"Our prayers for others flow more easily than those for ourselves.
This shows we are made to live by charity."
~~C.S. Lewis

Hi all,

So... I decided it was high time to have some more fun with Andrew's hair.  Here's hoping someone in Heaven continues to be amused by our interest in his gorgeous locks.  :-)

God bless,

Andrew's First (Dyeland) Haircut

Andrew stood in front of his mirror, contemplating how to proceed with the rather delicate issue he was facing.  He wished Tess was available.  She'd fix everything.  But she was with an assignment.  As were Monica and Henry.  He wasn't sure where Adam was but he hadn't picked up calls placed to his land line or cell so Andrew assumed he, too, was working a case.  Of course, the angel of death knew he could always consult his human friends.  However, they were also largely absent.  Yva was in London helping Willy and she'd brought Lady Beth along for her culinary expertise.  C.J. was attending classes backs in the States.  Rose wasn't picking up her phone.

That left JenniAnn.

"Laja..." Andrew sighed, smiling as he did.  He loved her dearly, just as he did all his friends.  But the girl was a little high-strung.  He blushed upon admitting to himself that she was especially so where he was concerned.  It wasn't that he didn't trust her ability to lend him a hand.  But one of the last things Andrew ever wanted to do was upset his friends.  And this... He glanced back at the mirror.  The angel of death knew this would definitely upset JenniAnn.

Still... Andrew recognized that she always came through and kept steady when he needed her to.  As he contemplated his next move, the angel traced a line on his hand where there'd once been a cut.  She'd cleaned it, bandaged it, and then let him return to his assignments on the dangerous streets of Manhattan.  This was much, much less dire.  He was confident she could handle it without too much angst.

Resolute, the angel of death left Serendipity and headed to Willowveil.


JenniAnn sat in her kitchen, sipping chai and perusing her students' end of semester essays.  In truth, "end of semester" was something of a joke.  The Tunnel children attended classes year-round.  Still, Vincent wanted them to have some concept of semesters and report cards in the event they ever transitioned to school Above.  So the religion teacher had dutifully graded papers for over an hour.  Though enchanted by the children's musings, reading them was beginning to wear on JenniAnn's eyes.  She concluded a break was definitely in order. 

As JenniAnn considered what to do with her free time, she heard the front door open.  She had an open door policy at Willowveil but people seldom dropped in without calling first.  The lady of the castle rose, pondering who it might be.  Before she reached the hall, her curiosity was sated by a plaintive call.


JenniAnn gasped.  It was Andrew!  And something about his voice didn't sound right at all!  She ran into the hallway, nearly colliding with the angel of death. 

"Sorry I didn't call but..."

"Andrew!  What's wrong?" JenniAnn interrupted.  Looking him up and down, she could see no reason to panic.  He didn't look at all banged up.  He didn't even look particularly sad.  Although she did have to wonder about the over-sized bucket hat perched on his head...  It didn't really mesh with the white shirt (the collar of which was blessedly unencumbered by a tie, she mentally noted for later recitation to her friends) and beige slacks he was wearing.

Andrew noticed the woman staring at the hat.

"It suits you.  And it's cute," JenniAnn assured upon realizing her gawking had been discovered.

"What's under it isn't..." the angel muttered.

JenniAnn gasped for a second time.  "Andrew!  You take that back right now.  That's a horrid thing to say about yourself.  You're adorable and super handsome and if I have to call Rose, Yva, Lady Beth, and C.J. to second me, I will!  Honestly, sometimes I think your eye sight is way worse than you let on if you can't see how utterly, devastatingly..." 

Andrew set a hand on her shoulder, laughing in spite of the predicament that had sent him over.  "Laja!  Relax.  I didn't mean me.  Or not all of me.  Just part... at the moment."  He realized he was only further distressing his friend so flashed a breezy smile.  "Thank you, though.  For calling me 'adorable and super handsome', I mean."

"Any time.  Especially since it's true.  So... what did you mean?"  JenniAnn eyed him warily.

Andrew began to fidget with the straps of the bag he was holding.  "Laja, I need your help.  I had a little... incident."

