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Julie sat in front of the mirror vigorously brushing her very long hair. She smoothed the brush through the gleaming chestnut hair until it was completely free of all tangles and fell in a straight heavy fall down her back to reach just below her waist. She put down the brush and lifted her hands to the back of her head ready to start twisting her hair up into the familiar heavy coil which she normally wore. She paused as her eyes suddenly rested on one of the photographs on her dressing table. It was of Julie and her now dead father and it was the reason the photograph was there as he had died shortly afterwards. She took the photograph and stared at it for a moment but it was not her father that she was looking at thoughtfully but her own image. She hardly recognised the pretty young teenager that smiled out of the photograph as her as she looked so different now.

She looked closely at the hairstyle she had been wearing and realised it was the last time she had worn her hair short. Her hair in the picture was about chin length with a full fringe and slightly backcombed on the crown, as was the fashion then. She remembered that she had had it cut to that style about 6 months before the photograph had been taken. Her hair had been about half way down her back and she decided that she wanted a more modern shorter hairstyle. She recalled the nervousness she had felt when she had been sitting in the chair and the scissors began clicking and her shorn hair began tumbling down to the floor. She had liked the finished result and kept it that style for about a year before she decided to let it grow long again. Once it had reached shoulder length her boy friend at the time had encouraged her to let it continue to grow and within 2 years it had almost reached her waist and amazingly she realised that it had remained that length for the past 15 years!

She touched her hair thoughtfully and suddenly the thought entered her head that she should have her hair cut short again! The thought almost shocked her as she was very proud of her long hair and the beautiful waist length tresses were greatly admired and often commented on but she did often get bored of it always looking the same and now realised that it was definitely time she had a change. She decided there and then to do something about it and jumped up from the dressing table, feeling quite excited at he idea. Her long hair swirled about her body as she went over to a pile of magazines and began to leaf through them. She remembered that one of them had a special supplement of new hairstyles and makeovers and she quickly found it.

She looked at the many styles and decided she liked quite a number of them but she had no idea if any of them would be suitable for her type of hair and features. She came to a section headed, ‘Choosing your style and hairdresser’ and read through it. Basically it recommended that if you were thinking of having a completely new hairstyle then you should go to the best stylist you could afford and then use a local and probably cheaper hairdresser to keep it in shape after the important first cut. Most of the best stylists were based in London and the article offered to send, on application, a list of the top cutters. Feeling very excited and positive Julie quickly picked up a pen and wrote out her request, filled in another envelope as requested addressed to herself, and sealed it. What an exciting and nerve racking prospect – a trip to London and return with a completely new image!

After she had posted her request she tried to forget about it until she had a reply and also decided that she would not mention it to anyone – it would be soon enough to really start thinking about it once she had received a reply. However, she did find that she was now looking at other women’s hairstyles with a lot more interest and she also bought a couple of hair magazines and studied them but still had no firm idea what she should do with her hair. A few days later she looked at the post and her heart gave a little skip as she recognised her handwriting on one of the envelopes. She took the reply upstairs and before she opened it she sat at the dressing table and brushed her long hair for a few minutes and then, taking a deep breath she opened it.

She glanced down at the list of names and then looked back at her reflection in the mirror with her beautiful treasured hair streaming down over her shoulders and back. She gazed at herself for a few minutes and then said firmly, “Fifteen years without a change is ridiculous. It has to go!” She picked a name at random from the list and jumped up from the dressing table and went over to the phone. Her long hair fell partly across her face as she bent forward to dial the number and feeling much calmer than she expected she made an appointment for her hair to be restyled the following week. She went back to the dressing table and once again stared at her reflection in the mirror and then she felt the enormity of her decision sweep over her. Did she really want to part with her long hair? If she did, what style should she have? She tried bunching her hair up behind her head to see how it looked but it was very difficult because there was so much of it. She had rather liked the look of several bob styles with the hair resting on the shoulders but didn’t know if that would suit her. She gave a little smile to herself, as she could still hardly believe that she was still feeling relatively calm about the thought of getting rid of her long hair and she hoped she would stay that way when she saw the scissors removing it from her head. She swept back her long hair and snapped on the barrette, which held it loosely behind her and enjoyed the bouncy feel of her hair against her back as she ran downstairs and left for work.

