Translated and Edited by: ynlucca.
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.
When I got home, I immediately went into my room to gather information with both my cellphone and my computer.
Looking in the mirror, I saw a guy with bangs long enough to cover his eyes. He wore a plain, wrinkled junior high-school uniform. His face exuded a lack of dignity, and his hunched posture made him look shorter than he actually was.
With that quick look alone I found many things I needed to fix. While looking down on others wasn’t acceptable in any way, dressing as a loser wasn’t justified either. I decided to eliminate the bad parts in me one by one, aiming to become an average guy.
Therefore, in order to make my month of vacation as fruitful as possible, I’m implementing the “Yuta Miyamoto Remodeling Plan.”
First, I’ll start with this shaggy, unkempt long hair. These long bangs gave a sense of security, a fortress if you will, but it also made it impossible for others to read your expressions. Besides, when I try new clothes in the near future, even the best ones wouldn’t do much with this mess of a face I currently have. Having that decided, there was only one thing left to do.
I opened a browser on my phone and searched for the nearest men’s beauty salon. The search results came immediately, and I looked at the top of the list, entering a website that collected info on nearby salons.
Hmm, although more expensive than my current salon, the décor and atmosphere were far more stylish. I have high hopes that I might get a good haircut there. After an hour of thinking and looking at numerous websites, I settled on a place a bit far from my house but boasting a wide range of options to suit the clientele.
Without hesitation, I jumped to the reservation page and started selecting one of the items on their menu. Since my school had loose rules regarding appearance, we weren’t told anything about dying our hair. Well, even if I can, I don’t think such a drastic makeover would do me any good.
For now, I’ll opt for a normal cut, adding only eyebrow trimming to the package. I don’t really know what they’d possibly do with them, but it seems men that care about fashion don’t neglect taking care of their brows. I decided to start by imitating the pros.
After deciding on the package, I move to the stylist selection screen. I couldn’t decide who was good and who wasn’t, so I left it up to them for my first time ever there. As soon as I clicked next, I was relieved to see there was an open window for lunch tomorrow. As the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm.” It’s best to make a reservation as soon as possible. If I put it off, I’d never see any improvement. Steeling myself, I fill the rest of the info and clicked on the “reserve” button.
At any rate, the reservation was now confirmed. I’ll ask the hairdresser tomorrow about anything I don’t understand, though I still have a lot of time to do research today…
It’s gonna be one tough summer.
The next day.
“Hmm… Hard to get in.”
I arrived in front of the salon 30 minutes before my appointment. The atmosphere of the place was so overwhelming that, before I even realized it, only 5 minutes before my appointment were left.
Never had I thought that entering a salon requires such preparation. The white exterior, pristine and unblemished, as well as the large glass-walled entrance, gave you a sophisticated view of the interior. If I were to enter such a refined and sparkly place, my gloomy aura would just be a stain for the visitors. Actually, I wholly believe there is an invisible barrier against dull people like me.
…At this rate, my vacation will end over a haircut. If I die, I’ll die, and that’s that. I have to challenge myself, and I hope that this bravery of mine will be passed down generation after generation. May my sacrifice not be in vain.
I forced my trembling legs and wavering body. I felt so heavy I could swear my steps left holes in the ground. Pushing through my anxiety, I walk into the expanding white, a place akin to divinity for someone like me.
“Wow, you look great! It’s almost like you’ve changed species~!”
“…Who is that?”
An hour passed after I stepped into the store with widened eyes, and after having my hair cut, I faced a stranger in the mirror. A high school boy I’ve never seen before.
His bangs, previously heavy as anchors, were cut to just above his eyebrows. The sides of his hair were cut to about his ears, giving a three-dimensional feel to his cut. All are achieved by managing the weight of the individual parts of my hair. The eyebrows of this stranger were also carefully aligned and trimmed, giving off an impression of dignity.
If I had to say, he looked like a fairly handsome young man that, for some odd reason, tried to figure out the identity of the one before him.
…And this stranger is me.
I never thought the time would come when I’d utter that cliched “Who’s that?” line in the mirror. Moreover, the hairdresser that took care of me also sent a rather rude compliment my way. Well, guess that shows how different I look now.
“I still can’t believe how cool you look~! It’ll be a shame if you don’t dress up properly!”
“Thanks a lot. I’m still surprised I don’t look like myself.”
The hairdresser seemed to be good at what she does, twirling a comb in her hand with finesse. At first, when she learned she’d take care of me, she recoiled a bit. Her mood gradually improved as she cut my hair though, and now she spoke with satisfaction.
“Though, why did you suddenly decide to come to the salon?”
It might be a rude question on her part, but I could tell she was trying to hold a proper conversation in her own way. I decided to be honest and say why I decided to change.
“Eh, isn’t everyone around you terrible?! Maybe you should just cut them off…”
“My thoughts exactly. That’s why I decided to change myself and give them the shock of their lives.”
“Then let’s do that! If there’s anything I can help you with, just ask!”
Perhaps it was just to fill a social call, but the hairdresser made a gratifying offer. So I asked her what she recommended for men’s clothing and what was popular today. She answered by giving me good info-gathering methods, as well as the current trends. I decided to look it all up when I got home.
Thanks, moderately rude hairdresser.
To be honest, she helped me out so much I didn’t care about the negatives. I’m truly grateful I had the courage to take the first step and pop into the store. I now leave its doors with a new me, thinking that I’ll come back to cut my hair with her again once it grows long.
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