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The Big Day Comes by Shant
This is the third story in this series.
In order, they are:
1. "Baseball Tryouts"
2. "Mark Learns to use the Clippers"
3. "The Big Day Comes"
Two weeks went by and Mark came into the shop to have me clean up his flattop. His hair was really starting to look better as it got longer. Our plan was that in two more weeks, I would be able to give him the long, square, boxy flattop that he so wanted.
In two more weeks, I also knew that I was going to have to make up my mind if I were actually going to go ahead and get a flattop myself.
It had been about five years since I last had a flattop. Mark’s flattop was so great looking that it really got me excited, thinking about having him give me one. We both had such similar hair that I really wanted to see if our hair would look the same if we each had a flattop.
As Mark sat down in the chair, he said, "I’m so stoked about getting this haircut! Three months ago, the idea of me cutting almost all my hair off was inconceivable, and now, I know I’m going to keep my hair cut like this for quite awhile."
"I imagine as it gets towards the end of fall, I’ll grow it out until spring, and then have you give me a flattop again," he said.
"Another thing I’ve discovered after doing this, is why did I always keep my hair looking the same all the time? I know that I’m lucky to have a really good head of hair, and I’ve loved seeing how different it looks each time you cut it."
"I’m going to have a lot more fun with my hair from now on. I’m thinking you should be my "haircut advisor" and come up with ideas for different haircuts as I continue to let it grow again."
"I think it would be cool if maybe you gave me the same haircut that you had when you cut my hair. I also hope that I can continue cutting your hair for you. At the end of today, I also have a little surprise for you," Mark said.
"I think that’s a great idea," I said. "It’s been fantastic getting together and doing this, especially after we both were comfortable enough to tell each other how much we love great hair. It’s even more fun because our hair is so much alike. I have no idea which one of us loves our hair more."
"I know how much you like Tyler’s haircut, and I’m going to cut it like that, only make a slight change that I think will make it look even better. I’m going to leave the very front of your hair just a little longer. Instead of it all standing straight up, the front is going to be just long enough to brush back."
"The rest of the hair on top is going to be about an inch long and will still be standing up straight as a board. It’s going to be awesome running my hands over that thick pelt you have. You are going to look so sharp."
"Using that pomade, with the front being just a little longer, will show off how much your hair really shines. If you don’t like it, I can just square the top flat, like Tyler’s, but I think you’ll agree that it looks even better when I cut it like that."
"You’re in charge!" Mark said. "I can’t wait to watch you do this. If you think it will look even better than Tyler’s that will be awesome because I really think his hair looks fantastic."
I was really looking forward to giving Mark this haircut. "Your hair is actually starting to look a little bushy," I said. "I want a picture of this now, before the haircut, so we can compare it to the picture after I cut it. You’re going to be so amazed by how different you look by only losing half an inch of hair. It is going to be awesome. I’m going to have a great time giving you this haircut.
I proceeded to cut the sides and back with the #2 guard like I had been doing for the past few haircuts.
I then brushed the top all up and back and took my comb and ran a part across the top of his forehead. The hair in front of the part was a little over an inch long. Starting just behind the part, I then took the wide tooth comb and lifted up the top and buzzed it flat. His hair was exactly an inch long and stood up perfectly straight.
I then lifted up the front of his hair, and using scissors, lifted up each strand and cut it so that it was between a quarter to a half inch longer than the hair I had just cut flat.
I then slightly wet his hair and added the pomade to make it really shine. I didn’t use a blowdryer because I wanted his hair to have that wet, shiney look. To me, nothing is more striking than black, thick, shiney hair.
Mark’s hair was looking so great, and I was so stoked cutting it, that I decided to take a little more liberty and cut off just a bit more on the sides. "I just need to clean up the sides and back a little more, and we’ll be finished," I said. "Mark, you are going to look so awesome!"
The first time I cut Mark’s hair, I had used the #1 guard almost all the way to the top of the sides and back. I gave him the exact same haircut as Coach Allen. After that haircut, because he was growing it longer, I used only the #2 guard from then on.
Without saying anything more to him, I took the clippers with the #1 guard and ran them halfway up the sides and blended it into the hair that had been cut with the #2 guard. This made the sides and back look even sharper and more square. He looked great!
