I take a deep breath as I flip through the pages of tattoos none standing out too much. "It doesn't have to be from the book." The guy says, seeing the distress on my face, I've been here half an hour, Louis by my side. "You can describe it and I could draw it up for you." He says grabbing a sketch pad and pencils.
"I-I don't know it seems wrong, I want this, but I just don't know." Louis runs circles on my back, and I lay my head on his shoulder, he wraps his arm around me. "I want to represent something, it's so frustrating. I know where I want it, I just have no idea what it is." I say sighing, Louis laughs, and I look at him. "Why are you laughing?" I ask, a little offended.
"Sorry, you're sigh tickled my neck." He says, pushing a piece of hair out of my face. I sigh again, "What about you're dad?" He asks and I stare at him, confused.
"What about him?" I ask, feeling a bit lost in our two way conversation. I feel bad for the man behind the desk listening to me stress and moan and whine about my tattoo. I sound like a baby.
"Get it for him. Make the tattoo about him, a memorial to him. You lost him, but with this tattoo you can carry him anywhere and everywhere, and no one can take him away from you; there is no war that can take him away from you. He'll be by your side Christams, Easter, Halloween, birthdays. He'll walk with you down the aisle and stand with you at the alter. He will be with you for everything that dads are suppose to be there for." Louis says rubbing my arm.
"Okay, yes that's the best idea ever." I say, still not sure what to get. I look at Daren the tattoo artist and he gives me an understanding look.
"It's hard, your tattoo virginity is hard to get rid of because it takes a lot more that thought than your other virginity." I laugh a long with Louis. "How about you tell me about him, I'll take notes and sketch something."
"Well...um he is the best father anyone could ask for, I could start there, because it's true. I never got him those crappy number one dad mugs and shirts and shit, I got hime what he'd like. He was in to hunting, that's where thanksgiving dinner came from every year. He was in the army, but he always found his way home for the stuff that really counted. I remember him saying, 'I may go to work in camouflage, and far away from home, but I'm not a soldier or a hero, I'm a man going to work.' I thought that was noble, but as I got older I realized he didn't want praise he wanted normality. He boxed, it was his sport when he got the chance, he came in second one time on a tour.
"He was a lot different than his family, he was open minded, creative and caring. My mom's the same, both of them are more liberal than conservative and that's how they raised me, my grandparent all four of them disagreed. My moms parents were the worst though, well actually my mom's mom something tells me my mom gets liberality from my papa. She wanted to go to college for art, and they wanted her to go to med school, she almost went; my father met her at a little coffee shop and I guess they hit off right away. My father talked her into going to art school, she now is a photographer, dog walker, and an art teacher. They'd meet at that little coffee shop every break from his tours, and that's where proposed he took time off and settled down. When I turned eight he re enlisted to the army. I love when he came back, because he'd cook and we'd all sing as he did. Christmas we'd watch our favorite movie, the nightmare before Christmas, before presents. When we moved so mom could be closer to her parents, I met the other new kid, Zayn."
"I know him, he comes in sometimes with Louis. Sorry go on." I smile with a chuckle.
"Anyway he was new, I was new he had a cool accent so I befriended him. He became my best friend and to this day still is. However, my very Catholic family were extremely rude, saying he shouldn't be allowed because if his religion. My father didn't meet him in person until before his final tour. I video chatted with him with Zayn and he defended him from across the globe. Most fathers would be upset a boy was spending so much time their daughters, but he was happy. He defended the weak and helped them become strong. His favorite place to be was this little river bank that he took mom and I to a lot. He was always singing Fall Out Boy, All Tine Low, The Beetles, Madonna and some much more. His favorite color was camo. He was stubborn, he always said it was the German gene in him. No one could ask for a better father." I say with a smile, it felt good, so good to talk about him. Daren nods, smiling and tells Louis and I to go do something while he planed the tattoo.
"That was cool, I feel like I know your dad now." Louis says interlocking our fingers. I lightly swing our hands back and forth, as he leads me across the street and over a block. He walk in silence and stay in silence as we sit on a set of swings he lead us to. It's almost ten so no one is at this park he brought me to, I was going to ask him how he'd know about this park, but I was too afraid to break the silence. It's so peaceful as I swing in sync with Louis. My heads grip the chains and his hang by his sides.
I sigh and rest my head against my hand, and let my eyes close. "I wish he got to meet you, I really do. He would have approved." Louis reaches his hand out and places it on my cheek, I jump at the contact not expecting it, but I relax. His thumb traces an infinity sign on my cheek. I tear slips from my eye and Louis stands up. He grabs my hand, and pulls me up. He brings me close, my eyes are open now. He places one hand on my waist and holds the other one, with a smile I place my free hand on his shoulder. Louis starts sinning a song I've never heard that starts with the words, 'I've figured it out, I've figured it out from black and white.' The words are beautiful and I find myself getting lost in the tune as we dance in the park. "That was beautiful, what song is it?" I say when it's over, we're standing still but in the dancing formation.
"I wrote it, I'm calling it You and I." He says, kissing my forehead. "This is our first official date, I just decided that now in this moment." He whispers making me laugh a little. He places his hand on my cheek, examining my face, almost as if he'll never see it again, and who knows maybe he won't, you never know when's the last day you'll see the person standing in front of you. I drink his face in too, he's exquisite, I can never find any thing, but perfection. We stand in silence until my cell goes off. It's Daren, saying he has an idea.
We get back and Daren is smiling. He hands me the paper and Louis looks at over my shoulder. His hands wrapped around my waist and his chin resting on my shoulder. It's a coffee potto represent where my parents met, and it's being poured into a cup that's made out of my dad's quote. Instead of coffee it's little symbols of my father. A German flag, boxing gloves, Jack Skellington, the army symbol, Sally, Zero, Oogie Boogie, a bow and arrow, a superman symbol (for my dad helping the weak become strong), music notes, a heart with wings, and a few other things. "Wow." I say, loving it. "I love it, can I get the cup sitting on my left hip and the coffee pot on my rib?" He nods.
Louis sits, by my side and I keep my eyes on him and squeeze his hand through the pain. When it was over he asked me to stay in the chair for a little bit as he wrapped some stuff around my tattoo to keep the swelling down. He also tells me what to do to keep infection away. "Have a nice night, and come again." Daren says as he walks us out and closes his parlor up.
"Stay with me tonight?" He asks.