She made arrangements to take the day off for the following week and later went to the station and bought a rail ticket to London and recognised that she was now more or less committed to get her hair cut. When she got home later and she was preparing the evening meal she said to her husband, “I am taking a day off next week to go up to London.” He was sitting watching television and grunted, “Oh yes, for some shopping I suppose.” She felt irritated by him as usual and said shortly, “Yes, if I feel like it.“ She took a deep breath and then said firmly, “I am going to have my hair done as well.” He looked up from the television this time and said, “You only had a trim a month or so ago. Why are you going all the way to London to have it done again?” “I am going to have my hair restyled and I want the best cut I can afford.” He stared at her now and said, “What sort of style do you intend having?” She gave a shrug and said, “I don’t know yet but I want a change and get rid of my long hair.” He looked at her with a stunned expression on his face and said, “I can’t believe you are serious. Your hair is beautiful and you have always said how much you like it long and so do I. Why on earth do you want it cut?”

She shrugged again and said, “It has been long like this for 15 years and now I want something different.” He gave a little groan and said a little anxiously, “That’s no reason to have it cut. It is lovely as it is, please don’t have it cut.” She was a little surprised that he was so concerned as he never seemed to take that much interest in her appearance in recent years. However, she was determined not to be swayed in her decision and she replied firmly, “I have made up my mind and I am looking forward to having it done.” He was looking quite angry now and he said,” I think you are being very foolish and I hope you won’t be sorry. Your hair is lovely as it is and everyone likes it long. It c
an’t possibly look as nice if you have it cut shorter. Leave it as it is!”

She stared at him, her heart pounding feeling very angry with him and now even more determined that she would get her hair cut. “It is my hair, and my decision and I am going to have it cut. It is as simple as that.” “I hope you are as certain once it is done,” he snapped and then stood up and angrily left the room, slamming the door behind him. Julie was trembling with anger that he was reacting that way. Why couldn’t he understand that although her long hair was important to her, it had become even more important, now that she felt it was time that it should be cut so she could have a new image? He should be encouraging and supporting her decision and not acting so petulantly. She knew that most men liked long hair and the image it projected. If he cared that much about her long hair why hadn’t he shown more appreciation of it during their marriage, which she realised now, was a farce. He didn’t excite her anymore and she knew about his affair with his secretary and that no longer bothered her. It gave her a perverse pleasure that he didn’t want her to have her long hair cut off and it was more encouragement for her to keep her appointment with the scissors.

The weekend passed without him making any more comments about her hair and on Monday she went to work with her long tresses plaited and then coiled neatly at the base of her neck as usual. At lunchtime her friend Paula said to her, “What are you doing with you day off tomorrow?” “Oh I am going up to London for the day,” she replied casually. “How nice,” her friend exclaimed. “Are you going to do some shopping?” Julie hesitated, wondering whether to tell Paula about her hair appointment, knowing the reaction that would create. She took a deep breath and then said, touching her immaculately smooth hair, “Well I am not really going for the shopping, I am going to have my hair done.” Paula gave her a surprised look and said, “All that way just to have your hair done. That’s a bit extravagant, isn’t it?” Julie gave a little shrug and said, “Well I don’t go to the hairdressers very often and this time I decided I would go to the best one I could afford.” Paula looked at her closely now and said, “What are you going to have done?” “Well, I am not really certain but I have booked to have a complete restyle.”

Paula stared at her in amazement for a few moments and then said slowly, “You are not going to let them cut off your long hair, are you?” Julie fingered her thick coils of silken hair and trying to sound nonchalant she replied, “Yes, this will be the last time you will see my hair like this.” Paula looked astonished and she said, “Oh Julie, I just can’t believe you want to have your long hair cut off. Why on earth do you want to have it cut?” Julie groaned inwardly and then said firmly, “I want to have a change. I have had my hair long for 15 years and it is going to go.” Her friend looked at her sadly and said, “Oh it seems such a shame to cut off such beautiful long hair, I would never do it if my hair was as long and beautiful as yours. I do hope you realise what you are doing and won’t be sorry afterwards.” “Well I can always start letting it grow again and I really feel I want to a different look after all this time.”

