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"You won’t be going straight to school" said Mrs. Clark icily as they got in the car, "it’s time that you learnt what happens to bullies". She refused to say another word to her daughter until they arrived at the local hairdressers.

"Okay Melanie, you thought it was funny to pick on a sick girl because of her appearance, lets see how you like it after the hair cut I have planned for you".
Melanie refused to get out of the car and told her Mother to go to hell. "Okay if that’s the way you want it, but if the school expels you I will have to send you away to boarding school so you won’t be able to see Matt anymore and you can also forget our summer holiday to Australia.

Reluctantly Melanie got out of the car and entered the shop. Her mum told her to get into the chair whilst she had a word with the barber. "Hello I’m Mrs. Clark, I rang you yesterday to explain about my daughters punishment. I have a letter from her headmistress consenting to this course of action." "Fair enough"
nodded the barber as he placed a cape around Melanie’s shoulders.

"Please mum, don’t do this to me" she cried "I’ve learned my lesson honestly." "I’m sorry honey but it’s too late for that" replied her mother, "anyway you’ll be kicked out of school otherwise, now be a good girl and sit still, it will soon be over." Melanie took great pride in her blonde locks and hated the thought of losing them but a short hair cut would be nice for summer and she really didn’t want to be sent away or miss out on her holiday so she sat back in her chair and closed her eyes.

She shuddered as she heard the unmistakable sound behind her of electric clippers being switched on.

Before she had time to move the barber tilted her head backwards and ran the clippers down the middle of her forehead. Blonde hair flew in every direction as the clippers passed back and forth. " Hold still miss or you’ll get hurt" warned the barber as he continued shearing her. Very soon all her beautiful hair was either in her lap or on the floor. Melanie looked in the mirror in horror, hardly recognizing the girl looking back at her with little more than an inch of bristly hair covering her scalp.

"How could you do this to me you bitch" she screamed at her mother. " Right that’s it my girl, I thought you might have learned your lesson but obviously not.
Now sit still and don’t move a muscle. If I hear another word from you I put you on the next train to boarding school "

Melanie sat in shock and resignation whilst her Mum consulted with the barber who proceeded to wrap a warm towel around her head before reaching for a pot of shaving cr?me. Melanie couldn’t believe what was happening as the barber removed the towel and began daubing cr?me over scalp with a shaving brush until her head was completely coated. Her mum nodded to the barber who picked up a dry razor and began scraping away her remaining hair. Melanie just sat there silently in shock whilst the razor traveled back and forth and from side to side.

Whilst this was going on her mum noticed a jar of paste on the shelf. "What’s in that jar ?" she asked the barber. He walked over to Mrs. Clark explaining that it was scalp wax. "Its very popular amongst gay men who have their heads shaved. It gives the head a certain shine and also blocks the hair follicles so it takes longer for the hair to grow back. That would really teach her a lesson about picking on the appearance of others, thought Mrs. Clark to herself, "when you’ve finished shaving her bald I want you to wax her head"

Melanie was in such a state of shock that she wasn’t even listening to what was being said. The barber continued shaving her until he finally put the razor down and wiped Melanie’s head with a wet towel. He then applied the waxy paste and rubbed her bald scalp with a soft cloth for a couple of minutes until all the paste had been absorbed.

Melanie opened her eyes and stared in horror at the mirror. She was as bald as an egg and her head gleamed under the shop lights. Her forehead seemed to go on forever and her nose and ears seemed to have doubled in size. She began sobbing uncontrollably as her mother paid the barber and led her to the car. "I’m sorry honey but it was the only way. I’ll take you to school and we can talk about this tonight."

As Melanie entered the classroom there was an audible pause from her classmates before they burst into fits of laughter. Just then the bell went for break time and Melanie fled, only for her classmates to follow her, rubbing her slick shiny dome and chanting "Melon-head Melanie" at her. She ran round the corner only to bump into her boyfriend Matt who took one look at her and walked the other way. "Please Matt I can explain", she cried but he just looked at her and said "Why the hell would I want to go out with a freak like you ?"

The rest of the day was a nightmare for Melanie as her former friends turned on her . Now she was the one being ridiculed and bullied. Finally the bell rang and she started to walk home only to bump into Matt again.

"Please Matt, don’t ignore me, I know I look weird but it will grow back soon, I promise I’ll make it up to you". Matt paused, smiled to himself and replied "okay then baldy you can come back to mine, my parents are out."

As they entered the house Melanie knew what she had to do if she wanted to keep Matt. She went straight to his bedroom, undressed and got into bed. Matt soon followed, holding his mobile phone in one hand whilst he reached for the bed cover, pulling it away and exposing Melanie’s nude body. She heard a click and lay there in horror as she realised that Matt had taken a picture of her with the camera in his phone.

"Did you really think I’d want to make out with a bald girl?" he asked cruelly before ordering her to get dressed and get out. Melanie cried all the way home, knowing that by the time she got there Matt would have e-mailed the picture of her, bald and naked, to all her classmates.

As time went on Mrs. Clark felt genuinely sorry for what she had done to her daughter. 6 weeks had passed and every morning Melanie looked in the mirror hopefully only to see a hairless egghead staring back at her. Mrs. Clark had spoken to the barber who had assured her that the wax he used should only prevent growth for 3 or 4 weeks at the most and so she had taken Melanie to see a specialist for tests. She and Melanie had an appointment that morning to discuss the results.

"Come in" said the specialist " I think I know what the problem is. Melanie, I know this is difficult but can you tell me whether you have you lost from other parts of your body over the past few weeks ?" Melanie blushed, hung her head and nodded slowly.

"I have to say that I am shocked at the punishment handed out by your school and your mother and it’s hardly surprising that you have suffered a severe nervous reaction in view of all the stress you’ve been under. I’m afraid your suffering from alopecia."

"What can we do to cure it?" asked Mrs. Clark, her voice filled with worry. "I’m afraid that there is no cure at the moment although research is ongoing|"
replied the specialist "You mean it won’t grow back" whispered Melanie, trembling in fear. "Well it is possible" answered the specialist "but in a case as severe as yours I would say that it is highly unlikely. Melanie I think you should face up to the fact the chances are that you are now permanently bald".

"Oh god I’m so sorry" exclaimed Mrs. Clark but
Melanie had already flown out the door and into the street.

Tears rolled down her face as the words "permanently bald, permanently bald" rang in her ears. As Melanie ran down the street in a state of shock her bald dome shone brilliantly in the midday sun.

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