11-year-old Evan turned out to be a godsend for her friend Faith. He sold his hair to help raise money for Faith’s mother’s treatment. Little did he know that his act of kindness would be rewarded three times more than the market price.
“Your girl, Faith, has such gorgeous long hair, Elena!” Mr. Fritz, the owner of the salon, whispered a compliment.
Elena smiled as she bent lower to mop under the vanity mirrors of the most famous salon in town.
“In fact, that is an impressive braid! Look at how thick and even it is! Did you make that for her, Elena?”
Elena dodged her boss’s question with a half-hearted smile. She knew that she had nothing to do with her daughter’s braid.
‘I barely have time to tie two ponytails for her. And yet, she’s been coming home with a new hairstyle every day… who’s doing this for her?’ Elena wondered.
If Faith was to be believed, it was an introverted boy in her class, Evan, who had been styling her hair at school.
‘But what normal 11-year-old boy knows how to braid girls’ hair?’ Elena thought.
Her chain of suspicious thoughts was interrupted by her boss’s voice.
“I’m telling you…this is the kind of hair that wig companies will blindly overpay for….”
Faith pretended she didn’t hear that. ‘Like I’m ever going to chop my hair off for money!’ she thought.
During their lunch break the following day, Evan chuckled when Faith told him about the salon owner’s suggestion. “Don’t you cut your hair short, ever!” he said, trying out a new kind of braid on Faith. “Hire me as your personal hair stylist for life, only if you can afford my fee, of course!”
Only Faith was close enough to Evan to know why he was so good with hair. The 11-year-old boy had lost both his parents in an accident shortly after his birth, and his grandfather raised him.
“My great grandmother was a hairdresser in her youth, and my grandfather would accompany her to all her clients and observe it like art all day long. Grandpa learned all the tips and tricks early on, and that’s where I got this love for hairdressing. It’s weird, I know,” Evan had opened up to her once.
To Faith, it was far from weird — it was a gift worth encouraging. That’s partly the reason why she would let Evan do her hair. And also because she loved how pretty it made her look!
“There they are, the broke lovebirds of Redwood High…”
“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let me braid your hair….”
The school bullies were at it again, trying to get a rise out of Faith and Evan. With time, the duo learned to tune out their ignorant teasing and laugh it off.
“Faith!” a much older voice called out to her. It was the school principal.
“Come with me immediately. It’s about your mother. She’s…admitted to the hospital.”
Faith was in shock and looked briefly at Evan before rushing away. Evan didn’t know that this was the last time he would see his friend that semester. Or that she would be virtually unrecognizable the next time he saw her.
The day Faith was rushed out of school, Elena had blacked out in the middle of her job and fainted head first on the floor.
“This is why we cannot postpone the next round of chemotherapy,” Faith overheard the doctor telling one of her mother’s visitors. “If there’s any hope of the patient getting any better, she needs to start on the medication and treatment immediately.”
Faith noticed as a handful of her mother’s friends paced back and forth in the hospital lobby, thinking, discussing. Faith may have been little, but she knew it was about the money.
Most of her mother’s friends’ faces were relatively unfamiliar to Faith, but one of them was spectacularly beautiful. That woman had a long nose and shiny, flowing red hair.
Looking at the woman smiling sympathetically at her gave Faith an idea. It was a heartbreaking one.
It had been three weeks since Evan had last seen his best friend. And when she walked in donning a pixie cut instead of a long, flowing ponytail, he knew something terrible had happened.
Over recess, Faith revealed everything that had happened in the past weeks, including her mother’s urgent need for treatment and the lack of funds.
“I know we needed some quick cash, and selling my hair was the only way I could see being useful.”
“$1500 wasn’t a lot, but it was better than nothing. I look hideous now, I know.”
“Not one bit. You are what made your hair look beautiful, not the other way around. And what you did was so bold! Like Rapunzel, but a thousand times better!”
Somehow, even through the sorrow, Evan had made Faith laugh. But in his mind, Evan was hatching a plan.
Always help your friends however you can.
Over the next month, the school bullies had new fodder for their teasing.
“Look, mister Braider over here wants a braid of his own!”
“How much girlier can this guy get?”
Even Faith didn’t know why Evan had been growing his hair for several weeks. She didn’t have the heart to tell him, but it made him look shabby and insincere.
“Just another month. Wait and watch!” Evan was excited with every growing inch of his hair.
A month later, Evan was at Mr. Fritz’s salon without anyone’s knowledge.
“So that’s the best I can get? $300?”
Mr. Fritz was suspicious about the intentions of the boy.
“What do you even need the cash for? Do your parents know you’re doing this?”
Evan smiled and revealed his true intention.
“I wish I could help Faith’s mother recover quickly and be with her again. But when I saw what Faith had done, I wanted to do the same. It’s the only thing I can really do to help.”
Mr. Fritz was shocked to discover that the boy, who was only a classmate of Elena’s daughter, cared enough to do his bit for her health.
“I’m so happy you walked in here today. You are a reminder that friendship and kindness can still be unconditional in this otherwise nightmare of a world.”
Evan was embarrassed by all the attention he was getting from the salon staff and customers.
Mr. Fritz carefully cut Evan’s hair himself, and it was easier than the time he had to chop off Faith’s hair, which she loved so much. Holding back tears over the thought of the children’s big-heartedness, Mr. Fritz completed the task and handed Evan an envelope of cash.
“This is the best I can do for you, child.”
Evan opened it and couldn’t believe the amount he had counted.
“$900? That’s three times what my hair is actually worth….”
“That may be, but it doesn’t come close to the value of your kind-heartedness.”
News of Evan’s act of kindness spread across the school and radiated into the neighborhood. Over the next few months, dozens of good-hearted citizens, including several other children at Evan and Faith’s school, grew their hair and sold it for Elena’s treatment.
Blessed by the kindness of those hearts, especially those of the two children, Elena’s treatment was successful, and the first thing she said after settling down at home was: “I’d like to see this Evan friend of yours.”
When Elena finally met Evan, she hugged him like he was the son she had never had.
“We may not be related by blood,” Elena would tell her friends, “but I now have two children – Faith and Evan!”
And Elena didn’t just say this for the sake of effect. When Evan lost his cheerful old grandfather due to old age, Elena brought him home as her own son.
In the new chapter of their friendship, Faith grew her hair back and let Evan style it every single morning before school. And Evan was hired as the promising new intern at Mr. Fritz’s salon until he opened one of his own at age 21.
What do we learn from this story?
Always help your friends however you can. Evan wasn’t related to Faith or Elena. Still, he sold his hair to raise money for Elena’s treatment, proving he was Faith’s true friend.
An act of kindness can be infectious. Mr. Fritz noticed Evan’s kindness and was inspired by the boy’s actions. He decided to reward him with three times more money that would eventually help Faith’s mother.