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Runners Rock by P.J.
After 2 years in the Navy, I opted out and went to college. I've been working on an IT Degree and this was finally my senior year. Yea!
I've been running cross country for the college the last three years and have placed well each year. There was a small group of us, only 7 that were distance runners. I did it mainly to stay in shape but the camaraderie was great too. This year was going to be different though. The coach we'd had for the last three years had to leave due to a medical issue. The new coach was having tryouts for all of us whether you were a returning runner or new to the team as a way of assessing our skills and getting acquainted with each of us.
We met for the first tryout/practice and I knew we were going to be in for a wild ride with this new coach. He was every bit as fit as I was, which is always a challenge to deal with. He was probably in his late thirties, maybe pushing forty. He also had a super tight flat top haircut. The kind you see the cops wear, or occasionally I'd see one of the Navy brats sporting. You could tell he had great hair, kind of a nice shade of brown, nice and thick, what there was of it. Once he started to speak, I knew I was headed for trouble though. He had a loud booming voice and was very precise and demanding. Kind of reminded me of my old drill sergeant from Basic training. If this was his true personality, I might be finding a different sport to occupy myself with for senior year. I'd done boot camp once. I had no desire to repeat it. I decided to stick it out through tryouts out and see. I didn't want to jump to conclusions. He deserved that much of a fair shake.
There were a total of ten of us that made it through a grueling week of tryouts. On Friday, he sat us all on the bleachers in the gym to "summarize" the week of tryouts and make any "adjustments". Unless you were truly horrible there generally wasn't and cuts in Cross Country running.
We sat quietly as he paced back and forth in front of us, shrilly alliterating his expectations for us. Almost as if he was barking orders.
He stopped in front of me and looked me dead in the eyes. "Unless you have any objections Parker (that's my last name) you'll be team captain. You show real promise, son." I gulped. This was it, do I walk or stay.
I looked at Brian, my best bud, sitting next to me. He shrugged his shoulders. "You in" I quickly asked. He gave a quick nod.
"O.K. coach thank you sir" I said. I felt like I was responding to my old drill sergeant.
Coach barked. O.K. boys next practice is Monday at 0600 hours. Meet me on the track and don't be late. He was still pacing back and forth in front of us.
"Oh, and one more thing. I run tight ship, if you haven't figured that out yet. I'll expect to see you all with a fresh flat top, just like mine, for practice on Monday. You'll be maintaining it all through the season too. I don't approve of shaggy dogs like some of you are. There's no excuse for the long hair. Pete's Cuts in town is an excellent barbershop. Pete cuts a mean flattop too. I'll be there at 10:00 sharp this Saturday if any of you want to join me. I'll even pay for your cut.
That pushed my last button with this jerk. I took a look at Brian again and I stood up.
"Well sir, count me out then. I've served my time for Uncle Sam and I don't wish to repeat it. Give the captain position to one of these guys." I gave him a curt nod and headed for the locker room. I looked quickly at the rest of the guys sitting on the bleachers, with shell shocked expressions. I said "have a good time in boot camp guys" as I stalked off. Running my hands through my longer than collar length, center parted white blonde locks. Pete had cut them only a week ago.
The coach never even acknowledged me as I walked by. He said "well, anybody else feel the way Parker does?"
I watched out of the corner of my eye as I walked towards the locker room. First Brian stood up, then one by one EVERYONE else stood and started walking in the same direction I was. I couldn't make out most of what they were saying but I heard murmurs of 'I'm out', and 'me too' amongst the grumbling. I loved the positively stupefied expression on the coach’s beet red face. I had to suppress a belly laugh.
I proceeded to my locker and stripped so I could shower up. Brian and I walked into the showers, he mumbled a quiet "Thanks, I think we all just dodged a bullet. This guys a real piece of work."
I nodded my agreement. We showered up and were back at our lockers getting dressed. I was kind of bummed I’d have to find something else to stay active this year now.
Coach approached and stood at the end of the aisle. "Parker, when you've finished getting dressed, I'd like you in my office pronto."
I whirled around and looked him in the eye. "Sorry coach but I have a tight schedule today, maybe I'll stop tomorrow if I get time." No way was I giving this asshole the time of day. I wasn't some new recruit. I could see the color rise in Coaches face.
"Maybe you miss understood me son," coach replied. "I'll see you in my office, pronto."
