Punished Twice by BaldSurfer
Billy was excited for school to start. It wasn't that he liked going to class - he didn't. But this was his junior year in high school and he was going to be the starting quarterback on his football team. He'd spent the summer working out, lifting weights, running 5 miles a day. And like most guys his age, puberty had changed him too. He had grown nearly 3 inches taller over the summer - so he was taller and bulkier, and that gave him even more confidence. His black hair hung over his ears and brushed the top of his collar, and it was just wavy enough to look good with little styling effort. Even when he took off his football helmet, a quick shake of his sweat-soaked hair and it fell right back into place. When he walked into school that first day, was great to see everybody. He noticed lots more attention from the prettiest girls. And he watched the clock, counting the minutes until the first football practice.
Billy walked into the locker room with his 2 best friends, Joe and Tyler, both bulky linebackers who had also gotten even bulkier over the summer. They were psyched as they changed into their uniforms and hit the practice field. And there, catching practice passes from the coach was a kid they'd never seen before. He looked smaller - probably an underclassman, they figured - but he was lightning quick - chasing down long passes anywhere they were thrown. And then they noticed that, hanging from the back of his helmet was a long blond pony tail. Billy and the guys laughed at the sight. The coach called Billy over and introduced them to Timmy Flynn, a sophomore that had just transferred in. Billy shook his hand, told him he looked forward to playing with him and then joked "So when you gonna get that girly hair cut, new guy?". Timmy didn't laugh and said long hair was kinda his trademark. And then practice started.
Timmy was a great receiver. Over the first week, Billy was starting to feel great about Timmy's ability to make just about any catch. Some of the guys would tease the new guy about his long hair in the locker room, but on the field, he was a great addition to the team. But then they started playing scrimmages - and on the first pass to Timmy in a game-like situation, he made the catch and as he tried to turn and run with it, a defender managed to grab his pony tail and use it to drag him to the ground. And once that weakness was exposed, time and again, if there was no other way to stop him, Timmy's hair streaming behind became an easy way to bring him down. After a few scrimmage games like that, Billy and the older players assumed that the coach would force the kid to cut his hair. But when that never happened, and their first real game coming up, Bill and his boys decided to take matters into their own hands.
Everyone hit the locker room after Friday's practice. By the time they'd showered and gotten dressed, the coach had already gone home. Billy called Timmy over. Timmy's wet hair, untied and straight, hung a few inches below his shoulders. Billy looked at him and said "Tim, dude, you can't keep playing with that hair hanging out. You're costing us yardage on very play." Timmy promised he'd try harder to avoid getting caught by the hair but said he didn't want to cut it. With that, Joe and Tyler grabbed his arms from behind and as Timmy squirmed and screamed, they wrestled him face down to the ground. The other players ran to see what the noise was, and stood around laughing as Billy pulled a pair of scissors from his locker, sat down on the back of the now sobbing younger and started hacking away at the wet blond hair, throwing the cut chunks in front of Timmy's face, where he could see the pile of chopped hair. Billy didn't take the time to be neat about it and just chopped off long hanks, leaving a short but uneven mess on the boy's head. Satisfied that he'd done enough, Billy got up and the others let him go, and he ran from the locker room, crying uncontrollably.
Billy and his buddies, stopped for some food on the way home, and by the time he walked in the door of his house, his parents were standing there waiting, as angry as Billy had ever seen them. The young boy's parents had called the coach, and the coach called Billy's parents and said that he had no choice but to throw Billy off the team and suspend him from school for 2 weeks. Billy's dad screamed at his son:
"Do you realize what this means? We were counting on a football scholarship so you could go to college. If you're off the team, you'll never get into college. You may just have completely destroyed your while future! Do you get that?"
Billy was shaken. He explained that it was a harmless prank and was for the good of the whole team. Wasn't there something he could do to make up for it?
"Actually, there is," said his dad. "You're lucky the coach likes you. I came up with a compromise solution that both the coach and that poor boy's parents both agreed to. This is the only way to make this right. Get into the kitchen RIGHT NOW!"
Billy walked into the kitchen. One of the chairs was in the center of the room, with newspapers spread under and around it. Billy asked what was going on and his father simply said "Sit down and shut up." Billy sat down in the chair, unsure of what was about to happen. Then he saw his father pick up a large pair of scissors.
"You butchered that poor kid's hair. You humiliated him. You want to stay on the team and have a shot at a better future, you have to get the same treatment."
"But Dad..." were the only words Billy got out before his father had grabbed a chunk of his black hair and hacked it off. 4 inches of hair fell into Billy's lap. His father violently grabbed a fist full of hair and chopped. "Do you like how this feels? Can you imagine that poor kid, how he felt as you and your goons did this to him?" Billy felt the shame as his father angrily hacked away. He couldn't see what he looked like, but some of the cuts felt pretty close to his scalp. Finally his father finished. "Now you look as butchered as that other kid probably looks. And at tomorrow morning's practice, in front of the whole team, you will apologize to that boy for what you did to him. Now go to your room. I can't stand the sight of you. You're nothing but a bully - and you're lucky I didn't just let you ruin your entire future"
Billy raced upstairs and stopped to look at himself in the bathroom mirror. His father had really done a number on him. He looked like his hair had been cut with a weed whacker. It was all cut short, but some places were nearly bald while other patches stuck out at odd angles. What a mess! He went to his room,rubbing his butchered head and came up with a plan.
