31 comments

Romance LGBTQ+ Drama

(Not related to the prompt lol)


"Claire? What are you doing here?"

She stands there, arms crossed across her chest, a horrified look on her face. She's wearing a colorful headscarf, probably her mother's. 

"Hi, June." She mutters.

"Um...is everything okay?" 

She shakes her head with this faraway look in her eyes. "No. I messed up."

"What do you mean? Messed up how?"

She looks up at me, her eyes all watery. "I mean, last night, I, um…gave myself a haircut?”

I laugh. To my surprise, she doesn’t. Instead, she looks at me like I just insulted her dead grandmother. 

“Okay, okay, I’m sorry," I say, trying to wipe the smile off my face, “I’m just…relieved. I thought this was serious."

"It is serious!" She protests, stamping her foot. Then she lowers her voice to a whisper, "It's really bad, June."

"Oh, come on. How bad could it possibly be?"

Famous last words. 

Claire takes off her headscarf. Her hair, which normally falls a little ways below her upper back in beautiful, soft blonde curls, has been hacked off, presumably with a kitchen knife. It's a nightmare. A choppy, uneven, split-ended nightmare.

Needless to say, Claire's hair (that rhymes) causes a few heads to turn at the salon. My coworker Jenni's eyes go wide. The chatty woman getting a pedicure in the corner of the room has gone completely silent. A little girl getting her hair permed lets out an audible gasp. Claire hangs her head in utter shame. 

"Okay, I see what you mean by bad," I say, resting my chin against my fist, taking it all in.

"Can you fix it?" Claire's voice is shaky, like about to break down crying. 

"I mean, I can do my best." 

"Great. Thanks." 

I lead her to the hair washing station in the back, sit her down in a cushy leather chair, put a towel over the base of the bowl, and turn the faucet on. I shampoo and condition her patchy hair, then take her over to my corner of the salon. I pat down her neck and wrap a black apron around her. Finally, I ask the mandatory question, "Okay, so...what style are we going for?" 

"I don't know," She sighs, "Anything's fine. Maybe, like...a bob?"

I play with her hair a little, trying to separate the layers. "Yeah. I can do a bob."

"Okay."

“Claire…this is,” I ready my scissors and pause, looking for the right words to describe the atrocity before me, “Really messy.” 

“I know.”

“Like, really messy.”

“I know!”

“What were you thinking?”

“I…don’t know.” She says, picking at her nails. Nervous habit of hers. It’s kind of cute. "My mother and I got into another fight last night."

I tense up at the mention of Claire's mom, nearly cutting a huge chunk of Claire’s hair clean off. Jeez, June. Breathe.

"O-okay. And then?"

"And then," Claire sighs, "I don't know. My hair's always been the one thing she’s ever really liked about me. She’s always telling me how to wear it, when to wash it, what thousand-dollar products to use on it…and I just got so...sick of it! Sick of her, thinking she knows what's best for me. She doesn't!"

Something tells me this isn't about hair anymore.

"So, after she went to bed, I took my baby sister's safety scissors, and...well, you know the rest."

"Wait," I say, momentarily looking up from my work, "You cut your hair...with safety scissors?"

"My whole house is baby-proofed. How am I supposed to know where my mother keeps the actual scissors?"

"Oh my God."

"It's not funny, June!" Claire says, but she says it with a smile on her face. Probably just relieved her safety-scissor hairdo is being fixed by a professional. And that she won't have to spend the rest of her life looking like she has a literal mop on her head.

Half an hour of (most importantly) saving, then styling, then trimming up Claire's hair passes. Every so often, my fingertips will brush the back of her neck and send ripples of warmth throughout my body.

The feeling's still there. I can try to ignore it, but that won't make it go away. I can't help but wonder if she feels it, too.

Two summers ago:

I remember everything. Our grass-stained knees. The checkered picnic blanket. The half-empty basket of freshly picked blackberries. The sound of the ocean, crashing against the cliffside. The wail of seagulls. The salty breeze. The setting sun. Her head in my lap. She lay there, perfectly still, breathing softly, watching the clouds while I wove daises into her hair. "Hey," she said quietly, "Wanna play truth or dare?"