"An incident?"

The angel nodded, set the bag down, removed his hat, and looked sheepishly at his friend as he pointed to his hair.

"Andrew, your hair looks perfectly fi..."

JenniAnn's voice died away as he turned so his back was facing her.

"Oh, good gravy..."

"Wish it was.  Gravy would be easier to get out."

"How did you get a freaking huge wad of gum stuck in your hair?!"

Andrew turned back around to face his friend.  "See, I had this assignment... actually two assignments but I didn't realize right away that they were connected.  An estranged father and son and the Father let me help reunite them and, you know, it was just so great to see them back together..."  He beamed, recalling that reunion stole his attention away from his hair trauma.  "I stuck around for a little while.  Just long enough to see my assignments enjoy a picnic lunch together.  And I leaned against a wall while I was watching and..."  Andrew frowned.  "Apparently someone thought it was a good place to put their used gum.  Used... chewed on... gum, Laja!  In my hair!" he moaned, wrinkling his nose.

JenniAnn knew Andrew wasn't the fussy type in the least.  Nor vain.  But he did have a very understandable hang-up about spit and... there was ABC gum in his hair!!!  She was growing anxious herself but soon had an idea.  "Well, just go Home.  I mean isn't that how it works?  Maybe you get a lil grimy here from, I dunno, being a mechanic or something and then you go Home and... bing!... immaculate."

Andrew chuckled, eye brows arching in amusement.  "'Bing!  Immaculate,' Laja?"

"Well something like that!  So?"

The angel sighed.  "I was expecting to go Home.  But instead I showed up at Serendipity so I guess I'm supposed to deal with this.  I was going to try to cut it out myself but since it's right in the middle in the back..."  He reached behind his head, his right hand mimicking scissors to show how difficult such an action would be.

JenniAnn had visions of wayward scissors and shuddered.   "Thank you so very much for *not* attempting that.  So..."  She stepped closer and reached up, trying to access the damage.

Andrew yanked away.  "Don't touch it!  Laja, there's... there's spit!" 

"Well, why'd ya come over here if you're not gonna let me do anything!?" she queried, hands on her hips.

The angel retrieved the bag at his feet.  He pulled out two plastic gloves.  "Here.  I grabbed them out of my First Aid kit before I came."

JenniAnn accepted the gloves and peered into the bag.  "What else do ya got in there?" 

Andrew silently held the bag open revealing a brush, comb, and scissors.

The woman stared at the latter, hoping she wouldn't have to use them.  "C'mon into the kitchen.  I wanna try something."

Andrew followed JenniAnn and took a seat in the chair she indicated then watched curiously as she threw a few ice cubes into a sandwich bag and retrieved an oven mitt from a drawer.

"So this may be a lil uncomfy but I read in some parenting magazine that if we ice the gum then it'll harden and then we can just pull it off!" JenniAnn chirped.

Andrew smiled to himself.  Somehow it didn't surprise him that the woman was already reading parenting magazines.  "All right.  Let's give this a try," he agreed.

"Good.  If you start to feel brain freeze coming on, lemme know.  Actually..."  JenniAnn grabbed a tea towel, showily put on the gloves causing Andrew to chuckle, carefully lifted the snarled mess at the nape of his neck, and set the cloth against it to protect him from the cold.  Then she freed as much hair as she could and set the bag of ice on top of the hopefully-not-hopeless tangle.  "Now put the mitt on and just hold the bag right where I have it," she directed.

The angel of death obeyed.

"Then I think we gotta wait about fifteen minutes to see if it worked," JenniAnn informed him as she set the timer on the oven before taking a seat across from him at the table.  "Okay, there?" she checked.

Andrew shrugged.  "Embarrassed.  And sorry I interrupted your day.  I really did intend to take care of it myself and I tried to rig up a couple mirrors so I could see what I was doing back there but..."

