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The sticky days of summer had come bubbling away at the last drop of comfortable weather. And it was said that it wasn?t going to get any better from here on in, it was just going to get worse. And with the heat index staying at 96 daily, it was time that Katie did something for her family.

Footsteps scuffed along the carpet as they came closer to Katie?s ears. Her soothing, ocean blue eyes brimmed the top of the hairstyling magazine that she was reading just to kill time.

?Someone?s preparing for summer.? Katie said as her lips tilted with a smile. Her eyes gazed upon her eight-year old son?s nearly baldhead. His once longish, disheveled dark brown hair that hung to his chin had been buzzed right to his scalp and left on the tile floor behind him. It was odd, since she had never seen him act on his own, when it came to his hair and all that she said before they arrived at Great Clips, was that it was time for the whole family to get haircuts and they should take advantage of the $4.99 special that was going on right now, it looks like he was taking complete advantage over it.

?I love it. Now my hair won?t stick to my head in the heat.? His voice perked up as he took a seat in the gray plastic chair next to his dad in the waiting area.

?I know the feeling, there has been many summers that I have wanted to do what you just did.?

?I don?t see why you don?t do it. I think you?ll look good with and without hair, mom. And if I was you, I wouldn?t want to have that much hair in the summer, trying to sleep with it and having it making you hotter, when you could just get rid of it.? Jim?s eight-year-old head fizzled out.

?I?ve always wanted to be apart of the crowd, so I think I?m just going to have mine buzzed today as well. It just feels better to have no hair in the summer. To me, it lets you enjoy the heat of summer without feeling hot.? Katie?s 33-year-old husband said, as the stylist called for him to come back.

?Well, now I feel left out. I thought we all just came down here for trims and all of a sudden, both of you go off and shave your head and leave me here with hair to my waist. I don?t think that is right.? Katie said, with her lips tingling with silliness.

?I say go for it, if you really want to it. You?ll have some hair before summer?s over.? Her husband?s words trailed behind him as he was guided to his seat with his son following to watch his dad get his head shaved, leaving Katie in the waiting area alone with her thoughts.

Her slim body shifted uneasily in the plastic chair. She crossed her leg over her knee, her nylon blue jogging pants with the twin racing stripes down the side, swished as she did so. She bounced her shiny, black thick-soled Mary Jane on her hanging foot, staring at her white socks through the square window that was cut out of the top of the round shoe. She crossed her arms over her plain, white tee shirt that hugged her tight. Her thoughts ran deep as she got comfortable.

For years, Katie has hated her hair this long. She had only grown it to her waist to save money on haircuts, this way she hasn?t had a haircut in the last three years. But it has started to bother her. At this length it looked ratty in her eyes. It was beautiful, silky, dark brown hair, but since it didn?t have any layers or bangs cut into it, and it was the straightest hair ever seen, it was a little too boring for her. It was the hardest to style, since the weight of it just made it hang even closer to her face when she wore it down, so most times she had to wear it in a ponytail. It took her forty-five minutes to shower, since her hair wouldn?t rinse all the way without the suds being worked through by her hands. And in the summer, while she slept it would either stick to her back and make it even more uncomfortable to sleep or stick to her face and get taught in her mouth.

As more and more of these thoughts came into her mind, the more and more she got comfortable with buzzing it all off. And it was pleasing that she had the encouragement of her family to do it, caring more about her needs, than how they want her to look. So, she made her decision, she wasn?t going to be left out.

Once she had finished with her thoughts, her husband appeared, his once already short hair, shorn to mere stubble, his handsome face the same as she remembered it.

?Jim and I are going to go next door for some ice cream, so we will meet you over there when you are done.? He gave her a quick kiss and disappeared out the door refreshed.

Her head followed them out the door, but wasn?t ready when she heard her name being called.

?Katie Anderson.?

Her body was lifted from her chair and marched toward that sound that called her name. A friendly, middle-aged face greeted her.

?I?ll have you take a seat right over here.? She said as she pointed to one of the middle styling chairs where a loop of shorn brown hair laid around the bottom of it.

With crested movements, Katie pushed her form down into the molded shape of the chair. Her feet planted on the silvery metal U-shaped footrest, her legs bending over the lip of the dark gray vinyl seat, her back pushing against the fluffy, but supportive cushioned backside, sliding against the clear plastic cover that had been slipped over the back of the chair. Her arms rested on the black plastic armrests with her fingers curling around the end of them. Her body was now plastered to the shimmering blackish gray vinyl styling chair, awaiting the next step.