“Oh I am sure you will look different, I expect you will be hardly recognisable with shorter hair. I hope you are doing the right thing as it will be such a big step to take and it will be too late to change your mind once it is cut”

Julie was beginning to feel quite cross now that she was getting so little support for her decision to cut her hair. First her husband, and now her friend, should be encouraging her, not trying to put doubts in her mind. “I won’t be changing my mind”, she said. “My long hair is going to be cut off tomorrow and I will be delighted to see it go.” She went back to her desk, hoping that she would not regret her brave words to her friend as she realised what a big step it was and the impact it would have on other people. This was emphasised to her even more during the day as several people came up to her and more or less echoed Paula’s feelings.

She decided to spend the evening working on her hair, as perversely she wanted it to be looking as good as possible before it was cut off. She brushed the splendid length for what she knew would be almost the last time, shampooed and conditioned it and then spent ages carefully drying it and then finally she sat in front of the mirror and brushed the splendid lengths. She gazed at her reflection in the mirror with her gleaming rich chestnut hair covering her shoulders and back like a silken blanket, gave herself an encouraging smile and then tying back her hair, she went to bed.

Her husband did not come home until late, probably with his girlfriend she guessed, and she feigned sleep when he came to bed. He was up early before her but before he left he came into the bedroom and said, “If you really must get your hair cut today, please don’t have it any shorter than shoulder length.” She looked at him angrily and said, “I must have my hair cut today and it will be as short as I want it. I may even ask them to shave my head.” “You silly bitch!!” he snarled and left the room. She shrugged and carried on dressing, had her breakfast and then went back to the bedroom to do her make-up. After that she sat and brushed her long hair vigorously and was pleased that it had benefited from its conditioning treatment as it gleamed beautifully. She put her head and one side and stroked the brush languidly through the long silken tresses and then suddenly the enormity of her decision came home to her. Did she really want to have this glorious mane of hair removed? How would she feel when she saw her long hair coming away from her head, knowing that it was too late to change her mind even if she hated the final result?

Determinedly she put the negative thoughts out of her mind and reached up behind her to begin plaiting her hair in the usual way. As she began to section it ready for plaiting she had another thought. No! Today she would wear her hair loose and free for its final day. She always wore her hair in a plait or held back in some way, as it could be a nuisance when she was working, but today she would show her hair off in its full glory. She put on her smartest suit, checked her make-up and after a spray of her favourite perfume, she left the house to walk the short distance to the station. She felt very excited and, of course, just a little nervous and as she walked, she loved the feel of her magnificent long hair bouncing and swaying behind her and she wished that she had put up with the inconvenience of it and worn it loose more often. She smiled to herself as the old saying, ‘If you’ve got it, flaunt it!’ ran through her mind, and then gave her head a provocative shake. The sun was shining and made her hair gleam even more and a slight breeze lifted and played with the silken tresses as she moved and she was conscious of a number of admiring glances from passers-by.

She had decided to treat herself to a First Class fare for her big day and so she was soon settled in a comfortable seat when the train arrived. Just before it was due to pull out, a very smartly dressed young man breathlessly boarded the train and sank down in the seat opposite her. He smiled and said, “Gosh, I only just made it!” She gave him a little smile back and then rathe
r self-consciously looked out of the window as the train pulled out of the station. She was aware that he was studying her closely and felt flattered that an attractive young man, at least 7 years her junior, was showing an interest. After a few minutes he smiled at her and said, “forgive me for staring at you but I can’t take my eyes off your hair. I don’t think I have ever seen such beautiful hair. It is absolutely magnificent!”

She pushed back a long heavy lock of her long hair a little self-consciously and then smiled at him and said, “Thank you.” And she wondered if he would have been as aware of her hair if it had been in its usual coil. He now began chatting to her about the weather and she suddenly realised he was probably flirting with her. Oh how exciting! He told her he was a partner in a firm of yacht designers and as going up to London for the day to discuss drawings with a client. He asked her if she was going to London as well and when she said she was, he asked if she would have dinner with him that evening before returning. Julie accepted eagerly, feeling very flattered and soon they were chatting easily as if they had known each other for a long time. Then he asked casually why she was going to London.