"Aww, my poor love!"  JenniAnn stood and carefully hugged him, mindful of the ice.  "Don't be embarrassed.  I coulda gotten gum in my hair just as easily.  And do *not* act like this is some sacrifice on my part.  I love spending time with you... even like this.  Besides, this is awfully minor compared to some of the scrapes you've got me out of.  And I always pray that if you need me, God will let me help you, Andrew.  Course... this isn't exactly what I had in mind.  But I won't complain about how God decides to answer my prayers."

"Thank you for the prayers, Laja.  And the hug.  I'll return it when both my arms are free."  Andrew smiled, settling for squeezing her hand once she'd settled back into her chair.  "So what were you doing before I got here?" 

"Nothing, really.  I had been grading papers.  Drinking iced chai."  JenniAnn started as she lifted her glass.  "Ooh, sorry.  Do you want some?  It's really good and... chai-y."

The angel laughed.  "Sure, thanks."

JenniAnn beamed and began to prepare him a glass as she continued.  "So I'd decided to take a break.  And there's no one I'd rather spend a break with."  She smiled to reassure him she spoke truthfully.  "But what about you?  So this was a good assignment before the, uh, gum?"

"Yeah... yeah.  It really was."

"Tell me about it.  I mean, if you can."  JenniAnn placed the glass in front of the angel and reclaimed her seat, peering intently at him.

"Thank you, Laja."  Andrew took a sip and smiled.  "You're right.  Very chai-y and very good." 

JenniAnn returned the smile and continued to eye him eagerly.

The angel knew what his friend was up to, trying to distract him and keep his focus off his hair woes.  He was touched.  And it seemed like a good idea.  Andrew wanted JenniAnn to know about his more pleasant assignments.  Increasingly often, she and the other Dyelanders were experiencing his more difficult cases alongside him.  He needed to give them a more balanced picture of his life as an angel of death and maybe, with that, some peace.  He recognized the chance to start and proceeded.  "Well, I was a school counselor.  And this kid... Ethan... hadn't seen his dad for almost a year.  He's a real good kid but he started acting out so he was sent to my office to visit.  And something about the way he described his father just really clicked for me, you know?"

JenniAnn nodded.

"It turns out I've been spending some time with the father, Jeremy.  He, umm, he's dying.  Cancer.  And he didn't want his son to see him growing weaker... less able to rough house, play catch, things like that."  Andrew shook his head, frowning as he recalled the anguish behind Jeremy's decision.  His expression cleared as he recalled what the Father had brought about for the man and his child.

JenniAnn listened, entranced as Andrew so compassionately spoke of his linked assignments. 

The angel of death's eyes shone as he continued.  "So I told Jeremy about how much his son needed whatever time he had to give him... even if it wasn't much.  And, of course, I told him that his own Father in Heaven loved him very much.  That He...  He'd
given him a great gift in becoming a father himself.  That Ethan was a gift he deserved to cherish.  Laja, I wish you could have seen the peace that washed over Jeremy's face.  And just the absolute... joy that Ethan felt when his dad came by his mom's place and picked him up for lunch and a day at the park.  I think the kid was glowing as much as us angels!  I know Jeremy and Ethan will make the most of the time they have and those memories... they're gonna see Ethan through a lot in the years ahead.  It really was a perfect assignment until..."  Andrew blushed again.  "Well, you know..."

At that remark, the oven timer beeped.

JenniAnn sighed, sorry to have the recollection end and to find herself and Andrew at the moment of truth.  She decided to stall for just a moment more.  "Andrew, it sounds like you did an amazing job," she praised, beaming at him.  "Thanks for letting me hear about it.  It's always so moving to hear ya speak about your assignments."

"It feels good to talk about them.  You know, that's one of the things I still miss about working with Monica and Tess.  Just talking about our assignments.  But with all of you, especially in these last couple of years, I feel like I have that sort of camaraderie back."  Andrew smiled brightly at his friend.

"I'm so glad, Andrew."  JenniAnn smiled again at him, reaching for his hand. 

The oven timer let out a second series of beeps.

"All right, all right!" she cried, getting up to turn it off. 

Andrew lowered the ice from his head. 

"So now... here's hoping..." JenniAnn murmured as she put back on the gloves she had removed during the angel's tale and stood behind him.  She reached for the gum, praying it would simply slide away.

