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Week 5 Friday – The Big Meet

Everyone arrived early Friday. They were headed for Forest High School with the Volleyball, Soccer and Swim teams. Heather and Michelle had been recruited to help transport the thirty kids who would be competing and cheering.

Christine had been anticipating that Tommy would not be there to cheer on the team, but he decided to skip his Friday Judo practice and come with them.

They got into Michelle’s van along with Janet and some other kids from the soccer team. Heather had half of the volleyball team. Two other vans and three coaches’ cars made up the caravan. They were there by well before ten o’clock.

Heather and Michelle had found good seats to watch the volleyball games and were chatting about their plans for the barbecue outing for their four families. They listened to a couple of announcements and fell quiet for a moment.

“Heather, who did your haircut. I’m curious,” Michelle asked.

“It was Kate. She did Abby’s and Paula’s too. And she did Leigh’s last Sunday. She is really good,” Heather said.

“But where does she work,” Michelle asked.

“Sorry Michelle, I should have realized that you would not have heard much about her unless you were involved in some of the conversations at the Herb Garden. Kate owns a little barber shop on Melrose Street. She calls it a barber shop, but she has more women customers than men I’m quite sure. You aren’t thinking of getting your hair cut are you?” Heather asked.

“I don’t know, but I couldn’t believe my ears when James said he wouldn’t mind if I cut my hair like Abby’s or yours. I was certain that he really wanted me to keep it long. I’ve always thought I liked it long, but since I saw Paula’s new style I’ve had second thoughts,” she confessed.

“That’s very funny Michelle. For ten years I though Chris wanted me to have long hair and I kept it at least shoulder length. Later I cut it a little shorter several times, but still I didn’t dare cut it as short as I actually wanted. Ginny knew he liked short hair on women long before I did. I had seen him look at women with short hair, but I thought he was criticizing them. I still needed Ginny to encourage me and assure me that Chris would love it before I dared get it cut like this. I’ll never let it get much longer than this again,” Heather confessed.

“How did you feel when you got it buzzed and saw yourself? Weren’t you scared?” Michelle asked.

“I was almost petrified. If Ginny hadn’t been with me I would have ended up with a perfectly ordinary style a little shorter than it was when I went in. I wanted to do it, but I needed a lot of support and encouragement. When it was done and I looked in the mirror, I saw Kate, Ginny and a stranger with this wonderful haircut. It took several minutes for me to recover and see that it was actually me that I saw and that I had that wonderful haircut. I hope that you make sure that James actually does think it would be OK for you to have a cut like Paula’s or mine, and that you truly want it yourself. Some women like me have known for a long time that they would love to have a really short haircut, but if you’re just beginning to think you might you should be slow about it,” Heather advised.

“I think you’re right Heather. I have mentioned it to James and he said he did mean what he said, but I’ll talk to him again after I’ve had time to think about it more and see you, Paula and Leigh as well as those crazy girls some more. The thing that is the oddest is how all of you seem to have become so much more self-assured and confident. Even Melissa and Beth seem to be absolutely certain about their shaved heads and themselves. Isn’t that the strangest thing?” Michelle asked in a perplexed voice.

“It’s not as strange as you think. It’s like breaking loose from something that has been holding you back. Suddenly you’re free to be yourself. It’s a liberating feeling. You don’t have to be held back by an artificial boundary. I feel free to do things. I’m more energized and willing to go ahead and try things. It a great feeling. Whoops, I didn’t mean to be trying to sell you on the idea,” Heather apologized.

“It’s OK Heather. I can see how it would have that effect on a lot of women. I think we’ve missed half the volleyball game. What’s the score,” Michelle asked.

“Looks like Crown Point is ahead by a few points. They could win if they get the serve back. Cindy and all the baldies are in the game I see. Oh, that was a nice set by Melissa and a beautiful put-a-way by Cindy. One point to go,” Heather said.

“You sound like you know the game. Did you play Heather. You’re so small,” Michelle said.

“I played on the JV team when I was a freshman in college. You’re right, I’m too small to be competitive. I got to get in a real game only if we were way ahead. I gave it up the second year. We didn’t have soccer except as an intramural sport, but I was pretty good at field hockey. I think that game isn’t played much anymore. There, they just won. Audra is very good,” Heather observed.

They concentrated on the game. Crown Point lost the second game after going to deuce twice. The third game was over almost before it started when Crown Point ran off five straight points at the beginning and never had a lead less than four points. The other kids from Crown Point screamed like banshees as they got close to the win and even louder afterwards.

“Cindy is a very good athlete Michelle. If she gets a little taller and keeps playing like that she could win a scholarship.” Heather told Michelle.

“You really think so? I guess you probably know enough about it to make a pretty good assessment.” Michelle replied.

The Keystone Park team was there. They would play the winner in an exhibition match. They were the fifth team, Wasena was playing at Fox Run Park. Cloverdale had beaten Keystone Park rather easily the previous week and Crown Point had won their match with them two weeks earlier. As expected the match was a little lopsided. The four Amiga’s played only a little, because their soccer coach didn’t want them worn out for the soccer match in the afternoon.

Michelle’s mind was still dwelling on what James had said and her own attempt to sort out whether she really did want to keep her long hair, or whether underneath she had always wanted to have a short haircut.

“When I first saw Beth’s new haircut I actually thought it looked cute,” Michelle confessed. “And Cindi seems to be really taken by it. She has always said that she would never cut her hair, but now I wonder if that is mostly because of how I kept telling her how much James loved it and and how everyone else thought it was so beautiful. Have you seen Leigh since she got hers cut?”

“I haven’t seen her yet. Penny says her buzz cut is even shorter than mine. I guess I’ll have to copy Ginny,” Heather laughed.

They finished lunch and went out to the soccer field. The swim team and a few other Mothers were sitting at one end of the bleachers. They joined them.

The game was won easily by Crown Point. Michelle was impressed by how the three Amigas seemed able to read each others’ minds. One play was particularly impressive. Cindi was racing down field with the ball. Two defenders had her blocked. At the last moment she left footed the ball back to Melissa who was racing down the middle. Melissa took the pass in stride and about three strides later made a perfect centering pass to Beth who had cut in from the right side. She raced past the last defender took the pass and almost in the same motion drove the ball into the goal. Michelle noted that it had been a model of unselfish play, perfectly executed. She knew a little about soccer and the way the swim team and the other women exploded in screaming told her that it was a terrific play. Five minutes later Melissa executed a similar play, Melissa to Beth to Cindi who had broken across the goal behind the defenders and se
nt the ball into the goal. By the end of the game they had scored six goals to only one by Cloverdale. She had seen Penny intercept three passes and watched Audra flying through the air to prevent goals.

