Note: When I started The Truth Comes Out, I truly did not know how the final dare between Barbara and London should be resolved...so I left it up to chance and flipped a coin for real to decide. Now that we all know how that turned out, I decided to go back and try the first chapter as it would have gone if the quarter had landed differently.
(Everything is the same until Bailey looks in Max's hand…)
"Tails," Barbara all but shouted as the coin was tossed in the air. "No, wait--"
"Too late," Max said as she caught the coin. "You already called."
Bailey looked over into the other girl's hand to see the result. Out of politeness, she tried to appear unbiased.
"London wins," Max announced solemnly.
"NO!" Barbara almost screamed as her eyes widened in fear. Max looked over to her with a sympathetic look…which only made the reality of the situation sink in even more for the shocked girl. "Oh…god…no," she whimpered as her she raised her hands to her head and entwined her fingers in her long black hair.
"YES!" London shouted triumphantly. She started bouncing up and down and clapping her hands. For a moment she'd actually been afraid. Fortunately things had gone her way…as they usually did.
Barbara unsteadily stepped towards the nearest chair and sat down. She couldn't believe what was happening. Why had she agreed to this? And how could she have lost to that insufferable heiress? It wasn't fair!
Max walked over to her stricken friend and placed a hand on her shoulder. "Sorry, Barb," she said quietly.
Bailey tried to get London to stop celebrating so vigorously. "Are you really going to do this?" she asked.
"Of course," the rich girl answered. "I won." She cast a smug glance over to Barbara. "And she's going to be BALD!" Her words were followed by a slightly sinister chuckle.
Barbara stared daggers at the heiress.
"You don't have to gloat," Max said sternly. "If this is going to happen, just go get the scissors."
London took no notice of the other girl's tone. She was too excited about winning to care.
"It would be better if we had clippers," Bailey commented. "At least it would be faster."
"Ooh…I have clippers," London said. "For Ivana."
"Your dog?" Barbara choked out. "You're going to use dog clippers on me?"
London started to open her mouth to respond, but Bailey elbowed her in the side.
"Ow! Why'd you do that?"
"Because you looked like you were going to say something really mean," Bailey whispered. "Don't be a sore winner. That could've been you sitting there."
London frowned, but part of her knew that the farm girl was right. "Okay," she conceded before turning back to Barbara and Max. "They're the only clippers I have. But they'll work. And they're really nice…pearl-handled and covered with jewels."
That news did little to cheer Barbara. When the clippers were brought forth she eyed them fearfully.
"I'll hold your glasses," Max told the unfortunate girl.
Barbara told herself to remain stoic…but she had little time to prepare. The second that she handed her glasses to Max, London was upon her. The heiress used one hand to brush the hair back from Barbara's forehead and then plowed the clippers right into her dark locks. The girl let out a pitiful wail as a bald path was shaved right through the center of her hair.
Max kneeled down and held her friend's hand. Bailey forgot her earlier annoyance with Barbara, and even London was taken aback as the girl began sobbing uncontrollably. The heiress looked unsure of herself for a second and glanced to Bailey for guidance.
"It's too late to stop now," the farm girl said. "Just get it over with."
London continued without any further gloating. It was awkward work. Barbara's hair was very long and they hadn't bothered to cut it down to a more manageable length for the clippers. It wasn't that the tool had any trouble cutting through the tresses, but the long strands created quite a mess as they fell from Barbara's head.
When London was finished, Barbara was still crying. Max tried to reassure her.
"It doesn't look that bad," she said, somewhat lamely. She was actually telling the truth…it wasn't a bad look. But it wasn't the best look for Barbara either.
"C-can I see a mirror?" the newly bald girl asked.
Bailey handed her one and Barbara cried more than ever when she looked into it.
It wasn't that she was unattractive. It turned out that her head had a nice shape. But there was no denying that Barbara's raven hair had been her finest feature. Without it, while she was by no means ugly, her face appeared just a bit too round. She wasn't happy with her ears either.
"I'm hideous!" she sobbed.
All the girls, even London, told her that wasn't true. But the girl was inconsolable. Nothing they said was of any use.
"Damn it Barb!" Max finally said. "It's not the end of the world! You can get through this."
"That's easy for you to say," she replied with a wail. "You don't have to look like a freak!"
What happened next came as a complete shock. Max eyed the clippers for a moment and then snatched them up. She turned them on and raised them to her forehead.
But the other girls' words did nothing to stop Max from shaving a wide bald swath over the top of her head.
Barbara stood up and yelled. "What are you doing?!"
"What's it look like?" she answered in a loud voice, but then let her tone soften. "If I can take being bald for a while, you can too."
Barbara started to cry again, but not the pitiful sobbing from earlier. She hugged her friend. "I can't believe you did that."
"Yeah," Max answered as she rolled her eyes upwards, as if she could see the damage to her hair. "I don't either."
"You are amazing," an awestruck Bailey told Max.
"Well…that's true," the girl replied with a cocky grin. She sat down and handed the clippers to Barbara. "But first things first. I'm not going to go around with one bald stripe. Let's finish this."
In contrast to the earlier shaving, there were no tears…though Max did appear more and more nervous as the rest of her hair was removed. When it was over and she looked in the mirror she let out a surprised yell, but then started laughing.
"God, I'm an idiot!" she declared.
"No," Barbara replied firmly. "You're the bravest, and best, friend ever."
Everyone assured Max that the look worked for her. In fact, she did make a very attractive bald girl…more so than Barbara.
"I wonder what Zack will think of your new look?" Bailey teased.
"After that phone call tonight," London chimed in. "I don't think the hair is going to be a problem."
Max warned them to stop brining up the subject of Zack, but was secretly fine with listening to their jokes. The light-hearted mood was good for Barbara. Indeed, it was good for all of them.
"Barbara," London said in a contrite voice. "I'm sorry this all happened. I guess I overreacted."
"You did," Barbara replied. "But I wasn't exactly in the right either." She turned to Bailey. "I'm sorry for the way I acted before. The truth is, I regret what happened with Cody and me. And I still have feelings for him. But he's with you now…and I wouldn't try to break you two up. That's just wrong."
"Yeah," London commented quietly, as much to herself as anyone else. "It is."
Bailey nodded and smiled at her boyfriend's ex. "Apology accepted."
"Peace at last," Max cracked. "And it only cost two of us our hair."
Seeing as how late it had gotten, London invited the Barbara and Max to spend the night. After both had called to check with their parents, London and Bailey went to get some pillows and blankets for their guests. Once those two were out of the room, Max turned to Barbara.
"You know…would it be too mean if we shave their heads after they fall asleep?"
**THE END…?** (A fun place to end the original story if it had been just a one-shot)
author's notes: I love London…but she could have been a very mean winner. What do you think of Max's last line? Was she joking or not? Please review.