“Nechama Gitty Shapiro is leaving,” said the secretary, poking her head into the classroom. My classmates all turned towards me and whispered, “Where are you going?”
“I’m getting a haircut,” I whispered back excitingly.
I shuffled my papers and dumped them into my backpack then scurried out of the room. I exited the building and entered the waiting car.
“Hello,” my mother greeted me, “How was your day?”
“Great!” I replied and then continued to rant about my day.
Finally, we arrived at our destinations, a small two family brick house “This is it,” I thought, “no changing your mind now.”
“This way,” my mother gestured, following a small sign to a basement apartment.
We entered the room. The floor was lined with shiny white tiles, and mirrors adorned all of the walls.
“Hello,” the haircut lady greeted us. “Name.”
“Shapiro,” my mother replied politely.
After a quick glance at her clipboard she led us to a big black elevated chair with a box next to it. I climbed up the chair and gave my mother a nervous smile. Then the lady placed an apron around my neck. The smell of hairspray emanated off of it. Looking up I saw a counter full of supplies. There were blue spray bottles, brushes of all sorts, and a blow dryer .The lady lifted a spray and began to wet my hair. Next, she brushed my hair and placed it into a pony holder. Then, she picked up a pair of shiny silver scissors and lifted it to my head. “Here goes,” I thought. SNIP SNIP, off went my hair, still in a pony.
“Here you go.” she handed my mother my hair.
“Wow,” my mother chuckled, as she placed it into a box labeled Chai Lifeline. I stared into the mirror. “Oh! That looks funny,” I thought looking at my reflection. My hair was short, really short, and uneven.
“You look adorable,” my mother exclaimed. She pinched my cheeks and handed the lady her money .We strolled out of the room with a polite “Good bye and thank you.”
I felt lighter not just because of the weight of my head but also because of what I had just done.
The next day I got to school, a group of girls quickly encircled me. “Where’s your hair?” they asked shocked at what they saw.
I replied with full confidence “It was given to a head that needed it more than me.”
They couldn’t understand why I did it. Who gives away their hair, they asked repeatedly. But I knew the full length of my action, I knew it would help an unfortunate girl be somewhat like the rest of us and I knew that one day my classmates will also understand.Nechama Shapiro
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