It was nine o clock, at least according to the cuckoo clock next door. Mrs Beechcroft was sitting in the hard backed wooden chair in the dining room. She had thrown her hair back so that it practically fell into the bowl on the stool behind her. Clive had brought this stool down from the loft using the stepladder. He stood behind her now with his sleeves rolled right up. He put his hands into the bowl. He then put his hands on her head, starting at the front. His hands were gentle in her hair but she could feel his body radiating his excitement. Clive took more and more dye, dying it a deeper and deeper black. Even Mrs Beechcroft was curious as to what she would look like when he finished.
At last he was done. He instructed his wife to wait for it to dry. While she waited, he put away the dye and the stool and washed and dried the bowl. When Clive was sure it was completely dry, he let her stand up. He then took her upstairs to the bedroom and made her stand in front of the dressing table mirror. Mrs Beechcroft gaped. On the one hand she had to admit that her husband had done a fantastic job - she looked so beautiful. Her hair - long, straight and black hung loose all round her face. On the other hand, an irrational terror swept over her. If her husband changed anything else, she would not know herself. She was even sure that people who knew her would no longer recognise her.
Clive put his hand on her shoulder. "Do you like it?"
"Yes" she murmured.
The presure of his hand on her shoulder increased.
His hand relaxed.
Mrs Beechcroft turned and kissed him. Clive looked startled. He returned the kiss reluctantly before pulling away.
"It's late." He went to the wardrobe and reached for his pyjamas. Mrs Beechcroft stood in front of the mirror, still looking awestruck.
He looked at her.
"Will you do this regularly?"
He raised an eyebrow. "You seemed reluctant when I first suggested it."
"That was until I realised how good I look. Will you?"
"Sure darling." Clive sounded casual, nonchalant even but he smiled to himself when his wife turned back to the mirror.
At last he was in his pyjamas.
"Come on sweetheart. Plenty of time to look in the mirror tomorrow."
Mrs Beechcroft jumped. She took her nightdress off the bed and started undressing.