“Aunt Baaba,” Moses said. “Where can I find a barber in the neighbourhood?”
“There is one just around the corner,” She replied. “Walk two houses to the left from here. Turn left and you’ll be facing it.”
“Thanks,” Moses replied. He pocketed his wallet and took out an afro comb from his hair. “Off to the barber’s .See you later!”
He was back in five minutes confused. ”Are you sure that the place that you showed me is the barber’s? It seemed more like a salon to me. Aunty, are you sure? “
“I’m very sure,” His aunty said. “Mansa’s son was there earlier today. Maybe you’re the one who didn’t get it.”
THE BARBER’S: TEN MINUTES EARLIER
Yayra walked into the barber’s looking agitated. “Good afternoon,” She greeted. “Please, I am here for a haircut.”
Nana Bempong, the assistant barber was free. “Have a seat, Ma’am,” He said to Yayra. As the only woman in the room, naturally, the chief barber and his current client eyed her.
Before Nana Bempong could ask her the style that she wanted, she said,” Cut everything. I just want something low.” She untied the scarf that held her hair to reveal a think mass of kinky hair. Nana Bempong could not help touching a strand of it and stretching it to its full length. It ended past her shoulders.
“You have such beautiful hair,” The chief barber said. “I didn’t know untamed African hair could be this long. Imagine if you permed it!”
“Yes,” Yayra answered. “I’m tired of it. I just want to be rid of it.”
“Why? “ The other client asked. “It’s so beautiful .Other women would kill for what you have.”
“Yes, “Yayra said. “ It’s my former boyfriend who liked it. He encouraged me to grow it but now we’ve broken up. I don’t need it anymore.” There was sadness in her eyes. “I just want a fresh beginning.”
Nana Bempong got a pair of scissors and passed his hands through Yayra’s her to straighten it. He was about to snip off a strand when the chief barber said, “Are you just going to allow her to cut it?”
“Miss, “The other client said. “Don’t make rush decisions you’ll regret later. So, the other guy left you. Maybe he’ll come back or there’s another person who’ll love you more. A fresh start could mean dyeing your hair. You don’t have to cut it out of spite.”
“Yes, “The other two agreed.
“For all you know, someone else has fallen in love with your hair and loves you the more, “Nana Bempong added. “ I don’t think I can cut it.”
The chief barber left his client and walked to Yayra. He took out a strand, split it into two and started twisting it. “This is so cool and simple. I don’t know why you girls spend so much on hairstyles when twists are just as beautiful. “In a matter of a minute, he was done. He stepped back and admired his handiwork smiling. “That’s nice. I could do this all day.”
“It’s that simple?” The other client said. He also got up from his seat and twisted another strand. “It really is cool! “ Normally, Yayra would have protested but she said nothing even when Nama Bempong started twisting another strand.
“Tell you what? “ The chief barber said. “Don’t cut your hair. Why don’t you let us twist it; if you want, we can dye it to give you some sort of fresh start. You can come here anytime you want to change your hairstyle. “
“Yea,” Yayra said. “Right, because now you’re a hairdresser.”
The chief barber laughed. “It’s never too late to learn. It would be nice to include more services to attract more customers. What do you say?”
Some minutes later, a young man stood in front of the barber’s and peaked through the front glass. What he saw were three men around a woman who were busily twisting strands of her hair. One of the men even had a cape on and what looked like a half finished haircut. This young man felt that it would not be a good time to interrupt what was going on inside.