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Chapter One: The Start by TyeSays

*More or less a remake of my old story "Marco, 16". Though I've put more of myself in this then I did back in 2014*

For six years I lived under my girlfriends oppressive thumb. For six long years, I let her control every little aspect of my life; right down to how I styled my hair. She'd make me go to down to her father's barbershop every Saturday and, at exactly 2:30, have him to buzz my head right down to the scalp. It wasn't a visit I particularly looked forward too, especially since her father would go to great lengths to make me as uncomfortable as possible. I'm not even exaggerating. Once he actually waited till I was caped to start talking to my about his wife's menstrual cycle, going on and on about how it ruined their entire vacation to the Bahamas. Yeah, it was as terrifying as you're probably imagining it to be; if not more.

I broke up with her on New Years Eve of 2014, maybe about ten minutes before the ball dropped in the big apple. I know what you're probably thinking: what kind of asshole breaks off a relationship during the New Years countdown? That's like next level douchebaggery, but please believe me when I say I have no choice!

My friend Tony was throwing a party to celebrate the new year, and he'd invited us to attend. It was there that she started to argue with me, in front of all of our friends and co-workers. One of her friends accused me of being a bit too handsy with her, and she believed them! It wasn't true and I actually had proof to back up my denial, but that didn't matter to her. She started getting aggressive and, soon enough, decided to chuck a glass of champagne at me. It was then and there that I broke up with her, and not even two minutes later she was escorted out of the party.

My ex made it abundantly clear that she wasn't going anywhere, going as far as stating that half the apartment was legally hers, So what did I do? I packed up my own stuff and left, that's what I did. I told her she could have the apartment if that's what she truly wanted, and immediately moved into my mother's basement.To this day that confrontation remains one of my boldest, though truth-be-told I felt pretty damn anxious the whole time.

It wasn't till a good week had passed that I realized I was no longer under her control. The realization almost moved me to tears, honestly. No longer would I have to deal with someone picking out my clothes, choosing the foods I eat, or deciding how I style my hair.

For the first time in six years I was no longer someone's doll to dress up and throw around, but instead I was a person. A person finally allowed to show the world who I truly am. Unless you've been in my shoes, and have lived a life being constantly belittled and criticized by someone who swears they only do what they do out of love, you have no idea how much this realization means and how big of an impact it had on me.
Let's not get into that, though. That's not what this site's for, and that's not why you clicked onto this 'story'. You're not hear to read about my life and my revelations, so let's move on.

I made a vow with myself that Saturday, that never again would I buzz my head. Never again would I visit that Barbershop in town and subject myself to another hour of humiliating tales and cruel barbering. It was an exhilarating decision to make, really. And it was an even more exhilarating watching my hair grow out from a sharp buzzcut to a thick mop of glossy brown curls.

By July 4th, my curls were long enough to brush against my collar bones. It was the longest I'd ever had it, and surprisingly the reactions I got for it were mixed: My father thought I looked terrific with it, claiming I looked like a young Gene Simmons. My thought it looked awful, stating it hides too much of my face and doesn't suite my body type. My youngest sister claimed I looked more like Joan Jett than Gene Simmons, while my brother simply said he didn't care.
My friends were mixed too, with half claiming they loved the new look and the other half claiming it's the worst look I've ever had. Tony was on the "I love it." side, though I have a feeling he only said that to spare my feelings.

I had decided I wasn't gonna listen to anyone who hated on my hair. It was my hair and I liked it, and honestly that's all that really mattered to me. I wore my hair with absolute confidence as I strutted into that 4th of July cook-out, only to have my best friend Kyle completely shatter it with three simple words.
"You look awful!"
"What do you mean?" I asked, instinctively looking down at my outfit. I had decided to wear a patriotic button-up and my favorite pair of jeans. Nothing fancy, but definitely not bad.
"What do you mean, 'what do I mean'? Did you even look in a mirror before leaving your house today?" I was at a complete loss for words. The words were like a hard slap to the face, especially since it was Kyle who said them. Up until that moment Kyle had never once commented on my looks, beyond the meaningless "you like nice" here and there.
"I think I look good," and I honestly did.
"Well, if that's what you think then follow me," without another word, Kyle put down his bottle of beer and headed back inside. Given he was the host of the party, everyone turned to watch us go.
"Where are we going?" I asked once we were inside.
"Here," he said after leading me through the kitchen into the foyer, "Look," he demanded, gesturing to the giant mirror strung up on the wall. I obeyed and looked at my reflection. "What do you see?"
"A very confused party-goer," I answered honestly, "what am I suppose to see?"
"How about what's really in front of you?" he asked before turning towards the mirror, "I mean seriously, open your eyes." I did as he said and continued staring at my reflection, and soon enough all the flaws started jumping out at me. My hair made my face look fatter and my nose look bigger, while also making my eyes look more sunken in. Yes the curls looked amazing, but the rest of me clearly didn't.
"...I do look awful," I finally admitted, though it killed me to do so.
"Thank you," Kyle said with a sigh, "Now come on," he started walking away again.
"Where to now?" I asked.
"To the bathroom. We gotta fix this mess now, before the rest of the party gets here." It took me a five whole seconds to understand the meaning of his words: he wanted to cut my hair. I instinctively ran my hand through it, pushing it back away from my face.
"You're not cutting my hair," I said defiantly. After six years of living with a dictator, I wasn't about to let someone go and take over again."
"No!" I interrupted him, which in turn shocked him, "I like my hair, damn it. And I'm not about to lose it all again just because someone else doesn't like it!" Now it was Kyle's turn to be at a loss for words. He gawked at me for a few seconds before changing his expression to one of understanding.
"I'm sorry. I-" he sighs, "I shouldn't be so pushy, all things considered," he walked back up to me, "If you come with me and let me work my magic, I promise you won't regret it."
"I'm not going bald again, I refuse."
"And I'd never do that, but I do have something mind that I think would help bring out your... finer features," he smiles, "It'll only take a couple minutes."