Nothing.  It didn't budge.

Andrew craned his neck and smiled gently at her.  "Laja, I couldn't feel that at all.  I appreciate that you're being gentle but you may just have to tug a little."

Wincing, JenniAnn again pinched the gum between her fingers and tugged. 

Nothing again.  The gum was as stuck as ever.  And, worse yet, the woman had noticed the angel's hands grip the table as she'd pulled. 

"Laja?" Andrew called after a few moments of silence.

There was only a sniffle in response.

The angel was instantly on his feet and facing JenniAnn who had tears pooling in her eyes.

"That hurt you.  I don't ever want to hurt you," she whimpered.  "Never, ever...  I'm sorry, I'm sorry."

Andrew pulled her into a hug, feeling sorry himself that he'd put her in such a position.  "Hey there, don't cry.  And don't be sorry.  You did nothing wrong, Laja.  It really didn't hurt and you only did it because I asked you to.  I really should just go to a barber and..."

"I... I just wanted to make everything better," the girl mumbled into his shoulder.

"I know.  But you know what?  I think I'm about due for a haircut, anyway.  It's gettin' hotter and sometimes this long hair makes it hotter still.  And I'm not like you.  I can't just put it up in some stylish hair clip thingy.  Or those things with the chop sticks you sometimes wear."

JenniAnn pulled away and laughed.  "They're just called stick barrettes.  I don't typically stick eating utensils in my hair.  And, no, I guess you can't."  She drew in a deep breath.  "Okay.  No more ice.  But I can cut it out.  A professional may need to even it all out after but I'll... I'll get the scissors.  And I'll... I'll..."

"Hello?" a voice called from the hall.

"Adam!" Andrew shouted back.

"We're in the kitchen," JenniAnn added, feeling immensely relieved at the possibility of handing the unwanted task off.

They heard some indistinct mumbling then both Adam and Rose appeared.  The newcomers looked from Andrew to JenniAnn and back again.

Rose zeroed in on the towel around Andrew's neck.  "All right...  Either JenniAnn is cutting your hair... which I can't imagine.  Or the two of you have some sort of Superman/Lois Lane complex... which I don't *want* to imagine."

Adam circled around the table and, once poised to Andrew's left, noticed the unusual shape of his friend's hair.  He tilted his head, studying it.

"Not a Superman/Lois Lane complex," Andrew assured.

"Andrew's cooler than Superman," JenniAnn averred at the same time.  "And I'd always recognize him, glasses or not."

"Umm, buddy?" Adam began.  "Are you, uh, trying some sort of avant garde hair style or is that a large wad of gum back there?"

Hearing his words, Rose rushed to stand behind Andrew then hugged him.  "Poor Andrew!  And your poor, lovely hair!"

Blushing, Andrew explained the origins of the gum once more... JenniAnn sniffling as he came to the part about the failed icing attempt.  "So Laja was nice enough to say she'd just cut it out.  For which I'm very grateful because... it's getting itchy."  The angel grimaced.

Not wanting Andrew to be uncomfortable a moment longer, JenniAnn picked up the scissors.  "Okay, sit back down and we'll do this."

Andrew hugged her then reclaimed his seat as Rose and Adam looked on with interest and some concern... JenniAnn seemed more than a little shaky.

"Would you rather I do it?" Adam offered.

JenniAnn turned to him with a look of absolute relief, nodded, plucked the gloves off, and handed them to the elder angel of death along with the scissors.

With considerably less angst, Adam approached his friend.  "So was this why you were trying to call me?  And Rose?  We were over at the Cafe playing pool and when we got back to our table we both had missed calls from you."

"But when we tried to call back... nothing," Rose finished.  "So that's why we headed over here, hoping JenniAnn would know where you were."

Andrew patted his pockets.  "I think I must have left my phone over at Serendipity.  But, yeah, I was trying to call..."  He stopped, noticing that JenniAnn's head was bowed.  She knew visiting her hadn't been his preferred option.   He made a mental note to smooth things over with her later.