Saturday's practice started at 10, so Billy got up early, left the house at 8:30 and headed to the barber shop to at least get his hair evened up. He didn't want to tell the embarrassing truth so he told the barber he lost a bet with his friends. The barber surveyed the damage and said"I'll have to go pretty short to clean this up. I think maybe a Number 2 buzz is the best I can do." Billy agreed, and watched as the barber sheared away most of his butchered hair. His thick black hair actually looked good buzzed down. A lot of his teammates wore buzzes, so this wouldn't be a big deal. Pleased with his new look, Billy paid the barber and headed to practice.
Everyone was gathering for a team meeting as Billy walked in. A few guys looked at him and said things like "Cool buzz, dude." Billy felt good. A quick apology and this would all be behind him. Timmy, his butchered hair still an uneven hacked up mess, sat alone in the back of the room. The coach walked in, and to Billy's surprise, his father walked in alongside the coach. His dad looked down, saw Billy's new buzzcut and turned red with anger. He started screaming at Billy in front of the whole team. "I came here to make sure you properly apologized. But that is NOT the punishment haircut that was part of our deal! WHAT DID YOU DO?"
"Dad - I just got it cleaned up to look normal." His dad screamed for him to look at Timmy Did Timmy "look normal"? Get up here right now!"
Billy walked up to the front of the room. His dad asked the coach for the clippers he'd seen in the coach's office. His father called Tyler and Joe up and said "You goons pin my idiot son to the floor, like you did to that poor kid last night!" They silently obeyed and Billy's dad asked Timmy to join them. He plugged in the coach's clippers, and handed them, bare-bladed to Timmy. "Timmy, shave my son's head bald please." Timmy said it wasn't necessary. In his head, Timmy was scared the team would hate him for all this. But Billy's dad said that if Billy's head wasn't shaved, the team would lose their starting quarterback. So slowly, carefully, Timmy took the humming clippers to Billy's head and carved a line straight down the middle, leaving bare white skin, which looked even whiter compared to the dark tan of his face. Billy felt humiliated, and though he tried to fight the urge, he began to cry as the team watched and laughed while his head was clippered clean. When it was finally over, Timmy handed back the clippers. "Tim, we're not quite done yet," said Billy's dad, "Do you have a razor and shaving cream in your locker?" The team burst out laughing as the boy said, "No, sir. I don't shave yet."
"Well, here's where you get to practice shaving until you're ready. I'm sure the coach can find us some supplies." Moments later, with basin of water on the floor, Billy's dad gave Timmy the shaving cream and told him to apply a layer to Billy's whole head. Billy pleaded for his dad to stop, but there was no response. The team watched with fascination and giggled as Billy's head was lathered. Billy's dad offered to demonstrate and slowly dragged the razor down the center of Billy's head. Billy could hear the scratching of the razor echo in his head as the stubble was scraped clean. Timmy was handed the razor and slowly continued - trying to not cut Billy as he used a razor for the first time. The entire team was laughing and joking as they watched the spectacle. Billy continued to cry, face down, held down by his best friends while that kid shaved him bald. He was humiliated. How could the team ever respect him again after this? Finally, after what felt like forever, the job was done and Billy's dad spoke.
"Stand up now, tough guy. Show your team what a "man" you are. You done crying yet? Now you know what you did to this poor young man."
The team stopped laughing as they saw the shaking, red faced, bald boy that their star QB had turned into. The shadow of what had been his thick black hair made the pale white head look almost blue. The hard border line between his tan face that blue-white scalp made him look even more pathetic. Billy tried to look down to ignore their stares of shock and pity, and started to wonder in his head how long it would take to at least grow out to the buzzcut he'd had less than an hour ago. Probably just a few weeks he thought and then he'd look normal again. But at that second, the coach slapped his cold bare scalp and said "Get used to this, kid. If you want to stay on the team, your father and I expect you to shave your head like this every morning for the rest of football season. Go shower and clean yourself up for practice. Now, does anyone else on this team plan on being a bully?"
Billy walked alone to the showers. He passed a mirror and saw his bald head for the first time. It felt like a stranger was staring back at him from the mirror. His scalp glowed, white with only a hint of the thick black hair that used to crown his head. He reached up and felt his oddly smooth scalp. It felt almost numb, like it wasn't even a part of him. He choked back a sob at the thought of looking this way for the next four months. He hung his head down in shame and regret as he headed into the showers and felt the spray of warm water wash over his bare scalp and mix with the tears that ran from his eyes.