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You Don't Say by Bob


My name is Callum, and I was in eighth grade at this point. At my school, the majority of guys have bowl cuts, long quiffs, or other medium length styles. My best friend, Mark was no exception. He was really attractive with his blue eyes and dark blonde hair. His hair had been in a bowl cut as long as I had known him. Although I wasn't ugly or anything, I was hardly noticeable standing next to him. (This isn't important, but the one thing I had on him was that I was a few inches taller and a month older). We had the same hairstyle although mine was light blonde.

One day before school, the classroom was buzzing, and I was finishing my homework when everyone went silent and started whispering. I didn't look up because I was busy.

"Hey, Callum," Mark said with his voice quivering.
"Hey, what's up?" I still hadn't looked up, and the class slowly started talking again.
I finally looked up to see Mark with his hair severely short, which was not the style in our town. He was sporting a super short spiky Ivy League cut that was barely long enough to be parted to the side. The sides were nearly nonexistent. It was heavily gelled and soaking wet. His face was red from embarrassment.
I said, "Dude, what happened to your hair?!"
With a humiliated tone, he says, "My dad got my hair cut like his to show me how a 'real man should wear his hair'. People have been making fun of me since I walked in."
"That's rough man, but I think it looks good." Trying to console him I say, "You're probably the lucky one to have your hair cut like that." That was a mistake.
"You don't say?"
"Sure I do; it really --um-- fits you."

We went on like normal, but people stare at Mark in the halls and shouted things like "The army camp is that way!" or "I didn't know we had a marine visiting." It obviously hurt him.

We walked home together, and he said "Remember when you said that I was lucky to have my hair cut like this?"
"Yeah, man. I'd try that haircut if it fit me," I lied.
"Are you sure about that, Callum?"
"Of course."
"Then let's go make you look like a real man. I'm sure my dad would take you."
"I would, but I -uh- have a lot of homework."
"You finished it all in the morning.
Damn. I guess there was no way out of this. I kind of liked the hair cut anyway, but I didn't want it. I didn't really resist because I thought it might help make Mark feel better.

We get to his house and Mark tells his dad, "Callum liked my haircut and wanted his just like it."
"You don't say?" His dad and he really were alike, and the haircut wasn't helping.
"I'd be glad to take him, I'll just ask his parents' permission."

My parents really didn't like my hair but didn't hate it enough to force me to cut it short, so they happily agreed to let his dad take me to the barber.

In the car Mark's dad said, "I wish Mark would have been as eager as you to get a haircut. He was in tears during the drive."
I reply staring at Mark, "You don't say?"
Mark turned red.

We entered the barbershop, and the barber said, "Two in one day eh Mark?"
Mark's dad replied, "Junior's friend liked our hair so much that we're taking him here."
"You don't say? I assume it's .5 on the side, super short on top?" the barber asked.
"Same as me and Mark Jr."

He caped me. The barber got out his clippers and put on a .5 guard. It vibrated along the sides and back of my skull. This was the first time my skin had ever been exposed, and it felt chilly. No going back now I thought. He then sprayed the top of my head with water. The barber started cutting the top of my hair really short. I could almost feel the scissors touching my head. By the time that was done, my hair was dry. He shaved a line to part my hair
The barber asked me, "Spray or gel?"
I replied --- (Scroll to SPRAY if you chose hairspray and scroll to GEL if you chose hair gel. It doesn't really matter; I just wanted a choice.)

SPRAY
"Spray"

The barber got out a can of hairspray. While combing my hair to the side, he sprayed a gas into my hair. My hair felt stiff to the touch. He gave me a mirror. My hair looked dry. It was parted loosely to the side and forward. I got up and he gave me a can of hairspray on the house. (scroll down to MERGE)

GEL
"Gel"

The barber got out a container of gel. He scooped three fingers of the clear blue substance and rubbed it in his hands. He used hands to push my hair back and to the side roughly. He used a comb to put it to the push it forward in back and to the side in front even though there was not much to work with. He gave me a mirror, and my hair looked soaking wet just like Mark's. It looked retro and slick. It was spiky, but pointed forward in the back and went to the side in front. If it were way longer, it would have resembled a wave. He gave me a container of that gel on the house. (scroll down to MERGE)

MERGE
After his dad paid, Mark and I decided to walk to my house which wasn't far. It was sunset and our hair glistened with the light of the falling sun.
"Thanks for doing that. I know you didn't want to. I just wanted someone to share the pain with," Mark said.
"I completely understand."
"You don't say?"
We both laughed.
He added, "By the way, that might be a while because I think my dad is making me keep this."
"On the bright side, we can --hmm-- share gel (or hairspray)?"
"Yeah we could style each other's hair," he said sarcastically, but we both knew that that is what we wanted.

I pictured him running his sticky gel covered hand through my hair while I sprayed his with the weird-smelling gas, morphing the shape into what we wanted whether it be spiky, parted, slick, or anything else. I sure have a problem, but I think he pictured the same. If or when either one of us told each other that, the other would probably reply, "You don't say?"



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