"I think I want a tattoo." I blurted out while we lay there in sweaty post-coital bliss.
When silence greeted my announcement, it unnerved me. For the last two years, since we hooked up, John, always had something to say, be it a light-hearted joke or even a snide comment. Remaining silent was not his thing. So the silence unnerved me. Maybe the mind blowing sex caused him to black out? He'd fallen asleep perhaps?
Drawing what little energy I possessed, I turned my head and squinted up at his face. He was awake. His eyes focussed on a spot on the ceiling. His chest rose and fell quickly as he regained his breath after our wild ride. A ride so wonderfully satisfying that perhaps his ears were still ringing from all my yelling? Yup, all those 'oh God's' and 'harder' must have short-circuited his ability to take in anything I said.
It could be the reason for his lack of response. So, I turned to my side and poked him. "Did you hear what I said?" I poked him again and repeated slowly, "I want a tattoo."
Huh? Was that all he could say? Agreed the sex had been spectacular but even so, his lack of commentary unsettled me.
I poked him again. Harder. And finally, I got a rise out of him as he swung round to face me, swearing and swatting my hand away.
"What the fuck! Quit with the poking you fuckhead! I heard you the first time."
"Well then, respond you dumb fuck! How the hell will I know if you heard me or not if you don't answer!" I yelled back in anger.
The sated and relaxed bliss of a few minutes ago, now morphed into a tense and angry state of affairs. Okay perhaps this wasn't the best time to broach such a topic, but common, I don't think I had done anything wrong. Or had I?
Was I wrong to blurt something totally random and ruin a lovely and tender moment between us? Surely not responding and calling me names was a bigger no-no?
"I was thinking!" he muttered.
"Thinking? About what?"
"About why you want to ruin your skin. You have beautiful skin. So smooth and silky!"
If his voice hadn't sounded disgruntled and pissed off, I would have totally melted at his words. Who was I kidding, I melted anyway.
He may not be all smooth and suave like other men, but he always says it how it is and never bullshits. Like the time I asked him if my bum looked big in a pair of new jeans, he said yes! Oh yes, he did! His answer stunned me stupid for a few seconds before I got ready to lay it on him. But before I could utter a word, he muttered something about how the alignment of the pockets made my arse appear large when it wasn't. That comment like this one fizzled all the anger out of me and made me all gooey and mushy inside.
I couldn't help but inch closer to him. His arm came around to hug me closer to him. After a moment's silence, I asked, "What about a small, cute and very feminine tatt."
This time, he grunted. Ah well, at least it wasn't silence. I let the one-sided conversation lapse as I listened to his heart beat and tangled my leg with his.
Lulled by his warmth, I drifted off to sleep. I dreamt of cute little tattoos. Tattoos which then morphed into monsters as they grew and covered every inch of my beautiful, smooth and silky skin.
As the days flew by, the idea of getting a tattoo would not dissipate. I spent my spare time online, scrolling through pages upon pages of tattoos. I read up on the various techniques used and I even read a few stories of horror and regret.
After a few months of research, I knew what I wanted and where I wanted it. Armed with a collage of ideas, I set out to choose my preferred tattooist.
From a list of ten highly rated tattooist, I selected the one who I felt most comfortable with. His rough sketch at our first meeting captured the essence of what I wanted. I had no doubt he would transform a part of my skin into a piece of art and without any hesitation, I locked in a date.
I still hadn't told anyone of my intentions. As much as I wanted to tell John and all my close friends, I also had this huge urge to keep silent about it. My friends were like John. From past conversations, I knew they would react in a negative manner. I would get no support from them, of that I was sure. I would just do it on my own and surprise them all.
Yup! That's what I would do, surprise them. It was a shame really as I would have loved to share the whole experience with someone. Getting a second opinion about the design work or even just to be there and hold my hand if the pain got too much.
Keeping it all quiet was a feat in itself! It helped that John had to travel for work a lot. His company was rolling out a new accounting software and the testing process along with the training saw him in a different city each week. I felt terrible, but there was never a good time to spill the beans. The few days he spent at home he spent re-charging and doing fuck all. In all honesty, it made it easy for me to hide my intentions.
As I sat waiting on a plastic covered chair, I watched Greg, my tattooist, prepare his work area. His worktable including the tattoo gun was covered in plastic. Sudden visions of blood splatters everywhere and my lifeless, butchered body made me wish I hadn't been so secretive. Right about now, a friend to lean on and to re-assure me would have been nice.
Finally, Greg was all set. He had little pots of ink before him, an opened tub of vaseline and a variety of other bits and pieces. When he looked up at me, I gave him a shaky smile. He had already prepped my skin. He shaved the area, so it was free of any hair and applied the stencil. With his foot, he tested the tattoo gun, and the buzz made me jump.
"You ready?" he queried.
"Yup! As ready as I will ever be. Let's do this." I replied with false bravado.
"Okay. Here goes. Stay as still as possible. Understand?"
I nodded my head in response, grit my teeth, closed my eyes and tensed up all over.
"Relax a little and enjoy the experience."
That was easy for him to say. Apart from his face, it looked like his whole body had intricate artwork. He obviously enjoyed the experience more than once! But as he did this for a living and seeing he had gone through the process many times himself, I tried to do as he requested. I didn't get far. The buzzing sound of the tattoo gun as he started it again amped my fear. I locked up all over again.
When he actually started, it didn't hurt as much as I thought it would. It felt like when a cat scratches you but only more painful. As he progressed, the vibrating needle felt like it was being dragged through my skin but the pain subsided or perhaps I got used to the sensation.
With my eyes now open and my body less tense, I watched Greg complete the outline. Standing to stretch his back, he asked if I needed a break. I said no and thus began the next stage, the shading.
He dipped the tattoo gun into various ink pots every so often and in no time, he was wiping the area clean. He then led me to a ceiling to floor mirror, and I had my first proper look at his masterpiece.
I was speechless. In silence and in awe, I scrutinised it from every angle. Though small, it was beautiful. It looked so delicate and appeared to belong on my belly. I loved it! Absolutely loved it!
Greg started to talk about aftercare and I forced myself to focus on his words and not stare at my belly. When he was confident I understood what I needed to do, I went home eager to show off my butterflies.
Once I got home, I realised John was back. His schedule must have changed as I hadn't been expecting him for another two days. I now had butterflies in my belly. No seriously. I'm not talking about the new addition to my body but the ones fluttering inside. I was suddenly extremely nervous.
I paused when I saw John's smiling and relaxed face. My nerves stopped playing ping pong in my belly as calmness settled over me. I had no reason to be nervous. He may disapprove or feel I went behind his back, but it was my skin and if I wanted to mar it then so be it. He will have to live with it and so will I.
Copyright Tia J. Lee 2016
All Rights Reserved.