Chapter 11:


With Oasis (Vol. 1)

After our lengthy conversation atop the butte, I wasn’t in any rush to get home, and Lou (at first) wasn’t either. We cuddled under the starry sky for what felt like only thirty seconds, although in real time it was more like twenty minutes, before Lou suddenly exclaimed “WAIT! HOLY SHIT! IT’S DARK OUT! THAT MEANS IT’S LIKE, WAY PAST MY CURFEW!”. And with that sentence having exploded out of her mouth, we began running to Lou's house together. I followed her most of the way home, turning towards my house just before hers entered our sight.

Well, we didn’t part without a goodbye kiss.

I guess that’s just bf-gf etiquette, or something.

Not that I have even a smidgeon of an issue with smooching her.

However, when I neared my home, suddenly, my phone vibrated in my pocket. I expected it to be some random app notification, but no.

It was Lou.

do u think id look good with a haircut??

do you want a haircut? I asked.

idk. Then, in a separate text, she expanded upon her previous statement with i was thinking of doing a girl cuts hair chara arc irl

A girl cuts hair character arc? In real life?? that’s the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard of.

thx :))

but if you wanna do it, then go ahead. it doesn’t really matter what i think of it.

my mom knows how to cut hair, so i can get it done tonight

whenever or however you want it, man.

anyway, im gonna go call abey now! unless shes asleep already. she might be considering how late she was up last night. cya soon, love<333333

cya babe.

Later that night, just as I was about to head to bed, I got another text from Lou.

just you wait til you see how my hair looks when i c u at the bus stop tomorrow >:)

can’t wait.

The proper way of recovering from an all nighter is to sleep for like ten hours, promptly after considering how to avoid any future all nighters. Being improper as I am though, I only slept six at best, though I spend most of my time tired, so it’s not like this is anything radical.

The next day, after drinking my usual oodles of morning-pick-me-up coffee, I arrived at the bus stop— to find an atypical sight before me.

I arrived at the bus stop, only to be greeted by the sight of Lou with her cheeks ablaze, wearing a preposterously self-conscious expression.

No, that was far from the only reason why it was an atypical sight.

Of course it wasn’t the only reason.

Lou’s hair is usually kind of a mess. She’s described her morning routine to me before, so I can say for sure that on a good day she brushes her hair for about fifteen seconds before calling it good. Even with that said, it’s not uncommon for her to outright not brush her hair at all, and instead simply go with the flow of whatever bedhead she happens to have that day. I’ve never criticized her for this (outside my inner thoughts) because it’d be throwing stones in a glass house.

Furthermore, while Lou’s hair has never been exceptionally long, it’s still long enough that, if cut in a fashion significant enough to constitute a ‘girl cuts hair character arc’, it’d take years to grow back.

To be honest, I expected her hair to be cheek length, maybe halfway down her neck at most.

I didn’t expect it to be the exact same length as it was yesterday.

But even if it was the same length, it was an atypical sight nonetheless.

Her hairstyle, so staunch in its bedhead-of-the-week formula, was thoroughly brushed, just like it was the day she asked me out. Instead of being messy and thick, it was a lot thinner and wispier (and honestly even prettier) than usual.

But the biggest difference was—

Her hair was gathered in a high ponytail.

And now that I looked at her harder, she did have some hair cut.

Her bangs.

“W- Well…” Lou said quietly. “What— do you think?”

I glanced down at my hands for a second, before gazing back at her. “I think headpats are gonna feel a lot softer for me from now on.”

“That sounds like a positive reaction!”

“Oh, but uh, what happened to the ‘girl cuts hair character arc’ you wanted to do?”

“Well you see, I got to thinking, and I was like, ‘isn’t that trope really overdone?’. But then I was like, ‘but wouldn’t it be an amazing Monogatari reference?’.” No, Lou, it would not be a Monogatari reference. Not in the slightest, for myriad reasons. “But then I remembered your Mom, actually, and how she has really really long hair. And then I remembered how someday, I’m gonna be Lou Fey. So!” Lou pointed at me. “I decided to undergo a girl grows hair character arc in order to carry on the Fey family tradition! Instead of cutting away my burdens, I’ll be growing my emotional resilience!”

“Jeez,” I replied, completely unimpressed.

What nonsense.

What absolute nonsense.

… I smiled. What a mindless contrarian you are, Lou.

“Oh yeah,” I continued, “how did your call with Abey go?”

“...” Lou smiled so wide her teeth showed. “I’m her tutor for math class now!”