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Payback by Keepitshort

"First thing to go is that old fashioned, out of date , poor imitation of Hugh Grant's floppy hairstyle ! " declared my wife.

I immediately ran my fingers through my four inch long thick locks and beamed my best smile at her stating

" Well , I suppose I could do with a bit of a tidy up"

Her eyes flashed with anger as she fixed me with a stare, " I have taken you back under strict conditions as you well know, this is not a game, your days of cajoling and sweet talking me are over. Gone. If you think you can get round me and make me look a fool , as you have done in the past, then you are sadly mistaken. From now on I make the rules and you obey them. Understood ? "
I slowly nodded my head in agreement.

"Good, now go and wait for me at the car, I'll be out in a few minutes"

As I stood outside waiting on her I reflected on my behaviour, how we had reached this point and how I had agreed to a reconciliation but on her conditions , I was the guilty party , she was hurting and I knew there would have to be payback.

She drove in silence until she pulled up outside a row of shops one of which had a red and white striped pole sticking out, I swallowed hard, it was years since I had been to a traditional barber's my preference being for upmarket salons where I could be pampered and flirt with attractive stylists allowing them to convince me that the latest overpriced shampoo or conditioner was ' just perfect for me' . Once again, sub-consciously I ran my hand through my hair.

We sat in the car outside the old fashioned barber shop and she set out her orders:

" You are going in there for a 'proper haircut'. Once you are in the chair ignore any small talk, a simple ,no, yes or grunt will suffice , however when asked you what you want your instructions will be crystal clear ,' I want it short, basically a 'short back and side's ' you will tell him,
stick to that no matter what he suggests or recommends, then when he has finished and shows you with the mirror asking for your approval, no matter how short he's cut it you will tell him " a bit closer please and I'd like my neckline and sideburns cut square , straight across please, level with the bottom and top of my ears" understood ? "

I bit my bottom lip and mumbled a quiet " Yes"

She continued " so imagine I'm the barber combing that mop and asking 'what are we doing today sir? "

I moved uncomfortably in my seat and again ran my fingers through my soon to be shorn locks , then recited my instructions " ' I want it short, basically a 'short back and side's '

She smiled , "and when he holds up the mirror and asks for final approval ? "

I sighed " a bit closer please and I'd like my neckline and sideburns cut square , straight across please level with the bottom and top of my ears"
Now she sighed " fine, but say it like you want it , with more enthusiasm "

Again I nodded and sighed " Ok, but you won't like it , remember my ears stick out ! " and I turned to leave the car.

She grabbed my arm "It is what you deserve, well for now , now go! One last thing make sure he finishes you off with a razor and haircreme ! I'll be watching and I will take you back in if it's not done to my liking !"

My heart was thumping as I walked the few steps to the door, a bell tinkled as I opened it and I gave a little smile ,the shop was empty as I entered but the voice of an elderly man rang out from the back room " Take seat in the chair I won't be a minute"

I hung up my jacket on a wall hook and took the few steps to the old wooden barber's chair, as I settled myself in again I ran My fingers through my lucsious locks and then saw the reflection of the white nylon coat of the barber appear behind me

' Grand day ' he said as he flipped a dark red nylon cape over me , holding the 2 ends behind my neck he flicked my hair out then he popped the fasteners securely in place. As he selected a comb from the jar of blue liquid on the counter he flicked it in the air to remove any excess liquid then placing his hands on my shoulders came the age old question " So, what are we doing today, just a quick trim a tidy up is it? " and he began to drag his comb down from my centre parting towards my right ear.

I gave a little cough and could feel a bead of sweat on my forehead as I began " Well ehm, no I want something a bit shorter actually, ( he stopped combing and fixed eyes with me through the mirror, urging me to continue) well really I want ehm, it a lot shorter basically , well ehm a short back and sides? "

Having formed My instructions as a question he responded with another as he ran his comb from My forehead to the crown pulling all of My hair back " Quite a change for you, any particular reason ? " I remembered My wife's instructions and gave a little grunt and mumbled " not really, " he gave a little shrug of his shoulders then tapped his comb against the cushion of My now swept back hair " Well if you're sure , which side do you want the parting? "

again I shrugged " whatever you think is best" he gave another shrug and continued to sweep My blond locks back, then he combed a thick curtain of hair forward so it covered My eyes and I then felt cold metal against My forehead and then a loud ' SSCHHNICK' and three inches of my blond hair slid past My eyes and landed in My lap and I now sported a not too straight fringe which barely touched My eyebrows.

He continued to lift a lock of hair from the top with his comb and with one 'SNIP' reduce it's length by half, as he warmed to his task he developed a rhythm 'Snip, snip, snip in the air as he selected the next lock to be severed then 'SSCHHNICK' the blades entered and sliced through the lock sending it to join the others on My lap. Once he was happy that he had reduced all the hair on top to a suitable length he dropped the comb back into the blue liquid and selected a different comb with wider teeth, this time he let the excess liquid drip onto My scalp then he dragged the edge tooth of the comb from forehead to crown level with My right eye, and swept the bulk of My hair to the left , digging the comb into My scalp to create a straight side part. He then worked his way round My head combing the remaining long locks down over My ears and collar.

As he reached for his clippers he remarked " Getting there , you'll get a better idea once I'm done with these" as instructed I grunted My understanding then the clippers gave a loud hum and he lifted the hair at My right ear with his comb and the hum changed to a 'Rasp' as the machine was run along the plastic teeth and sheared off the blond hairs sticking through.

