FIRST PERIOD // FIRST TATTOO

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Words || Ashley Regan

I remember the drops of sweat sliding down my skin. Trailing their way through the curves of my body, soaking into the band of my socks.

The sweltering heat of a 35 plus day made everyone walking perspiration machines. My legs were stuck to the leather of the seat as the bus drove along. In a matter of minutes the liquid drops absorbed into my woolen tartan skirt, making a moist puddle I sat in for the rest of the trip. I fanned my wrist in the direction of my slimy face, trying to cool myself down.

It didn’t help.

As my reflection looked back at me through the bus window I could see the layer of perspiration glistening in the sunlight. Stepping down the bus stairs through the two-fold doors, my skin was instantly greeted by the sting of the sun’s rays. Piercing its way through my dewy shirt as I began to walk home. The entire walk my legs rubbed together from the dampness while droplets ran down my thighs.

I ripped off my clothes when I entered my room. That’s when I saw the red stains marked on my legs, the blood had leached into my skin. Blood was trickling down my thighs not sweat.

//

I hesitate to open the door. She hasn’t been home in two days, who knows what she’s done this time. I twist the handle and pull open the door. The sunlight makes me squint but I can still recognise my own daughter standing in front of me. She’s wearing the same clothes as when she left, of course she is.

“Where have you been?” I harshly blurt out. I stay standing in the doorway on purpose so she knows she won’t be let into my house easily anymore.

Rolling her eyes she answers, “I got a tattoo.”

My heart sinks. “YOU WHAT!”

I feel the blood rush to my face, my face innately scrunches up. We lock eyes, how could she betray me like this? Why would she? She’s smirking! She thinks this is a joke!

“Come on Mum it’s fine.”

Raising my voice this time I yell, “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!”

Ragged with disgust I step back from my daughter and put all my weight into my palm and slam the door shut. What a stupid girl, carving black ink into her skin. She’s ruined her body with something that can never be removed.