Mark was so stoked. "This looks fantastic!" he said. "And of course, you were right. I think the front being a little longer really does look better."
"Okay, Dave," Mark said. "It’s your turn to sit in the chair. I’m ready for my next haircutting lesson."
I sat down in the chair and Mark caped me up and combed my hair perfectly into place. My hair was about two and a half inches long on top, with the sides about one and a half inches.
Over these past haircuts, Mark had lost all inhibitions around me. I loved how much he enjoyed burying his hands in my hair and playing with it.
"I know we’ve said this several times, but our hair is almost exactly the same. I love getting my hands in your mane and seeing how different I can get it to look. It’s so soft and so thick, just like mine," he said. "I get super stoked getting to brush your hair. It’s awesome!"
Not a word had been mentioned about whether or not I was going to get a flattop. Someone had to speak up first, so I said, "I gotta tell you that I’m really not sure if I’m ready to get a flattop yet. I thought my hair looked so great the last time you cut it that I think maybe I’d like to keep it looking like that for awhile longer."
"Oh, man!" Mark said. "That’s all I’ve been thinking about was getting to give you a flattop today, and now with mine looking so fantastic, I want to give you one even more!"
"Come on, Dave! You’ve said several times how great you thought my flattop was looking as you’ve been trimming it, and how great it was going to look once it was the length you wanted it to be. I think it looks really awesome. I’ve never had my hair cut like this before and I can’t believe how different I look and despite being short, how great my hair looks."
"What’s stopping you from getting a flattop? I know how badly you want to get one. I can’t believe that you’re afraid to get one. You’re not, are you? I know that just looking at mine makes you think more and more about how much you really want a flattop of your own. Man, you can’t keep your eyes off it!"
"Why put it off any longer? If you know that you are really going to get one sometime, do it now, so that we can both start out with the same looking haircut. It will really be something standing beside each other and seeing how we look both having flattops."
"If you get the same haircut that you just gave me, at one point, we can start growing our hair long again, keeping both our hair the same length. I think that would really be a lot of fun growing our hair out into different looks."
"I’m still not sure," I said. "Ken came in last week and asked me where the hell I got my haircut. I told him a little white lie, and said that I had gone to my family reunion, and my Uncle Don, who is a barber, told me how much he wanted to cut my hair."
"I told Ken that I really didn’t want to do it, but I really like my uncle. He is by far my favorite person in the family. He’s only seven years older than I am, so I have always thought of him more as a big brother than an uncle. Neither of us has a brother, so we are very close."
Mark continued brushing my hair. "I could spend forever just getting to comb and brush this mane of yours," he said. "I love running my fingers through the top and getting it to stand up as high as I can. You’ve got such great hair."
I saw that he had already put a guard on the clippers. I knew that was the way he would start the haircut, so I didn’t think anything about it, although I was curious as to what he had in mind.
Mark smiled to himself and thought, "I’m going to go ahead and give him a flattop just like mine, even though he says he doesn’t want one yet! I know how great he thinks my flattop looks, and once I give him one, I think he’ll be so happy with it, that he won’t be angry. He’ll look fantastic with a flattop just like mine!"
Instead of trimming the sides first, Mark took the clippers and placed them in the back. I did not know it, but he had put a #2 guard on them. He tilted my head downward and turned on the clippers and ran them up the required three fingers above the ear. He wasted no time in quickly running the clippers several times up the sides and back. I looked in the mirror and couldn’t believe the thick clumps of hair that were coming off and falling into my lap!
"What are you doing?" I asked. "This sure seems like a closer haircut than last time."
"I’m going to give you the haircut that both of us really know you want to have. You are getting your flattop! No turning back now. Just sit back and enjoy this!" Mark said.
I was amazed that he would be so bold, but I realized that it was too late now to do anything about it. "Oh, what the hell!" I said. "You’re right. If I say I’m going to get a flattop in the near future, why not do it now so that we both have the same looking haircut."
"To be honest, I really am excited about you doing this. Just be certain not to cut it down too short so that if it does need any cleaning up, there will be enough hair to work with. Flattops take a lot of practice in order to get them perfectly square on the sides and top. I don’t expect you to be able to give me as good a flattop as I gave you, but I’m not worried about cleaning it up after you’re done, if necessary."
