a short story by Dot

The newspaper spread over the floor crinkles as Kasumi steps on it.

“Last chance to change your mind,” she says.

I almost laugh.  It’s not like I’m getting a tattoo or something.  “Go ahead.”

Kasumi lifts a strand of hair.


I’ve always hated haircuts.  At first, it was because I was afraid of those gleaming scissors.  The ripping sound they made when they closed through my hair convinced me that it would hurt.  Kasumi sometimes had to hold me down during visits to the barber, and I would wail and scream that he’d cut off my ears until the ‘ordeal’ was over.

Snip.  Another chunk of hair falls down onto the paper.  A few stray strands drift onto the poncho, and Kasumi brushes it off.

I didn’t hear Ryouga’s bandanna—or whatever it was—coming until it was too late.  A dull ‘whoosh’ sounded, a rush of air passed my back, and a half year’s worth of hair was gone, just like that.  In the split second that it happened, I’m pretty sure that I didn’t even have the time to blink.

Snip.  Time crawls by.  Why can’t Kasumi go any faster?

My ankle throbs with pain.  I’ll have to go see Dr. Tofuu later.  This time, though, I don’t look forward to seeing him.

“Just a bit more trimming, and I’ll be done,” Kasumi tells me in her ever cheerful voice.  Until a few minutes ago, when I walked into the kitchen with my new ‘look’, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her angry, upset, or frightened.  It creeps me out sometimes how she handles everything with such a calm fascade.

Snip.  The cold steel presses close to my ears, and I can’t help but wince a bit.  Old habits die hard.

“There.  Done!” Kasumi lifts the poncho off me as I stand up.  The weight of the hair that I used to feel is gone.

If only Ryouga and Ranma hadn’t started fighting…if only I hadn’t barged into the fight like an idiot…if only I hadn’t lost my temper…it’s too late to think of all that now.  My hair’s already in a big pile on the floor.  Besides, I could always grow it back if I wanted to.

Kasumi hands me a mirror.

I almost don’t recognize myself.  With my hair now cropping my ears, I look a lot younger, more energetic.  Maybe even a little bit cute.

Maybe I should keep my hair like this for a while.

I find myself wondering what Ranma would think of my new hairstyle.  I give Kasumi a thank you hug and head out the door.