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I spent two days in Frankfurt, two days remembering Megan’s haircut – almost unbearable. And then the chance to talk about hair styles with Cathy during the flight back to San Francisco. Quite nervously I’m standing at the check-in and can hardly wait until my flight is announced. Unfortunately I still have to wait for some time. Immediately after ‘Pete’s two step-cut’ Megan had run through the plane to show off her new style among her colleagues.

Initially I didn’t like it, because I feared that I was going to be criticized. But then when there hadn’t been even the slightest disapproval and I didn’t get any negative comments (their attention was rather fixed on the two pony tails that Megan was proudly showing off), I started to feel really proud. Some of the girls had briefly spoken with me, and one stewardess even had asked for some tips for her next visit to the hair salon (as if I really were an expert).

The rest of the flight was soon over. The nicest thing was Cathy’s return flight schedule, she probably was going to return on the same flight as I; although she couldn’t guarantee it, but the chances that we would meet again, were very high.

Finally after wandering excitedly for about an hour about the airport building, my flight is announced. Impatiently I’m standing in line at the gate and hoping to meet Cathy on the plane. With my hand baggage in one hand and a newspaper in the other one, I’m hurrying towards the entrance and stretching my neck to see if she’s perhaps at the door. But I’m disappointed – there isn’t any known face smiling at me. With some unhappiness I sit at my customary place at the end of the business class.

Two male crew members see to the passengers looking no different than those on other flights. Even the seat at the window next to me is taken by a rather heavy man. After a brief greeting, he immediately pulls a blanket over his head, and is obviously going to do without any drinks or food. So even here I can’t expect any relieve from boredom by some small talk. It looks as if it is going to be a long and boring flight.

“Sorry, may I see your boarding pass?” Does the steward think I had smuggled on board? “It’s in my jacket, which you kindly hung up there in front; I’ll have to bring it first.” I answer and then wait for his reaction. “If you’d just give me your name, then I can check it on the list” he suggests and looks at a sheet of paper. “Peter K., booked to San Francisco.” “OK. Here you are,” he says after a quick glance at the list. “Can I invite you to the first class?” Of course could he do that – it has happened before, that I’ve got a free upgrade to first class. This surely would help me to get over the disappointment of not having met Cathy.

The only thing that irritates me is his more than friendly grin. The plane is already rolling on the runway, when he takes my hand luggage, and I follow him to the first class section. “You are free to sit wherever it pleases you,” he says while he is presenting me the first class with a sweep of his hand. “What’s the reason for this honor?” I’m asking him as soon as I realize that I’m the only passenger in this section. “Just let yourself be surprised, sit wherever you want and put on your seatbelt. I hope you’ll have a pleasant flight.” And then he vanished. Still astonished I take a seat in the middle row, but then I change my mind and take a window seat, as nobody would be sitting beside me, I put on the seatbelt and feel very comfortable in the large seat.

Once the plane is in the air, the lights that had been subdued during the take-off phase brighten, and soft music comes from the speakers. Contentedly I close my eyes and hear the noise from the drive train being retracted while the plane is gaining height.

“Taraaa!!!” The whole scene had somehow not felt right, but I really had not expected to see Cathy standing before me with a glass of champagne on a tray, and a big smile on her face. “Cathy, where did you come from?” “Remember am a stewardess, and this is my job”, she says making fun of me, and showing happiness at my surprise. “Funny girl, I’m glad to see you again; I really wasn’t expecting you anymore.” She’s looking very nice today, in her blue pants and a white blouse, her auburn hair is loose, and is contrasting very nicely with her white blouse. The champagne I refuse, and ask her for a glass of gin and tonic. “I halfway expected that, that’s what you had last time too.” Quickly she brings me the requested drink from the pantry and sits at my side.

,Are you taking it easy today?” I ask her, as she isn’t showing any intention to get busy. “Right, Pete. The captain gave me the absolution, allowed me to put you in this section, when showed him the passenger list, and asked him for the change.” “And he just agreed?” “Well not so easily, he would have preferred that I helped the others, but when I told him about my plans he agreed.” “Come on; don’t play the mysterious one, what are your plans?” “Well I told him that we have a great stylist on board, and that we would like to take advantage of this.”

“We?” And don’t you blush when you tell lies?” “Well, I lied just a little bit, great or not so great, is finally a matter of personal opinion, and I really liked what I saw the day before yesterday – Megan liked it too. She sends you her greetings, and she asks if you could notify us when you’re flying again.” “I’ll be glad to do it, and what do you mean with `we want to take advantage’ of an opportunity?” “Eh – I wanted to ask you if you could perhaps .”. “Come on; tell me the rest of it.”

