. just make it quick and irreversible. We knew that once the damage was done, you would have to see it through.”

“Donation! What frickin’donation? Are you out of your frickin’ mind? What the hell have you done to me, to my hair?” demanded Donna as tears streamed down her face and both hands came out from under the cape and reflexively went to the top of her head to desperately feel for hair that was no longer there.

At the same time Maria was screaming “Oh my god! Wh. what did you do to her? Donna. your hair it’s gone! Why? Why did you do this?”

The barber stepped back from the chair and said, “Miss, like I said, Mr. Davis thought you would back out after you spoke with him yesterday morning. That’s why he arranged for you to come here this morning with Miss Lopez. She was supposed to be giving you moral support while you were making your donation to have a wig made for someone with cancer.”

Donna had lost all composure and was wailing, in between sobs she asked, “Wh. what are you talking about. I didn’t talk to Mr. Davis and I never said I was do. donating my hair to charity. I just came in with Maria to get a shorter hairstyle. Now it
‘s all ruined. This can’t be fixed. Why did you do this to me?”

Maria interrupted with, “Wait a minute! I was supposed to come in with one of the banks depositors, that’s right! But she cancelled for today and is supposed to come in with me tomorrow instead. Mr. Davis told me that, yesterday before I left from work. Didn’t he call you?”

“Miss Lopez I promise he did not call me. I thought this young lady was who he was talking about. I am so sorry for the mix up. I would never cut anyone’s hair who didn’t want it done and I certainly would never do what I did unless the person agreed to it. You know. like you did on Saturday.”

Maria said, “Give me one minute.” She then reached into her handbag and pulled out her cell phone. In quick order she was talking to Mr. Davis. In a panicked tone she recapped what had just taken place and asked why he didn’t call the barbershop.

No sooner had she hung up, when Mr. Davis came rushing over from the bank to figure out what happened and to see what happened for himself. When he walked in, the barber and Maria where in a state of shock. Maria was holding on to Donna, trying to comfort her as best she could. Donna was sitting in the barber’s chair still caped and sobbing with a large lock of her now shorn hair clutched in each hand.

Davis asked how this happened, because his depositor was not coming in until tomorrow. When asked by both the barber and Maria why he didn’t call to let the barber know his depositor cancelled he said, “Maria I told you yesterday that my customer wasn’t going to come in until tomorrow. I just assumed that you would come in by yourself.” Looking to the barber he said, “I didn’t think I would need to call you. I figured that when Maria came in alone you would know that the plans had changed.” He then looked to Donna and said, “Donna is it? Donna I had no idea that you would come in here. You have got to believe me. I am so sorry for what happened to you. You have my word that I will make this up to you – some way, some how.”

Through her tears she said, “Look at this (holding up two handfuls of her shorn locks), you can’t fix this. You can’t glue it back and pretend that it never happened. I am ruined. All of your money won’t bring my hair back. It may not have been much; but, it is all I had. I’m not naturally beautiful like Maria.”

Feeling genuinely sorry for her, he wanted to do what he could to make things right. He knew that he was not liable for what happened, but he did feel responsible somewhat for what happened. He then asked Maria to try to get her friend to calm down while he spoke to the barber and tried to find a solution to what had just happened.

After a few minutes, Maria was able to get Donna to settle down to the point that she was no longer heaving tears. She was just discharging a steady stream of tears. A minute later Davis and the barber (who was visibly shaken over what had happened) came over and spoke to Donna. Both Davis and the barber explained that there was no good way to undo the damage that had been done. No hair style would hide the two large bald strips on the top of her head. Gently Mr. Davis took hold of one of Donna’s hands and said in a very caring tone, “Donna dear, we can’t undo this and I am so very sorry. What I will do is make sure that we find you the finest wig to cover this up with until your hair can grow back. It doesn’t matter what the cost is, I’ll pay for everything. If you want or need more than one wig, that is fine. I don’t care if you get a different one for each day of the month. You will be taken care of. The first thing we have to do though is try to get this evened out some how and the only way to do that is to finish what was started. Let the barber finish the haircut and we will then get you the best wigs that money can buy.

“Also I am going to write you a check for ten thousand dollars that was the amount the charity drive had to meet on Saturday in order for Maria to give up her hair. This was no fault of yours; if you feel that you need to see or talk to someone about this trauma, I will also pay for those doctor visits. If this affects your work, let me know. You will be compensated for losing any time off of work. Lastly, after we get you fixed up here, I am giving Maria the day off, with pay. Maria, I want you to take your friend home and spend the day with her or take her wherever she wants to go. Do what ever she wants to do. It will be on me.”

Reluctantly Donna agreed to the terms that Mr. Davis offered. With Maria holding her hand, the barber sadly flicked the switch to turn on the clippers that would ultimately render Donna bald. As soon as the clippers made contact with Donna’s head, Maria felt a surge of pain run up her arm as Donna’s grip tightened.

