Life's Lies by Freya Roberts

If my mother knew where I was I’d be grounded. For a year. With only bread and water. Hence she never can find out. 

There’s a lot my mother doesn’t know about me. Like how when I say I’m sleeping over at my girlfriend's place there’s no space between girl and friend. She’s my girlfriend. Or how I dropped out of university only two weeks in and so all the time I spend “studying” in my room isn’t studying. But perhaps the worst lie I tell my mother is how I’m still the same girl I was. I’m not. I haven't been her for a very long time. 

Jacq - my girlfriend - put this idea in my head. I’ve never been interested in tattoos. I get the attraction of them, something permanent in such an impermanent world. But most of the time they look grungy. So it was only after considerable coercion that I’m here at all, standing in the parlour staring at the design traced onto my skin. 

“You won’t feel a thing, I promise” they assured me. That was a lie. They seem to follow me. 

When it was done Jacq cooed over the inflamed area under my rib. It was of a hand, the middle finger stuck up. A screw you world kind of thing, it just wasn’t my kind of thing. But I suppose it was too late. Maybe it was more a message of revulsion to myself. No, that's too deep. It was more likely a reckless decision to prove to others that I had lived in my twenties, because I wasn’t going to live much longer. At least not if my mother found out. 

Published in Issue #17

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