Five minutes later I was sitting on a stool, in the bathroom, with a pink towel draped over my shoulders. It was absolutely nerve wracking to watch Kyle set up his equipment, to watch him pull out his clippers and it's many attachments.
"No buzzcut, right?" I asked anxiously. Even now I can still remember the intense fear I felt in that moment.
"No buzzcut," he confirmed before gathering up the hair on top of my head into a ponytail. I watched in the bathroom mirror as he combed out the sides and back, keeping my mouth shut the whole time. It was an oddly mesmerizing experience, really; watching the comb run slowly and gently through my hair. I'm almost positive I would've been turned on if I hadn't felt so nervous.
He then picked up the scissors and set to work. I had to bite down on my bottom lip to keep from screaming as he started hacking into my hair, removing the walls of curls that shielded my ears and neck. I watched as one curl after another fell from my head to the floor.
"Holy s**t..." I gasped. He continued cutting till a majority of the bulk was gone, leaving me with what could only be described as a messy reverse-mullet. The hair on the sides and back were still long enough to comb, while the ponytail on top is still untouched.
"Don't panic, we're not done yet," he said before putting down the scissors and picking up his clippers. I watched in silence as he snapped the number 2 attachment onto it.
"Relax, will you?" without another word, Kyle flipped on the clippers and set to work again. I watched in shock as he ran them up the side of my face before running it up-and-over my ear, cutting the hair far shorter than I'd ever expected. Tears instantly sprang to my eyes.
"Why do I ever listen to you?" I remember grumbling this as he continued running the clippers up the side of my head. He made quick and easy work of the rest of my hair, making sure he didn't miss a single spot before turning them off. He then took the hair on top of my head and pulled it out of it's ponytail.
"Almost done," he said, completely ignoring my growing emotions. He picked the clippers back up and, after swapping the attachment for a far bigger one, blended the buzzed sides into the hair on top. "And..." he gathers the remaining hair into a bun on top of my head,"Done!"

I was completely mortified. I hadn't planned on getting a haircut any time soon, yet here I was with an unwanted new do. While it didn't look awful - it certainly did narrow my face down a bit, and hide the giantness of my nose a bit better - it just wasn't a style I'd ever considered getting. But it was too late to do anything at that point.
So instead of causing a scene, I thanked Kyle for the new look and returned to the party. A lot of people complimented it, with a handful going as far as saying they thought it looked better than my old mane. It was all very flattering, but none of it made me feel better.

Twenty minutes later I was back in my car, heading back to my new apartment. Back in March I had managed to get my hands on a new apartment not far from my parents, and though it's not in the greatest of shape it's definitely a step-up from their basement. The fact that I wouldn't have to deal with their reactions that particular night did make me feel a bit better, won't lie there.
Once I was home I went straight for the bathroom. I stood in front of that mirror for a good two hours, just starring at the thick bun of hair that sat on my crown. I then spent another hour just starring at the walls of freshly sworn hair on the sides of my head. It was all very traumatic and emotional. Looking back at it, I actually feel a bit ashamed of how horribly I handled the whole ordeal.

After a few days of being moody about it, I finally realized 'enough was enough'. Yes, I had broken the vow I had made myself at the start of the year, but I had also promised myself I'd experiment with my looks and style. I decided then and there to give the haircut a proper chance, and after a week went by I decided to keep it.

As I would learn later on, keeping it proved to be a very bad idea...

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