Snip And Snap
It was just six which had always been an unearthly hour of the morning for twenty-one-year-old me. But I just couldn’t sleep.
I kept running my fingers through my hair and felt a pang when my fingers met nothing after my neck.
I couldn’t help but take my phone to go through old photos just to compare and figure out how long my hair took to grow.
Reassurances from very few loved ones did nothing to ease the sense of loss that I felt.
I looked into the mirror and saw another person.
Mom, I am sorry I disappointed you. Your weekly sessions of oiling my hair, creating a mixture of many herbs to give it the shine it had and washing it off with cool water straight from the well made even the hairdresser comment on how healthy my hair was, but only after he chopped it off.
People who never talked to me came up to me yesterday and told me how wonderful my hair WAS and I felt my eyes well up.
Why was it hard to understand that I would have given up anything to go back in time to tell myself, you don’t need a haircut?
Give me a second chance and I wouldn’t even contemplate changing my hair style.
I just wanted to go into hibernation and not see any shocked faces or astonished looks.
Abandoning the hope that I could get some sleep, I woke up to make a strong pot of coffee and started to tie a messy bun as usual only to find that a bun was a thing of the past.
With a fresh set of tears, I moved towards the kitchen and switched on the television in my living room.
It broke my heart when I saw a girl draw strands of hair with a black marker on her head.
She smiled and said that she would have hair someday.
They showed a woman combing her long hair only to find clumps of it on the floor. They showed her tears, her unbearable pain at knowing she was going to lose it all with chemo.
There were so many who wanted hair but had no chance.
As the hairdresser snipped and snapped my hair the day before, a curtain of black fell around me.
A curtain of black that would be everything to that seven-year-old kid who wanted to grow her hair before her birthday but couldn’t because she was scheduled to have a chemo session next month.
That curtain of black would have meant the world to a bride who wished to wear a jewelled comb in her hair for her wedding but couldn’t because cancer took away her lustrous locks.
Yesterday, when my best friend had reassured me that it would grow back, I had given her a half-hearted smile but now I know better.
For some, it might not grow back at all.
With tears threatening to spill over, I realised how ignorant I have been. Sometimes it is okay to take a drastic decision just so that you learn something new.
Feeling much lighter, I got up and heard my phone beep. It was a message from my mom about the latest photo I had sent her yesterday. I opened it with crossed fingers waiting to see a message in Caps.
“How come you have never cut it this short before? I love it. It’s a different look.”
Running my fingers through my hair, I smiled. Yes, it was different.