I'm not known for being short tempered but I'd had it with this dick. "Listen SIR!" This isn't boot camp and I'm not one of your new recruits. I thought I made it clear that I was not going to be running for you and you will NOT be coaching me. I don't know who you think you are, where you coached last, or what you think this is, but boot camp it ain't." I was dressed by this time and was packing up my gym bag. I shut my locker. You could have heard a pin drop in the locker room. "If you continue being belligerent, I definitely won't be visiting you tomorrow either, I'll spend some quality time with the athletic director discussing you though."
I pushed past him and started out of the locker room. "And...not that it would matter to you but...I'm quite familiar with Pete's Cuts. I was just there for a trim last week. Wild horses couldn't drag me back there for a cut like yours." To my great astonishment, I thought I started to hear clapping. I wasn't exactly sure at first but it slowly grew to a round of applause. The last thing I saw was the coach, red faced and fuming, stalk off to his office.
Once I'd simmered down a bit, I decided that I'd let the university deal with him. With all of us walking off, he didn't have anyone to coach. That should be enough trouble for him. I didn't know, and didn't really care if he also taught classes here either.
I was sitting at one of the picnic tables in the quad studying on Monday afternoon when I felt another body sit at the table opposite me. Glancing up I saw it was the coach. OH, crap I thought. I started to pack my stuff up and get up. "Mr. Bradley, I really have nothing to say to you."
Coach held up both hands, palms out and said "wait Shaun, please, I'd like to talk to you for a minute. Will you at least hear me out?"
Something in his tone, facial expression, and the fact that he’d called me by my first name this time, told me to sit. "You have 5 minutes. And if you start to get belligerent again, I'm going to the athletic director and claiming harassment."
"No, I can assure you, that won't happen, son. Listen, I've no right to ask, after the way I've treated you but, I'd like to see if you'll help me."
I was thunderstruck. "If you think I'll influence the guys to come back, forget it. We're not interested." I was studying him intently and noticed that he'd had that flat top of his cut even shorter. Ugh, what a dweeb.
He shook his head. "NO, I mean well, that would be great but I don't blame you guys after what happened Friday. Look, this is my first attempt at coaching. "He sighed deeply. "And my first real job as a civilian too. I retired from the Army last year. I did my 20 years and decided to get out. I'd been studying and got my teaching certificate this past spring. I've had a rough go of it as a civilian though. Two tours of combat duty have left me with some...well, let's just say, significant issues to deal with. I thought I was ready to teach, and the university asked me to coach too. I thought well, I used to be a drill sergeant, it can't be that much different, I'll give it a try. Boy, was I wrong, you guys showed me that."
As one G.I. to another, I can tell you that I've been though some pretty tough counseling to help with my issues. You were in the military and seem to have adjusted well to civilian life. You're a good bit younger but do you think you could help me with a few things. Nobody seems to want to get to know me around here, faculty or students. YOU seem pretty outspoken and confident. I’d like your input. What makes me so unapproachable?"
I looked at him incredulously. "Mr. Bradley, you really don't see anything wrong with your demeanor, or your appearance?" He was wearing dark slacks, a white shirt, and dark tie. He even had a pocket protector. Ugh.
"You behave as if we're all new recruits. You're gruff, barking orders, talking down to people. I've no idea what issues the other faculty have with you. And please, the haircut, screams hardass, no nonsense, and don't f*** with me or else. And your outfit screams 1950’s physics teacher. Not very approachable over all, wouldn't you say?" I sat back and crossed my arms as I looked at him, I expected him to explode back at me.
He hung his head. " Wow, pretty spot-on son. Those are all things the counselor is working with me on, except the haircut. Is it really that bad? I've had it for 20 years and I never gave it a thought that no one else would want to have it too."
"Mr. Bradley, look around you, there’s guys all over this campus. Do you see a single one with a flat top. You don't even see many with buzz cuts. Hell, I was in the Navy for 2 years, and I don't remember anyone with a flat top" It screams military. You scream military. I don't know how I can help you if your set on that haircut."
"I know there's a significant age difference here, but could you at least coach me on what I need to change with my appearance, including my hair too, I guess. I'm a work in progress with respect to my demeanor too."
"You mean you want some advice regarding your clothes and haircut? "I replied.