Adam noticed JenniAnn look stricken followed by a guilty look from his longtime friend.  He didn't know what to make of the silent exchange so stayed focused on the task at hand.  "So am I just cutting this mess out and you'll try to do some sort of comb-over or maybe hair plugs or should I even it out?"

Andrew smirked at the idea of hair plugs.  "Just chop it all off, Adam."

Adam lifted the clump of gunked up hair from Andrew's neck and raised the scissors...

"No!!!!" JenniAnn shouted and stayed Adam's hand.

The two angels of death and Rose stared at her.

"JenniAnn, I know we all love Andrew's long hair.  But this is for the best.  And it'll grow back.  I mean he cut it back in October and by Christmas it was already pretty shaggy," Rose reasoned.  "And by February... long.  It won't take much time to come back."

"She's right, Laja.  And I really, really don't mind it having to be cut.  I don't," Andrew stressed.  "It's really, really okay."

JenniAnn knelt by Andrew's chair.  "I know it's okay to cut your hair.  But it's not okay for Adam to do it.  You came over here for help.  And I said I would help you.  And so I should.  I want to.  Maybe I wasn't your first choice... but I can do this," she insisted.

The angel smiled lovingly at her.  "Laja, I know you can.  But I also know you can be so sensitive about me and I didn't want you to have to do something you didn't want to do."

"Lots of people have to do things they don't always want to do because people need for them to do them," she responded, looking from him to Adam and back.  "I've learned that from the best.  I've always said that I want you to talk to me when you need to, let me help you when I can... how can I possibly expect you to honor that when I couldn't even cut your hair without turning into a basket case?  But I can, Andrew."

Adam smiled as he looked from Andrew to the woman.  He handed her the scissors and gloves, knowing Andrew wouldn't argue with her.

After receiving an affectionate, encouraging squeeze of the hand from Andrew, JenniAnn reclaimed her place behind the chair.  She held the mass in her left hand and brought the scissors to it with her right and...

"'Your faith was strong, but you needed proof.  You saw her bathing on the roof, her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you.  She tied you to a kitchen chair.  She broke your throne, she cut your hair, and from your lips she drew the Hallelujah.  Halle...'"  Adam paused in his soulful singing when he realized two sets of green eyes were glaring at him from beneath two mops of blonde hair.  Rose was laughing gleefully.  "What?" he queried.  "I thought a little music might ease the tension."

"But *that* song, Adam?" Andrew questioned, right eye brow arched.  "It's a little... suggestive, don't you think?"

"It's the only one I know about a haircut!" he protested.  "And it's biblical!  You're an angel, JenniAnn's a theology major!"

JenniAnn recovered and laughed.  "All right.  Understandable.  Adam, please continue to serenade us... Leonard Cohen/ John Cale-style."

As Adam continued his chorus of Hallelujahs with Rose joining in... clumps of Andrew's hair drifted to the kitchen floor.


Ten minutes later; Adam, Rose, and JenniAnn were waiting on Willowveil's porch.  They all looked up when Andrew came bounding up the steps.

"So how do you feel?" Adam asked.

"Much, much better."  Andrew slid his hand over his freshly washed hair, smiled contently, and took a seat.

"Well, you look great," Rose complimented. 

"Thank you.  I have a very talented hair stylist."  He looked over at JenniAnn with a grin. 

She blushed.  "I think you look very nice with your hair short again, Andrew.  But I still don't understand why you couldn't just go Home and have it all taken care of."

"You know... I was thinking about that myself.  And I think the Father had more in mind than dislodging some gum from my hair when he sent me back here," Andrew mused.

Rose looked curiously at the angel.  "What's that?"

"I happen to think that the Father wanted to offer me further proof that I can always count on my friends here to help me out.  All of them," the angel stressed.

JenniAnn looked up and met Andrew's proud smile with her own.  "I could see that.  And I rather like believing it.  But now that you say that... I also think God may have had other reasons, too, to make it so your hair was cut here."

"What would those be, Laja?"

"Well, for one, it gave Adam a chance to sing."  She grinned at Adam who bowed dramatically.  "And for another... it left me with this."  JenniAnn proudly produced a lock of hair.  "I made sure to grab a lock that wasn't near the gummy spot."