She felt her stomach lurch and wondered what to say after he had admired her hair so much but then decided to be honest. She took a deep breath and said, “Well I am going to do a little shopping and then have my hair done.” He smiled and actually reached out and touched a lock of her silken hair, stroking it gently, before withdrawing his hand. She felt a tremor run through her body at his touch and smoothed back her long hair. “It seems a long way to go to have your hair done but your hair is so beautiful it is clearly worth it.” Julie knew that she now had to tell him the full story and she said, “I don’t usually visit London to get my hair done but today is special.” She hesitated slightly wondering what his reaction would be and then she said, “I have decided it is time I had my long hair cut off”

She saw the look of amazement on his face and he seemed to pale slightly and then said in an almost disbelieving tone, “You are going to have all that beautiful long hair cut off?” She groaned inwardly, another lover of long hair, and then to her absolute amazement he said, “Oh how exciting! Do you really mean you are going to sit there and watch nearly 3 feet of that beautiful hair cut off?” Julie gave a nervous little laugh and replied, “Well I will probably keep my eyes closed whilst it is being cut! I think I will be too nervous to actually watch.” “Why have you decided to cut your long hair?” he asked and Julie was pleased that he had not reacted unfavourably-at last someone who would understand and give her some moral support.

“Oh I suddenly realised I have worn my hair long for 15 years and knew it was time for a change.”

“No heart searching or dithering then? You just made up your mind like that.”

“Well, yes I suppose I did.” “Oh, that is just remarkable. I can hardly believe you are going to be so brave.”

He reached out again and caught hold of a lock of her long hair and again she felt a little tremor as he gently stroked it. He gave it a gentle tug and then asked with a smile. “How will you feel when the scissors actually start cutting off this?” She gave a little shrug. “Terrified, excited, close to tears, pleased I hadn’t lost my nerve; I don’t really know, I suppose it will be a combination of all those things.” “You seem very brave and calm about it. I am sure most girls have doubts about cutting off their long hair, as it is a big step to take particularly with hair as beautiful as yours. Actually though I think you will look sensational with a short hairstyle, I personally much prefer short hair.” Julie felt delighted when he said this and said smilingly, “Well I hope you wont change your mind when you see me with my hair short.” He shook his head and said,” Of course not, I am really looking forward to that.”

He paused and then said, “An ex girl-friend had very long hair and was really proud of it and loved it long. It took me ages but eventually I managed to persuade her to come with me to a unisex salon and have it cut shorter. She had only agreed on the condition that she would have no more than 6 inches cut off but I had already briefed the guy that I wanted her to have it a lot shorter. When she was in the chair I told her I wanted her to have her hair restyled and she refused at first but we both bullied her into agreeing. I think the stylist was a bit scissor happy as he really cropped her hair very short. I must admit I found it unbelievably exciting watching him strip off so much hair. She panicked dreadfully at first when she saw how much hair he was cutting off but then resigned herself to it. She said afterwards that she found the feel of the scissors quite soothing although she was terrified at what they were doing to her treasured hair. I was totally fascinated watching her long hair come off and seeing her new image emerge. She looked so different with her hair cropped short and I loved it and once she got over the shock she was pleased as well.”

He paused and gazed longingly at her hair and asked. “What time is your appointment?” Julie said, “It is at 11.30. I am going straight to the salon from the train as I thought I would be too nervous to wander around shopping first. I would rather get it done before I had too long to worry about it.” He looked slightly tense and uncomfortable and then said hesitantly, “I know it might sound a little strange but I really would like to be with you when they cut your hair. I am tied up with my meeting until 3pm, will you see if you can change your appointment until after that?” She felt very surprised and yet intrigued by his request. What a strange young man! He obviously had a thing about hair but it would make her visit to the hairdressers that little more exciting and help to ease her nervousness. She could watch him, watching her, whilst she was being shorn – how fascinating!

She smiled at him and smoothed her hand over her gleaming hair and said, “That would be lovely, as long as you promise not to influence the stylist too much. I don’t think I want to be really cropped like your previous girl-friend!” He beamed at her and said, “Oh that is marvellous. Thank you very much.” He pulled out a mobile phone and said excitedly, “Here, use this to see what time they can do your hair this afternoon.” Within a few minutes she had changed her appointment to 3.30 and she gave him the address of the salon and he said he would meet her outside at about 3.15. The train arrived at the London terminal a few minutes later and he squeezed her hand affectionately as they alighted from the train and said, “Must dash. I will see you about 3.15”

She watched him go with her mind in a whirl and she made her way to a café and thought about her experience and how remarkable that her decision to cut her long hair had already produced such dramatic effects. It had made her realise how pointless her marriage had become as she now had no feelings for her husband and it appeared that she was now very close to starting a relationship with a man 7 years her junior. She found John a very exciting person and his fascination for her hair and what she planned to do with it, intriguing and she felt very flattered by his interest. Dinner she felt sure could certainly lead to more!

