Not as it Seems

22

Regina wakes up when the sun ray beam onto her face. Regina looks at the clock, 9:25AM, rejoicing that it is Saturday. Regina rolls onto her side expecting to see little Emma sleeping soundly. She is extremely surprised to find the bed empty.

Regina sits up and looks around the room, "Emma?", no response

Regina gets out of bed and looks in the bathroom, "Emma?", no response

Regina is getting nervous, she checks all of the rooms upstairs and all of the bathrooms. Regina grabs her robe and jogs down the stairs. Regina gets to the bottom and can hear movement coming from the kitchen.

Regina walks through the living room and stands in the archway. She smiles when she sees Emma kneeling on the counter trying to steadily pour milk into two bowls of cereal. Regina doesn't make her presence known not wanting to startle Emma and cause her to fall. Once Emma gets the milk into the bowl she closes the milk and gently balances it on top of the breakfast stool, as she climbs her way down onto the floor.

Emma puts the milk away and is about to run to get Regina but sees her in the archway smiling. Emma stops and smiles up at Regina. Regina looks at the mess in the kitchen but ignores it and asks, "what's all this?"

Emma shyly plays with the ends of the t-shirt she is wearing and says, "I wants to do something nice. I make breakfast, I gonna bring it to you but I couldn't walk that far without dropping stuff"

Regina chuckles and says, "Well I love it! Thank you." Emma looks up and smiles. Regina walks over to Emma, picks her up, and gives her a kiss on the cheek. "Welcome."

Regina sits Emma in one of the breakfast stools while she sits in the other. Regina asks, "So what are we having in this feast, huh?"

Emma says, "We havin krispies"

Regina looks into the bowl and can still hear the last few pops coming from the bowl. Emma put too much milk into the bowl so the cereal is all over the counter and soggy but Regina smiles and says, "Well this looks absolutely delicious" The smile on Emma's face makes the little white lie worth it.

Regina and Emma dig into their cereal. Emma keeps pulling her hair behind her ear and grunting.

Emma looks over at Regina and asks, "Can I cuts my hair?"

Regina blanked for a moment and swallowed her mouthful of cereal, "Why Emma, your hair is so pretty. I used to have long hair like yours and I loved it."

Emma looked at Regina and said, "Cause it too long and it's always in the way."

Regina couldn't deny that Emma could do with a trimming but the idea of Emma having her hair cut brought back memories.

Regina couldn't deny Emma and said, "Alright. How about you go upstairs and get dressed and I will clean up, then we can get your hair cut."

Emma beamed, she jumped off of the stool and said, "Thanks Mommy" as she ran upstairs.

Regina was stunned when Emma called her mommy, she knew that Emma saw her as a motherly figure but never thought she would call her 'mommy' so soon. Regina has to admit she likes the way it sounds coming from Emma.

Regina beings cleaning up the mess in the kitchen and can't help but think about when Cora made her cut her hair.

Regina beings cleaning up the mess in the kitchen and can't help but think about when Cora made her cut her hair.

Regina was in middle school and had hair that flowed all the way down to her lower back. While on a playdate with her two friends Hannah and Natalie, Regina was dared to dye the tips of her hair pink. Wanting to fit in with the other girls she did it, without permission from Cora.

When Regina arrived home that evening Cora was angry. She yelled and yelled at Regina claiming she had no respect, and that she was a disappointment. Regina said she would do anything to make it up to Cora. Cora took that to mean cut off Regina's long hair as punishment.

Regina can remember sitting in the bathroom on the toilet seat crying while her mother stood behind her holding a pair of kitchen sheers. Cora roughly grabbed Regina's hair and made a fist, Cora randomly cut above her fist. Regina could hear the scissors open and close, she felt the stray hairs hit her arms and fall to the floor. Cora then Grabbed the rest and in one final cut she took the rest off. Regina could feel the cold air hit the back of her neck, she no longer had her hair to act as a natural scarf.

Cora held Regina's hair in her hand and waved it in her face, 'this is what happens when you are disrespectful. You need to learn what really matters. Fitting in with those girls doesn't matter. Love is weakness, even this idiotic love you have for your hair. From now on it is to remain shoulder length, no exceptions'

Cora threw Regina's hair into her hands and told her to dispose of it and clean the bathroom. Regina cried for hours until there were just no tears left.

She cleaned up the bathroom, threw the cut hair away, and washed the tear stains off of her face. Regina never asked for another hair style. Cora was serious when she forced Regina to keep her hair at shoulder length, for the rest of middle school and throughout high school.

Eventually Regina adapted to the style and decided to keep the shorter hair throughout her college and adult years. Regina would never forget how helpless she felt when Cora demanded she cut her hair. Now with Emma wanting her hair cut she can't help but think back to those memories.