Later that afternoon they went in to the pool where some bleachers had been set up. It was soon apparent that Cloverdale was no match for Crown Point. The closest races were between Crown Point swimmers. Janet battled Christine in the freestyle. Christine won by less than half a body length in the fifty meter race. Christine’s superior turns and strength gave her an advantage in the hundred meter. Jessie won the Breaststroke races with Gail pushing her all the way. They had been neck and neck until the last ten meters when Jessie got a small lead to win. Janet won butterfly as expected, but Gail actually challenged her for the first time. Christine won the backstroke, but Jessie made a race of it in the fifty meters. She could not keep up with Christine’s pace in the hundred meters.

“I’m beginning to think that being bald actually gives Christine an advantage,” Michelle speculated.

Heather laughed. “It does Michelle, but not in the way you think. Being bald made her different and gave her an incentive to prove herself. And having a boyfriend like Tommy who supported her and who is so self assured and capable boosted her belief in herself too. She works harder than any of the other girls. Penny tells me that she’s in the gym for two hours three days a week and works out until she’s almost exhausted. She is really motivated and it has had an impact of the other girls. They’re working a lot harder now and feeling very confident. So she’s totally accepted by all the girls, and she is completely confident where ever she goes. Have you noticed how she stands up so tall and straight. That tells people that she likes herself and is proud to be bald. And she’s quite beautiful too. The way she did her eyebrows makes her even more striking and she luxuriates in it, completely at ease with the way she looks,” Heather explained.

“You must be right. Cindi told me how much she works out in the gym and how the other swim team members follow her lead. At first I thought she just wanted to be noticed, but I agree, she’s just very very sure of herself and isn’t going to try to make herself inconspicuous. She doesn’t talk a lot either, but her confidence definitely shows,” Michelle agreed.

“That’s absolutely right Michelle. By the way, Is there anything else that we need for Sunday,” Heather asked.

“I’ve talked to everyone and told them what to bring. I have the barbecue meat. Paula is bringing veggie burgers for the vegetarians. Hallie is bringing charcoal and her special potato salad. Abby is bringing hamburger buns and toppings.
Jan is bringing vegetarian chile and some salmon steaks. Have you noticed how many kids have stopped eating meat? Even some of the adults like Paula and Jan have become vegetarians,” Michelle said.

“I’ve definitely noticed since Ginny and Penny told me that they didn’t want to eat meat any more. They’ve been trying to persuade Chris and me for the past year. I’ve almost been persuaded, but it would be such a big change for me to learn a whole new way of cooking. I guess it’s the wave of the future,” Heather laughed as they got to their vans and opened them for the coming onslaught of jubilant kids.

Friday Evening

Paula had left work at the usual time, but still arrived at Kate’s shop a little before six o’clock. She opened the door to the familiar jingle of the little bell mounted on the frame above the door. Kate had a customer in her chair, but she saw Paula and greeted her.

“Hi, Paula. You’re looking good.”

“Hi, Kate. I’ve really enjoyed it!”

Paula sat down and watched while Kate finished with her customer a young man in his mid twenties with light brown hair. He had a very well done “Caesar” cut. It was about an inch and a half on top with slightly longer bangs. The sides and back seem to have been tapered to about a quarter inch. His somewhat wavy hair made it even more flattering. Paula thought it look very good on him. Kate finished the edging that she had done, brushed him off, and turned him to face the mirror.

“Excellent Kate. I can always count on you,” he said.

“Thanks, Dave. Glad you’re like it,” Kate responded. She removed the cape.

Dave got up and went to the register and paid his bill.

“Well, Paula is there anything you want me to do beyond a little touch up,” Kate asked as she caped her.

“Actually there is. The style is really beautiful, but now that I lived with it a while I think it would be fun if a little more of my ears showed. If you made it a little shorter here in front, maybe a half inch, and then went to the same place in back, wouldn’t that expose my ear a little more? Paula asked.

I can do that easily. It’s just a small adjustment. It will expose you ears a little more. You will definitely need to get you ears pierced again, maybe twice more. Let me see here.” Kate fingered Paula’s ear feel for how much room there was in the fleshy part before there was only cartilage. “Heck, you can easily have four, maybe even five. I’m envious.”

“Oh, Kate, I’m just getting used to having two. Besides it’s only been five weeks since I got them pierced the second time. I can’t do it so soon can I?” she asked.

“No, problem Paula, they should be almost completely healed, and another piercing would be no trouble at all,” Kate answered.

“I believe you and I am tempted, but actually I’m more tempted by your nose stud. I was fascinated by Ginny’s and when I saw yours tonight I was really struck by it. I think it looks very nice and it’s not really gaudy at all. A little diamond nose stud like that is just what I want. The only problem is, if I get one will I have to give in and let Christine and Melissa have them too.” Paula was genuinely perplexed by this dilemma.

“Personally, I wouldn’t have a problem letting them both have one, but I don’t have any girls in school. I’m sure it’s not a problem for school, if it’s a discrete one, like mine. But maybe Melissa is a little young. Heather also liked the idea of a nose stud. Why don’t you talk it over with her. Between the two of you should be able to get a handle on it.” Paula was a little wary of giving advise about what teenagers should or should not be allowed to do.

“Heather is interested in a nose stud? Well, I shouldn’t be very surprised. She was the first of us to break out of the traces so to speak.”

Kate had been busy with Paula’s hair. She had cut the left side the way Paula had requested.

“Take a look Paula. Is this about how you wanted it. The angle is a little less now and I’ll have to taper it a bit behind your ear to make everything go together just right,” she explained.

“That’s perfect Kate. Just what I was looking for,” she responded.

“OK, I’ll do the other side and then fix the back. I need to shave your nape too. It doesn’t take long for it to look straggly.” Kate added.

“Kate why don’t you go ahead and wax it the way you suggested. Is it long enough,” she wondered.

“Good idea. It’s plenty long enough. I’ll turn on my little wax pot so it will be ready when I’ve finished this little bit of cutting, then I’ll do it,” Kate responded.

“Paula, this is going to hurt some even though I’ve used some desensitizer lotion on it. So be prepared and yell if you feel like it. After this time it hurts less and less,” Kate warned her.

Kate smoothed on the wax in the little triangle between the left and center points and quickly pressed a strip of cloth over it. She waited a moment for the wax to harden, then in one quick upward motion she removed it.

“Youch!! ” Paula yelped. “That does hurt, Kate.

“I know. I’ve had it done there and on my bikini area, so I know what you’re going through.” Kate sympathized.