She wandered about the
shops a little aimlessly and then had a leisurely lunch and suddenly realised it was 2.30 and she needed to make her way to the salon. She felt a sudden lurch of nervousness, as she knew that in a very short time she would be allowing her long treasured tresses to be drastically scissored. Oh she did hope she was doing the right thing in getting rid of her long hair. How would she look without her prized tresses? What sort of style should she have? She knew she would probably leave the decision with the stylist but she knew she was going to be very apprehensive about the final outcome. By the time she reached the street in which the salon was located she was in a very nervous state with her stomach churning and her mouth dry. She walked past the salon once, glancing in, and its richness and grandeur only increased her nervousness, as it was so unlike any other salon she had experienced. Suddenly the enormity of what she was about to do overwhelmed her and she wanted to turn and run down the street and keep her long hair.

She felt someone touch her arm and it was John smiling happily at her and he said, “Oh I am glad I have made it. I had to cut my meeting short but I did so want to be with you.” He bent and kissed her gently on the cheek and his fingers toyed briefly with her gleaming hair and she clung briefly to him for a moment and said, “I am feeling so nervous, I am not sure I can go through with it.” He smiled encouragingly at her and said, “It is natural to feel nervous but I am sure you are doing the right thing.” He took her arm and guided her through the door and into the salon and the heavily scented warm air enveloped her, increasing her nervousness but she knew now that there would be no turning back.

Within minutes she had been led into the depths of the salon and was sitting at a dressing table facing a large mirror. She was enveloped in a very large gown and John sat alongside her with an excited look on his face. The receptionist had given her a book of hairstyles and told her that her stylist would be with her shortly. She tried to calm herself for despite all her earlier determination about having her long hair cut, she was now feeling terrified and felt that she was making a big mistake in deciding to part with her long hair. “Oh John I don’t think I want my hair cut short.” He squeezed her hand and said, “Don’t be silly, it is only the thought that is frightening you. You will look fantastic when it is cut.” She stared at him and said, “I hope you are right.” And she knew that if it weren’t for his presence she would only ask for her hair to be trimmed.

Suddenly she felt a brush being drawn through her hair and she looked in the mirror and saw a young man smiling at her. “What gorgeous hair.” he said. “I see you are booked for a restyle. Do you have a particular style in mind? She swallowed hard and then said hesitantly, “Well I am feeling very nervous about having it cut at all and I don’t think I would like it too short.” He was lifting and sifting her hair and examining her hairline and then he said, “Well I think you have wonderful features and your hairline at the back is perfect for a short style. As you have decided to part with your long hair I would like to give you a totally contrasting look which will really suit you.” He lifted up the great mass of hair at the back of her head and said firmly, “I think all this should go but the top and front hair will be left longer. That short of shape will look perfect on you and will be very easy to manage. Shall I start?” She hesitated and took a deep breath and looked at John who gave her an encouraging nod and squeezed her hand again. “Go for it Julie,” he said and she knew that her long hair would soon be no more.

She turned back to the stylist and said, “Ok, I will leave it to you.” The stylist gave her a pleased smile and continued to brush her hair vigorously and Julie tried to compose herself as she enjoyed the feel of the brush through her long hair for what she knew would be the last time. She looked at John who was still holding her hand and he gave her an encouraging smile and she could see he was looking even more excited. Her stomach gave a sickening lurch as she saw the stylist put down his brush and pick up his comb and a pair of gleaming scissors. “Bend your head right forward,” he said softly, “I am just going to cut off some of your long hair before it is shampooed and then I will do the final shaping.”