"Well, yes, I'd be grateful for any advice you can give. Anything, really. I don't have any real family anymore, and I've never been married, let alone had a girlfriend. I have a couple of friends at the Base, but they aren’t good sources for this stuff if you know what I mean. Would you have any thoughts?"
I laughed out loud. "Yeah, sure, the first thing that comes to mind is you could stay away from Pete's Cuts till the end of the semester, and throw away that tub of butch wax in your bathroom. O.K.? And I'm no wardrobe expert or fashionista, but loose the tie and unbutton the top button of that shirt for starters. How's that?" I raised my brows inquisitively. Curious to see how my comments were received.
He proceeded to remove the tie and unbutton the top button. " Like this?" he asked. "I suppose I shouldn't have visited Pete's this last Saturday then," he stated, running his hand over the tight cropped top and practically shaved whitewalls.
Pete could cut a mean flattop, that was for sure I thought, eyeing the nubbins up top critically. I guess the best you could say about it was that at least wasn't a horse shoe flat. You could tell his hair was some shade of brown. "I'm guessing you get that tightened up at least every 2 weeks, if not sooner, right?" I said nodding at his noggin.
"Well of course, longer than that and it gets unkempt. I like to keep it neat he said" starting to get defensive.
"Look, you asked for ideas on a more friendly appearance, you're slipping into defense mode. If you can't handle the answer, don't ask the question." I started to stand up.
"Sorry, Sorry, I'm not at all used to anyone being critical of how I look is all. I'm used to being the critic." he said, palms up at me again. "Please sit down. Changing my hairstyle is a real game changer for me. This won't be easy. He sighed again heavily. "None of this is easy. I guess I can stay away from Pete's for a while. But the rest of the semester? I'll be a shaggy dog for sure by then." he replied sounding panicky.
"Baby steps Mr. Bradley, baby steps. Nothing wrong with getting a bit shaggy now and then. When you get the urge to chop, come find me and we'll talk. O.K.? As for the rest of the clothes, take your queue from the rest of the faculty. The general atmosphere around here is pretty casual. Kakis and a 3 tab shirt, maybe a sweater as it gets cooler this fall. Jeans on Fridays. Something the military doesn't even begin to promote." I gestured to the campus at large as I spoke.
Mr. Bradley got a bit fidgety and looked me in the eye. "There is one more thing. I'll completely understand if you say no, too. Would you consider coming back and running track? Could you talk to a few of the other guys too? I'd let you be the unofficial coach. I've learned quickly that you guys don't really need much coaching. I'd be the figurehead coach for the university's' sake. It would really help me with acclimating to civilian life. And no.... there would be no mandatory haircut requirement. That was totally out of line for me to require that. You don't have to answer me now either. Think about it and talk with the other guys." With that he stood up and extended a hand for a shake. Thank you, Shaun, sincerely, this has been more of a help than you'll ever realize son. Would it be O.K. if we could chat like this again?"
I hesitantly shook his hand " Uh, yes, I guess it would be O.K. I’ll see about talking to the guys. No promise there though. They were pretty put off by you."
I spoke with Brian and a few of the others that had tried out earlier. I got a small group, 5 to be exact, to go and talk with Mr. Bradley. (I wasn't ready to call him coach yet.) It was only Wednesday, the first meet wasn't until Saturday, so we would still have a little practice time IF we wanted to run for him. In the end we all agreed to run, at least through the first meet and see how it went.
Mr. Bradley pulled me aside and said he'd spoken to his counselor about all this and wanted me to have a signal word for when I thought he was lapsing into any type of bullying behavior. We settled on 'boot camp'. I thought it was very appropriate for the situation.
We made it through practice that week, me yelling 'boot camp' could be heard a fair amount also. The first meet went exceedingly well though, all things considered. Mr. Bradley did in fact improve on his coaching enough for me to refer to him as Coach. Our practices became more like we'd had with our old coach. I could tell Coach was relaxing and getting the hang of coaching instead of being a drill sergeant.
At the end of the next week, Coach asked me if we could talk, in his office, after practice. I said sure.
With a good hard practice completed, I showered up and headed to his office.