“The captain said it was time for him to go the barber, too .” “Are you crazy?” “No, no. Please don’t misunderstand me. I told him that you only cut women’s hair.” “Well, I hope so. What did he say then?” “He only laughed and said that we shouldn’t make a mess, or rather that we should clean up afterwards.” “Cathy, please! Do me a favor and try not to make a fool out of me, tell me what you want from me.” Although I can imagine what it is, I want her to say it. I’m already much exited, but it’s time to stop the insinuations. “Come on Pete, can’t you guess it? My colleagues and I want to get our hair styled by you!” “Your colleagues and you? Which colleagues, and why you?” ,Well the other stewardess, the one whom you gave some tips.” “I remember she’s got light brown wavy hair that she had gathered in a short pony tail. She’s on board too?”

“Yes, Anne’s changed her flight so that she could fly today. Today she’s working in the business class.” Even although the chance of working with Cathy’s and Anne’s hair is very tempting, I feel sorrow, as their hair is so beautiful, in length and texture, so it would be a pity to cut off even one quarter of an inch. Cathy doesn’t agree with me on this, and emphasizes that she’s got the right to get her hair cut in whatever style she wants. For a clincher, I also tell her, “I don’t have any tools with me, with the scissors from the pantry I just can do the cut I did on Megan’s hair, anything else I can’t.” “Pete, can we at least agree that you would cut mine and Anne’s hair, if you had good scissors and the rest of the necessary equipment?” Aware of my victory over Cathy’s crazy desire for a change, I consent. Wordlessly Cathy goes to the Pantry and returns with a gift wrapped box.

“Open it while I get your food.” She puts the box into my hands and goes away. “My fears are confirmed when I start tearing away the wrapping and see the printing on the box: HOME HAIRCUTTING KIT. On the back is the contents list: – scissors – comb – clippers – handbook – accessories. Although Cathy had tricked me with female cleverness, I couldn’t avoid feeling happiness about the forthcoming haircuts.

Carefully I open the package and inspect the contents, they seem to be of a reasonably good quality, the scissors feel comfortable, and aren’t hard to open and close. The comb doesn’t have any sharp edges and doesn’t bend too easily. Cathy must have planned this carefully; the rechargeable batteries are already in the
clipper and have been charged.

“Well you down turner, have I convinced you now that I really want it?” With a tray full of delicious food she had silently returned, and surprises me with her friendly remark. “If I think of all the preparations you did, I have to agree.” “I’m glad about your acceptance. But now you should get some nourishment before the work that’s awaiting you.” I put the box aside and allow her to serve me my food.

“What have you both planned? Have you decided on what hairstyles you want, who will be the first, and when we shall start?” While I’m eating happily I ask Cathy these questions, while she’s sitting at my side. Smilingly she tells me, “You don’t have to worry about the course of events, we’ve planned carefully. Which hairstyles we want is also decided, we are perfectly sure, enjoy your meal; you only will have to do what we tell you.”

With somewhat more leisure, I continue eating and meanwhile try to find out more about Cathy’s and Anne’s crazy idea to get their hair cut on the plane. Why don’t they want to go to a salon, and why do they trust me? Cathy has answers to all of my questions and leaves me without any doubts that would prevent me from cutting their hair. “Anne thought it would be fun and had wanted to get a short hairstyle since some time ago. She told me that any hair length that’s shorter than the present one would be all right with her, so there’s nothing that you could do wrong there. And I have to confess that I got quite exited by the first cut of Megan’s hair that you allowed me to make, and got quite jealous of you while you cut the rest.”

Am I seeing some blushing in spite of Cathy’s make-up? “I can understand that quite well. I too get exited when I think about that, and when my fantasies come real, then I’m floating somewhere between clouds seven and nine.” “So, do I. Are we perverted?” “I don’t think so.” I try to calm her, ,I think we just have a sexual focus on hair. Why not? As long as all who are involved are in agreement, I’d say that everything’s OK, or don’t you think so?” She doesn’t give me a direct answer, but her thoughtful face clears.

“In a few minutes Anne should be ready and will then come. We agreed that you would do her first and then me. Is that OK?” “Yes, of course.” “But what will the captain say if we turn on the clippers? They always are so severe abut electronic gadgets.” “No problem, they only have problems with electronic gadgets, and not with electric ones. You can shave in the bathrooms, there are sockets, isn’t that true?” “Yes, that’s true, but now let’s talks about the hairstyles you want. Can you give me some information? I really am not as experienced as you seem to think, so I don’t know if I will be able to help you.”

“Well you have seen Anne’s current hairstyle. She’s been thinking about a hair length of one and a half to two inches on the top, bangs and short hair at the neck. Surely you can do that, don’t you? Additionally she’s ready to accept any other haircut. In confidence, she told me that she even would let you cut it into short spikes, in case that you spoil the cut.”
“I hope that won’t happen. But I think the hairstyle she has chosen will suit her beautifully. And you, how do you want me to cut your hair?”

“I respect your enthusiasm, but with that I want to wait a bit longer.” By denying me this information, she’s getting me totally hot. All kind of possible and impossible thoughts go through my head, but I can’t decide on anyone. Fortunately my confusion is interrupted by Anne, who joins us, “Hello, you two, are you having fun?” “Everything’s OK with us, Pete has been informed and has agreed,” Cathy informs, “we could start immediately”. “Great” says Anne, ,I guess then it’s my turn, has Cathy told you what I want, Sir?” “Yes she did, but call me Pete, like Cathy does.” “OK, I’m Anne.”

