Molly’s Choice

When she heard the shower turn on, Molly knew this was the moment she had been waiting for. She had fifteen minutes to muster enough courage to fulfill the promise she had made to herself earlier that day.  Molly and her mother had just gotten back from a visit with her cousins in Virginia. Their idea of “family bonding” consisted of the adults reeking of cheap cigarettes and light beer, while the five children take turns playing Super Mario Brothers on Nintendo 64. About four hours into the seemingly never ending day, Molly excused herself to go to the bathroom. The upstairs bathroom was in Aunt Janet’s bedroom and after going, washing her hands, flossing her teeth, and playing with the shaving cream, Molly knew she had to face her cousins once again. When she stepped out of the safe zone of the tile floor, there stood her cousin, Tony. In silence they looked at each other. He was smiling. She was nauseous. She had stood here before. Not in this spot, but in many spots like it. She knew that look all to well. She quickly prayed that someone would walk in the room, but before she could say amen Tony had stepped forward and they were now toe to toe. He said some stomach-churning line about her birthday coming up, and how she is finally reaching double digits-and womanhood. He twirled her long brown hair around his finger and whispered in her ear how much he loved it. Molly just stared at her shoes. She counted the laces; there were 12 on each foot. She looked at the stripes on the side; one thick, one thin, two thick, one thin-trying not to notice Tony’s hand tracing her hair all the way down to the small of her back. Luckily, her mother had a date that night, and needed to get back home to freshen up and get ready. After hearing her mother yell up the stares, Molly quickly darted under Tony’s arm and made a pact with herself.

One hour later, there she stood, minutes before the babysitter’s arrival; she can hear her mother singing “Sweet Caroline” in the shower.  She grabs the scissors from a cup in the laundry room, though she wants a mirror to help guide her hand, she can’t bear the thought of watching herself destroy what was once, one of her most prized processions. She goes to into her room and sits in a corner. For the last time, Molly pulls her Grandmother’s antique hairbrush through her hair with tears in her eyes. She switches out the hairbrush for the scissors and holds them in her hand for a few moments. Open. Close. Open. Close. They slide so nicely; the blades make such a nice sound when they touch. She lifts her hair and places the scissors right beneath her left ear. Let’s see him try and twirl his finger around this. 

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