He politely offered me a chair. I could tell he was nervous about something. "Shaun, I hope this conversation doesn't make you uncomfortable. I know you told me to stay away from Pete's Barber shop for the rest of the semester. You also told me to come to you anytime I had the itch to get a cut. "I nodded and smiled. "Well, tomorrow would be my normal appointment to get this touched up" he ran his hand through the plush brown top. "I called and cancelled my standing appointment with Pete, telling him I'd be in to see him before the holidays." Now I know how smokers must feel when they quit cold turkey. I can't believe how hard this is. Do I really have to let it grow out? Till the end of the semester? I never really thought about how great the clippers feel peeling off the fur until you said I couldn’t get it cut till the end of the semester."
I had to stifle a chuckle. This guy was a real clipper addict. "Coach, get through tomorrow first, remember, baby steps. Go for a run, go clothes shopping for some new casual duds. Take a hike. Go to the movies. YOU have to distract yourself. Whatever you do, don't drive by the shop." He thanked me for the talk, I honestly didn't think I'd been all that helpful but, we'd just have to wait and see. Jokingly I thought to myself is there a flat tops anonymous for guys like him.?
Monday came and Coach still had all his hair. The top was getting nice and plush too. He gave me a knowing smile as he ran his hand through the plush top. I nodded and smiled back. His haircut issue was something he wanted kept just between us.
He called me in after practice and exclaimed "well I made it. I had to do almost all of the things you suggested but I did it."
I gave him a warm smile. "That's great Coach. I'm glad my suggestions worked."
He looked at me questioningly. "Shaun, how do you stand to have all that thick bulk flopping all over the place when you run. It gets all sweaty and wet. Then you've got the shampooing, and conditioning when you shower. Then all the brushing and fussing. I'm not sure I can do that " he said, shaking his head.
I laughed. "Coach, I don't think you'll ever grow yours out to be like mine. My aim with you is to just get you to something a bit more mainstream. Like a short back and sides. It has a bit of style, and something for the ladies to run their hands though. (I smirked back at him.) Without getting too fussy and time consuming. Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves Coach. You still have a long way to go before you even need to buy a comb."
The week flew by, Coach succeeded in staying away from Pete's. I had found out, little by little, that Coach was only 37 years old. He'd done his 20 years and gotten out. He was only 13 years older than me, but somehow it felt like 30 years older. His dad had signed for him to enlist at 17. Both his parents were now deceased, and he hadn't indicated that he had a partner, male or female as far as I knew. I don't make any assumptions as to someone's orientation these days.
He was starting to get a tiny bit shaggy by Thanksgiving. I was waiting for him to have another talk with me. I was guessing that he was just starting to have a really hard time resisting the urge to cut. Sure enough, before Thanksgiving break, he asked me to step into his office.
We sat opposite each other, the desk in between. "Shaun, I'm a bit embarrassed to ask, but I need some advice." He ran his hands through his plush thick hair, he had almost 2 inches of fringe hanging down now. The sides were just starting to hide the tops of his ears, and he had a bit of length hanging below his nape now too. "What the hell do I do about this mop, kid" he sighed and pushed the fringe around. 'I have a really strong urge to visit Pete, tomorrow. This is driving me nuts." He brushed his fingers through the plush top, pulling it straight up. I also noticed he had a fair amount of neck fur, having gone without a cut for almost 3 months now.
"Well, if you feel the need to get cleaned up for the holiday, I guess we could pay Pete a visit tomorrow. If you have no plans for the holiday, I'd strongly suggest you wait till the Christmas break though, then we could go to Pete's. I waited quietly for a reply, expecting him to jump at the chance to get it cut.
"He got a faraway look in his eyes. "Well, the Army has been my family for the last 20 years. I really don't have anyone to get cleaned up for. I guess I can wait. No sense cutting for nothing." He suddenly looked lost.
"I felt bad for him. I wish we'd had this discussion a little earlier. "Coach, if you'd like, I'm sure you could have dinner with my family. They're only a couple of hours from here. We'd be glad to have you. You could get that cleanup at Pete's that I know you're jonesing for too."
"Ah, thanks for the offer, Shaun, but I'll be fine here, really. Let's wait to see Pete too. It's only another month. Could you help me with something in the meantime though? I've really never had this much hair before. It feels like its long enough that it should be parted, and have some sort of style to it. Could you show me how you determine where to part it? And...no offense, but I don't want a center part."
