AND by Frank Staniforth

“That’s the biggest I’ve seen.” 

“Mike finally finished it last week. What do you think?” 

“It's nice,” my wife, Jenny, continued, flatly. “I wondered why you'd started sleeping in a T-shirt, Dave. I thought you'd got a secret scratchy lover.” She ran her fingertips over the large colourful tattoo of her face on my back, copied from a Tenerife holiday photo. Underneath was written: I love you. 

“As if...” I said, pulling down my white work shirt and facing her. 

“Well, Samantha seemed very keen on you when I called in at your bank last month.” “She was showing me how to use the new IT system, darling.” 

“Which involved practically sitting in your lap, apparently.” 

“She'd mislaid her reading glasses, so she had to lean in close to my screen.” I sighed. “Why would I spend a fortune and endure hours of pain to etch you on my skin forever if I wanted someone else?” 

“To throw me off the scent, probably. Anyway, I'm getting a damned tattoo as well. Do you have Mike's number?” 

“Of course, but watch out, love. He's a shocking flirt.” 


“Where do you propose having this tattoo?” 

“Somewhere private you'll never see again, you bastard! It's to celebrate starting my new single life.” 

A fortnight later, I tapped my phone and brought up the small tattoo Jenny had got – on her shoulder. Noticing Mike's lecherous grin she'd suddenly decided against having it on her inner thigh, she'd told me, laughing. I saw a pink, sad-looking cartoon dog sitting on the words: TOTAL BITCH! 

“I wish my wife was as pretty as yours,” Mike remarked. We chuckled. He threw back the duvet. “Are you ready to go again, Dave?” 

Published in Issue #19

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