Locks of her dark brown hair tumbled to the salon floor. She watched them fall, not making a sound as the pile grew.
It had always been her best feature – her hair. Thick and naturally wavy, it was easy to fix and she’d always kept it long. In light of her disagreeable skin and wider-than-she’d-like hips, she allowed herself a little vanity when it came to her hair.
Rob loved her hair. Liam had wrapped his tiny fingers in it while he nursed.
And now she was chopping it all off.
“So when are you due?”
The stylist’s voice startled her and the chatter and bustle of the salon washed over Grace.
“Oh, um, two months from now.”
“A Christmas baby! How exciting!”
“Yes. Thanks.” Grace smiled a tight-lipped smile at the stylist – Kim according to her nametag - in the mirror.
“You know, I had a cousin who was born on Christmas and …”
Grace let Kim talk, thankful that she seemed satisfied with the occasional “Mmm hmm” or “Oh, really?” from Grace.
Grace watched Kim’s hands in the mirror, deftly manuevering the scissors and comb. When Grace first sat down in her chair and Kim had asked her what she wanted, she had said “I want it short. And blonde.”
“That’s it?” said Kim.
“That’s it. I trust your judgment. Just something short.”
“Okay then! I think I know just the cut!” and Kim began chopping.
And as her hair fell around her, Grace felt herself letting go of any expectations she’d had – about this pregnancy, about her marriage, about how she thought her life would look at 34 years old. None of it had gone the way she’d hoped and here she was, changing the thing about herself she loved the most. She didn’t know what was going to happen to her.
So, she thought, it’s time to let go and find out.
This post was inspired by a prompt from Write on Edge:
This week we asked you to write about hair. So many of us have a love-hate relationship with it. For some of us, it’s our defining feature. Whatever it means to you – or to your characters – we want to know about it.
But we don’t want you to simply describe it. We want you to use it as a vehicle to tell us something about your character, a situation, you or your life. And you needed to keep it to 300 words.