“Shall we start? But how? There aren’t any chairs.” But this has been foreseen by the two girls. Anne sits on the seat’s armrest, with one leg on the cushion, and the other one on the floor. In the meanwhile Cathy is unfolding one of those golden insulated emergency sheets, which she places on Anne’s shoulder; with a piece of adhesive tape, which she brought from the pantry, she joins the ends, and has so improvised a perfect cape.

In the meantime I took the comb and the scissors out of the box. “Short at the neck and longer on top, is that what you want Anne?” I ask to confirm. “And please don’t forget the bangs,” “Oh yes, the bangs,” I answer while I look how she takes off the rubber band from her ponytail and shakes her hair. Her natural and irregular curls reach over her shoulders, and in spite of all that’s been said, I again express my regrets to cut it.

“Please stop that now Pete,” said Cathy, “we already have agreed on this and Anne wants it and so do I, so do start now, or we won’t finish before we arrive in San Francisco.” I look questioningly at Anne, and she confirms it with a nod. “Exactly! And I have to be back at my job in twenty minutes, or I’ll get in to trouble. You’ll have to work fast.”

Fortunately Anne didn’t use any hairspray, so I was able to comb it easily. But I don’t want to cut her hair dry, therefore I ask Cathy to lend me a wet rag to dampen Anne’s hair so that I can part it. At about one and a half inches from the center parting I make parallel partings and comb the hair below the partings down and the hair between them to the front. At the highest point at the back of her head I lift a strand and hold it between my index and middle fingers, after several small scissor cuts there remains a length of about two inches. The first hairs slide over the back of my hand and down over the smooth sheet. Using the length of first shortened strand for a reference I work forwards in direction of Anne’s brow, quarter of an inch by quarter of an inch.

Anne remains unimpressed by the long curls she is loosing, and Cathy is collecting them from the floor. There’s almost a competition between me and Cathy, do I cut faster than she can collect them? Towards the brow I let the hairs get a little bit longer. After the first row has been cut from back to front, I even out the length by holding it up in the direction of the center part and cut the protruding bits off. I use the length of the cut hairs as a reference for cutting the next row, but this second row I cut quite a bit shorter towards the sides. Only the strand before the ears I leave much longer, so that I can cut it later when I cut the bangs.

Only after all the hair on top and at the sides has been cut to the planned length, I separate a thin section for the bangs and make a feathered cut at the height of her eyebrows. Then I trim the hair strands before her ears with an extremely feathered cut to the height of her mouth, by sliding the closing scissors along the cut line. The hair at the back has not been cut.

To give the nervous Cathy a chance to have some pleasure too, I hand her the scissors and gather Anne’s hair with a rubber band at the middle of the back of her head, and tell Cathy to cut it off. The grateful look she gives me shows me that I did well to let her do this part. She’s cutting her colleague’s hair with such an enthusiasm, that her head is shaken. Cathy’s eyes are shining when she ads the small ponytail to the hair she already has collected and gives me the scissors. I’m lifting the hair at the back of Anne’s head with the comb. The first cut at the hairline at her neck only leaves about an eight of an inch of her former fabulous hair. While I’m working upwards I’m increasing the length gradually, until it’s the same length as the hair on the top. Then just some small adjustment cuts and then it’s ready. When I tell Anne that I’ve finished, she starts feeling her hair with her fingers, and as soon as Cathy has removed the makeshift cape, she goes to look at herself in the mirror in the bathroom. Cathy’s already very happy, “I knew that I could trust your skill. That cut came out very nicely. I think Anne will like it too.” I hope so, because otherwise I will thr
ow the scissors out of the window,” I say jokingly to shorten the wait for Anne’s approval. I see Anne coming out of the bathroom, but instead of coming to us, she goes into the flight cabin. Puzzled I look questioningly at Cathy, but she just raises her shoulders, “I have no idea what she wants there in front,” she says and is waiting for her return with as much suspense as I.

Two minutes later Anne comes out happily, “I just wanted to get my fiancĂ©’s approval.” “What’s the matter, you and the captain?” Cathy’s surprise is convincing. “Oh, didn’t you know?” Anne’s feigned innocence couldn’t be surpassed. “Seriously Cathy, please don’t tell anybody, we want to keep it a secret for a few more days.” “You devil – now I know why you never went out with us when he flew. Congratulations.” “I congratulate you too.” I add, ,Does he approve of your new look?” that interests me more than their private love live. “Not really. He’s the one who insists that I cut my hair as short as possible, but I want to leave it for the time being as at it is now. I like it very much so. Thank you.” she adds and then she apologizes, because she has to continue working. A moment later she’s back, “Oh, I almost forgot. Cathy is to show herself in the flight cabin once she’s gotten her haircut, you might get another customer, Pete.”

To be continued.

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