"I laughed. No, I’m sure you don't sir." Watching Coach, I ran my hand through my thick locks, they fell perfectly back into place, he sighed and smiled. I said "sure, I can show you how to go about it. I'd suggest maybe over the holiday weekend you play around with parting it in various locations." I knew he was super self-conscious about this so I closed the office door, then asked him to sit in front of the mirror that was affixed to one of the lockers in his office. 'Do you have a comb or brush we can use Coach? I asked.
To my surprise he produced a small pocket comb and handed it to me. "You don't have to do this if you aren't comfortable Shaun." I could tell from his expression he was hoping I wouldn't stop though.
" Not unless you're uncomfortable with me having my hands in your hair sir" I said smiling wickedly. I couldn’t wait to get my hands in his hair. I wanted to ruffle it up and play with it. I was realizing that with a bit more length, he had the makings of a handsome HOT guy.
It felt a little strange combing someone else's hair but, wow, he had nice thick soft hair. I wondered what it would look like shoulder length. "O.K., I've had side parts before so I'll show you how I did it. Try right and left. Don't go any further off the top than straight up, off the edge of your eye. I showed him how to get the part straight too. I kind of liked the left parting about centered over his left eye. He was undecided though and said he'd play around with it a little more. I kind of liked having my hands in someone else’s hair. It was a reminder that it had been a while since I’d had a partner.
I said, "That's the beauty of having a bit of hair to play with Coach. You can change up how you look pretty easily." he sighed and nodded his head. I ruffed up the freshly combed top and said, "here you give it a try", handing the comb over to him. He did look a fair bit younger with the short fringe. The color was quite amazing too, a deep chestnut brown. I wondered what color highlights he might get in the summer. "I think we could talk to Pete about working you towards a nice simple comb over too, we can see what he thinks next month."
The next 4 weeks flew by. It was the culmination of the season for cross country running. I'd probably still run on decent days thru the winter but I knew I'd miss the daily companionship. It just wasn't running by myself. The rest of the guys and I even went out to dinner with Coach for a sort of end of season celebration, kind of as an acknowledgement of Coaches new found coaching skills and a sendoff for us seniors. It was nice to see how Coach had settled down. After dinner Coach and I agreed to meet at Pete's the last Saturday before the term ended at 3:00. I gave Coach explicit instructions to not sit in Pete's barber chair until I was present.
Saturday came around before I could blink. The end of the term was always hectic.
I timed my errands to end around 3:00 so I'd be on time at Pete's. I walked in and saw that it was just Coach and Pete, the rest of the shop was empty. "Ah, Shaun, punctual as ever I see, I wondered why you'd booked 2 appointment slots but I can see now why" Pete said nodding to Coach sitting in the waiting area.
"I'm glad to see him still sitting over here Pete. I know he's chomping at the bit to get in your chair.
Pete smiled deviously," I see it's been a while for both of you. Who's first, and what are we doing today?" He looked from me to Coach.
Coach jumped up "Shaun is right, I can't wait any longer for you to take the clippers to me Pete" He plunked himself in Pete’s big barber chair before I could stop him.
"Whoa there, Coach. I barked. Unless you want to throw away the results of all your patience and perseverance this semester, lets you, Pete, and I have a little talk first."
Pete, Coach has decided to grow out his military flat top for something more 21st century. He's let it grow for most of the semester so it's finally getting some decent length. Sadly, he doesn't want to grow it out to something like what I have" I said chuckling and fluffing my lush locks, "I was wondering if you thought there's enough length to start working towards a nice comb over style though.
Coach started to color up, clearly not wanting all the attention. Pete picked up a sterri strip and cape. He had Coach taped and caped in no time flat. He started running the comb through Coaches deep chestnut colored thatch. I realized that I didn’t want much, if any length taken off. I thought the shaggy look gave him a ruggedly handsome quality. I’d started to feel the familiar stirring in my loins that walking into a barber shop brought on. I wondered if Coach got that way too. Was it coach, or the impending haircut…I couldn’t tell.
Coach piped up "god dang, this is like taking a recovering alcoholic to a bar. I want you to pick up those clippers and scalp me sooooo bad Pete, you have no Idea."