“I’m OK Kate. I had a bikini brazilian done about twelve ye
ars ago. Like you said, the first time is the worst and after a couple of years it doesn’t grow back any more,” Paula agreed.

“Was it a total brazilian. Mine was the regular brazilian. I’ve been tempted to do it all,” Kate added.

“Youch!!. Paula yelped again. “How much more. It’s really sensitive back there” Paula complained.

“I know. Sorry. I have a little more to do on the sides and down your neck, but there is not much hair there so it’ll be a lot less painful,” Kate apologized.

“OK, I can stand it. Anyway, mine was total. I loved the way it looked and the soft feel the first time it was done. My former husband got me started, and I kept it up even after we divorced. I haven’t had it done in several years, and there’s not much growth, but I may have it done again just so it’s absolutely smooth.” Paula said.

“I think you’ve convinced me to get it done. I do like the feel of being completely smooth,” Kate agreed. “There, I’ve put a little cortisone cream on your nape area to help get rid of the redness.

Paula laughed suddenly. I just had a funny thought. If you shave my head next spring I’ll be almost completely smooth from head to toe. I never thought of that before,” Paula exclaimed.

“You’re right. You would be. You could join the nudest nudists club. You’d be a real hit,” Kate said.

“What on earth is that Kate. I’ve never heard of it,” Paula asked.

“Well it’s a part of the nudist movement except that they keep their bodies shaved smooth – everything except their heads. Of course some of the men keep their heads shaved. I looked at some of their pictures and I never saw a bald women among them. I thought that was a little odd. There must be a few women in that movement who really do want it all off,” Kate explained.

“That really is funny. I don’t think I’m be joining them though. By the way, Kate I meant to ask you earlier. Where did you get your nose piercing done,” Paula asked.

“At ‘Rings and Things’ in the mall. They don’t advertise it, but the lady named June is allowed to do it. She used a needle rather than the gun. They have a small assortment of studs like this. It doesn’t have a regular back. The post is like a little pig tail. It won’t come out accidentally. It’s called a nose screw. Sounds awful doesn’t it,” she laughed.

“It certainly does, but it looks good. I think I’m going to have to have one,” Paula said. “I’m going to talk to Heather. Maybe we’ll go in together.”

“You both will look quite good with little diamond nose studs. But I still think you should get your ears pierced again too,” Kate argued.

“Oh, I’ll probably do that later. I think I’ve lost all my inhibitions. I may even have to get a tattoo or three,” Paula laughed again.

“Well, aren’t you getting to be the free spirit. You’re finished. Have a look,” Kate ordered.

“It’s even better than before, and I though that was perfect. It’s even more perfect now even if that is bad English,” Paula said. “Anyway, it’s terrific. Thanks. I’ll definitely be back next week. Kate, I think I’ll keep it like this for the next two months or a little longer, then go for a shorter cut,” Paula told Kate as she paid her bill.

“Sounds like a good plan. This style is so interesting and suits you so well it would be a shame not to enjoy it for a while,” Kate agreed with her. “See you next week, and say hi to Melissa for me. She is one great little baldy,” Kate said.

“Thanks, Kate, I’ll tell her. See you next week,” Paula replied.

“Oh, Paula, I almost forgot. I asked my photographer friend to come around next Friday, so I can get some good pictures of your hair style. Is that OK with you?” she asked.

“Sure, Kate. No problem at all. See you then, Paula answered.”

Paula kept thinking about Kate’s nose stud and that Heather was interested in one also.

When Paula arrived home, she found that a spaghetti dinner with a nice salad had been prepared by Christine and Melissa. She went to the stairs and called.

“Hi Girls, I home.”

“Hi, Mom. Did you do anything different,” Melissa asked from the top of the stairs.

“No, not really. I had the sides made just a little bit shorter over my ears, and I had the hairline in back waxed so it would stay neat. Come down and tell be about the meet today. I’m eager to hear about it,” Paula requested.

“I’m coming Mom,” Christine called from her room.

“I can’t see any difference Mom,” Christine said.

“It’s only a little change. See the sides aren’t quite as much of an angle, and a little more of my ear is showing. Kate keeps telling me I need to get my ears pierced again. I’m thinking about doing it,” Paula confessed.

“That would be cool Mom. Does that mean we could get ours done again,” Christine asked.

“I’m thinking about that Christine. I’m not sure, but we will discuss it later,” Paula responded.

“I hope we can.” Melissa added

“Why is your neck so red Mom,” Christine asked.

“Oh, I had Kate wax it so the little points back there would look neat longer. It should be back to normal in the morning,” Paula stated.

“I like the way your hair looks Mom. I can see the difference now, but I bet that nobody else will,” Melissa observed.

“I agree with you Melissa. It’s so small people won’t notice unless they’re very observant like you. By the way, Kate said to say ‘Hi’ to you for her and to tell you that you a great little baldy,” Paula said.

“Uh, thanks. I guess.” Melissa said questioningly.

“It just means that she thinks you’re a very nice girl as well as being a good looking bald girl. You haven’t told me about the big meet. How did you do,” Paula asked.

We blew them away, didn’t we Christine? The volleyball team played really well the first game. Cloverdale played really hard the second game and we lost after tying the score twice at the end. In the third game Cindi and Audra got going and we won easily. In the soccer game Cloverdale couldn’t keep up with us and we won six to one,” Melissa related with pride.

“I thought that Cloverdale would do better than they did Mom. We won every race. It was like we were competing against ourselves. Janet and Jessie won their races, and Gail really pushed Janet and Jessie. I was barely able to beat Janet in the free, and Jessie pushed me in the fifty meter backstroke. We’re all doing personal best times just about every time we race. Gail and Jessie have really done well. Some of the young kids are moving up too. Next year they’ll be a lot better.” Christine was obviously enthusiastic about the way the team had progressed.

“You guys are really getting good. I know Tommy has something to do with the swimming team, but what’s making the volleyball and soccer teams so good?” Paula was curious about what motivated the teams.

“Well, I think I wanted out soccer team to be good, and when Christine did so well and kept getting better, I wanted to keep up. And when the swimming team came and cheered us that got us going too. Audra just likes to win and she would keep practicing when we were ready to stop. Most of the other kids on our teams are older and maybe we wanted to prove that we could be as good as they were. At least Cindi did. So they started to keep practicing too, when they saw all four of us practicing a lot longer and running down the field as fast as we could, they started to do it too. I guess we just got going. I’m not sure why the volleyball team got a lot better. Maybe Audra and Cindi had something to do with it. They both can jump higher than the other strikers on the team even though they’re a little shorter. I guess we all just decided that we wanted to be the best.” Melissa tried to explain.

