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The Barberhsop

“Aliyah!’ Mom screeches, as I cover my embarrassingly large ears. I shift in my chair.

A rather large, cream colored chair that had been planted in the middle of our already crowded living room.

“ALIYAH! How many times do I have to call you?” Mom’s voice pierces my ears yet again.

“WHAT?” my sister’s equally loud voice booms.

The neighbors would surely come knocking at our door any minute now.

I look up as Aliyah stomps into the living room. Her dark curls are stuck to the side of her tainted pink cheeks. She was probably working out in her room again. Convinced that she would have the body of an upside-down lamp in as little as two weeks.

I glance cautiously as she and Mom have a stare down. I brace myself, waiting for another catfight to ensue.

“Where are the scissors?” Mom asks quietly, putting a hand on my bare shoulder.

Why I couldn’t have just gone to the barbershop…I’ll never know.

“Mom I can just go to the..”.

“Noah!” Mom shushes me hitting my arm. I sigh.

“They’re obviously in the kitchen,” Aliyah mutters under her breath.

“Then go get them,” Mom commands. My overdramatic sister rolls her eyes, as she huffs and puffs out of the room.

Mom looks down at me. Her usually stern face, breaks into a toothy grin.

“I used to cut your hair when you were a baby. Your mother knows the best style to make you look handsome,” she reassures as she pats my fluffy head. I nod my head, unconvinced.

Aliyah comes back into the room, waving the striped scissors in her hand.

“I already cleaned them,” she snaps, dropping them next to my feet. She then rushes out of the room, curls bobbing behind her.

The door to her bedroom slams, and my mother mutters a prayer for patience under her breath.

I also say a quick prayer, as I watch a frizzed curl flutter onto the scratchy carpet.

At every snipping sound, I wince in nonexistent pain.

“Hold still,” Mom snaps, holding one of my bony shoulders down.

“Mom you know I have school picture day coming up?” I ask her carefully.

“And you’ll look great. Most handsome boy in your class,” she says proudly, letting go of my shoulder.

I was actually far from that, but I nodded my head in agreement.

“Don’t move!” she snaps again, making my head turn to the right.

“Sorry,” I mumble, looking up at the ceiling. Was that crack always there?

“Mom there’s a crack in the ceiling,” I tell her pointing up.

“I’m not surprised with your sister’s screeching,” Mom tells me, as she pats away some fallen curls off my back. I nod again, refraining from telling her that it was physically impossible for that to happen.

Or was it?

I remember watching a random video about an opera lady singing loud enough to break a glass of water.

But, was this the same thing?

The squeaking of Aliyah’s door interrupts my scientific thoughts.

If she was coming out of hiding to argue with Mom, I would rather she just stay in her room.

Her hair is pineapple plopped on top of her sweaty face. She looks me up and down, her thick eyebrows arched in confusion.

“It’s not even,” she states, crossing her arms.

I gasp in horror as Mom waves the hairy scissors at Aliyah threateningly.

“Stop scaring him. I’m not even finished yet!” she exclaims.

Aliyah walks over to us, arms still crossed. She examines my grief-stricken face, then runs one of her fingers through my hair.

She suddenly snaps her fingers, and pulls her cellphone out of her back pocket.

“Mom we should try to make his hair look like this,” she says, typing something into her phone.

“Look like what?” Mom asks peering over Aliyah’s shoulder. “ I don’t see a picture,” Mom snaps.

“Well it’s still loading, our internet sucks,” Aliyah snaps back. I sigh, as I shift in my seat.

A cream-colored chair that had been placed in the middle of our living room.

Our own barbershop, I thought in amusement.

I listen as Aliyah and Mom talk excitedly over whatever picture Aliyah had found.

“Yes let’s try this! He’ll look adorable, “ Mom gushes, pinching one of cheeks.

“Can I see the picture?” I ask, rubbing the side of my face.

“NO!” Mom and Aliyah screech in unison.

“It’ll be a surprise!” Aliyah says, taking the scissors from Mom’s hand.

“I’m the one that’s cutting it!” Mom reaches for the scissors, as Aliyah tries to keep them out of her reach.

“Mooooom,” Aliyah whines. “Just let me even it out a little bit,”.

“Fine,” Mom huffs in annoyance.

I shift in my seat again, adjusting my teal shorts.

“Stop moving Noah!” Aliyah commands, gripping tightly to my left shoulder.

I sigh, as I watch more curls flutter to the ground like snowflakes.

I stare at the ceiling. Has the crack gotten bigger?

It actually hasn’t. I just thought if it did then it would be an interesting observation.

Perhaps the combined loudness coming from both Mom and Aliyah had, over time, created a crack in the ceiling. Maybe, I should try to measure it.

“There!” Aliyah says proudly. Mom walks in circles around me, peering at me with wide eyes.

“It looks… GREAT!” Mom exclaims, clapping her hands excitedly. Aliyah and Mom high five each other, and I almost do a double take.

Aliyah hands the scissors back to Mom. “Now just shorten the top, and I think it’ll be finished!”

Mom nods her head quickly, her gold earrings swishing back and forth.

I shift again. My bottom was starting to hurt.

“Don’t move!” Aliyah and Mom command me, as I glance at the crack in the ceiling.

A few snips later, Mom and Aliyah stand in front of me happily, arms crossed.

“Can I see it now?” I ask carefully.

“Of course dear,” Mom says, pulling me off of the chair. I rush to the bathroom, without hesitation.

I flip the switch, as beams of yellow light bounce off the tiled walls.

I look at my reflection in the cracked mirror. I peer closer, and rub off the fog that had appeared because of my warm breath. I stepped back, looking at myself again in disbelief.

It wasn’t bad.

Actually, it looked really good.

I smile as I turn my face to the side.

I loved it.

“Well?” Aliyah asks, as she and Mom squeeze into the bathroom.

“Do you like it Noah?” Mom asks worriedly, biting her lip.

“I love it. Thanks guys!” I say, turning away from the mirror.

“Well it was really me. Mom made it uneven in the beginning,” Aliyah says slyly, pushing a curl off her forehead. I leave the bathroom, and start to head to my room. I know what’s coming.

“What are you talking about?” I hear Mom asks in disbelief. I rummage through my drawer searching for a t-shirt. I pull out my wrinkled tie-dyed shirt from summer camp, and slam my drawer shut. I head back to the bathroom.

“Excuse me, I’m going to shower,” I tell Mom and Aliyah. Their booming voices become quieter, as I close the door shut.

I was definitely going to measure the crack now.

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