I quickly replied "but...that's not going to happen today, is it Coach?" Coach shook his head no. Giving me an expectant look. I looked at Pete "how about we start with a nice scissor trim on the sides and back, leaving as much length as you can. Leave it over his ears too. Leave the parting a bit disconnected and comb the top over. Flipping the fringe to the side and then back? Or maybe leaving it just to the side? I really don't want you to use clippers on anything but removing the neck fuzzies and trimming his side burns Pete. Trim some of the extra length hanging below his nape if you absolutely have to, but leave it full and thick in back and over his ears. Want to give that a try? "I looked at Pete for agreement.
"Looks like you’re calling the shots on this one aye Shaun. Sure, let’s do that and see what he looks like. O.K. with you Coach?" Pete asked, smiling.
Coach gave me a hopeful smile "Uh, yeah, sure Pete, whatever Shaun wants." He looked so good all caped up and shaggy, wow.
Coach relaxed back into the chair as Pete took up his shears and comb. Small snippets of that handsome chestnut brown hair began to rain down on the cape as Pete worked from the left side around to the back.
I watched him softly shape the longer hair at Coaches nape, removing just a bit of length at the bottom and layering the lower portion of the back to blend in. This produced some longer locks sliding down into Coaches' lap.
"Ah, I see you've finally started cutting some hair, eh Pete. " Coach commented quietly.
"Well, this is about the worst of it Coach" Pete replied laughing. Pete continued on around the right-side snipping and evening up almost half way down over his right ear.
Once that was done, he combed coaches’ fringe straight down. It only came about three quarters of the way down his forehead. Nice and thick and bulky though. Pete made a couple of small snips just to even up a few stray hairs.
He showed Coach how to locate the parting so the longer top hair stayed up top for him. Coach watched closely. The way the cape was draped over him, I couldn’t see if Coach was aroused or not, damn.
Pete took a small dab of styling crème out of a tin and worked it through Coaches hair concentrating on the top. He reviewed how to part it, then showed Coach how to comb the top over from left to right along the parting. The last step was to take just the fringe area and comb it to the side, and back just a bit.
I had watched the entire proceeding, haircut and styling, it only took probably 15 minutes, and I couldn't believe the transformation. The styling crème was what did it. Coach looked 10 years younger! He looked HOT.
Pete picked up the peanut clippers and proceeded to touch up Coaches sideburns and scrape all the neck fuzzies. Then he brushed him down and removed the cape.
"Well Coach, what do you think?" I asked. "Personally, I think you look very GQ. Especially with that simple cable knit sweater."
Coach stood and walked close to the mirror, he reached up and touched the thick piled top locks, patting at them. "Wow, I thought it would feel stiff and plastic like, but its soft and springy still." I guess it's O.K. It sure is different feeling. There’s a lot of hair there. I'm glad to have it neatly trimmed too, it was really bugging me over the ears, but I guess this looks O.K. I hardly recognize me though. Shaun, what do you say?"
Coach had caught me blatantly staring at him. "What, er, yeah, this looks great. More length won’t hurt either though." I said. "Just wait till the end of next semester." I smiled wickedly at Coach, and Pete.
Pete walked over and stood next to Coach. "Well, if you like this general style, I'd let it grow another two months, then come back and see me. You need a bit more length up top for it to really look great. I can leave the sides and back longer then too, or we can trim back to this length. There's lots of options. This is a great style for you too, by the way. You have fantastic hair. And as you can see, it doesn't take any longer to style than massaging the ol butch wax in and brushing the flat top did either"
"Oh, and Coach won’t be in unless I’m with him Pete. I’m putting you on notice of that right now. I’m in charge of his hair for at least another semester. Right Coach?" I barked, staring Coach in the eye.
Coach started to color up and nodded shyly. "Yes, Shaun and I will be back when he feels I’m in need of some attention Pete."
The three of us giggled at that remark.
I piped up " O.K. Coach, if your happy, you're free to go, it's my turn in the chair. I'll pay for your cut today, since I'm the one who made you wait all these months."
Pete spoke up "Nope, that ones on me, consider it my contribution to the new you, Coach."
I swapped places with Coach in the big red leather barber chair and looked at Pete. "Ready any time you are Pete."
Coach looked from me to Pete and quietly said" Well Shaun, if you don't mind, I'd like to stay and watch Pete tear into your overgrown thatch and then take you to dinner, kind of as a thank you for all your patience and advice."