“Whatever it is, it is great to see you all so determined to do well and willing to work so hard to make it happen.” Paula praised them.

“Well, I have a telephone call to make, so I’ll clean up the kitchen,” Paula offered.

Christine and Melissa went ba
ck to their rooms and Paula quickly cleaned up the kitchen. She sat at the bar on a tall stool and called Heather.

‘Hi, Penny, its Paula Jenner. May I speak to Heather please.”

‘Sure Mrs. Jenner. I’ll get her’

“Thanks, Penny.”

‘Hello Paula, how are you?’

“Hi, Heather, I’m doing great. My new haircut makes me feel like a new person. How about you?”

‘Same with me. I love it and Chris can’t keep his hands off my head. I hope you didn’t call to tell me you can’t come Sunday.’

“Oh, no. I’m looking forward to it. We have such a great group. I think we’re all really fortunate.”

‘I agree. It feels almost like we’re all in the same big family.’

“I have the same feeling. Anyway, here’s what I’m calling about. You know that Kate now has a little nose stud like Ginny’s. I’d really like to get one, but I don’t know quite how to handle that with my girls. Kate said you were interested in getting one yourself so I wondered if I could ask you what you would do if Penny said she wanted one too.”

‘I have been thinking about getting one since Ginny go hers, but I’ve never seen Kate with one. She must have gotten me mixed up with Leigh. Ginny and I went there two weeks ago, before Ginny got hers and Leigh went there last Sunday, so that must be what happened. Leigh must be interested in getting one too.’

“I’ll have to call Leigh about it. But I’d still like to get your thoughts on the subject.”

‘Well, Penny hasn’t brought up the subject, so I haven’t really thought about it very much. On the one hand, I let Penny have a lot of freedom with her hair, and I didn’t object to Ginny getting hers. I think that I might say that when she gets to be Ginny’s age she could do it she still wanted to, and I wouldn’t object. But you have Christine too and that complicates the issue. It’s a little bit beyond the norm although I know several other girls in Ginny’s high school who have them. So maybe the answer is that once they’re in high school they can get it done. Ginny is eighteen and Christine turned fifteen in January didn’t she?’

“yes that’s right. I had forgotten that you had told me that Ginny got a year behind because she was very sick when she was in first grade. So she was eighteen when she did it. But high school is when they all want to do wild things. Of course here we are almost forty and we’re talking about doing something wild. Anyway, I think you’ve hit on a good solution. If Christine wants one, I’ll allow it, but Melissa has to wait until high school. I’m going to let them have a third piercing if they want it.”

‘I think that’s a good compromise. Penny hasn’t even asked for a second piercing. I’m a little surprised at that, especially now that Ginny has three. I would have no objections to her getting three if she wants them. Are you serious about getting a nose stud? I guess you are if you are trying to decide how to handle your kids. I’m interested too. Penny and I are going back to Kate tomorrow, so I’ll have a chance to see hers. Why don’t you talk to Leigh. See if she’s serious.’

“We’ll see her Sunday. I’ll ask her then. I’m serious. I do want to get one. It would be fun to have someone along who’s also getting one and who can hold my hand,” Paula giggled.

“I feel the same way. We’re not as impulsive as kids like Ginny. I was almost petrified when I got my hair cut. I’ll bet you were too.”

“I was. I had to stop and talk to Kate for a while before I could do it. I felt like I might faint. I glad to know you’re serious about it, even if I did call the wrong person.”

‘I’m serious all right, but I do want to see Kate’s. We’ll discuss it more after we’ve talked to Leigh. I’ll see you Sunday.’

“Right. Tomorrow at noon. It’s going to be fun. See you there, Heather.”

‘Bye, Paula.’


Week Five Saturday – Many Happenings

Saturday Morning – Meeting at Kate’s Shop

Audra locked her bike to the lamp post near the shop. As she entered the shop to the ringing of the little bell she realized that there were two other customers waiting. She saw that Kate had a customer in her chair and was about to speak to her when she heard a voice.

“Hey, Audra, I forgot that you might be here,” she heard someone say.

She turned to see Penny and Heather sitting at the end of the row of chairs.

“Hi Penny and Mrs. Brower. I sure didn’t expect to see you here.”

“Hello Audra. It’s every three weeks for us. It’s good to see you. I wanted to tell you how great you played yesterday.” Heather said.

“Thanks Mrs. Singletary. All the guys played great. Those two plays that Cindi, Beth and Melissa made in the soccer game were awesome and Penny is the best pickpocket I’ve ever seen.” Audra said.

“Audra, you missed getting your hair cut last week didn’t you?” Penny asked.

“Yeah, I did. I completely forgot that it was a holiday and a lot of places would be closed. So now it’s way too long. I’ll be glad to get it back to normal,” she explained.

Kate had finished her customer who had paid and left.

“Who’s it going to be? Do you want to be first Penny,” Kate asked.

“Yes, I’ll go first,” Penny answered.

Penny eagerly got in the big barber’s chair.

“Well, Penny, your hair has gotten really long since the last time I cut it for you. So what would you like. How about a nice chin length bob? Kate teased her.

“I don’t think I would like that very much Kate. I was hoping it was long enough for a very short pixie cut. Do you think you could do that for me? She asked.

“I’m sure I can. Let me see here just how much hair is going to have to come off. It certainly has gotten long, but I think I can handle the job.” Kate continued to tease Penny as she caped her.

“I’ll start on the top the same way I did before, but this time I’m going to use my l tapering shaper from the beginning,” Paula said as she spritzed Penny’s hair. It was actually a little more difficult to do now, because Penny’s hair had grown less than a half inch in the past three weeks, but Kate’s skilled fingers could do it. Now that she knew what the final result would look like, she proceeded quickly, picking up small strands and stripping them from the root and reducing the length slightly.

Heather was fascinated by the process. She couldn’t tell if the length was being reduced at all, but she could see that something was happening, because Kate kept dropping hair on the floor. The process was completed surprisingly quickly in Heather’s opinion considering the size of each bit that Kate grabbed. She watched as Kate combed it up and reduced the length a bit where she judged it to be too long.

“Time for the clippers Penny. It’s a lot faster now,” Kate observed.

Clippers with a number three guide went up the sides and back of Penny’s head pulling away as they reached the curve near the top. She replaced the number three with a number one and went up to a little more than an inch above the top of Penny’s ears. The taper line was continued around Penny’s head. Using the clipper over comb technique she carefully blended the one eight inch section to the three eighths section. To blend the three eighths section to the top she used scissors and comb. Kate remembered that she had used her little two sided razor cutter on Penny’s hair the first time. She had liked the result, and would reproduce it. Once again she spritzed Penny’s hair and carefully used the razor cutter to create the texture that blended the top to the sides. She used the one eighth cutter side to soften the transition from the three eighths section to the one eight inch section. Finally satisfied, she picked up her edging clippers and outlined Penny sideburns, around her ears and around her hairline in back.

