Mia: Shaken Not Stirred

The true life stories of a NYC female.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rapunzel Cuts Her Hair

A couple of nights ago I witnessed an act so self-less so rooted in love it amazed me. The fact that my 16 year old hell spawn,devil’s minion baby sister was behind it shattered me; the fact that it revolved around something as superficial as hair rendered me speechless.

My sister’s best friend Nyesha the victim of too many dye jobs had a problem. Her brittle hair was falling out and breaking off. There was no getting around it she needed a hair cut. Even though the Guay stuck to the plan and tried to cut off as little as possible the finished look was drastic, up to her earlobes in length even though it should’ve been shorter in order to totally even it out. It looked great on her of Native American descent Nyesha is so beautiful she can carry any look off but is so filled with insecurities she is blind to her natural beauty. Regardless of how nice we all thought she looked Nyesha was miserable in fact she was actually crying big bucket o' tears over the hair cut. I knew all too well how she felt. Been there, done that, and bought the crappy t-shirt on sale thank you very mucho. We all tried to comfort her but nothing seemed to be working. In fact the more we tried the more she cried.

Finally my little sister Caitlin stepped up and held out a section of her beautiful Rapunzel like hair. Hair that extended several inches beyond her waist, sixteen years worth of beautiful bone straight dark blonde growth. She stepped up to Guay and said, “Cut it. Just like hers.” We all gasped because even though Caity had been planning to cut it for awhile now it wasn’t going to be that drastic of a cut.“It’s only hair; it will grow back, stronger even.” She used the same words on us that we’d been using to comfort Nyesha. Nyesha looked up at my sister and said, “Caity no don’t do it.” But my sister waved her away, “It’s going to a good cause Pantene is collecting hair to make into wigs for cancer patients.” Guay hesitated hoping mom would invoke her mommy privileges and forbid it. Instead mom gathered Caity's hair into a pony tail and secured it."Go ahead Guay chop it off.” Mom ran her fingers through Caity’s hair one last time and sighed. She had resigned herself to Caity’s wish, “Do it it’s what she wants.” As she made the first cut Guay seemed on the verge of tears. My mother looked away she couldn’t bear to see our little Rapunzel cutting off her hair. The brief look of panic on Caity’s face was heart breaking. Her eyes met mine and she quickly put her game face on holding her chin up in that regal manner she has.

One hour later it was finished. Caity’s hair was the same length as Nyesha’s, they had identical hair styles. Caity ran her fingers through her hair fluffing it out; she touched her neck and remarked that she felt cold. It was the first time since she’d been a toddler that her long hair didn’t act as a buffer between her neck and the air. She kept saying, “I love it! This is so cool!” over and over again but I wasn’t convinced she wasn’t putting up a front for her friend. When she looked in the mirror I stood behind her and saw the look of shock in her face. Tears started welling up in her eyes making her amber eyes shimmer and I felt my heart break a little. Yeah it had all been a front. Nyesha couldn’t believe her eyes,“Oh my God Caity, oh my God! You look so adorable!” Caity reached out to her hugging her and giggling, “Hey now we’re twins!” Nyesha looked at her with nothing but love in her eyes hugging Caity tight to her chest her tall body dwarfing over Caity’s petite frame. After Nyesha was gone we sat down and talked about it. Caitlin ran her fingers through her hair she looked so sad. “Do you regret it?” I asked knowing full well she did. She let out a sigh and wrapped a strand around her finger trying to see it out of the corner of her eye, “Yeah I do but I don’t. I couldn’t let Nyesha go through it alone. You know how self conscious she is about her looks. Now she really knows she's not alone.”

Nyesha’s been pretty much alone for several years now. After her father died unexpectedly her family just fell apart emotionally, financially, and it’s been going down hill ever since. Her mom’s not a strong woman and there are some mental health issues there with the mom and an older sister so it falls on Nyesha despite being the youngest to look out for her family the effect it's had on her is evident. Nyesha doesn’t trust easily she’s been through too much in her life she’s been let down too often to put her faith in people. Yet somehow Caity managed to break through Nyesha's defenses when they met in school two years ago and they’ve been inseparable ever since. Despite the fact that Caity is a year younger Nyesha looks up to Caity. In turn Caity is very over protective of her always acting as a buffer between the world and Nyesha when it all gets too much for her. As I listened to Caity and watched her play with her hair it finally dawned on me what Caity meant, the actual why of Caity’s haircut. Caitlin’s sacrifice meant something to Nyesha that had eluded me at first. It was genuine and tangible proof that she was loved, she was treasured and above all she wasn’t alone; Caity would always have her back. Caity had understood what was needed when none of us had picked up on it.

My heart swelled with pride and love for my baby sister. When did she stop being the spoiled self-centered little brat that made me wish I was an only child at times? When the hell did this happen and why hadn’t I been informed? The least the powers that be could’ve done is text message me about the change. Holy monkey I had to do something; I had to show her how much she meant to me at that moment, something only a little fashionista diva like her would understand. I went into my closet and reached up into the shelves where I keep her holy grail, my boot collection. I scanned the boxes stacked up on top of each other and quickly found the ones she’d been dying to borrow but had been afraid to ask after “borrowing” a really expensive pair last year and ruining them. I pulled them out the box yeah those were the ones she’d been drooling over; the leg hugging cocoa colored suede knee high ones. I’d only worn them twice since buying them last year so they were in mint condition. I pulled out the matching at waist suede jacket and the matching messenger bag. I ran back into the living room, “Caity” I said and held the treasures out towards her. She gasped and said, “Mia I can borrow them?!” I gave her a big smile and shook my head, “Na chick you can have them.” She let out a ear piercing shriek only teenage girls seem capable of emitting. Then she jumped up and down like a rabbit on uppers “Oh Mia, Mia! You’re the BESTEST big sister ever! I LOVE YOU!”, and threw herself into my arms crushing all the precious booty in between our bodies. Man she was killing me.


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