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Fade at the barbers by Jamie Lannan

It was coming into summer, the weather was starting to warm up with the bees and wasps coming to life all over the countryside and small towns of Ireland. I had a birthday party coming up tonight in a small pub in the countryside that I was looking forward to, I was going with my girlfriend Amy to it. As she knew the host. 

My girlfriend who is 22 and I slept together and woke up with the sound of cars passing by our window, my bed head was as awful as ever. She asked me did I have an outfit for tonight? I replied I have the jeans and t shirt that I wore last time, she wasn’t having any of it. 

‘We will go into town and get you something fresh’ she said with a stern tone. So we got some breakfast, got dressed and then got into the car to make the small trip into town. I had no idea where I wanted to buy the clothes from, it was a matter of finding a good place. I looked in the car mirror and say that my hair was quite long and shaggy. I asked ‘ Do you think my hair is okay for tonight’? My girlfriend replied with ‘Ehh It could do with a cut to be honest’ I thought to myself I am getting pampered today. ‘Okay we will find a good barbers in town too. ‘You don’t mind waiting with me do you?’ I asked. ‘No I will get to stare at you in the chair hehe’ my girlfriend grinned. 

We parked the car and walked around the warm streets of Ennis looking for some nice clothes shops to cloth me up for tonight. We came across a big modern looking one and went into it. I instantly picked out a shirt and chinos and bought them for the party tonight. "Okay one thing done" I said. We went and put our bags in the car and then got some lunch before I went to get my haircut. "Do you know where you’re going for it?" My girlfriend asked. I didn’t have a clue as the barbers I normally get it done in was closed for a month. 

We finished up our lunch and made our way into town, looking for the distinct Red & White Pole on the front of the shop. We came across one but upon further inspection it had the ‘Closed’ sign on it. So we decided to go to the Main Street.

"There has to be a barbers here’ said Amy. As we walked down the street I spotted the Red and white pole spinning in the distance. Amy said she saw it too. We were getting closer to the barber shop and Amy asked me "What are you getting done anyways?" I really had no clue. We approached the pole to see a red shop with the name "Aoife’s Barber Shop" on top with a red and black font. 

I looked in the window and saw a small modern enough barber shop with all the tools and equipment they have. 
Amy said to me "Are we going in"? I agreed and walked in slowly opening the door and hearing the "Bing" sound as the door opened. You immediately got the barbershop smell, with the smell of barbercide, talcum powder and freshly cut hair filling up our noses. 

There was nobody in the shop so we both walked over towards the waiting couch over one side of the shop. Suddenly a shout from the back "I will be out in 2 minutes" coming from the barber in the back. Amy was about to sit down and had to moved a copy of The Sun newspaper from the couch to make way for her to sit down. She put it on her lap and as I sat down beside her. She passed the newspaper to me once I sat down. "Here you can read this" So I opened the paper and flicked through it. Amy was scouting out the shop and saw all the tools on the station. There was everything from clippers, razors, trimmers, neck duster, kitchen roll, combs, scissors, capes. She was really curious about what some of the tools were for as she is used of the expensive salon. "Babe, what is that for?" Pointing at the station. "Which?" I replied. "The small knife thing" that is a cut throat razor I replied. 

Suddenly the barber emerged from the back of the shop. 
"Sorry to keep you waiting" she said. Her name was Aoife and she was about 24 years old with long black hair and a face full of makeup. "You can take a seat here and I will be with you straight away" So I got up passing the newspaper to my girlfriend who took it and left it on her lap again, while I walked towards the big black barber chair. Amy watched carefully as I sat into the huge chair, "What are we doing for you today?" said the barberette. I want a small bit off top and a fade from a 1. She smiled and disappeared to the back room again, I was staring at Amy in the mirror and she winked at me. 

Aoife appeared from the back holding a pin striped black & white barber cape. She laid it on the barber chair next to me and walked to my staton where there is a big roll of Kitchen roll sitting on the counter. She picked up the roll and took off 2 pieces of the paper towels. She walked behind me and folded my collar down while holding the kitchen roll. She tucked the paper into my collar, I felt the tickle sensation when it was touching the back of my neck. Amy was looking and didn’t know what was happening. Once the kitchen roll was in place, she walked back to the front of the station and picked up a smaller white roll with bits of blue on it. She tore a long strip off the neck strip roll and walked around to me once more and tightly secured it around my whole neck. I looked so stupid with the neck strip and paper towels shoved down my neck. Aoife finally picked up the cape and threw it over me. She tightly fastened it up and folded the neck strip over the lip of the cape. "No hairs will get down your neck now" she said. 

I felt the chair pump up slowly higher and higher. I could see Amy reading the newspaper in the mirror, something I never saw her do before. Once I was caped and pumped up. Aoife grabbed her clippers with a guard 1 on them. She turned them on with the sound echoing the whole barber shop. She slowed moved them over my long locks, my hair fell onto the cape as I watched in the mirror. The feeling of the clippers going up and down my head was amazing. she started blending the hair with a 2 and 3 guard until my fade was finished. 

Aoife went around to the station and grabbed the white Sibel neck duster with the talcum dispenser. She pressed the button that released Talc onto my neck and dusted all the hairs of my neck and head. Before starting the top of my hair. Annette got another piece of Kitchen roll and tucked it into the back of the cape where the neck strip was. She then got shaving cream and lathered my nape with it. She then slowed used the cut throat razor and shaved my nape with it, wiping off the hair onto the tissue hanging from the cape. Once Annette had my neck done she threw the kitchen roll onto the ground and covered my neck in a warm towel. 

Next thing a man walked into the shop, Aoife told me she had to attend to him in the back room for a second and she asked, "Do you want a newspaper to read for 2 minutes while I’m gone?" At this stage Amy had put the paper back on the couch where I was previously sitting. I said that I would like it. So Amy got up off the couch and put the paper on the station right in front of the chair while Aoife went into the room again. I said thanks to her and she winked at me again. 

I picked up the paper and read it for 3 minutes while talking to my girlfriend as well before Aoife was able to resume my trim. She returned and took up her water bottle and sprayed the top of my hair to wet it. The feeling of cold water on my freshly cut neck was chilling. She began to scissors cut my longer hair while I was still reading the sports section of the paper. The hairs fell onto the pages and then fell onto the cape. Aoife asked me how much I wanted off my fringe and I said "a small bit please." She started trimming away at my fringe. There was a lot of hair on the ground and on the cape. 

My haircut was almost finished, Amy was on her phone while I had put the newspaper back on the station. I was looking into the mirror watching Aoife put the final touches in my haircut, the trim around the ears. Aoife picked up the neck duster once more for the final time, she dusted my neck & face with it once more and adding talc to my neck creating a big cloud of powder. Amy loved the smell of Talcum powder and couldn’t want to smell her boyfriend after his cut. Aoife un-pumped the chair unclipped the cape, throwing the neck strip onto the ground. She then took the two paper towels from my collar and handed them to me. I used the tissue to wipe off any excess hairs that was on me. 

I got off the chair and paid Aoife the money I owed her for the cut. I said thank you very much. 

Amy got up off the couch as I walked over to her and we both left the barbers. "I love the way you smell babe"
I replied, "you should get your hair done in that barbers the next time.

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