Holding Sal's hand tightly, Pepper was thinking with intense focus about what could be done, when she suddenly had an idea. Face all lit up, she jumped on her feet and exclaimed:
- I know! I found it! I know what to do!
Sal looked at her with a sweet, yet very sad smile. He asked:
- What did you find, Pepper?... What can we do?
Pepper was so pleased with the idea and so sure of its success, that a big calm flooded her and she felt time slowing down. With gentle moves, she started brushing some imaginary dust off her dress, like it was the most important thing in the world, all the time smiling. Then, in a casual voice, she said:
- We'll do it together.
- What do you mean? asked Sal not understanding. We'll do what together?
- We'll both cut our hair, Sal! Don't you see, it's perfect! exclaimed Pepper more excited with every word.
Sal was still hesitant in letting go of his sadness and embracing a good thing that might prove illusory. With the risk of making Pepper change her mind, he bravely questioned her decision:
- But you love your long hair, Pepper, you always have. And if you cut it, you'll be sad like I am. I don't want you to be sad, I want you to be happy, he added with a soft voice.
- That's true, I love my long hair, agreed Pepper. But it's because you have it long too. Now, if your hair is short and mine is long, where is the fun in that?... You see Sal, she continued, it really doesn't matter what we do, as long as we do it together. When we'll both have short hair, we'll invent some new games! Isn't that wonderful? she asked with a contagious conviction.
Pepper's words had the magical effect she was hoping for: gradually, Sal's heavy feelings of loneliness were replaced by happy excitement for a new adventure along his best friend. His heart was whole again. With eyes now sparkling, he jumped on his feet and fully joined in Pepper's enthusiasm:
- Then let's both have short hair!