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Making A Difference

Fiction by Ann Garvald

The beauty-salon chairs had been moved out. There we were, five kids, Grades 7 and 8, wrapped in capes and perched on a row of high stools, facing the mirrors and waiting for Cathy, the salon owner, to cut our long hair. To the left of the mirrors, a big sign reading ” Making A Difference”. And behind us Alison, a reporter from the local CBC TV station, with a camera-man. The salon packed with relatives, school friends, a few of our teachers, even some total strangers.

“Hey, maybe Peter Mansbridge will put us on tonight’s National”, Alison said to the crowd.

It’s always an event when girls give up their carefully-cared-for locks to be made into wigs for those who have special need for them. Courageous donations for a good cause. But these days the media seldom think of it as news. So what was making a difference this time ?

Just this. Of the five of us, sitting there with our hair loose and brushed over our shoulders, waist-length or close to, only two were girls. The other three, including me, were boys. Which explains why, to the right of the mirrors, there was a second sign, equally big, which read “Yeah — Three Brave Boys”. And there we were, Andy, Greg, and Joe — that’s me — looking at ourselves in the mirrors, grinning and embarrassed at the fuss. But proud of what we’d done.

“Right,” said Alison, “Let’s get this amazing thing going.” Cathy moved over to Christie at the left end of the row. She gave Christie’s hair a final brushing, tied it in a ponytail, then borrowed Alison’s mike. ” Christie,” she said, ” We can easily get the length we need and still leave you with a nice cut that’s about chin length. Does that sound okay ? “Sure does,” Christie replied with a huge smile. And as Cathy picked up her scissors, Alison took back the mike . “Well now, Christie, ” she said, “I believe you’re the one who started this incredible project. Tell us all about it.”

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