"Oh, um. Sure."

"M'kay. You go first. I pick truth."

"Okay, umm..." Quickly, I racked my brain for something to ask her. "Uh. What's your favorite color?"

She smiled. "Purple. You?"

"Orange, probably."

"Really? Didn't take you for an orange kind of a gal."

I shrugged, laughing awkwardly.

"My turn now," She said, "Truth or dare?"

"Uh, truth."

"Do you have a secret crush?"

"Secret crush? What are we, in fifth grade?"

"Well, do you?" She was genuinely curious. My face suddenly felt hot.

"Um, I dunno. Maybe?"

She practically jumped off my lap. "June, you sneak! Who is it?"

"I'm not telling YOU!" I laughed, "And, hey, get back here. I'm not done yet."

"Fine, fine," She rested her head against my lap again, grinning up at me as I twisted one final daisy into her hair, "Truth or dare?"

"Dare."

"I dare you to tell me who your secret crush is."

"Oh, get out of here!" I giggled, shoving her off my lap. "You know what? Just forget I said anything. Your flowers are done, anyway."

"They are? How do I look?" She tousled her hair and framed her face, posing like a supermodel.

"Beautiful," I said, meaning it wholeheartedly, "So, so beautiful."


“Really?”

“Yeah.”

There was a moment of silence. Was she leaning in or was I? I couldn't even tell. Her eyes were on my lips, and she had this look on her face, like she knew she was about to do something really stupid, but she didn't really care.


“Claire…we shouldn’t—”


But it was too late. My hands were already cupping her freckled face, and her blackberry-stained fingertips were already brushing my sunburnt shoulders, and then we were kissing. Just like that. Plain and simple. There was nothing either of us could do to stop it. It was a force of nature. A force so strong that we couldn’t break away. At least not until her mother caught us. 


***

"All done," I say, turning her chair to face the mirror. "What do you think?"

She takes it all in for a second, then grins.

"Oh, way better."

"Glad you think so."

"June?"

"Yeah?"

She smiles the sweetest smile I've ever seen on a person’s face. "Thank you."

"O-oh, um, yeah. No problem."

I start to unclip her apron when I get an idea. A really stupid idea.

"Hey. You know what would really piss your mom off?" I pause for dramatic effect. "Purple highlights. There and there." I point to the two pieces of hair that frame her face.

"Oh, um, I don't know, June."

"Come on, Claire. I know purple is your favorite color."

She looks up at me. Her gaze softens. She remembers, too.

"Okay. Let's do it."



February 27, 2024 00:02

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31 comments

Tyler Carson
19:05 Apr 15, 2024

I wish i could read this i would jork it

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Keigo V
15:19 Mar 05, 2024

yo yo yo! MARS! We should write a book together! It'll be sooooooo fun!!!!!!!!!! I'll give u my email address so we can send it through each other. Though, only if you want. We don't have to. :)

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15:44 Mar 05, 2024

OMG YESSSSS that would be so fun!!!! idk if i’m comfortable with sharing my email but i can write the first part on reedsy, then you can read it and write the second part. or vice versa lmaoo :D

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16:34 Mar 05, 2024

MARCY IM SO SORRY IDK WHY THAT SENT 500 TIMES MY COMPUTER IS BUGGING. the whole website crashed a minute ago an i couldn’t log into my acc sooo idk

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Keigo V
16:56 Mar 05, 2024

yo it's okay :)

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Keigo V
16:59 Mar 05, 2024

So what is our book gonna be about?

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17:22 Mar 05, 2024

hmm idk :) maybe something based off the prompts??

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Keigo V
17:40 Mar 05, 2024

yesssss

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Keigo V
17:40 Mar 05, 2024

HMMMMMMMMM...U should choose!

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Keigo V
14:17 Mar 05, 2024

so cute! :)

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15:41 Mar 05, 2024

aaa ty!!

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