By Paul-Gabriel Wiener <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Submitted: May, 2003
Summary: A young Lois takes a bible story to heart (and to scalp) in this response to the Haircut Story Challenge.
Author's Note: Okay, I can explain… See, there's this guy, Tank, who, for whatever reason, is obsessed with seeing Lois get her hair cut. He had this fic he was holding hostage if he didn't get some haircut fics from Wendy and Kaethel. Then Bethy stepped in and said "hey, why don't we *all* write haircut fics" (or something like that), and, even though I went bald before I ever needed to start shaving, I got caught up in the challenge. It would make sense if you kept up with the fanfic message boards (http://www.lcficmbs.com), really it would…
Clark sat on the couch, flipping through one of his wife's old photo albums. "Wow, Lois, your hair sure was long when you were a kid…"
"Yeah, for a while…" Lois trailed off as the pictures brought back some old memories. She remembered a night when she'd been around six or seven… young enough to be very impressionable, but old enough, especially with a younger sister, to think herself adult. It had been past her bedtime, but her father hadn't come home and her mother hadn't bothered to check and see if she'd managed to fall asleep. She'd started reading in bed, the first book that had come to hand…
"… and so Samson trusted his wife with the secret of his strength: his hair. As long as his hair remained uncut, he would be granted the strength that had allowed him to consistently defeat her people, the Philistines.
"That night, as the hero slept, Delilah cut his hair. In the morning, Samson found himself powerless and surrounded by enemies.
"They soon subdued him and brought him back to their temple. They chained him to a pair of stout pillars, blinded him, and beat him.
"With the betrayal of his wife, his eyesight gone, and his strength taken, Samson knew there was nothing left for him. So, he prayed to be granted his strength one last time.
"His prayers were answered. His strength returned for just long enough to allow him to pull the pillars down and thus collapse the temple on his enemies… and himself."
Lois was still thinking about the story when she heard an angry shout from downstairs. Her parents were fighting again. She couldn't make out the words, but it was clear enough what was happening.
Lucy began to whimper as the incoherent sounds invaded her dreams.
Lois put down the book of bible stories and went to comfort her sister. "Don't worry, Lucy. I'll be strong for both of us."
Lucy settled down at the sound of her big sister's soothing voice. Lois stayed with her until the noise from downstairs quieted. Then, she dragged herself over to her own bed, and finally managed to fall asleep.
She woke the next morning with a new determination. If she'd have to be strong, and if growing your hair out could help, then she'd never get a haircut again.
It worked, for a while. Her hair grew longer, and no one noticed. She felt her self-confidence grow with it, and thus confirmed her theory.
Eventually, though, people began to notice. The kids at school started making fun of her. She didn't let that bother her. She was strong.
Then, finally, her mother noticed. "Lois, you can't go out looking like that! Here, let me cut your hair…"
"Lois, don't be silly. You look ridiculous. Let me fix it."
Lois continued to refuse, but her mother was just as insistent. Ellen came at her daughter shears first, backed up by a determined stride.
"Stay away from me! No wonder Daddy's never home! Delilah!" Screaming, she'd bolted, leaving her mother paralyzed with hurt and confusion.
She'd won that battle, but, back at school, the teasing was getting worse. It began to escalate to shoving, which led to fighting, and Lois soon learned something known to fighters around the world… long hair makes an awfully convenient hand-hold.
That thought eventually brought with it a realization: there were plenty of strong people who were bald. In fact, marines shaved their heads to prevent the exact problem she was facing. It would have seemed silly under other circumstances, but for Lois, it was profound.
So, reluctantly, she put aside the notion that long hair brought strength. Even so, she wouldn't let anyone cut her hair whom she didn't trust. With that in mind, she set about investigating all the barbers in the area. This was, it later turned out, the beginning of a very successful career.
Eventually, she found one that observation and instinct said she could trust. Gravely, she walked into his shop and told him to cut her hair short.
"Lois? Are you okay?"
Her husband's voice brought her back to the present. "Yeah, Clark. I'm fine. Just got lost in some memories…"
Looking back, she realized that part of that childish determination had never left her. While she'd been willing to change her hairstyle, she had never had it cut by a stranger. She also realized that her hair had been growing long lately…
"Clark, do you think my hair is too long?"
He blinked at the sudden change. "Honey, I love you. Whatever style makes you happy makes me happy."
"Okay, but if I was equally happy with any style, which would you choose?"
"Well, I guess it's a bit long now. I wouldn't want it to be too short, either, but it could use a little trimming, I suppose…"
"Want to give me a haircut?"
A few minutes later, Lois was sitting in a chair, her husband behind her with a pair of scissors. Carefully, gently, he brought the gleaming metal blades closer to her neck. He gathered her hair and began to trim.
She watched him in the mirror, seeing his concentration, and the love implicit in his body language. She felt the trust in herself that allowed her to let him do it. She saw the hair begin to fall, and she smiled. It wasn't her strength falling, but it wasn't just hair, either. It was old dead weight falling away under her husband's tender ministrations. Lois was getting a haircut, and this time it made her feel strong.