I sat like a rabbit caught in the headlamps as I watched him lift shear, lift shear, as he worked his way up the side of My head to the parting he had just created , as he exposed My jaw length sideburn he tapped it with his comb continued shearing above it and said " Mid ear ? " I nodded my acceptance and mumbled "O.K." My reply was scarcely out when the teeth of the machine were pressed against My cheek level with the middle of my ear then ran down towards My chin shaving off My carefully sculptured sideburn in a slit second, a quick adjustment by him to the lever on the machine and he ran it up to the top of my ear leaving behind a thin covering of closely clippered sideburn.

He gave a smile of satisfaction as he moved to the left side of My head , this time he combed My long locks behind My ear, briefly examined My thick sideburn and two seconds later it was twinned with the right one ! I don't know why as I knew what was happening but the speed of his actions left me breathless. His clipper over comb actions were swift and brutal , and I barely got to take in my drastically changing profile before he was behind me pushing my chin to my chest a moment before I heard the now familiar sound of the machine rasping against the comb and although I couldn't see it I knew My pride and joy locks were being sent to the floor. I heard the 'click' and as I raised my head to see the ' new me' in the mirror he hung the clippers back on their hook I was thinking ' I can live with this' , he ran his comb across My scalp to emphasise the parting then he again locked eyes with me in the mirror stating " not so bad is it? Now that we've got the basic shape I can get started , short back and sides you said ? " I shifted in My seat and grunted a " yes....please"

He combed My hair repeatedly making sure there were no tangles then he picked up a set of scissors which seemed to have gaps along the blades, and I thought he resembled an orchestra conductor as he poised for a second, his hands above my head scissors in one hand comb in the other , he then methodically sliced through My remaining locks his comb a fraction of a second behind his scissors, and the teeth rapidly filling up with My hair as his thinning shears reduced the bulk from My combed over locks. After four or five smile he would deftly clear My shorned locks from the comb sending clumps of My hair into My lap. Again I was transfixed as I literally watched My crowning glory shrink closer and closer to My scalp as he worked his way so over the top of my head.

Eventually he laid his scissors on the counter and then produced a smaller set of clippers "almost done just the edges to tidy up" he enthused and he manuvered My head down, left and right as he deftly created a distinctive clean line all around My hairline, finishing with a final two ships of his thinning shears to My fringe he again used a slightly damp comb to finally 'set' My new style in place.

My lap and the area around the chair were covered in great clumps of my blonde locks and he was obviously proud of the transformation he had created as he held the mirror behind me so that I could examine the back " one classic short back and sides " he enthused " quite a change but I must say you carry it off well" as he reached for the neck brush and began to loosen the cape I recalled my Wife's orders and I spoke up " ehm it's good, ok , very nice but could you ehm take it , I mean I'd like it cut shorter please "

he stopped the brushing " Shorter?, Sir you asked for a short back and sides , and that is what I have given you, a classic short back and sides"

" Yes I know and you have done a fine job , but my wife she ehm asked me well told me that I should get the sides cut straight across at the tops of my ears and the back straight across also level with the bottom of my ears , I'm eh happy to pay extra if you ehm could I mean well can you do that ...please?"

The barber raised his eyebrows at my request then reached for his comb, " if you want the sides and back as you say I will need to thin the top out a bit more " I nodded my approval and he went to work with his thinning shears and comb , after several large clumps of my hair had been discarded he selected the smaller set of clippers again and placing the teeth against my scalp he edged a line all the way round my head level with the middle of my forehead.

Next what was left of my fringe was combed forward and the clippers were edged from temple to temple leaving just enough length for a side parting. A can of shaving foam was produced and he took a thumbfull and smeared it down and around each ear and across the back of my neck. He pushed my head down and held it firm as he scraped away the foam on my neck with an open razor, as he released his grip he tilted my head to the left and then used his thumb to flatten my right ear against my scalp " Top of the ear straight across" I nodded my acceptance , he placed the blade just in front of my ear and with 2 short strokes removed the already shorn sideburns he had recently created " Now keep completely still" he ordered as he positioned the blade just above the top of my ear, I felt it rasp downwards then he let my ear return to its natural position and I saw a patch of bare scalp above my ear , he then folded my ear forward and I felt the razor carve it's way behind my ear to my neck, the left side got the same treatment.

My ears really stood out now with no hair in front of them and then the barber gave me a little smile as once more he pushed my head down then time after time he ran his clippers right up the back of my head to the crown, then he did the same with the sides reducing the 'short back and sides to an almost no back and sides'. Once he had finished with the clippers he rubbed a pink sweet smelling cream onto my hair and smoothed it down into the side parting.

As he raised the mirror again he gave a little smirk and asked " short enough? Will your wife approve? " He had sheared the back and sides down to a double zero five-0-clock shadow, shaved bald a straight line half an inch above the tip of my ears then angled this down to my neck line which was now shaved straight across level with the middle of my ears. The little hair I had left on top was now plastered flat into a severe side parting and shining from the cream, it was the shortest of short back and sides I had ever seen. As he removed the cape I tilted my head to further examine the carnage and instinctively my right hand shot to my neck where I felt warm but smooth skin right up to the sandpaper bristles which now covered my scalp right up to the crown.

I glanced longingly at my hair now on his floor and as I handed over a large note I told him to keep the change he refused stating " A bit of advice and a request Sir, please don't fall out with your wife again and please don't tell anyone where you got your haircut. "

As I returned to the car my wife was now in the passenger seat and she nodded to me to drive, as I settled into the drivers seat she remarked " your right your ears do stick out , let me see the back ( I turned my head) nice straight line but he could have taken you closer up the back did you follow my instructions? "

"Yes, clippered short straight across back and sides level with the bottom and top of my ears" I replied.

" mmm well he's taken you nice and high at your neck but way too high above your ears , still it'll do till next week when I'll come in with you and make sure he does it right. Now you can take me for a drink to that pub you've been frequenting and introduce me to the barmaid with the long blond hair you've been texting and we'll ask her for her opinion of your new look, drive ! "

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