Juliet's Yearbook Chapter One
I never should have agreed to this. Aspen just knows how to get me to do just about anything. Why would a tattoo be any different?
“How did your mom agree to this?” I asked. Aspen's mother wasn't much better. I guess being an artist for a major magazine company makes you a little wishy-washy on house rules. “I mean, she must know how permanent it is, right?”
“Where do you think I got the idea?” Aspen said. “It's not like she's some conservative pain in my butt. Oh, what about this one?”
She turned the magazine with the different tattoo options toward me. It was a overly sexy wolf woman in rags.
“So you want to be a furry too? And where are you even getting it?”
“I was thinking my butt but I have to sit down for class tomorrow so maybe my shoulder.” She turned the magazine back to her and flipped through it some more. She was already pretty rebellious with cropped navy hair, a piercing on her left eyebrow and her wardrobe of open-backed tops. I sure wouldn't have dressed like that to save my life. I admit, I have never been adventurous. It just wasn't me. The tattoo artist stepped out of the back, took her new school ID and the signed permission slip from her.
“You sure about this, Sweetheart?” he asked.
“Yup!” Aspen answered. She gave him her sweetest smile.
He shrugged and led her to the back. She gave me a wink before disappearing behind a curtain. All of the reading material they had was plastered with men and women showing off tattoos on their arms, legs, backs and even on a breast or two. As soon as the needle gun was turned on, Aspen started to whimper. I had a feeling it would hurt. I tried to tune her out over the course of the hour and a half she was in there. A few older teenagers walked in, sounding the bell attached to the door. They came in three different flavors: hardcore, medium rare and did-not-see-that-coming. The tallest girl looked perfectly ordinary save for the rose peeking out from under the collar of her shirt.
I avoided looking at them so as not to stare. I had actually been hoping that I could make myself invisible. Especially when one of the tougher guys turned my way. He snickered and licked his lips. I slumped into my seat until Aspen emerged from the back. She had that twinged look she gets when she does something painful.
“How did it go?” I asked.
She whimpered her answer and headed toward the door. I followed if only to get away from the group's giggling. The bandage under her tank top was bright in the sun.
“So how did it go?” I asked.
“It went,” she started, “fine. It was fine. I'm going back in a few weeks for the color.”
“Color? What color?”
“I want color,” Aspen said. “It'll be really cute. Trust me.”
Trusting her was the problem. We grabbed lunch at the grocery store and headed to her house so I could help her pick out an outfit. Don't get me wrong, I adore Aspen. But she's not exactly a responsible young woman.
She showed me a number of tops and skirts. Pants weren't suitable on a first day in high school, she said.
“It's just high school,” I said. It wasn't like we had impress bosses or anything.
“Shame,” she answered back. “This is a crucial to our development. What are you going to do when you go to college? Wear sweatpants and that grungy shirt that still in the back of your closet? You need to dress the part and that's fabulous and trendy.”
It took way too much will power not to roll my eyes.
“Aspen, please, you look great in anything. Just pick an outfit. I have to get home and get ready too.”
“Oh fine,” she said, a pout forming on her face.
She finally went with a black crop top and high waisted purple skirt, a silver belt and a silver choker. We bid each other good-bye and I made my way home alone. The place was empty because everyone else worked so I just grabbed a soda and went up to my room. There wasn't much to it. A few books were on a mostly empty shelf, clothes hung in the closet and my new backpack sat on my desk chair. I had been thinking of redecorating but I had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I was still going to live here for another four years until I went off to college.
I opened the bag and flipped through the notebooks, binder, folders and pockets to make sure I had everything. I didn't want to be late for that first. I wasn't even sure where I supposed to pick up my schedule. I spent the rest of the rest of the evening by myself until my parents and older sister came home. They were in good moods and joked at dinner. When they had retired to their rooms, I took a shower and went to bed.