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Cindy was your average high school student, middle of the road grades, trouble with her parents, and her younger brother. She was not average in the looks department however.

Cindy was a pretty girl, with an athletic build, deep blue eyes and the most luscious blonde locks imaginable. The hung in ringlets down her back to just cover the top of her faded jeans. Boys always ogled her when she would pass and they always seemed to love her hair, especially. One of the first things out of any boys mouth that she dated was “I love your hair”. She got so used to it that it started to mean less and less. Soon it was obvious to her that her hair meant more to people than what was underneath. She loved it so much, though, that she rarely thought about cutting it. Rarely, was only in the summer on the hottest of days, when her back was wet with perspiration from her heavy hair hanging over it. Only then would she ever consider cutting it. She used to take her kid brother, Max, to the local barbershop at the beginning of the summer and watch with curiosity as the barber ran the clippers over his head. Max always got his head buzzed each summer, right to the skin.

“All off?” the barber used to ask her as she encouraged him to get into the chair.

She knew the barber caught her more than once, watching as he shaved her brother’s head bald. He would start in the back and slowly work around until the sides and the back were nothing but skin, and then placing the clippers at the top of his forehead, he would skin him down there too. The whole thing took maybe a minute. She paid him the five dollars that he charged for a “summer buzz” and then walked home with Max. She always had to rub his head, and feeling the sandpaper finish, would flush and have to walk faster.

It was about the middle of August and Max had been bugging her to take him to the barber’s to get another buzz. The sun was beating down that day and the heat was practically unbearable. Cindy piled the hair on top of her head but to no avail, her head was too hot then, so she let it back down her back. Rivulets of sweat poured off her back and she could feel it seeping into her underwear. It was about that time when her mother told her to take Max to the barber. Reluctantly, she agreed. She put on her lightest top and some short cutoffs and grabbed Max by the arm. “Let’s go.” She said, annoyed.

When they arrived at the barbershop it was very quiet, and they were the only ones there. This time Max hopped into the chair with no encouragement and waited for the barber to cape him. “All off?” The barber asked, looking at Cindy’s heat flushed face. Cindy nodded. As he was setting up his clippers the barber looked over at her slumped in the chair. “I bet you wish it was you in the chair today, being so hot and all. That hair’s got to make you uncomfortable.” He chuckled. Cindy cracked a smile.

“Don’t think I haven’t given it some thought.” She said, adjusting her hair so it fell over the back of the chair and away from her soaking wet back. With every pass of those clippers over her brother’s head, she thought what it might feel like to be in his place. Her long, damp locks sliding down her back and onto the floor, bare scalp left in place of the shining blonde strands that she treasured so much.

“Got a new set of clippers yesterday.” Exclaimed the barber. “They cut the hair so close your could swear it was shaved with a blade.” He held them up. They were considerably smaller than the set he used on my brother.

“Wow mister, can you use them on me?” Max asked “I wanna try that.” He looked over at me. I just nodded thinking that it would hardly be noticeable since his hair was already so short.

“Ok, sonny, but remember, you will be truly bald.” Max giggled and nodded for the barber to start. He used these clippers more slowly and deliberately, and I did definitely see a difference where they were used. Where there was once a dull fuzz there was now shiny skin. Max reached up to feel, and giggled some more. Soon the cut was done and my brother was indeed “truly bald”. I rubbed his head as he hopped out of the chair and felt its smoothness and I shuddered, which did not go unnoticed be the barber.

“You’re next young lady.” He said as he dusted off the clippings from my brother’s cut.

He turned the chair towards Cindy, inviting her in.

“I love my hair mister, and besides, I only have the five dollars my Mom gave me for Max.” She wanted in the worst way to sit in that chair, but a huge part of her was screaming to run. A smile ran over the barber’s face as he once again pointed the chair in her direction.

“I’ll make this one, on the house. How would that be?” He laughed.

“I’m sorry, I want to, but I can’t!” Cindy grabbed her brother and quickly walked out of the shop. She kept looking over at her brother’s head, so smooth and shiny. How cool that must feel, the breeze on his scalp must cool him down at least a little. He wasn’t even sweating. When they got to their street max ran on ahead like he always did. It was right then that Cindy stopped dead in her tracks. She looked over across the street and there was Lisa Moore, one of her arch rivals at school. She had had her hair cut off, all of it. It was like flat on top and cut closer on the sides. Not only was Lisa sporting a new look but two of her friends had their hair cut short as well but not nearly as short as Lisa. Slowly and deliberately, Cindy did an about face and walked back uptown. The closer she got to the barber shop, the more slowly she walked. When she turned the corner and saw that spinning pole, she stopped. “Do I really want this?” she kept asking herself as she watched the red and white lines spiraling downward. After staring at the pole to the point that she felt dizzy, she forced her left foot forward and entered the shop. Sheepishly, Cindy looked over at the barber who was now reading a paper. “Does that offer still stand mister?” He lowered the paper and a smile ran across his face.