Regina finished cleaning the kitchen and went upstairs to get dressed. Emma was sitting on the floor putting her socks on when Regina came up the stairs. Regina could see that Emma was excited and tried her best to hide that she was nervous.

Regina got dressed and met Emma downstairs. Regina and Emma drove to the only hair dresser in town, Talia's, and sat in the waiting area. Regina was fidgeting and bouncing her leg nervously. Emma seemed to pick up on Regina's tension and asked, "Mommy, why you so scared? It's not gonna hurt right?"

Regina scolded herself for allowing Emma to see that she was scared, "No sweetheart, its not going to hurt, I promise."

Emma looked at Regina confused and asked, "What wrong then?"

Regina looked at Emma and decided to tell her the truth, "When I was younger my mother punished me for being bad and disrespectful by cutting my hair short. I felt sad and I never want you to feel like that."

Emma looked at Regina and said, "But mommy, I want my hair cut. But I promise not too much so you don't get sad."

Regina had tears in her eyes, how could anyone not love this child?, she is so selfless. Here she is comforting me and helping me with my issues when she is the one about to have her hair cut. "Thank you baby, but you tell them how short you want it ok? I promise I won't be sad"

Before Emma could say anything her name was called. Emma slid off of the chair and held out her hand for Regina to take. Regina smiled and grabbed Emma's hand. Regina helped Emma into the chair and stood off to the side. Talia was a tall, skinny, blonde, with blue eyes and a short pixie cut.

Talia walked over to Emma and asked, "Well hello. What can I help you with today gorgeous?"

Emma blushed at the compliment and said, "I needs my hair cut, but not too short."

Talia smiled and said, "Ok, well I think I can do that." Talia pulled all of Emma hair back and put it into a hair tie just below her shoulders. Talia asked, "How's that? Short enough?"

Emma looked at Regina and smiled, Regina nodded and Emma nodded too. Talia cut Emma's hair straight across at the hair tie. Emma's hair was now just below her shoulders.

Regina had to admit Emma's princess curls looked a lot better now that they were shorter. Emma slid out of the styling chair and ran over to Regina. Regina picked the girl up and held her on her hip. Emma played with Regina's hair and asked, "What do you think? You not sad?"

Regina blinked away her tears and said, "No baby, I'm not sad and I love it. You were right, you needed a hair cut."

Emma smiled and ran over to Talia, "Thanks for cutting my hair and not making my mommy sad."

Talia looked at Regina confused, Regina just shook her head. Talia then smiled down at Emma and said, "It was my pleasure beautiful"

Emma ran back to Regina and lifted her arms asking to be picked up. Regina immediately picked her up and placed her on her hip. Regina paid for Emma's haircut and exited the salon.

Emma was hugging Regina and said, "Thanks mommy for getting my hair cut"

Regina squeezed Emma and pulled her back to look her in the eye, "I'm happy if your happy, ok sweetheart."

Emma nodded. Regina kissed Emma's cheek.

Regina and Emma walked to the local park, deciding they didn't want to go home quite yet. While they were walking in the park Regina tickled Emma's sides. Emma squealed and ran around in the open space. Emma was running up a small hill towards the playground when Regina called out, "Emma wait for me at that tree ok."

Emma looked at Regina and yelled back, "Ok Mommy."

Emma was running towards the tree when she ran into someone and fell down with a hard thump. Emma's eyes started to water due to the scrapes on her hands. The person she ran into looked at Emma and said, "Oh sweetheart don't cry. Where is your mother?"

Emma didn't answer at first, expecting to be yelled at. When Emma realized the woman wasn't going to yell she wiped her tears and said "Sorry."

The woman looked back at Emma and repeated her question, "Where is your mother?"

Emma looked behind her and pointed to Regina who was walking towards them.

When Regina got to the top middle of the small hill she could see Emma on the ground and a woman standing over her. Regina got a better look and could see Emma point to her. Regina thought the worst and ran over to Emma.

When Regina got to Emma she saw her scratched hands and tear stains on her cheeks. Regina completely ignored the other woman and picked Emma up. "You ok baby? You hurt?"

Emma nodded and held out her hands for Regina to see, there were a few tiny scratches on Emma's hands. Regina kissed eat little cut and asked, "All better?"

Emma nodded and said, "I wanna go home mommy."

Regina nodded and replied, "Ok sweetheart, just one second ok" Emma nodded and laid her head down on Regina's shoulder.

Regina turned to the other woman to apologize again for the accident, when she lost all words.

The woman looked back at Regina and said, "Hello darling."

Regina blinked and cleared her throat, "Hello Mother."



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