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Chief, Part III by Vegard
The pizzas weren't ready when I got to the pizza place, so I sat down at one of the tables. I hate waiting.
If I'd been one of those people who take out my cell every five seconds, I would probably pass the time easier. Like my kids.
I felt I'd done pretty good, when I returned home and told them the lay of the land. Maybe this would work out ok? I was curious as to whether the boys would come with me to Pete and Josh's tomorrow. Mike propably wouldn't, but I figured I could "persuade" Toby to go. Like the last time they were here.
He hadn't liked it, and neither had Linda. She'd told me I was a total jerk for putting a sweet boy like Tobias through that. "A sweet boy". Those were her words, and I'd told her boys weren't supposed to be sweet. They were supposed to be boys.
And Toby had looked like a real boy at my Mother's funeral. Miserable, yes, but it was a funeral, so that fit well enough.
After I shipped them back home, Cathryn had (off course) called, yelling at me for ruining her precious boy's curls. Her sweet, and precious boy's curls had been "ruined". What the hell?
It can't possibly be just me who fails to see what's wrong with that statement?
Women today are ruining kids, that's what's the problem! Especially their sons.
If I managed to have a say in this tomorrow, Toby's curls would be "ruined" again.
While I was brooding on this, the guy at the counter signaled me that our pizzas were done, and I picked them up.
The kids hadn't found a movie. And it was a strange line-up as I walked in to the house. Jane was sitting there, looking from one brother to the other, and in between, at me. Like she was watching some weird, slow motion, tennis-match between three players.
Tobias was sitting on the couch, oddly enough, looking calmer and cooler than Mike for a change.
Mike had been sitting in the lazy-boy, but was out of it the moment I came in the door.
"You can't make me!" he almost blurted out as I came in.
Mike didn't look his usual, cocky, self.
"I don't mean any disrespect, but I am not cutting my hair tomorrow!" He sighed, and hastily added, "Sir."
I looked at him, calmly, and said, "Ok."
He looked dumbfounded. Unsure, as if I was playing a trick on him.
"Listen, Mike. I won't lie to you. You really could do with a hair-cut. But you're right. I can't make you." And as I said it, I knew this was true about Tobias as well.
There were times at Pete and Josh's where parents came in with their son's for a "clean-up". And it had never really sat right with me, seeing the abuse of power these parents excerted on their boys. Nor did it with Misters Pete and Josh.
No matter what age the kids were, the two barbers refused to cut the hair of a boy without his concent.
Feeling a very slight twinge of guilt, I realised Tobias had not excactly given his concent that time, three years ago. But he hadn't protested, and that had been good enough for me. Pete and Josh hadn't known any better I guess, and assumed he was ok with it.
It was my turn to sigh, as I looked at Toby, "I guess you're not going either, are you?" I said. Still standing there with the pizzas in my hands.
"I'll go," he said, to all our surprise, "But," he added, "I want to go alone!"
Amazed, puzzled and grateful I nodded, and said, "Sure! I'll drop you off, and pick you up when you're done."
We ended up having a pretty good evening together. We were still awkward around each other, but Mike and Jane were behaving a lot better than when they came. Mike was probably real releaved he was "off the hook" as far as haircuts went. For now anyway. Maybe I could sway him later somehow? Maybe get him to go along with something in exchange for getting to use my private car as much as he wanted? We'd see when school started.
Dad dropped me off as agreed the next morning, and I stepped towards the door with "P&J's Barbershop" written on it. My legs felt like rubber, and my stomach was full of butterflies. But I surprised myself by managing to walk to the door, and through it.
It wasn't very crowded, and I was met with friendly hello's from the two barbers, and polite, inquisitive, looks from the four customers in there.
Thankfully I was left alone as I sat and waited. The guys ahead of me all had "clean-ups" of their previous haircuts, and these two were pros, working away fast.
Before I felt ready, it was my turn, and the barber introduced himself as Pete. I mumbled "I'm Toby", and he told me to sit and caped me up.
"What'll it be Toby?" Pete asked expectantly.
Opening my cell, I showed Pete the picture I had found of the haircut I wanted.
"Ooo," Pete said, lips rounded as he studied the picture. Josh sneaked a peak, and said, "Ah", with an approving nod. The shop went quiet, as the guy in the other chair, and the two who were waiting craned their necks to sneak a peak.
Pete was real descent about it, holding the screen so the curious gawkers couldn't see.
"Can you do it?" I asked.
Pete nodded with tight lips, "Yeah. I can do part of it. But not all."
Josh nodded as well, and with a meaningful look at his partner, he went back to his customer, continuing the talk they'd had about last night's game.
As the guys waiting joined in the conversation, and the focus was away from me, Pete said quietly, "I can do the back and sides, and get the top the right length, but you'll have to finish it up at home, or at a salon. Ok?"
I nodded. Not quite sure how I would get that done. But Pete explained to me what I needed, and asked if there was someone I could ask to help me.
"Yeah," I said, "I'll ask my sister. She's helped Mom out before."
"Great!" Pete exclaimed, "One short back&sides coming up then!"
He wet my hair, and began reducing the lenght over all. Down to about seven inches on top, before separating the longer hair on top from the back and sides with hair-clips. Something I am sure was not used often in this shop.
He then got the clippers out and reduced the lenght even more on the hair that wasn't fastened with hair-clips.
After doing the "rough bit" as he called it, he asked where I wanted the fade.
"Like in the photo," I said nervously, "At the temples."
Pete began carving a line from my right temple, slightly downwards towards the back, and did the same on my left. He then attached a guard, and attacked the demarkation line with it. I had seen this so many times on YouTube, and was thrilled to finally have it done to me.
He really knew what he was doing, and I watched in fascination as he expertly worked on my fade. Happy to see that my hair was darker now, and that the fade showed as darker blond against my skin. I had been a bit worried it would be as light as it was three years ago, but I needen't have. It looked fine. Sexy even.
I shifted a bit in the chair, afraid the bulge in my trousers would show under the cape, and kept watching in fascination as Pete applied lather, and used a razor to make the bare skin absolutely smooth.
Like he'd explained though, he couldn't finish the top of my head, and it looked floppy and untidy, hiding much, if not most, of my immaculate sides and back. But that would change. My stomach lurched, as I wondered how it would go.
I paid at the counter, and gave a good tip, as Dad had instructed.
"We're normally closed on Sundays, but come by around 12 tomorrow, and I'll give you a finishing touch, ok?" Pete said, and winked at me.
I stuttered a "Thank you!" and Pete explained that he and Josh lived over the shop, so all I needed to do, was ring their doorbell and he would be with me.
As Dad came to pick me up outside, it was like his face was a computer screen with the words "Does not compute" written over it.
"What? Did the clippers break before they were finished?" he asked, staring at my head.
I didn't want to answer. In stead I asked if he could take me to Wallmart, and let me do a bit of shopping, also there without him joining me.
He shrugged, and drove me there like I'd asked.
I found what I needed in the shelves, and felt grateful for the self-check counters. The kid who was watching over it looked at me though, kind of funny. Or maybe it was just me being to darn self-conscious about all this.
My legs still felt a bit wobbly, but so far so good. Walking back to Dad, waiting in the car, I kept stroking the nape of my neck, and up towards the fade. It felt so good!
I now needed to elicit some help from my sister. Hoping she wouldn't make fun of me. At least not too much. I really did feel self-conscious enough about this as it was.