“I may be a lot of things but I’m not a cheapskate. Of course it does.” Cindy walked across the hardwood floor, creaking underfoot as she moved towards the Red upholstered chair. Hesitantly, she stepped up onto the footrest and allowed herself to fall back into the barber chair. It was much more comfortable than she thought it would be. The barber asked her to hold up her hair while he positioned the cape around her neck, fastening it with a long metal clip. With a woosh, the hair fell back down around her shoulders as the barber took over. She withdrew her hands back under the cape and immediately began to feel helpless. The barber then began to pump the chair up.

“All off?” he said. She knew those words were coming and she felt like she could almost pass out as she nodded back him. She wanted to say something but her mouth seemed to be out of order. She saw him pick up the big black clippers from their hook and as he cleaned and oiled them he caught her shaking her head. “You don’t want me to use these do you?” he said, and placed them back on their hook. “You want me to use these.” He picked up the small gray clippers that had so effectively shaved her brother bald. She nodded, not believing that she was actually signaling him to go shorter. “Ok, here we go.” He didn’t start the same way as he did with her brother, but instead started in the middle of her forehead. She could feel the clippers warm metal blades against her head as they peeled off her beautiful blonde tresses. She could also feel the breath of the barber on her now naked scalp. A feeling that completely foreign to her. She shuddered as the next pass again peeled off more and then another and another. Soon she could feel the entire top of her head was cool, more sensitive. The barber had turned the chair so the Cindy could not see herself in the mirror, and each time she would try to peek, he would redirect her gaze to the opposite wall. He was clipping the sides off now, first the left, then the right. Now it was like she could feel every movement the barber made, by the air moving across her scalp. “Almost done.” He said as he pushed her chin down onto her chest. She felt the blades at the nape of her neck sliding deftly into her only remaining hair. A few more passes and the high whine of the clippers was silenced. “One more step and you will be ready for this heat young lady.” He reached into a metal tin and pulled out a towel and placed it over her denuded head. It was very hot and was almost too hot, but Cindy didn’t want to say anything, after all, this was all for free. The towel covered her face so that she could not see what was going on, but she could hear a slapping sound. Slapping then sliding, slapping then sliding, over and over until the barber slid the towel from her head. Feeling a little dizzy Cindy heard another high pitched whine, but different from the clippers. Suddenly a wonderful warm feeling crept over her head as the barber spread a white foam over it. It was shaving cream.

“Aren’t I already bald?” she asked. Still not having seen herself in a mirror she was anxious and jumpy.

“I’m giving you the full treatment young lady and it’s still 100% on me.” He chuckled under his breath. “When I finish, you will look like you never had a hair on your head.” The shaving foam did feel nice, but the razor was an unexpected sensation.

“That feels really weird mister.” As the straight blade made it’s first short strokes across her scalp. “Like when I shave my legs, only more intense.” She laughed. Much more at ease now that her hair was gone, Cindy relaxed for the first time and enjoyed the closest shave possible. It took about twenty minutes for the barber to finish the shaving after which he wiped down her head to remove any foam that remained. He then slathered a very slippery liquid onto her head and worked it into her scalp. His hands felt wonderful as they slid over her baldness. He then took a small, but very soft cloth and began wiping off the liquid but in very quick and circular strokes. He rubbed the cloth over her head several times until it started to feel quite warm.

“Well, that’s it young lady.” He suddenly spun the chair around giving her the very first look at the new “Cindy”.

“Oh my God, it’s so smooth it shines!!” her hands immediately shot to her head to feel the total and complete smoothness of her bald scalp. She could see the reflection of the florescent light fixture on the top of her head, distorted, but almost mirror like. She was amazed, delighted and horrified at the same time. She was really, really bald. Old man bald. “Holy shit!” she said. The barber removed the cape and it was only then that she saw her once glorious hair, in piles on the barbershop floor. He smiled as he helped her out of the chair.

“Well, that ought to be a little cooler.” He laughed.

“Yeah, I guess so!” she said, nervously laughing. As she closed the door behind her she saw the barber reach down and pick up a hank of her hair and put it in a drawer under the counter. She quickly turned and headed for home, only then realizing that she had a lot of explaining to do. Her mother, her father and her boyfriend would all be devastated of course and she would have endure the prodding from her kid brother, whose hair was now longer than hers. As she passed each store window she could see her gleaming head shining, like a beacon. As she turned the corner towards her house, a breeze kicked up and she felt it run over her slippery head. That’s when she noticed that she wasn’t sweating. She was cool and comfortable for the first time in weeks. So as she passed Lisa Moore, sitting on her front porch with her cronies, Cindy ran a hand over her baldness and smiled.

The End

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