“Have you been using the gel that I gave you, Penny, she asked as she put a little in her hand and rubbed it into Penny’s hair.

“Most day’s I do, but if I’m in a hurry sometimes I forget,” Penny respon
ded. “Anyway it always looks good except when it starts getting too long. Can I see it now? she asked.

“Yup. It’s all done. Take a look,” Kate said as she turned Penny to face the mirror. “But you sure do need another pair of earrings to set off this cute little haircut.”

“Don’t be putting ideas in her head.” Heather said. “you know, you’re a dangerous person Kate. I think it is something about that chair. It must put rebellious ideas in the heads of your customers,” she laughed.

“Oh, It does, Heather. It caused me to keep my head shaved for a year, and I still want it shaved. Then it made me get this haircut, get my ears pierced and then it made me get this little nose stud.” Kate joined her in laughing.

“Mom, I like Kate’s nose stud. I want to get one when I get older. I would like to get my ears pierced again too. I meant to ask you before. Can we do it today. It’s not far to the mall. Oh, I forgot Kate, I really like my haircut, especially in the back where it’s a little bristly.” Penny was busily rubbing her hand up the back of her head.

“Well, thank you Penny. I’m glad you like my nose stud and your haircut.” Kate brushed her off one last time and removed the cape.

“I guess I’m ready for you Heather. Kate indicated the barber chair.

“I’ve been looking forward to it for a week Kate,” Heather said with a little laugh.

“Well, here you are. Do you have anything different in mind. Maybe the chair has been talking to you.”

“Please don’t tempt me. I keep thinking I would like it shorter. It’s a little crazy I think.” Heather said. “Could I go shorter and still have it look good Kate?” Heather teetered between her desire to go even shorter and the conservative ways that she had been taught. But her conservative side had already been relegated to a position in the back corner of her mind.

“Of course you could. You could go quite a bit shorter and it would hardly be noticed.” Kate encouraged her.

“Go for it Mom. You’ll look great.” Penny added her thought.

“Well, what do you think Audra? You’ve been as quiet as a mouse.” Heather said.

“I’m sure you would look very good Mrs. Brower. Everybody liked it when you got it cut the first time. I think this time will be even better.” Audra replied.

“I guess its unanimous Kate. All four of us want me to cut it shorter this time. I’m in your hands. Do whatever you think will look good. Just don’t shave me.”

“Are you sure? I think you would look great with it very short, but I don’t want you to be mad at me,” Kate said, wanting to be certain that Heather was serious.

“Yes, go ahead. I’m feeling adventurous. Besides it will grow out in a few weeks anyway. If I don’t like it, I’ll just go back to the old style. I really liked this style, but I want to see what it’s like to have it really short.” she reassured Kate.

“OK. I’m going with a one and a half on top and a one on the sides and a zero up to about an inch above your ears. That’s very short, but still a good bit longer than Ginny’s,” Kate explained.

“Don’t explain it to me, just do it Kate. I’m eager to see the results.” Heather said.

Kate laughed. “No more explanations – just action.”

Kate picked up her favorite clippers, attached a number one and a half guide and starting at the front ran them back over Heather’s head. She had been careful to start behind the fringe that was present. Several more runs and she had finished the top. She treated the sides and back the same way. Replacing the number one and a half guide with a number one she went up the sides carefully making a taper as she reached the curve. This was slower work because she wanted to make the taper exactly right. Finally she followed the same procedure on the back. Now she changed clipper to the adjustable one that she used for making fine adjustments. She set it for one sixteenth of an inch, the same as a zero clipper head. Putting her hand on Heather’s head, she gently tipped it to the left so that she had a clear view of the right side, where she ran the clipper up the temple area until it was an inch above the top of Heather’s ear. At that point she continued upward in a broad arc that took the clipper away from Heather’s head, leaving a nearly perfect taper. Behind Heather’s ear she went up a little less so that the taper line would be a little lower in the back. She repeated the process on the left side checking frequently to be sure that the two sides were identical. Finally she did the back. She went up a little less than the sides behind Heather’s ears. The result would be a less severe look than one in which the taper was at exactly the same height from temple to temple. She put down the clipper, and pick up yet a third one, smaller than the first two. It had a very close cutting head. She used it to edge around Heather’s ears and to outline the nape, which she kept the same as she had done it for the prior haircut. The sides and back we very short, but the line was still visible. Finally the wet the little fringe that she had left and carefully thinned it with her razor. She adjusted the length slightly, leaving it only slightly shorter than it had been after Heather’s first buzz cut. She was done except for using her edger to trim any stray hairs from low on Heather’s neck. She used her blow dryer to remove any stray hair then undid the cape and trimmed Heather’s neck. Finally she added a tiny bit of mousse to the bangs and adjusted them with her fingers.

“Well, it’s done Heather. Shorter than the last time, but not as short as Ginny’s.”
She turned Heather to face the mirror.

Heather laughed. “That’s short all right. I’ll certainly get some attention tomorrow. I think I like it. Perfect for a summer barbecue. What do you think Penny?”

“It’s cool Mom. You and Ginny really do have almost the same buzz cuts now.” Penny answered.

“I like it Mrs. Singletary. You look really good.” Audra volunteered.

Heather was feeling her head now. “It does feel quite wonderful. I think Chris will like it. He liked feeling my head before, now he will love it for sure. If I want to keep it this short I’ll have to come back more often won’t I?” she queried Kate.

“Well, it does require regular maintenance. It would need a weekly trim to keep its look close to how it is now, but it will be OK if you wait two weeks,” Kate answered.

“I’ll see how it feels on Friday. If Chris really likes it maybe I’ll come back Saturday, Thanks Kate. You knew just what I needed didn’t you?” she said.

“I suppose this old barber chair must have put the answer in my mind,” she joked.

“That must be it Kate. That’s a dangerous chair to sit in. I guess we’re ready Penny. Let’s go to the mall and get our ears pierced again.”

“Wait Mom. Can we stay until Audra gets her hair cut?” Penny asked.

“Well, I guess we can. There nothing pressing that I have to do, although I thought you were eager to get your ears pierced again,” Heather said.

“I am, but I’d like to see Audra get hers done. We like to do things together,” Penny explained.

“I know how that is. Sometimes I think you know exactly what each other is thinking. Of course we’ll stay,” Heather reassured her.

