Unfolded Blood by Otilia Tena

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SUMMARY: A tattoo studio and a love story.

Unfolded Blood

"Linda".
"I'm terribly sorry, Linda. Are you alright?"
He helped me get on my feet. The ache suddenly wrapped me.
"Where did the ball hit you?"
"Here, in my belly."
He grasped my hand and then there was a harsh mixture... The sand had become really hot under my feet and my wrist hurt where his seize had been. I lied down next to mum and put my arms around me to relieve the pain.
"Who threw the ball to you?"
"The idiot in blue over there. I should've kicked his ass."
"That's Nigel! Noah's son!"
"Who's Noah?"
"The man with the tattoo studio, my dear."
"The man full of tattoos, always on motorbike?"
"That's right."
"Mum..."
"Yes, darling, are you alright?"
"No, mum...it hurts... mum..."
"What is it? Oh, my god, Linda!" In spite of how her voice sounded, she looked rather surprised than horrified.
"What now, mum?"
"Linda, you've got your period! Oh, baby, that's wonderful!"
"Oh, no, the sheets! Oh, look! The sand is stained around me!" How was I going to face everybody on the beach when getting up? The only thing that came to my mind was the ocean's water... so blue... so deep... you only need to close your eyes and let go... the pillow was soft... my elbow rested on the wet place, where I had spilled the hot tea.
"I'll get you another cup, don't worry!"
The sheets smelled like lavender. It was the tea perhaps. And then there was that other smell... my smell.
"If it hadn't been for that stupid Nigel! I hate him!"
"Relax, my darling. Look, I've got to go now and I thought you'd like this movie here. Guess what? Nigel's father, Noah plays the main part in it. He was just about Nigel's age: thirteen or fourteen. And the little girl..."
"Is she like me?"
"Yes, she's beautiful."
"Was she ten years old like me?"
"Well, well, in a few months you'll be eleven. Now, relax and watch it! It was my favourite movie when I was like you."
The boy looked very much like Nigel. I felt the ache in my belly again and then my wrist got hot with the memory of his seize. My mind boiled with the mixture of all of these. What if I slapped him? I watched the boy in the movie and it was him I watched. It was Nigel.
"Mum, you said you wanted a tattoo, right? You said you'd go to Noah's studio these days, didn't you?"
"That's right. I need a tattoo right here on my left teat." She laughed. "Maybe I'll go tomorrow."
"Take me with you. I want to see him again, now that I watched the movie."
"He doesn't look that way no more."


She was young and cute like my mum and the leather dress was gorgeous on her. I looked at her and then I looked at mum again. Two goddesses facing each other, yet so different. One was the goth type, the other was frail and delicate.
"Linda, my son Nigel must apologize to you."
"He did it yesterday, on the beach."
"Did he?"
Noah greeted us. He smiled to mum. "You came for the tattoo, right? You'll have to tell me about it, the whole story!"
"Can you imagine? The story of a tattoo yet to be made!"
"How are you, Linda?"
"I came to see you again. I watched your movie."
"You know, you look very much like that little girl."
"And you look like... you look like Nigel."
Everybody laughed and I felt miserable.
"No, my darling, Nigel looks after me.

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