I laughed "Coach, I can almost assure you that there won't even be as much hair on my cape as there was on yours. I just want a trim to even it up. It's winter outside in case you haven't noticed. It'll take Pete a few minutes longer though, he washes it and cuts it while its damp, then dries it. And sure, if you want to wait, we can head to the diner up the street afterwards."
"Pete proceeded to tip me back and wash and double condition my long thick locks. He deftly wrapped my head in a towel and then tipped the chair back up straight. Once he'd gotten my hair dry enough to work with, he then started brushing it down straight all around.
"Holy Cow" Coach barked. "I didn't realize just how long your hair really is Shaun. It's usually brushed back and neat, but wow, how can you stand that fringe flopping around your mouth? And all that hair over your ears and neck, yeesh." I saw coach look at himself in the big mirror again as he said this. I winder what he was really thinking.
"It's really not an issue Coach. I wear it brushed back and use pretty much the same styling crème Pete used on you, only I use a bit more of it. Pete does a great job the way he layers it and that helps too."
I loved my white blonde locks. They were thick, plush, and pretty much straight but had enough body that they did what I wanted them to do. I also didn't give a hoot what others thought about my style. I liked it and that was all that mattered.
"If you noticed Coach, I don't wear a hair band when we run either. I love the way the thick locks slap against my neck in rhythm to my running cadence. It keeps me focused."
Coach rolled his eyes. "O.K., if you say so Shaun."
Pete took meticulous care in trimming off the uneven ends. Then he checked the layers. I asked him to shorten it just a tad in back. I liked it long, but not exceedingly so. At some point it just got to look like long hair and I didn't like that.
Once Pete and I were satisfied, he did a quick blow dry and worked the crème in. I wore it simply parted in the middle and the fringe and sides brushed back. Voila, we were done.
Pete uncapped me and I stood up. I was admiring Pete's handiwork in the big mirror. I would never tell anyone but I loved the way my hair looked. I thought it was one of my best features. "Thanks Pete, it looks great as usual." I said smiling warmly at him.
Pete smiled devilishly back. "If only you were a few years older Shaun. You'd be in serious trouble with me."
"Ah, well Pete, we can't have everything now, can we" I patted his shoulder smiling demurely.
Coach watched this exchange with Pete and I, rolled his eyes and just shrugged his shoulders. He was studying my newly trimmed locks closely though.
I handed Pete thirty dollars and said "Merry Christmas."
"Ready Coach, my stomachs growling.?" I said looking over at him.
"Absolutely, let's go" he replied. Merry Christmas to you Pete. "I'll see you in a couple of months I guess." Coach shot an inquisitive look at me.
I replied, looking at Coach and sighing "I'll make sure you get in when it's appropriate, how about that?"
Coach and I walked the short distance to the diner and got seated at a table near the back. I watched a few young ladies’ heads turn as we passed, I also saw a couple of guys heads turn too. I smiled to myself, good. I didn't know which way the barn door swung with respect to Coach, but at least I knew he attracted attention now, and in a good way too.
We sat down and perused the menus. A cute waitress came to take our order and was very flirty with Coach. I could tell he wasn't used to this because he started to blush. I could tell he loved the attention though.
"I guess the waitress is kind of sweet on you Shaun. She must be attracted to those thick healthy looking lush locks of yours" Coach commented after she walked away.
"Uh, no, it's you she was flirting with. She knows me, and she knows I'm not interested" I smiled wickedly at Coach.
"Well, that's interesting" Coach had a thoughtful expression on his face. "I've eaten here a fair amount before this. She's never paid me any mind before, Huh."
"It's the haircut sir, and the clothes. I'm telling you. You look HOT. Very GQ. It's exactly the change you needed. And that's coming from a gay guy." I said laughing.
"The waitress came back with our drinks. She smiled at Coach and said "Do you mind if I ask you a personal question hon?"
Coach stuttered a bit. "Ah, me, no, go ahead, ask away."
"Do you have an older brother? Looks a lot like you, only he has a harsh looking flattop haircut. Always looks cold and stern like. Dresses kinda nerdy. Might be one of the officers at the base." She got a thoughtful look on her face. "Come to think of it, I haven't seen him in a little while."
Coach started to color up again. I was loving this. I had to look away to hide the grin on my face.
"Well, a, no miss. There's just me. I don't have any other family up here in these parts."
"Oh, well, no matter, you're so much better looking than him anyway." She smiled, winked at Coach, and walked away, turning to smile back at Coach again.