The middle-aged beautician came around to the back of the chair, her fingers grasped on a thin piece of tissue and hair clip. Without warning and measure, the woman grasped Katie?s hair and flung it over her the top her head. The heavy strains hung over her face as the hair stylist put the hair clip on the top of her head, pinning the hair there. Her nimble fingers raced to the front of Katie?s neck, clothes lining the neck tissue into her collar, letting her hand pull it back around and taper the ends together. The ring of white, soft tissue floated around Katie?s neck like a halo.

From a chair next to them, the hairdresser picked up her crumpled cape and let it bellow out as she parachuted it in the air. She grasped on to the collar as she positioned herself behind the chair. With a lift of the cape, it balloons over Katie, shadowing her whole body as it slowly descends towards her lap. The sheet of soft, smooth metallic blue vinyl beings to clung to her body like a symbiote. It landed first on her knees, bending over them and torrenting down, stopping right on top of Katie?s shoes. Katie could feel the thick vinyl material through her thin pants, sending a tickle through her body. The rest of the blue cape glided upward, worked over Katie?s nimble fingers and hands like a massage as it raced towards her shoulders. The glossy vinyl rubbed along her bare arms as it engulfed around them and pressing against her solid shoulders. A feeling of starkness breezed from Katie?s neck right before the metallic blue cape latched around it like a pair of arms. The dense black collar banded around the white neck tissue, pressing its weight on top of it. The open ends of the cape lapped over each other as the hairdresser found the right button for Katie?s neck and snapped it in. Katie smiled brightly, a feeling of comfort over came her, like she had just covered herself up to go to sleep, but in a silk cover, just a feeling that every women loved. Her black Mary Janes poked from underneath the curtain of the cape as her head floated above the rest of it. She was a heap of metallic blue, shiny and shimmer, her chest proudly decorated with the words, ?Great Clips? in small white letters.

The quiet stylist pulled out the hair clip, letting Katie?s hair gush out. Like a spilled bucket of dark brown, Katie?s hair sprayed over the back of the shiny blue cape and the pale gray chair. As Katie?s hair rolled out, the hair stylist fished out a comb from the pot of blue disinfectant liquid.

?So what you are looking to do to your hair today?? She asked as she combed Katie?s hair out.

?We?re buzzing it for the summer.? Katie said as she gave her a strong smile to reassure her that she heard her right.

?So this heat is getting to you. I can relate, since I just gave my boys buzz cuts yesterday and the whole time I was just wishing that I could do the same.?

?Well, my son and husband just shaved theirs off today and both of them told me to do it if I was willing to and I really am. I was just going to get it cut really short, but why not just go all the way bald and enjoy the couple of months that I don?t have to do anything to my hair. Plus at least I won?t be the only one with a bald head.?

As Katie spoke, the beautician had already plugged in the black and gray, two tone pair of electric clippers and laid them on the counter. ?I see no problem with a woman shaving her head, since any hairstyle can look great on both genders.?

Wasting no time while talking, the hair dresser places her foot upon the hydraulic lift pump. With each press of her foot, the chair lurched up higher and higher, rising with jerking movements. The stylist patted her on Katie on her caped shoulder as she reached for the resting clippers. ?No time like the present and summer is already here, so let?s get started.?

Pale fingers grasped upon a stock of glossy brown hair at the front of Katie?s face. The stylist pulls it up and away from her head with her left hand, as her right, primed with the running clippers, climbs towards the edge of Katie?s head. The nervous clippers continue to greet their teeth as they brushed into the bush of standing hair. Thousands of strands of twined hair snapped away from its roosting spot as it was cut away from its owner.

?Oh my god!? The words muttered loudly out of Katie?s mouth as her face twisted in a surprise look as her stylist held the loosely hanging row of three and a half feet of hair. It?s lifeless form twirling around wobbly in the hair dresser?s hand as it hung above the bright, metallic blue ocean that caped over Katie?s body.

?The quickest way to shed the summer?s heat.? The hair cutter said as she chuckled, letting the mass of bundled hair plummet to the chest of the nylon cape. With running momentum, the pack of brown tresses rubbed against bold texture of the cape as it laid on Katie?s knee with half of the limp, heavy cluster of thick mane hanging off the edge of her leg. As soon as that collection of hair stopped on Katie?s covered lap, another one, much bigger than before, was already unfastened from Katie?s head and dangling from the stylist?s hand. This time, the beautician flicked her fingers, flinging pieces of hair allover the cape loosely. Chucks of hair fall on the sloping chest, sticking stern on where it had landed. The separate tresses scattered across the front of the metallic blue form, starting from the black rimed neck of the cape all the way down to Katie?s poking knees, covering over the entire slope of the cape.

