“How did it happen?” Bea asked once we were on the road, driving with surprising caution.
“He got a promotion.” I replied, getting an apologetic grimace from her.
“That’s the worst.”
“It’s getting them to choose either you or their career, and obviously they’ll choose the career-“
“-thanks, Bea, but that’s enough information.”
She looked at me in the rear-view mirror and nodded.
“Got it. You want to drown your sorrows or anything?”
“Doesn’t hurt to ask. So what happened at the practice?”
“Sutton decided to be a total jerk to Roy, that’s what happened.” I replied, somewhat miserable.
She gave me an incredulous look.
“I told you! He was jealous!”
“Please.” I sighed, “He’s always a jerk. It’s nothing new.”
“But is he a jerk to people he doesn’t even know?”
“He was a jerk to me when I met him.”
“As jerky as he was to Roy?”
“I don’t know!” I said finally, exasperated.
“I’d say you owe me a favour, Kat.”
“...What is it?”
“I’ll ask for it when I need it. Don’t get too worked up.”
“And by the way, it’s a good thing you put your trainer in his place. If he’s too much of a chicken to pursue you himself he shouldn’t hate on your boyfriend.”
“And he doesn’t want to pursue me!”
I groaned, but couldn’t keep a small smile from coming onto my face. If Bea knew about the rain practice she would have flipped.
“You know what helps me feel better after a break up?” she asked, smiling mischievously.
“Making out with another guy in a club bathroom?” I offered, getting myself a glare.
“No, you nut! Doing something crazy! Something off of my bucket list!”
“Uh, Bea, I don’t have a bucket list.”
She looked at me and sighed in exasperation.
“If you weren’t friends with me, I’d think you were the most boring girl alive. Here, choose something from mine.”
A notepad was thrown back at me and I caught it, flipping through to see a list with most things crossed out.
Date three guys at once.
Eat a grilled cheese sundae.
Jump backwards off of a diving board into a pool.
Ride a horse (or a cowboy).
Attend a boot camp.
Get a tattoo in a weird place.
Read a Charles Dickens novel without falling asleep.
Play matchmaker and set up a couple.
I stopped reading and coughed awkwardly, and Bea took that to be a signal that I’d chosen.
“So, what do you want to do? Pick something I haven’t done either so I can cross it off.”
“Uh, how about...”
“Getting a tattoo?” she offered, “Good choice! I’ve had my eye on a parlour for a while!”
I rolled my eyes. Even if I had chosen something (which I hadn’t) Bea would have only made us do what she’d wanted in the first place. Should have known.
The car roared into top gear again and we pulled up in front of a parking lot soon afterwards, and Bea hopped out with her usual light prance of a walk.
I followed, groaning at what I’d gotten myself into. We entered a small building in a strip mall, Bea pulling me in excitedly.
It at least looked legitimate, I was glad to note. The place was pretty quiet, but a woman somewhere in her thirties covered in tattoos looked up, grinning.
“Hey, you, it’s been ages!”
Bea ran over and gave her a hug.
“I know, right! Rena, this is Kat, Kat this is Rena.”
I offered a greeting and Beatrice promptly dragged me over, plopping me down on the seat.
“She’s going to go first. I’ll be over there, looking through some magazines.”
“So,” Rena said, wheeling over on her low office stool, “What kind of ink are you looking for?”
“Something small.” I said quickly, “Simple and cheap.”
She pulled out a catalog, flipping through rapidly.
"That's almost everything." she laughed.
"I'll choose!" Bea hollered, running over and grabbing the catalogue.
“Where do you want it?”
“Remember, choose a weird place!” Bea insisted, handing Rena back the catalogue.
I sat, wondering what Bea classified as weird. I thought she was pretty weird, but I wasn’t sure she’d agree to that.
“How about...here?” I asked, pointing to a spot a few inches below the left side of my collarbone.
“Sure, that won’t be a problem.” Rena replied, wheeling herself over to the table attached to the seat and pulling what looked like a dentist tool out of it. She reached into a drawer and opened a small packet, attaching a thin needle to the end and pulling plastic gloves onto her hands.
Well, at least it was hygienic, right? I pulled my shirt off and leaned back, losing myself in thought as I felt the needle pushing slightly into my skin.
It did hurt a bit but it seemed to me like Rena knew what she was doing, seeing as she only had to wipe small amounts of blood off and only a few times. Needles didn’t really bother me so much as the idea of needle-borne diseases did. I was kind of paranoid, even if I did have a high pain threshold.
Maybe an hour later she leaned back, looking at her handiwork and nodded contentedly.
“It’s done. You like it?”
I glanced down, and nodded. She taped some gauze over it, giving me some instructions on how to treat the skin before Bea skipped over, grinning.
“How much?” I asked, promptly getting smacked in the shoulder by Beatrice.
“It’s my treat!” she exclaimed, “Now, get up so I can have my turn!”
I considered arguing that I had to pay but I knew she wouldn’t take no for an answer. Instead I stood up, moving to sit in one of the chairs along the wall and flipping through some magazines.
Bea’s tattoo took half the time mine did and she displayed the cursive ‘A’ in between her shoulder blades with a cheeky smile before Rena sat her back down and taped gauze over it.
“Wasn’t that great?” she asked, as we were walking down the sidewalk, “Don’t you feel better?”
“Well,” I said honestly, “My chest aches a bit and I’m not really sure what just happened, but sure.”
She pulled out the notepad and crossed out a line, smiling eagerly.
“I only have three things left on this list!”
“What are they?” I asked, knowing full well what one of them was at least.