“Well Audra, you did miss your visit here last week. Another week or so and you’ll have a real Afro,” Kate joked.

“I know and I absolutely don’t want an Afro. So I do want it back to the way it was two weeks ago. Aunt Steffie said to bring the directions with me in case you didn’t remember,” Audra told her.

“Let’s see if I remember. You had an all over number zero. I though it might have been even a little shorter than that. Then you had a nice high crescent clipped nape. You also had the front edged into a neat oval. Is that about right?” Kate asked.

“Wow, you did remember it perfectly Kate,” Audra exclaimed in surprise.

“I guess we better get on with it then. This won’t take very long Heather,” Kate said.

Kate
picked up her little edging clipper. “Audra, I can just see where the crescent used to be. I’ll clip that first, otherwise I would lose it completely. You do need to get it waxed if you want to maintain this cut,” she offered. She carefully recreated the crescent line that went up to the bottom of Audra’s occipital bone. Now she knew where it should be and wouldn’t lose it. She could make minor adjustments if needed.

Kate pick up her large clipper, snapped off the head and replaced it with a zero cutter. A drop of oil on the teeth and a quick run told her they were in good shape. She started at the back and went up to the crown of Audra’s head without hesitating. Four or five minutes later after going over her head in every direction several times she was done with that part.

“I still have to do the edging Audra, but is that about the way you remember it looking?”

“I think so Kate, although it might have been a little shorter.”

“That could be because different clippers and heads are not exactly the same. If you want me to I could make it a little closer.”

“Yes, a little closer please.”

This time Kate picked up her adjustable clipper. She knew from experience that when it was set to a sixteenth of an inch it cut a little closer than her number zero cutter head. She went over Audra head again making sure that there were no little ridges. During the first pass she could see the accumulation of short hairs on the teeth of the clipper. In a few minutes she was finished.

“That should do it Audra. I’ll edge it all around and shave it smooth for you,” she said. Using her little edging clipper, she made a clean even line from temple to temple, followed by a straight line to Audra’s ear. Around the ear and down the side the line met the crescent that she had outlined earlier. She looked at the nape and its crescent outline critically. Deciding that it needed to be a little more shallow and higher she made the change.

“Almost done Audra. A little lather shave and you’re be back to your great looking self,” she teased.

In two more minutes it was done. Kate wiped off the excess lather with a towel, which had a dampened corner, then dried it and applied a little powder. The entire process had taken less than fifteen minutes even with the second cutting.

“There you go Audra. A real winning look for sure,” Kate said.

“That is really flattering Audra. You look positively regal,” Heather said enthusiastically.

Audra looked at her reflection and smiled. Kate turned her away from the mirror and held up a large hand mirror so that Audra could see the back.

“It’s perfect Kate. Thank you very much. I’ll definitely be back next Saturday unless we have something important going on. Anyway, I won’t let it go two weeks again if I can help it.”

“I like it Audra,” Penny told her. “I’ll bet you would look terrific if you shaved it like Aunt Steffie too.”

“Well, I’m not ready for that yet. But I do like the way Melissa and Christine look.” Audra said.

“We’ll see you tomorrow Audra. We need to get going Penny, even if the only important thing we have to do today is get our ears pierced,” Heather laughed. She was eager to show Chris her newly pierced ears and her new ultra short buzz cut.

Saturday Morning – Christine and Paula

Christine was in an exuberant mood as she prepared breakfast. That evening would be a first for her. Tommy was taking her out to dinner at the Herb Garden and then to a jazz concert at the old Rialto Theater. Paula told her that she just barely remembered when it had been the biggest movie theater in town and still had a working pipe organ. About 1975, the organ had been sold and ended up being restored and installed in a restaurant or something out in California and the Rialto had been converted to The Rialto Performing Arts Center. Years later there was much regret at having lost the organ, which would have been a major addition to the Performing Arts Center and a big attraction for some concerts.

She had decided to be extravagant and was fixing the ingredients for omelets. She had cried some while chopping onions. Soon she had little piles of chopped peppers, mushrooms and ripe olives in addition to the onions. She had already filled three small bowls with fresh orange sections and sliced kiwi fruit. She put it on a little bed of romaine lettuce. She even had a small pan with hot milk so that she and Melissa could make hot chocolate She started Paula’s morning coffee and went out to pick up the morning newspaper while waiting for Melissa and Paula to arrive. She wanted to make the three omelets quickly one after the other so they could eat together.

After breakfast she would have plenty of time to clean up her room, and read a little before she had to shower. She intended to shave her head even though she was quite sure she didn’t actually need to for it to look good. But by late evening it might have a slight bit of roughness. She didn’t want that. She wanted it to be as satiny smooth and soft as possible. The one time that Tommy had put his hand on it he had told her how good it felt.

The sounds of Melissa going into the bath room at the top of the stairs and back to her room had registered in Christine’s mind while she was concentrating on preparing her surprise omelets. Now she heard Melissa come galloping down the stairs in her usual mile a minute fashion.
?”Hey Christine. What’s for breakfast. Wow, you’re doing omelets? Can you make mine now?” Melissa asked eagerly.

“I want to wait until Mom is here. Why don’t you fix your hot chocolate. Did you notice whether she was up yet?” Christine asked.

“I think so. I’ll go up and check.” Melissa raced back up the stairs and went to Paula’s room.

Christine heard Melissa call through the door. In a few minutes they were coming down the stairs.??”Good morning, Christine. You were an early bird weren’t you? And you outdid yourself with breakfast too. What’s the big occasion?” Paula greeted her.

“Hi, Mom. I guess I was just feeling excited about yesterday and about dinner with Tommy tonight. So I wanted to do something special to celebrate,” Christine explained.

Christine started her first omelet and had it done to perfection in a few minutes. Soon they were all sitting down together talking. Melissa, as usual, had an endless range of topics to bring up including Cindi’s unusual interest in Beth’s new haircut. She had indeed checked Beth’s shaved head every day to see if it was smooth. Beth thought it was funny and had indulged her for several days. Finally on Thursday Beth had told her that if she liked it so much why don’t you get yours cut the same way. She had giggled and made a joke of it and was obviously not serious. Cindi had laughed and said maybe she would. Melissa thought that she sounded a little bit serious. Paula told them about Ray’s interview the week before in which he had said he wouldn’t mind if Michelle got her hair cut like Heather’s or Paula’s. This resulted in quite a bit of speculation.

