After an entire day of running errands around Wartwood and meeting the townsfolk more in-depth Sasha was drained. Not physically, well maybe that as well but mostly it was the consequences of her actions getting to her. She had thought about the frog lives she made miserable, of course, it has registered as a bad thing once or twice, even when she was dead-set on hurting as many people around her as possible to get what she wants. Still, it was different to have a passing strike of guilt from actually meeting the people, seeing the broken branches that hadn’t yet had the time to heal from toads breaking them. Toad Tower felt so far away from Sasha when she was busy trying not to get killed by the amphibian flora and fauna. She didn’t realize how fresh the memory must have been to the townsfolk.
So she went around the town, helping carry groceries or fix somebody’s cart or bring them strange ingredients, which might or might not be used in some illegal spiritual activity. Soon Sasha stopped asking for why, it was just mindless to come up to someone and ask if she can help and mindless of them to share the burden. A desperate try to get into everybody’s good graces, if you will. The hustle is much more tiring, when you don’t actually remember the name of the slightly off wood carver or can’t tell whether the baker guy and the thai-esque restaurant owner were the same person. It’s tiring because you know you don’t do it out of the kindness of your heart and more to just check “doing a good thing” off from your to-do list.
It was a bitter kind of feeling.
Exhausted she pulled the door opened, not to rest in the cozy little home the Plantars’ built for themselves, she still wouldn’t allow herself to feel relaxed in the walls she tried to destroy. Sasha barely acknowledged Grime sitting on the couch, much more comfortable with the place, as she fled in a manic kind of state. She needed a change. It didn’t matter what but it had to be something or else she’d go mad. There were so many thoughts running through her mind that they drowned themselves out. Sasha’s actions looked composed to the outside eye but every muscle in her body was tense, full of energy, determined to let it out on herself. She felt her clothes touching her skin, her blood pumping through her veins with blinding rage, her hair flying everywhere. Wait. Her hair. There was her hair.
Maybe it was a stupid teenage girl thing, to think that cutting your hair will make you a completely different person. Reason couldn’t get to Sasha’s ears though as it was muffled behind Sasha’s own heartbeat and the belief that this was the solution to her problems. She searched through the cabinets and different rooms only to find some kind of pink kiddie scissors in the only room with a mirror, although it was broken in half and covered with moss. Slamming the door closed Sasha sat down on the more-stepping-stool-than-a-chair with barely controlled hands and breath.
She looked at her reflection for a while, trying to calm herself down in a way. A part of her was screaming at her that this was a terrible idea, that there are going to be repercussions she is not ready to deal with. That it’s not going to change the awful person that she is, that it’s-
Sasha took the first snip.
It felt exhilarating to watch a long, greasy strand of blonde hair lose its shape and fall down in between her dirt-stained fingers. So she kept going. More and more of long locks found its place on the wood to wither away there. It was freeing. Her scalp felt much lighter as half of it was gone, she ran her hand through it, it felt much different, more breezy.
The snipping sound of the children’s scissors was monotonous, Sasha wouldn’t call it calming but it was something she could focus on, not pay attention to the whirlwind in her head. Snip snip snip, two thirds were done. She will need to go through her hair again as it varied in length on the top and the sides of her head. Snip snip snip snipping away and she could feel emotional stability at her fingertips. Snip snip snip, why were these scissors fucking unable to cut more than a few strands at once, the first half went by so fast and now it feels like an eternity. Snip snip snip, the sound started to weight on her mind, at first distracting now it was the only thing to be heard and it made Sasha see red. Snip snip snip. The thought of doing this once again revolted her. Snip snip snip…
As the last brave few hairs have fallen, she finally looked up at the mirror.
Now that the light fell on her face she could see all the details clearly. The scar she was ashamed to bear at full display, alongside many different blemishes and freckles she tried to desperately hide with concealer until it ran dry. Her eyes were fallen, dark pulling at their corners instead of a fake smile. But her hair, frog, her hair. It was rough, jagged, dirty. It wasn’t straight or smooth, the tuft above her ear longer than what was at the top of her head. She ruffled it, it looked oily with the sun shining through it. She patted it down, it looked stupid with just a half of it obeying her orders while the rest stood still in defiance.
Ugly , she heard her mother say.
Sasha made one wrong step right into the eggshells she was trying to avoid. She broke all the thinly-veiled rules she and her parents have made together.
Still, that wasn’t the most upsetting thing, it hurt, yes, but what hurt more was that the reflection was now truly and undeniably her. The scowl on her face that has become a crucial part of her appearance as of late was still there, the scar under her eye was still there. The blood on her hands, the past mistakes were still there. They were all present and real with no fake smiles to pretend that they just didn’t happen but with no new-found softness and appreciation for this world. If anything, she hated everyone and everything with more fierceness now.
She hasn’t changed like she promised.
When she steps out of the small room into the dampness of the main living space in the house, she will see Grime. He won’t ask about her hair nor about what happened, they will nod at each other in a fake gesture of understanding and Sasha will get out of this tiny, suffocating space to once again sleep in the barn. Tomorrow when she wakes up and meets the weird one-eyed frog with his concertina, she will tell him she needed a change and laugh. When someone else compliments it, she will smile nicely and thank them, touching the back of her head carefully, to remind herself that there was nothing there.
She won’t feel anything.