Under harsh nightclub lights, a stranger points at my arm. “What does that mean?”
Beneath my fingertips lie delicate embossed shapes, personal hieroglyphs. A swirl of black, looping over my coffee-coloured skin.
Gentle curves sliding over and under each other. The happiness of youth, playing in the garden with my brother and sister. Faded photographs of long forgotten clothes, bad haircuts and better times.
Spikes jut out at the edges, digging into the top of my shoulder, thorns creeping around the soft underflesh of my arm. First love, that boy with the floppy black hair and intense eyes. From pulling my hair in the playground to breaking my heart fifteen years later. Pain that scars, never to be forgotten. Faded now, though. No longer bleeding.
A delicate shoot, rising above the rest, creeping towards my collarbone. My future.
“What does it mean? I don’t know mate, it’s just a tattoo,” I shrug and dance away.