The new clippers did its job and did it well. Each pass of the clippers severed the wispy locks and sent them to rest on the top of the cape before cascading down the covering and coming to rest on Donna’s lap. Tears continued to flow from her eyes as she watched her mousy-brown hair continue to grow into a large pile of now useless dead strands of protein. A few minutes later the job was finished and unfortunately Donna did not have the features to pull of the same look that Maria was forced to adopt. Her ears truly were large, more so, now that there was no hair to surround them. In addition to their largeness, each ear protruded out from her head at a marked angle making them look very much like wings that would lift her into the air, were they able to flap. The whiteness of her head was interrupted on the top center by a long and wide tan stripe where her part had been. It was also revealed that Donna’s skull had several rifts and a noticeable dent formed from the muscular structure of her head, making her scalp resemble a topographic map.

The rattled barber said in a very conciliatory tone, “Miss we are almost done. If you will let me, I would like to apply a lotion to your scalp so that your skin won’t be irritated from the razor part of the haircut.”

“What ever! You can’t do any more damage than what is already done” answered Donna.

Soon Donna’s ordeal was finally over. She now had a very unflattering and very shiny bald head. As soon as the barber removed the cape he asked Donna if she would like to keep the cut strands of hair. She indicated that she did not want them. She just wanted to get out of the barbershop and go home. As she headed to the door, Maria stopped her and said, “Donna we can’t leave just yet. I still have to get my head shaved or I’ll be breaching the contract. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes and then we’ll go home for a little while and start to look for some wig shops.”

Once Maria traded seats with Donna, the barber put a fresh cape on his, now daily customer. Donna took a seat across from the barber chair and recoiled into a ball with her legs on the seat and her knee’s coming up to her chest. She wrapped her arms around her folded legs sank her now denuded head onto pink dress covering her knee’s.

The sadness that Mr. Davis felt for Donna soon turned to hidden glee as Maria took her turn in the chair. While the barber had Maria’s head wrapped in a steaming towel for a few minutes, Davis again spoke to Maria while trying not to let his arousal of Maria’s situation become noticeable. “Maria I don’t think you are going to be able to settle your friend down in just one day. If she needs more time, I want you to be there for her. It’ll be okay if you end up taking two or three days off, with pay and I promise, it will not be held against you. Just call and let me know if you will not be coming in. You have the number for my private line at the bank.”

As Maria thanked him, the barber replaced the hot towel with warm lather. Maria now looked as if she had on a swimmers cap and was ready to take a plunge. Her barber took his Mach 3 razor handle and put a new blade cartridge on it. He then proceeded to put the triple action blade on the top of her forehead and gently but firmly pulled it towards her crown. He
was surprised that the stubble that was showing was offering little resistance. He had noticed this the day before, when he shaved her head after going on two days. A clause in the contract she had entered into exempted her from having to have her head shaved on Sunday’s since the barbershop was closed. The main difference between today and Monday was that with two days growth, she came in on Monday with a noticeable shadow the result of her auburn hair attempting to grow back. One day’s growth surprisingly offered little in the way of shadow.

All the while she sat in the barber’s chair, she kept looking to her best friend and could not help but feel sorrow for her. She remembered that just a few days ago, it was Donna offering support to her. Now through a stupid and unfortunate lapse of communication, it was Donna needing the support. While her willfulness and desire to show independence put her into this situation, that would last for who knows how long, Donna did not deserve to undergo this humiliation. Very soon Maria’s barber was done with her shave and applied the same lotion to her that he applied to Donna. They both sported two very shiny and pale heads; but, the results were totally different. Maria looked very much like a silkenly, smooth goddess that would tease and arouse most anyone. Donna on the other hand projected the image of a victim of sever illness or the recipient of a harsh punishment.

Both shavings now being completed, Maria and Donna made their way to the door for a quick escape to Maria’s car and a short trip to Maria’s home. During the drive home, Maria tried in vain to comfort her friend and told Donna that she wanted her to spend the week with her and her parents since Donna’s parents would be gone for the rest of the week. Maria knew that Donna was in no shape to be left home alone.

Maria thought to herself, `We’ll get her settled down and maybe this evening or tomorrow at the latest, we will find her some wigs to help out her appearance.’ She also knew that the way her parents felt towards Donna, she would be pampered and spoiled the whole time that she was their guest. Just as they pulled into the driveway, she again thought, `Someday. hopefully soon we will be able to look back on all of this and laugh about it.’ She was also looking forward to the day in a few months when she too will be able to start growing her hair back and tease Donna about having a three month or so head start on the growth process, while they took turns wearing wigs of what she was sure would be different lengths, colors and styles.

Maria gently helped guide an almost catatonic Donna into her home. As they entered through the kitchen door, her mother was busy preparing breakfast for Mr. Lopez. He was at the kitchen table engrossed with the morning paper when Mrs. Lopez turned around and dropped Mr. Lopez’s morning cup of coffee to the kitchen floor.

The first thing Mrs. Lopez said was “¡Madre del dios, no otra vez!”

To Be Continued

Juan Butini Copyright protected c 2006 JDG Enterprise’s Legally Registered r 2006. This story is for personal use only.  This story is not to be downloaded or uploaded to any other site without the permission of the author.

If you would like to comment on this story, please contact me at juanbutini@aim.com Thank you for reading.

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