She took a deep breath and lowered her head and then felt his hand firmly push it even lower. “Good. Now just keep your head perfectly still.” She could feel her hair being gathered together at the back of her head and then lifted slightly away from her neck. The tension was increased slightly and then she felt a slight tugging and the cold touch of steel on her neck and at the same time she heard the sharp scrunching sound as the blades began biting into her hair. She could not prevent an involuntary gasp as she felt her hair being removed and felt tears springing to her eyes. John tightened his grip on her hand and although she had her head right forward she could just see he was almost panting with excitement as he watched her hair being severed. Remorselessly the scissors were forced through her bunched up hair and she felt a final release of tension as the last strands were severed and the great tress of silken hair came away from her head.

She slowly lifted her head, which felt so strange and light without her mane of heavy hair and almost disbelievingly looked in the mirror. She saw her own shocked face with clumps of hair sticking out angrily and 24 inches of her gleaming long hair dangling from the stylist’s fingers. John had an enormous smile of pleasure on his face and reached out for the locks of hair as they were passed to him. Before she hardly had time to realise that her long hair was no more, she was swiftly ushered to a shampoo basin and water was coursing with a strange feel, through her now short hair. Her mind was in a whirl as her hair was shampooed, as she now realised it was too late worry if she was doing the right thing, and after all, she had been certain when she first made the decision, that it was time for her long hair to go. John really fascinated her and she wondered what would develop there and now she really should be looking forward to the new image that would emerge when her haircut had been completed She was ushered back to the chair and her damp hair combed through and then her nightmare really began. Her head was pushed down again and she could feel her hair being sectioned off carefully at the back and then with a sense of shock she heard the soft buzzing of clippers and the gentle but ruthless touch on the nape of her neck. The clippers were run almost up to the crown of her head and she could hear her damp hair spattering down to the floor. She gave a horrified gasp and said, “Oh please, I don’t want my hair really cropped. Do you have to use those?” He barely paused in running the clippers up her head and said, “They are perfect to get the shape I want,” and John said excitedly, “Don’t worry, Julie, it is already looking good.”

She gave a little moan and realised that she had no option but to allow him to continue now that he had started. She endured the buzzing clippers at the back of her head for what seemed an age and she felt waves of fear flooding over her at the thought of how short her hair was going to look and yet she was also strangely fascinated by the soothing feel of the clippers as they were run up the back of her neck. After changing the head of the clipper several times and then running them again and again up the ba
ck of her head he finally straightened her head up and she could see her reflection in the mirror. She stared at the unfamiliar image that confronted her and was shocked at the light bare feel to her head. John gave her an encouraging smile and said, “You look great with short hair.”

Julie was still stunned by the amount of hair that had been removed and now for her, worse was to follow. He carefully positioned her head and said softly, “Just a little more to come off here.” The clippers buzzed into life and he began running them up from in front of her ear almost to her temple and with a numb sick feeling she watched the hair drop away. Around her ear the clippers carved their remorseless path and she watched in horror as virtually all the hair between her temple and her ear was removed. Now the other side was given the same ruthless treatment and finally after re-cutting several areas even shorter he switched off the instrument of torture and turned his attention to the hair on the crown and the front of her head.

He began scissoring this hair but now only relatively short lengths of hair dropped down in front of her as he left about 3 inches remaining. He parted her hair and flicked and shaped the longer pieces of hair and then finally seemed satisfied with the shape he had finally achieved. Sweet smelling lotion was applied to her hair and then he began using a blow dryer on the top hair. Julie saw that John was now watching the action far more calmly than he had whilst her hair was being cut and she wonder if he had influenced the stylist in his decision to cut her hair so short. Her head felt so bare and light and naked and she could hardly recognise her own reflection as she stared anxiously at the mirror. The longer pieces of hair had been beautifully draped from the side parting but to her the gleaming lengths of hair only emphasised the shortness of the remaining hair.

When he showed her the back view of her hair, although she had been prepared for it she was still devastated by the extreme cropping which her hair had been given. She brought her hand up and touched the mere covering of hair that remained and a little tremor ran through her body, as it felt so sensuous. She hated her hair and yet found it exciting at the same time. She saw John swallow hard as she stroked her cropped nape and she knew he would be finding it irresistible. She realised that although her hair had been so drastically cropped that it had been very skilfully done and probably once she got used to its extreme shortness she would not feel so strange. Fifteen minutes later she was finding out how exciting John was finding her and her hair as they lay on the bed in his hotel room and had the most amazing lovemaking session she had ever experienced and of course his fingers constantly stroked her cropped nape!

The End

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