Katie stared at the tuffs of slinking hair, as it curled into U?s on the slanted, blue vinyl. Her thoughts begun to get lost in the already severed hair that laid on top of her. She wondered how odd it was staring at the already cut hair as it laid on the cape, how it was just on her head and now it laid on the blanketing cape, close to her, but separated from her at the same time. As she came out of her day dream, her arms lifted from their resting spot on the armrests. They made their way under the thick vinyl to the part that covered her chest and pushed up, letting the form of the cape protrude out. As the cape was raised out, the sprinkled links of hair rolled, tumbling into the already piled up hair that shelled over Katie?s legs and knees.

?Brace yourself for this one, I am going to take the whole back off in one swipe.? Warned the stylist.

?Go for it, I?m ready.?

With the running clippers still in her right hand, the hairdresser gathered all of Katie?s hair that hung over the back of the chair into a makeshift ponytail. Her left hand condensed the wide plank of hair into a long ponytail, pulling the plate of hair away from her head and letting the underneath show, so that she can get the clippers under it. As the humming clippers graced the base of her neck, they prepared themselves for massive weeding they would be expected to be doing. Hair wilted as its support was sliced away as the left side of Katie?s head was freed from the weight, being transferred to the beautician?s holding hand. The clippers dipped back down to the base of Katie?s skull, ready to take the next path off. As the teeth climbed up the backside of her head, the detached locks of Katie?s hair was pushed with the clippers as they scaled the top. The wad of hair in the hairstylist?s hand wilted even more, most of it hanging over her knuckles, but there was still some that was tethered to its roots. As a another run of the shears passed through the shrub of hair, the massive ponytail was grasped in the stylist?s clasped hand, looking more like a horse?s tail than hair from a human.

Though not wanting to let go of the smooth, soft touch of the bunched hair, the stylist had to drop it to the white tiled floor so she could get use of her left hand again. Like a torn kite, the load of hair fell down the back of the cape and chair, most of it splintering apart as it came closer to the ground. Most made its target, hitting the shimmering white tile of the cold floor, but some got snagged on lever of the hydraulic lift that stuck out from the bottom of the chair.

?Geez, you really don?t know how much warmer you are with hair until you shave it off. I?m glad that I have this cape around me right now, since I?m freezing.? Katie says as her arms hug her body under the draping cape.

?Well, do you want me to leave the right side? It will at least keep you warm on that side.? The hair stylist said as she smiled into the mirror. ?Even though I will be colder, I want the rest of my hair off. You can?t stop there, since this has been my best haircut ever, no screw ups at all. It?s just a little on the traumatic side.?

The clippers skimmed across the top side of Katie?s head, taking off a layering path of hair. As the blades reached the temple of Katie?s skull, the path of glossy brown hair flipped over her right eye, splattering on to the cape in one stock. Spilling like a bucket of water, they flowed down the cape, making a loud rustling noise as they toppled across the top of the nylon sheet. The last layer of hair hung down the side of Katie?s face, the shears moved across the straight line of standing hair, letting the flap of hair drop on to the cape to finally join the rest of its brethren. A couple of struggling wisp of hair patched around the side of Katie?s face, but with a quick hum from the clippers, they to fell to the cape like a feather falling from a flying duck.

A loud pop from switching plastic from the clippers as their hum went dead, noted the end of the haircut. The hairdresser laid them on the counter and grabbed the neck duster from the side of her station. The thick, white bristles fluffed over Katie?s bald head, sweeping away the stray hairs that may still be laying around. The stylist continued her sweep down Katie?s neck, stopping as flesh met the broad neck of the cape. Her hands grasped the two ends of the cape and like a strong man, she pulled them apart, unsnapping the button. As the two ends of the cape hung loose around Katie?s shoulders, the hairdresser brushed deeper along Katie?s neck and shoulder area.

With a push of the stylist?s foot, the chair begun to lower, coming down from its perch. As the cushioned chair lowered, it spun around to face the door. Where four surprised eyes met Katie?s.

Her son raced to her chair and threw his arms around her caped form. As his weight pressed against her?s, the unbuttoned cape was pulled downwards, the neck of it hurrying past her shoulders and gripping along her chest. Katie?s son stopped his embrace, stepping away as the stylist lifted the cape from Katie?s lap, spilling a pile of resting hair to the floor.

Katie?s husband watched over the scene that he walked in on. The floor was covered in several different piles of brown hair, the toes of her black shoes hung with curling strings of brown hair, even the sides of the metal U-shaped footrest had locks of hair over it. He looked over everything and smiled.

?Well, all I can say, is our air conditioning bill will be non-exist this summer.? He said as he wrapped his arm around her shoulders, while she still sat in the chair.

?I told you guys that I didn?t want to be left out.

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