"If I can’t trim it up myself, which I’m sure I won’t have a problem doing, I can go to Ken and have him clean it up. I wonder what story I can tell him to explain my new look?"
Then I thought to myself that I knew I could come up with something believable, and if Ken said that he really liked how my flattop looked, maybe I could convince him to get one, too. He also had a great head of hair and I would love to give him a flattop. That really would be a fantastic ending to all this.
After Mark finished running the clippers up the sides and back, he slightly wet my hair and used the blowdryer and brushed it all up and back as vigorously as he could. My hair had enough body that it was standing up almost to its full length. I really loved my hair, but at the same time, I was really enjoying knowing what a great time Mark was having.
Mark parted my hair on top just like I had done his. He lifted up the first section behind the part and using the clippers buzzed almost one and a half inches off, leaving it about an inch long, just like his.
He then cut my hair in front just the way I had cut his. So far, it looked great, but I knew the most difficult part was squaring up the back and sides and then blending them into the top.
He took the wide tooth comb and combed the remaining hair on the sides straight out and buzzed off any hair that stood out beyond the comb. He had a good eye, and took his time taking the sides down just a little at a time, as opposed to cutting it all off at once. To cut a really square flattop, a barber needed to be patient and have a steady hand.
After he squared everything up, he wet my hair and took the pomade and brushed everything all up and back. I was really impressed with what a good job he had done cutting his first flattop. It wasn’t perfect, but with a little practice, he would be able to cut a fantastic looking flattop.
"Well?" Mark said. "Are you angry with me for giving you a flattop, even though you said you didn’t want one? I hope you’re not really mad at me because I think you look fantastic! You look so different from how you have always looked since all the time you have been cutting my hair."
"I’m so glad you had the nerve to go ahead and do this!" I said. "I really, really, love how it looks! Our hair does look almost exactly the same."
We then took pictures of each other in order to have the before and after shots.
As Mark was getting ready to leave, he said, "I almost forgot to tell you the big surprise I have for you. I remember one time you asking me if I knew what I was planning to do after I finished high school, and if I had any particular college I was interested in attending. At the time, I really had no idea what I was planning on doing."
"I was always envious of you knowing that you always knew you wanted to be a barber. Since these "baseball haircuts" I’ve gotten to know you so much better and it made me start thinking about some things."
"I can do the math. You’re always booked solid. You started making great money when you were only in your early twenties. Best of all, you didn’t have a huge college debt to pay off, and you were your own boss."
"I think the two of us have become really close. I’ve always thought that you were a great guy and I was so impressed by how you seemed like you always had your act together. I always looked forward to seeing how your hair was going to look when I came in to get my hair cut. I so admired how it always looked."
"I feel like I have found a new big brother. I actually have a brother about your age, but he graduated from high school before I began junior high, so because of our age difference, we aren’t really all that close."
"I’ve decided to follow in your footsteps. I always liked trimming Tyler and Brian’s hair, but I have loved getting to cut your hair so many different ways. I’ve decided that I’m going to go to barber school. I think it makes perfect sense considering that there isn’t anything else that I really want to do."
"There’s a barber college less than two hours from here. I have family that live there and I can spend the week with them and then come home on the weekends. That way, if you’d like, we could continue to cut each other’s hair. I think it would be great, the more training I get, the better haircut I will be able to give you."
"I figure that I’ll be able to finish school just before I turn twenty. I’ll then find a place to work. I hope that I can stay within easy driving distance of my family, because we are really close."
"I really can’t see any reasons not to pursue this," Mark said. "I’ve discovered that I really enjoy cutting hair. I think I enjoy doing it as much as you do. What do you think? Any suggestions?"
"I think the idea of you becoming a barber is great. I’ve never regretted it for a moment. Ken and I have talked several times about adding another barber to our shops, but really didn’t see a reason to do it. Neither of us can take on any more customers than we already have."
"If you wanted to come back to live here, I’d be glad to have you be a barber at my shop. I think we’d have a fantastic time getting to work together. Think about it while you’re in school," I said.
"Actually, that’s all I’ve been thinking about. I so hoped that you might be interested in letting me work with you," Mark said.
I knew that I would love to have Mark working with me. The thought of getting to cut his hair for years was an incredible rush. Hopefully this will all turn out with a happy ending for the both of us.