Nervously chewing on my nails, I looked like the poster child of indecisiveness. Torn between knocking on the wooden door, and leaving without a word, I raised my hand up several times, only to let it down by my side without actually knocking. Deciding this would not be the time; I stepped back and began to turn towards the hallway. Just my luck, the door opened.
There stood Zara, the person I had wanted to see, yet had been avoiding for a week. It wasn’t that Zara and I were friends with a rift developing between us, or strangers who had witnessed something they weren’t likely to speak about or bond over. I’d met her once, through a friend of a friend. Sitting on the cold steps of the library building, I had quietly expressed my need to want change in my life. I wanted to do something differently, which was hilarious, because I did a complete 180 regarding my routine.
Breakfast, which used to make me sick, became a necessity for functioning, with skipping meals a thing of the past. Cooking a treat for myself every now and then wasn’t a reward for anything; just a little something I thought would do me good.
Cleanliness was a mess; after discovering what a wonder a neat and tidy space did for my productivity, I had gone all out to ensure there would be no clutter. Yet, even after all of that, I felt as if there was room for more.
On those steps, Freya had joined Annie and I. We’d been playing with Annie’s luscious hair, when Freya turned to mine.
“Those look rather dry, and in need of a trim,” she’d said, twirling an unruly curl in her fingers, “when was the last time you had your hair cut?”
A little conscious of my frizzy mane, I quietly told her a date going back to a year and a half.
That was when she’d taken me to see Zara, who lived on campus and cut people’s hair for free. She’d cut her own plenty of times, and she’d shown me all the different hairstyles she made for herself regularly. I promised to see her again the next day for a trim, but had never gone through with it.
Zara, with her silky smooth shoulder length hair held my gaze with her smile; those teeth were shiny to the point of distraction.
“Finally make up your mind?” She teasingly inquired.
I opened my mouth with all sorts of excuses coming out, but I couldn’t think of anything so I vaguely motioned with my hand.
“I’ve been a little busy,” which was not strictly a lie, “but I was wondering if you’re free, right now?”
She grinned at me, “I’m free if you agree to let me at your hair.”
I tried to hide my wince, but she turned a pleading expression to me.
“Say yes, please say yes,” she implored, “I haven’t been able to find people who want a new hairdo, please just let me fix your hair?”
I bit my lip and in a split second decision my mind was made up.
“Let’s do it.”
She squealed in delight and pulled me into her suite.
“I promise you, it’ll be great!”
I quietly sighed, nervous of what other people might think of my short hair sticking out everywhere, but came to a stop. I wanted to stop seeking validation from other people, especially when the same people wouldn’t blink twice if I ever ended up in trouble or needed help.
In a matter of seconds, I found myself seated on a low backed revolving chair, a cloth draped all over me.
Zara softly hummed as she sprayed my hair with water. A part of me wanted to ask if she could wash it too, but I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries.
The child in me wanted to giggle, “I feel like a flower, Zara. It’s nice being a flower.”
She let out a snort. “A very pretty flower, you are.”
She brushed it, and ran her fingers through it, turning it this way and that, getting a feel of my hair.
“Ooo, you’ve got such thick hair,” she appreciated, “what length are you comfortable with?”
Not wanting to appear hesitant I chimed in, “Chin length is fine.”
She was silent, and then she did the unthinkable. She grabbed my hair at chin level, and cut if off with a few clever swipes of her scissors. Something in me cringed when she held up the damaged, split ended mass of hair.
“All gone, now let’s get styling!” She cheerfully remarked.
Throughout the whole session, I felt the cool scissors soft snipping at the hair, with Zara’s adept fingers working skillfully. Every now and then, she’d chime in with a story. We were done before I knew it. I was shown to the mirror, after she had blow-dried it, and my reflection.
The person in the mirror had chic looking, short hair that brought out her cheekbones. She had a sparkle in her eyes, and a smile that grew as she looked upon herself.
“You’re blood whispered, softly touching the ends, looking at the new hairdo.
“I’m just really glay brilliant,” Id you let me cut it,” she gushed, “Please don’t let anyone else cut it, just come here!”
As I walked out of her building, with a skip in my stride, I had not only gained confidence, and self-satisfaction, but also a new friend.