Thursday 19th February 2009by Tina
The first thing Lissa noticed about the tattoo parlor was how small and dark it was. The lights that hung from the ceiling were white fluorescent, but it didn’t help in the dimness of the place. Maybe the photos on the wall made the room darker — all those black ink must be absorbing the light, right?
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
Andrew’s voice broke into Lissa’s thoughts. She looked at her cousin and closest guy friend, who looked like he did not trust a single thing in the place. Then again, that was Andrew — straight edge and clean, and he would not be stepping into this parlor if it weren’t for Lissa begging him to. Lissa was more candid and adventurous than him.
“I’m sure I want to do it,” Lissa said with a determined nod. She walked over to the counter and rang the bell.
A small girl in black tank top and jeans came out of the back room. Lissa looked admiringly at the tattoos on her collarbone and along her arms. She glanced at her cousin and smiled at his aghast face.
“Hi, how can I help you?” The girl sounded cheerful despite all her body art.
“Uh…hi. I want to get a tattoo.” Lissa said, smiling.
“Okay, sure,” the girl reached into the table drawer and pulled out some papers and handed it to Lissa. “Fill out these forms and there’s a sheet there that explains the risks and whatnot. If you want to look at the designs available, they’re in the clear book over there.” She motioned to the books at the small sitting area.
“Oh it’s okay. I have my own design here,” Lissa patted her bag.
“Okay, great. Just ring the bell when you’re done and we’ll have you right in.” The girl disappeared into the backroom again.
Lissa and Andrew sat down, and while Lissa filled out the form, Andrew picked the clear book on the table and stared flipping through them.
“Why are all these designs so…menacing?” Andrew wondered out loud. “It’s such a stereotype.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, we grew up with these tattoos on TV and they’re always on people who are on jail. So does it follow that tattoos are also scary to fit the environment?” Andrew flipped through more pages impatiently.
Lissa looked at her cousin strangely for a while and then laughed. “You think too much, Andrew.”
“I’m trying to see if I can still talk you out of it, you know,” Andrew said with a wink. “Just to see if I can get this impulse out of you. Do you know how much getting a tattoo hurts?”
“Andrew, it’s not an impulse, okay. I want this. No, and I bet you also don’t,” Lissa focused back on the form and continued filling it out.
“Well yeah fine,” Andrew relented. He started to open his mouth to speak but then closed it just as Lissa glanced at him.
“Come on, spit it out.” Lissa said, eying him warily. Andrew shook his head but Lissa nudged him with her elbow. “Say what you have to say now.”
“Well…” he hesitated again, but sighed when Lissa glared at him. “What will Rain think?”
At the sound of her cousin’s — and now housemate — name, she felt a flash of irritation. “What does Rain have to do with this?” she asked sharply.
“I…don’t know. You’re living with her, and she might ask…and she might tell your mom.” Andrew’s voice softened at the end, and Lissa felt herself softening at the mention of her mother.
“She doesn’t have to know. My mom, I mean,” she sighed, and then her tone changed. “And Rain also does not have to know, and she should not care, since this is none of her business.” Lissa finished haughtily. She put her signature on the form, stood up and rang the bell, giving Andrew a final, defiant look.
Prompt from Three Word Wednesday: candid, impulse, risk