Part 34 – Salon Magic

“Wow, you look unbelievable!” The woman explained after they ushered me to one of the barber chairs.

I craned my neck around peering up at her with eyes widened and a single eyebrow raised. She had a wicked grin stretched across her face and a set of wide innocent eyes that made her appear surprised. She was pretty, even with the long scar that intersected her jawline on the left side.

I froze, though I saw no malice or ill-intent in her eyes, I wasn’t sure if she intended her exclamation as in insult or a compliment. Her next comment however, put the matter to rest.

“Very exotic. You got a whole sexy-space Smurf vibe going. I think It’s killer.”

“Ummm, thanks?” I replied, the tone of my voice making it sound more a question than a statement.

“Name’s Sally,” she beamed down at me.

“Calista,” I replied glancing back at her with wide eyes.

“You just go through your twist?” she asked reaching for a pair of scissors on the counter.

I nodded. “How can you tell?”

She shrugged. “We cater mainly to twisted here. You see enough of them come and go, you can spot the newbies a mile away.”

“Well, since this is your first post-twist haircut you have anything special in mind?” She asked lifting the scissors in front of her face and cutting at the open air with them.

“Uh, hadn’t given it much thought. This was a kind of spur-of-the-moment sort of thing,” I replied as she pulled out a hair-styling cape and draped it over me.

A part of me, my masculine side, wanted nothing more than for her to shave it all off, but my feminine side, bolstered by my compulsions, had already become my dominant half. I doubt it would surprise anyone which side won out, least of all myself.

To my feminine self, such a change in hairstyle wasn’t just drastic it was unthinkable. That being said, long hair was a pain in the ass, and I was getting sick of dealing with it. For my inner-girl a shorter-hairstyle would not be out of the question which helped bring balance to my warring halves.

I wasn’t well-schooled in anything girl, so the name of the particular style I had in mind escaped me. There was, however, a simple solution to my dilemma. I brought my hand up about halfway down my neck and held it out flat. “Uh, how about something this long?”

Sally furrowed her brows, dropped the hand holding the scissors and reached out to grasp a strand of my hair with her free hand. “You mean a bob? Honey, you have such beautiful hair, you want me to lob it all off?”

“Callie, you sure about this? It could take years to grow it out that long again,” Carrie chimed in from the seat beside me.

I bit my lip, glancing back and forth between the two women catching their doubtful looks before gritting my teeth and nodding “Yeah, do it.”

The hairdresser, frowned putting both hands on her hips and peering at Carrie, no doubt hoping the other woman would override me, but my father only nodded. Sally sighed and shook her head.

“Such a waste,” she muttered under her breath before raising the scissors and lobbing off a big strand.

My stomach roiled at the sight of my locks fluttering to the ground. Asking to have my hair cut shorter was one thing, witnessing it was another. My feminine pride was screaming out in anguish, but it was already too late. I clenched my eyes shut, feeling my whole body tremble as I listened to the scissors hacking their way through my hair. I felt each strand slide down my body before dropping to the ground.

‘You’ll look sexy as hell,’ I told myself over and over in my head. It seemed to help, slowly, I released the breath I didn’t even realize I’d been holding, but I couldn’t bring myself to open my eyes. Not yet…

Minutes ticked by, and it seemed as if hours passed before Sally announced that she’d finished. When I opened my eyes, I found myself looking at my reflection. I was not disappointed. The change was drastic, but it looked great.

“You like it?” Sally asked peering at me over my shoulder.

“Yeah,” I said studying my reflection and running my hand through my hair. I bit my lip, I don’t know what it was… but something seemed missing.

“Carrie, what do you think?” I asked turning to the chair beside me, only to lock gazes with a little girl about half my age.

My eyes scanned the room, looking for Carrie and I found her seated at a row of chairs parked near the front of the shop which I’d missed when we entered. As soon as we made eye contact, she hopped to her feet and made a beeline toward me. I don’t know if she’d seen something in my face or if she’d just heard me say her name and had been a little slow making her way to me.

When she reached us, I inspected her new do and pursed my lips. She didn’t seem to have done much with her hair, it was a little shorter, but that was the only change I could spot. Then again, her hairstyle suited her, why mess with a good thing?

She reached out, snatching a piece of my hair and rubbing it between her index-finger and thumb. “It’s cute,” she said peering at Sally out of the corner of her eyes. “But it could use a little color. Why don’t we streak it?”

The moment those words left Carrie’s lips, I knew it was what I wanted. I had no experience with this stuff and very little idea what any of the terms being bandied about meant, but when she said ‘streak it’ the conclusion my mind jumped to seemed obvious. I may have been oblivious to the terminology, but, in this case, it seemed like a no-brainer. That being said, it didn’t hurt to get confirmation. If I was wrong, I didn’t want to get into anything I might regret.

So, I looked about hoping and leveled my gaze on a girl about half my age with gold streaks running through her hair.

“You mean like her, right?” I asked nodding toward the girl and watching with a blank expression as they each turned to follow my gaze.

“Yes,” Carrie said regarding me with a smirk, cocking her head, and folding her arms across her chest. “But… maybe something a little more involved than a few blonde streaks.”

I nodded, my mind racing as I considered the possibilities. Already, a picture had formed in my head and though I had no doubts Carrie had something specific in mind, I wasn’t going to let that deter me.

“Yeah,” I said nodding in agreement, a smirk every bit a match for Carrie’s stretching across my face. “About that…”