Breakfast was soon over and Melissa had the job of cleaning up. Paula went outside to do a little weeding and Christine went upstairs to choose her clothes and read her mystery novel. She hoped that would help her stay calm for the next several hours. She spent some time with her clothes, but she had make up her mind yesterday evening and she didn’t find another outfit or combination that she liked better. She read her book for the better part of an hour, but she started to get restless. Finally she went outside to talk with Paula and maybe help a little.
?”Mom, did you have a boyfriend when you were fifteen?” she asked.

“Oh, I had several. None of them were guys that I would have gotten serious about. Why do you ask?” Paula wondered.

“It’s just that I’ve been out with guys a few times and it was OK, but they just seemed be sort of like casual friends – nothing special. I feel a lot different with Tommy. Even though I
see him every day almost, when we go out it seems very special. We don’t talk a lot, but it’s as though I’ve know him forever. It’s a strange feeling.” Christine tried to explain.

“I understand Christine. Tommy is a very unusual young man, and you’re a special young woman. You relate to each other extremely well. It’s called infatuation, but I don’t mean that in the usual negative sense. You really are drawn to each other and it could last, but remember that you’re both very young and you haven’t stopped growing and changing. What you feel now might stay with you and years from now you would still feel the same way about each other. That is really the definition of love. On the other hand one of you might change and the feeling would slowly get less and less and eventually just cease to exist.” Paula tried to prepare Christine for the possibility of her relationship with Tommy not lasting.

“Right now I feel like it could never change, Mom. But I guess that people do change though, like you and Dad did.” Christine tried to grasp the reality of having her feelings change at some time in the future. It seemed impossible, but she knew it happened to other people. One of the main topics that she heard at school last year was which couple had broken up and what new pairing had occurred. It just didn’t seem possible for that to happen to Tommy and her.

“A lot is happening to your body and your brain now Christine. And it keeps happening until you’re in your twenties. And you can’t help it. I think it has been less of a problem for you than for a lot of kids.” Paula reassured her.

“Thanks Mom. I think I understand. I hope Tommy doesn’t change and I sure don’t want to change, but I guess we don’t have a lot of control over it do we? I better go in and get cleaned up and shower so I can get ready. Tommy is going to be here a little after five o’clock. Thanks for letting us stay out until eleven.” Christine kept thinking of other things that she had not mentioned before.

“You and Tommy have proven that you are responsible young people. I have no doubts about you. Is there anything you would like me to do?” Paula asked.

“I’ve read that little booklet on how to do my eye makeup and I’ve practiced it, but I would like you to be sure I got it right. I found out that Tommy doesn’t like a lot of eye makeup. And it’s easy to get carried away. I’ll let you know when I’m done,” Christine told Paula.

Christine could feel only a hint of roughness on her head, but she decided to shave it anyway. But first she wanted to shave her legs and underarms. The hair on her legs was still rather fine and sparse, but noticeable. Her underarm hair was similar. She shaved it with one of the disposable razors that Paula had purchased for her.

Christine had become quite adept at the process of shaving her head. This time she decided to use the hot towel method. She had brought three towels into the bathroom with her. She soaked one in hot water. Squeezing out the excess water almost burning her hands in the process, she then wrapped it around her head. While it was doing its work she made sure the shaver was clean. A second hot towel was made ready. Removing the hot towel she quick spread gel over her head and then wrapped her head with the second towel. After a couple of minutes she removed it and began shaving. She knew her head intimately now and shaved it with confidence, knowing exactly which direction to shave and how much pressure to apply to achieve the best results. Ten minutes later she was done. She ran her fingers over her head searching for a hint of roughness anywhere. There was none to be found. The second damp towel was warmed up again and used to remove any gel from her head, around her ears and down her neck. The original damp towel finished the job. She quickly undressed and got in the shower. It was always a great feeling to get in the shower after shaving her head. The warm water on it was very sensual. As she was drying herself she had a transient thought. I have almost no hair anywhere on my body except down here. Isn’t that odd. The thought flitted through her mind and was gone.

She put on her panties and junior bra and went into her room to put on her makeup. She stood in front of the full length mirror installed on the door to her closet. She was pleased with what she saw – a trim but very firm physique. She hadn’t realized how sculpted she was. Five weeks of three times a week workouts in the gym had replaced a lot of baby fat with muscle. She couldn’t see her back, but she knew there had to be a lot more muscle definition there. If I keep it up I’m going to have a wash board stomach like Janet Jackson she laughed inwardly.

She sat down at her little dressing table. The shiner for her head was first,.then she began to apply her eye makeup. She was very meticulous and cautious in order to avoid putting on too much. There was a light beige above the crease and to just below her brows and extending a little beyond the corner of her eyes. A medium beige brightened her eyelids. A medium brown line a the base of her lashes emphasized them. She made sure that it was all blended so that there were no sharp transitions.

“Mom, can you come up and look at it please,” she called to Paula who was in the kitchen looking at recipes.

“Be right there Christine,” she answered.

“It’s very well done Christine. Let’s put a little of the ivory underneath the lower lid and a little here and here. That will make you eyes look even bigger.” Paula explained as she brushed it on and smudged it. “We’re going to have to do your brows again pretty soon. You already have some stray hairs showing up. It takes quite a few sessions to get them under control. There. Take a look.”

“It’s hard to see that you’ve done anything, but I think my eyes do look bigger.” Christine observed.

“You look so good you practically glow.” Paula said. “Is this what you’re going to wear?”

“Yes. Do you think it’s OK?”

“Absolutely. Isn’t that one of my old miniskirts that we had altered for you?”

“I love it Mom. I had just the right top for it. I thought it would be perfect for the concert tonight.”

“I just realized Christine, but this is the third concert you and Tommy have been to. Does he like music?”

“He really does. He used to sing in a choir. We even like the same kinds of music, although he likes classical music more than I do. It’s weird Mom, how many things we have in common. I think we’re going to go to that musical that’s coming next month.”

“I’ve noticed that you seem to be on the same wavelength most of the time. I’m glad for you. It makes life seem really good. I guess you better get ready. When did you say he will be here?”

“About five fifteen. We have a six o’clock reservation at the Herb Garden. I hope Jill is our server.”

“That would be nice, but you’ll enjoy it regardless. The Herb Garden is a very good restaurant.”

Christine finished dressing and surveyed herself. She liked the way she looked. Her smooth head seemed elegant to her. Whatever reservations she harbored had disappeared over the past five weeks. She knew that her body had taken on a lithe firmness from the combination of exercise in the gym and swimming. She felt good about herself. She went downstairs to the family room where Paula was reading a magazine.

“What do you think Mom,” she asked as she struck a sinuous pose.

“An absolute knock out. But I think you should keep that pose just between us girls,” she laughed.

“You really think so?” Christine asked with pretended innocence.