"Okay... but what are you planning to do with it?" Andrew questioned. 

Rose laughed.  "Do you really have to ask?"  She watched, unsurprised, as JenniAnn pulled an unfinished volume of Andrew's scrapbook out from under her chair.

Adam chuckled as JenniAnn taped the lock down.  "It's like your very own baby book, Andrew.  A little late, though.  You haven't been a baby for oh..."

JenniAnn and Rose both gasped, thinking they may finally have come upon the long sought answer to Andrew's age.

"Well, it's been a very, very long time," the elder angel of death concluded, winking at the girls.

Rose groaned then redirected her attention to the book.  She accepted some stickers shaped like hairbrushes, combs, and scissors from JenniAnn and placed them on the page.

JenniAnn wrote the words "Andrew's First (Dyeland) Haircut" in flowing script across a cut-out banner which she pasted onto the sheet.  Then she handed the book and pen to Adam.  "How about we immortalize your musical stylings?"

Adam chuckled and jotted down some of the "Hallelujah" lyrics.

Andrew watched the proceedings in amusement.

"Now there's just one more thing we need..."  JenniAnn grinned as she looked at Andrew.

The angel of death raised his eye brows.  "Do you want me to sign it or something?  Some sort of statement?  'I, Andrew, angel of death, hereby declare that Lady JenniAnn Dwynwen Chandler of Willowveil did cut my hair today in the presence of the undersigned witnesses, Adam and Rose'?"

The woman laughed.  "Sure, do that.  But that's not what I meant.  We need photographic proof."  She set a camera on the table then surveyed the area, hunting for the perfect background for Andrew.

Andrew laughed.  "All right, Laja.  But I want the shot to be me in my most flattering pose."

"Most flattering pose?" Rose pondered aloud.  She was more than a little surprised that the ever-modest angel not only apparently had a favorite pose but was insisting on it.

Adam and JenniAnn exchanged equally confused glances.

Smiling, Andrew reached for the camera. 

"What are you doing, buddy?" Adam asked as he watched Andrew set the camera on the porch railing and stand on the ground to check the view.

"I'm settin' up my best pose, like I said," he replied.  Once he was satisfied, he returned to the porch and waved to the swing.  "Well, everyone take a seat.  The timer's set for a minute."

Then it dawned on the three that by his "most flattering pose," Andrew meant one that included friends.

"Aww!" Rose and JenniAnn cooed in unison as they scrambled into place on either side of the swing. 

"It'll be a lil crammed but we can all fit," JenniAnn insisted.

Adam shook his head.  "Andrew, you sit between them.  I have my own idea."

Soon after the four were situated, the camera flashed.


JenniAnn yanked the photo off the printer and smiled at it.

Adam, Andrew, and Rose were gathered around her desk where the scrapbook lay.

"You want to do the honors, Andrew?" JenniAnn asked, holding the photo out to him.

The angel of death carefully placed the picture on the page and pressed photo corners into place.  He beamed down at the image of JenniAnn and Rose beside him and Adam crouched behind the swing, pointing to Andrew's shorn hair and grinning mischeviously. 

"So what do you think?" Rose asked.

"I think it really is my best pose: with friends," Andrew responded, smiling at them.  "And I'm very glad the Father sent me back here after the gum incident."

"Me too," JenniAnn agreed, hugging him.

Rose claimed her turn next.  "It's amazing how He can take something as... well, gross as chewed gum and make it into something good, isn't it?" 

Adam nodded.  "It really is.  And He does it all the time."

"Hallelujah," Andrew added.  He smiled at Adam, recalling his impromptu performance.  Then he gazed up, sincerely praising the Father for his friends, those beside him in that moment and those scattered all around the universe He had so lovingly created.

The End

-Lyrics from "Hallelujah" were penned by Leonard Cohen.


JABB 329

(Photo Credits: The photographs used on this page are from "Touched by an Angel" and owned by CBS Productions, Caroline Productions, and Moon Water Productions.  They are not being used to seek profit.)