Hairdos: Mother, Grandmother and I
I’m sitting on my little stool, in the living room, my heart beating just a little bit faster as the long hand on the clock creeps up. Somehow my armpits feel a bit wetter. I know that the door will creak open and ... and the door starts to creak open. I shoot off my stool and race into my parents bedroom and go under the bed. I had been planning this hideout for a while and I was certain that this time I won’t be caught.
"Tope"! My name rings out and I unknowingly shiver. "Why must we do this every time? I know you are hiding somewhere and sooner than later, I will find you, so why not come out and just let’s be done?" The voice fades off and I start to relax but the voice comes closer. "Honestly I don’t have time for this. When I catch you, it will not be funny!" The voice bounces all over the room until it bends over to my hideout and a hand shoots out and grabs me by the leg. Grandmother pulls me to the living room while rivulets of tears fall down my face.
Going to the hairdressers always took so long and ended unsuccessfully because I have a tender head. It had become a bi-weekly nuisance. One day, my mother snapped when she came and found me screaming like a lamb while being held down by one hairdresser as the other tried to weave my hair. She paid the woman and marched me into her car with my hair uncompleted.
We got home and my Grandmother, who lived with us, looked at us with a smirk on her face. Mother and her were not the best of friends and mother tried her best to keep out of Grandmother's way. "So you have given up?" Grandmother beamed at my mother. My mom shook her head and said forlornly "I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should just shave her hair." I trembled at the thought and whined a big "no". I knew what happened to children who had shaved hair in my school. Everyone said they had head lice and teased them with the ‘gorimapa’ song.
Grandmother came to my rescue. ‘Let me finish it up for her and I’ll do her hair from now on. At least you will not have spend my son’s money needlessly." Grandmother ended somewhat triumphantly. Mom looked at her and let out what sounded like a grunt. I followed Grandmother willingly. Grandmother sat on the big chair and I sat on my little stool in between her legs.
Grandmother’s fat thighs suddenly clamped down on both sides of my head; holding my head so tight, I couldn’t hear anything. Her hands came over my head and like little needles poking at my head. It took me a while to find my voice because I was in shock. She finished up the weave just as my mother came out to see what was going on. "There! You see! Straightforward hairdressing. Done. All that money wasted when you had a true professional at home. And you, shut up!" Grandmother pushed me towards my mother, stood up re-tying her big wrapper around her waist and walked out of the living room.
"You see what you’ve caused now? Hmm? Mama will have something to say anytime you have to get your hair done! Left to me, I’ll just shave your head!" Mother said as she pulled me to herself and wiped my face. At that, I shouted "no". She echoed my voice. "No?! But every time you get your hair done, it is drama and disaster. What am I to do with you?" She scooped me in her arms and carried me into the bedroom where she gave me some paracetamol for my rising temperature and a cold orange Tree-Top drink. So I lay in my mother’s arms wondering how the next hairdressing time with my Grandmother was going to be. I didn’t have long to wait, it was two weeks coming.