“Your Grandfather would be shocked, just shocked! Now I wonder who in the word could be ringing the doorbell this time of day.” Paula joked.

“I suppose I’ll just have to go see who it is,” Christine responded.

She walked quickly to the door and opened it. She smiled broadly.

Saturday Evening – Christine and Tommy

“Hi, Tommy. Come on in. You l
ook very handsome tonight,” she told him as she took his hand.

“And you’re a princess for sure. Although come to think of it I’ve never heard of a princess who was a champion swimmer. I know. You’re a princess from the Kingdom of Atlantis,” he said with a grin.

“How did you come up with that? I barely remember when we studied Greek myths and they talked about Atlantis. Mom’s in the family room. Let’s go tell her we’re leaving.”

“My goodness Tommy, how nice you look – quite dashing as my Grandmother would have said. And she would have added that you are a handsome couple.” Paula told them.

“Did people call girls handsome then?” Christine asked.

“Actually they did. I read quite a few romantic stories that used the term and my Grandmother used it regularly. Anyway I hope you have a wonderful dinner and that the concert is terrific.” Paula said, knowing that Christine and Tommy were eager to be on their way.

“Thanks, Mrs. Jenner. I think Christine is really handsome too.” Tommy responded. Christine gave him a little punch in the arm and smiled.

“Bye, Mom. See you later.”

They walked hand in hand to the bus stop with very little conversation. Walking with Tommy seemed the most natural thing in the world and Christine felt quite relaxed, even serene. Finally she spoke.

“Tommy, you said I could come to one of your practices. I would like to do that. Do you know when I can come?”

“I was about to tell you that we should do that pretty soon. How about a week from Monday. You have your last rescue class and test this week so you can take a break. We can have lunch and then take the bus. I think I’ll skip my Wednesday practice so I can watch you during your rescue tests.” Tommy replied. “I’d like to have you come.”

“OK. That should be fun.”

They got off the bus and walked leisurely down the block to the Herb Garden. Tommy opened the door and Christine stepped in. She looked around for Jill.
Tommy stepped forward as the greeter spoke to them.

“Two for dinner?” she asked.

“Yes. We have reservations. Tommy Williams. A non-smoking area please. We would like to have Jill as our server if she’s available.” Tommy spoke in his usual quiet but confident voice.

“Let me see. Yes I think she’s available. It will be just a few minutes.”

They waited patiently talking about what they might order.

“Christine! And this must be Tommy. Wow. You two look just great.” Jill was surprised to see them.

“Hi, Jill. Yes this is Tommy,” Christine answered.

Jill quickly regained her composure and let them to their table.

“You look fabulous Christine. Your eyes look so big. You’ve done something different, but I don’t quite know what. You should have let me know that you were coming, I would have saved the best table for you. You look very handsome Tommy. You’re a beautiful couple.” Jill was a bundle of enthusiasm. She glanced around and realized that other customers were looking at them.

“Sorry, I was a bit too excited,” she apologized. “But it’s not every day that I get a beautiful bald girl to serve.”

Finally settled down she went through her normal routine.

An hour later Christine and Tommy had finished their meal and dessert. They had plenty of time to get to the concert only a few blocks away. Christine had been blissfully unaware of the number of couples who had looked at her in surprise. Jill returned to bring the check and set the little tray down beside Tommy.

“My customers are quite astonished at me and you Christine.” She said. “I had to explain to three of them that we’re not on chemo or something and they we just like having no hair on our heads. I think some people are finally beginning to get it. Some of them read the article in the newspaper.”

Tommy paid their bill. “Thanks Jill. I think you look good too. Not as good as Christine, of course.”

“Not many girls look as fabulous as she does.” Jill said. “I’ll be right back with your change.”

Tommy left a nice tip and they got up slowly and walked to the front where Christine spoke to the greeter.

“The meal was excellent, and our server didn’t drop a single hair in it.” Christine told her with a little giggle.

The greeter’s eyes opened wide and she started to say something, then the joke finally penetrated. “Well, yes I guess having no hair would tend to have that benefit. You really like being bald don’t you?” She asked.

“Yes I do. It’s liberating. It really changes the way you think about yourself. You should try it.” Christine answered.

Once again the greeter was left with nothing to say. Christine and Tommy left and started to walk toward the Rialto. Christine had become completely oblivious to the fact that she grabbed people’s attention. They went in and took their seats. They talked quietly about what to expect. When the band was introduced they became completely absorbed in the music and especially the singer. Tommy had told her about some of the famous big bands like Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and Glen Miller. Two hours later they left the hall and walked back to the bus stop.

“That was wonderful Tommy. I loved the music and the way she sang.” Christine expressed her enthusiasm.

“So did I. They’re a good band, and some of the solo’s were very good. She is an excellent singer. She knows just how to sing that kind of swing music.” Tommy was equally enthusiastic.

They continued to discuss the band and it music for a while and Tommy told her about some of the famous singers that appeared with the bands.

They arrived home with time to spare.

Walking in the front door they found Paula watching a show on TV in the family room.

“We’re back Mom,” Christine announced.

“How was your evening.” Paula asked.

“We had a great time. Jill was our server. The concert was terrific, wasn’t it Tommy?” Christine said.

“It was Mrs. Jenner. Christine has a very good ear too.”

They retired to their favorite seat on the back porch.

“Tommy, have you noticed how we seem to always be finding that we like the same things?” Christine asked.

“I sort of guessed that we would. We do like a lot the same things That’s one reason I like being with you.”

“I like being with you too. I’m glad you’re my friend. This was a wonderful evening.” Christine said.

“It was for me too. I should have told you that earlier.” Tommy confessed.

“It’s OK, I think I already knew.” Christine reassured him. Tommy arm had been around her shoulders. Now he reached up and gently caressed her head, sending goose bumps down her spine. She pressed her head into his hand then leaned over and kissed him quickly.

“It’s getting late,” she said.

They stood up and Tommy embraced her. They kissed, then held each other for a moment.

“I guess I had better be going, but I’ll be at the barbecue tomorrow.”

They walked back to to the front door and stepped out. Tommy held her head and gave her another quick kiss.

“Bye Tommy.”

:Bye. See you tomorrow.”

Christine closed the door and went back to the family room where she sat down in the easy chair in the corner.

Paula didn’t say anything. Finally Christine spoke.

“I never expected to have a boyfriend like Tommy.”

“I expect he never expected to have a girlfriend like you either.” Paula responded. “You had a long wonderful evening together. I suspect you’re pretty tired by now.”

“I guess I should be, but I don’t feel tired. I just feel happy. G’night Mom.”

“Goodnight Christine.”

To be continued in Part 14

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