Monday, 22 December 2008 - 6:43 pm


I almost forgot about today’s appointment.  How silly would that have been?  I made it two weeks ago, mostly out of spite, but when I got up this morning I was determined to get it done.

I spent all of yesterday hung over and moping.  Dad kept checking on me – I think he’s worried about me.  He’d never say, though.  He just kept an eye on me and then made me lasagne for dinner – my favourite.  Since everything with Cody blew up, I’ve had a lot of lasagne dinners.

Today, I was determined not to let myself stay in that self-hugging pit.  Instead, I spent the whole day at the tattoo parlour.  I’m regretting it now – I can barely move, it hurts so much.  And Dad has that look in his eye that says it’s all my own fault and I won’t be getting lasagne tonight.  His sympathy is conditional on how self-inflicted my pain is, apparently.


I can’t really blame him.  He didn’t approve of my first tattoo; I suppose I can’t really expect him to approve of this one. 

I got my first one a week after my mother left.  I’d wanted one forever, but she was pretty firm about how she wanted her girls to look.  Tattoos were not part of that vision. 

Now that I think about it, that’s how I hooked up with Bree and Tarisha in the first place; they were exactly the kinds of girls that my mother approved of.  They were pretty and always nicely-turned-out.  They liked hair and shoes and boys.  They were going places, their careers lined up like bowling pins.  And I was like that, back then, before Chastity died and our mother left, before I had to pick up the pieces they left behind.

Cody hadn’t wanted me to get a tattoo, either.  He liked the one I had well enough – a spiky little writhe of flames across my lower back – but whenever I talked about getting another one he’d change the subject.  Hate that.  He never said that he didn’t like it; he just disapproved at me silently.  That was enough.  I did what he wanted because I wanted him.

But I don’t have him any more and I’m so sick of living for everyone else.  I don’t care who disapproves; it’s for me, and no-one else.


And just as soon as I can bear anything to touch my back again, I’m sure I’ll be really glad I did it.  It was supposed to be just a little thing.  I wanted a bird, something pretty and winged and free.  But I walked in there and saw this beautiful design of a bird rising, wings half-spread, and I knew it would look perfect across my shoulderblades.  Then I got talking to Steve, my tattooist, and he suggested that I link it up to the tattoo on the small of my back, and… it sort of grew from there.

It seemed like such a good idea when we were working it out.  It took hours to actually ink, though.  Steve didn’t mind – Mondays are quiet for him, he told me – and he worked right on through on it.  But I had forgotten how much it hurt.  It stings at first, and then there’s the weird euphoria stage, and then it just burns, as if he was needling real fire under my skin. I thought I was going to pass out a couple of times.  I must be some kind of wuss.

Getting home was the hardest part.  I almost called Matt to come pick me up, but, well.  Yes.  I walked home, very very stiffly.

I’m wondering if it was a mistake, but it’s a bit late now. I have to work tomorrow.  I wonder if I’ll be able to move at all. I can’t wait to see it, see if it was worth all this.