Coach took one look at me and turned beet red. "That's NEVER happened before."
When she came back with our check, she handed it to Coach, smiled and winked again at him. I noticed that her name and phone number was on a slip of paper along with the bill.
As we walked out of the Diner I casually asked "so you still think that tight ass flat top haircut is better?"
He gingerly reached up as if to smooth a stray hair. "Ahem, I think I might try this out for a while longer" He replied tersely.
I smiled and said good, "I'll check in with you after winter break. You might not want to wait to awful long before calling her either" I winked wickedly at him. "That is…if she’s your type."
Coach got a strange expression on his face. "Shaun, this might see like a weird request but, um, well, could I touch your hair?" He stammered "Just say no if you don’t want me to, that’s O.K. too. It’s just, well I’ve always wondered what long hair like yours might feel like. Not that I’d ever let mine get that long mind you."
I smiled, glancing around. No one was out and about so I said " run your hand s through it Coach. I love having it touched if I’m honest."
He smiled shyly and raised his hand, sliding it into the thick locks on my right side. Pushing them back. Then slid his fingers through the longer locks in back, end with an almost caress of my neck. I had to admit, it felt good.
"Mmm, Shaun, it’s much softer and thicker than I imagined it would be. Nice and plush, and thick. You really do have great hair." He let his hand fall to his side again. "Thank you for that, it felt great."
My turn to start to blush. Wow, was he flirting? Did he have a thing for longer hair? I was getting mixed signals.
It was awkwardly quiet for a moment. We said our goodbyes and each headed our separate ways. I pondered whether or not coach preferred guys or girls. He was turning from a frog into a prince, even without a kiss.
Winter break flew by and before I knew it, I was back at school. I spotted Coach heading my way. God he looked even better with 6 more weeks’ worth of hair. Hmm. His fringe was hanging across his fore head just out of his eyes. Nice, finally some length I thought to myself.
"Shaun, Hi, Happy New Year" Coach said cheerily.
"Hi Sir" I replied, smiling back.
"Do you have time to chat?" Coach asked.
"Sure, want to head to your office? It’s a bit cold to be sitting outside."
"Sure, yeah, come on" Coach said. Starting to walk towards the building.
Having reached his office, he ushered me in, then closed the door. I noticed his handsome sweater and slacks as he took off his coat. "I see, you’ve really taken well to the dress casual style Coach" I commented. "The extra length on your hair looks great. Looks like you’ve mastered the styling too."
Coach blushed. "Thanks Shaun. It’s still pretty foreign to me but I’m working hard on it. The clothing selections are getting easier. The hair is still alien to me. Glad you like it though. While we’re on that subject, how much longer do you think it should grow?" He gave me an innocent, yet concerned look.
I made as if to study him intently. "Well, if you’re asking me, personally, I’d say fringe just curling over your chin, sides brushing your shoulders and those plush locks in back headed for your shoulder blades." I knew he’d never go for something like that, but I wanted to see his reaction. I thought he’d look super-hot with a nice mane like that. I was still curious what team he was playing for, sexually speaking.
Coach pawed at his fringe. "Oh my God Shaun, I’d never be able to have hair that long. Way too much time and effort to take care of for starters. The guys on base would never stand for it either. Uck." He replied chuckling. He did have a thoughtful expression though as he ran his fingers through the growing locks on the back of his head.
"I think waiting till the end of the semester will be plenty long enough. "I replied laughing. "Maybe with another trim part way through." That would only be another inch or so anyway.
"Ah, well, O.K. I guess" he said, brushing the fringe to the side with his fingers. "Having hair in my eyes will be a whole new experience, wow."
God help me but he looked sexy brushing that fringe to the side. I didn’t normally go for older guys. I did some quick mental math and realized he wasn’t really that much older than me. Yikes.
"How about we go to the diner for dinner and then you come back to my place and help me work on styling this mop? As you can see, what Pete showed me isn’t really working anymore." His facial expression was interesting. It also looked like he was holding his breath, waiting anxiously for my reply.
"Sure" I replied. Watching him exhale and smile. "How about 6:00 after my last class"
Coach stood and acted almost as if he wanted to hug me, he paused awkwardly and extended his hand instead. "Great, thanks, see you at 6:00 then." He said as I collected my things and left his office.