Cherry Blossom Sketch

“Hannah’s tattoo should be almost done,” I say. 

Emily glances at her watch. “Do you want to go and watch the reveal?”

I nod. “I think she’ll want it on video.”

We’re seated at our local burger joint, so we wipe the tomato sauce off our fingers and race down the pavement to the tattoo place. When we get there, Hannah is sitting in the chair already, and a tall woman with a septum piercing is drawing a bird on her collarbone. She grins when she sees us, but quickly squeezes her eyes shut as the buzzing needle floats towards her skin again. 

Emily and I wait at the counter, flipping through books of pictures. This store is owned by a man named Kyle, who is supposedly the best tattooist local to Brisbane. Judging by the designs in the portfolio, I can understand why. 

“Want a tattoo?” A voice asks. 

I turn to find Kyle standing behind us, the soft glow of the blue neon lights illuminating the intricate designs on his skin. I wouldn’t know what he looked like if Hannah hadn’t spent hours on the store’s social media, but it’s unmistakably him. 

Kyle points to the book. “I have an opening right now, if you’d like.”

The flower sketch holds my attention. Three pink cherry blossoms dotted in the shape of a triangle, linked delicately together by swirling green leaves. I never intended to get tattooed when I came here. I know that if I do, it will probably invoke my family’s rage. But I find myself getting caught up in the moment as my gaze moves between the cherry blossom sketch and the esteemed Japanese tattooist. Brisbane has plenty of tattooists around, but if I’m here at the best one and they have an opening, why would I miss the opportunity? I can’t help but feel that I am meant to get one today. It could also be my impulsive streak at it again. 

I look to Emily for guidance, only to find her nodding madly. Before I can even utter a response, she pushes me towards the only available chair in the store, right next to where Hannah is getting her design done.