I watch as Ke Ke slams her new needles down on the counter. She's my best friend, hands down. We work at "Ink Nation" one of the top tattoo parlors in the South and of the city of Memphis. I met her when we were twelve years old on our first day in middle school at "Craigmont Middle" and she been my girl ever since. Our bond is unbreakable. We bend but will never ever break.
"Ok, look, you've been mad as shit since yesterday. What's wrong?" I ask. She shakes her head and forces a smile on her face. "Nothin, Lena, I'm cool." She says. "Ke Ke, don't give me that bullshit like I don't know you. Try it with somebody else. What's wrong?" I ask, cleaning my needles. She swallows as tears slowly roll down her face. "I'm just tired of Chris playing me, that's all." She says. "Ok, imma keep it real with you cause you too blinded by love to see for yourself and because you my girl and I hate to see you hurt. That nigga could care less about you, ok? His dreadhead mop lookin ass ain't good for nothing. All he does is pop babies out on you, cheat, lie, and walk around like he just that nigga. Fuck Chris, ok? Get yourself together, Ke. I know he seems like the sun, the moon, and the stars but he ain't shit but dirt." I say. She already know I don't bite my tongue and especially not when I care for you and have something to say that needed to be said to help you. "I can't just forget about him, Alena. He's my first love." She says. I roll my eyes. "Look, I said what I have to say. He ain't shit, Keianna." I say. She sighs. Two men walk in, both sexy as shit. One is brown skinned with gorgeous waves in his hair and some nice tattoos... He's sexy too. The other is like an Almond color with long neat dreads, greenish/grayish eyes, and a nice body. He sexy but not my type. His eyes are fixed on Ke ke. "Hello, welcome to Ink Nation."I say. "Wassup?" The one with the short waves I find so sexy says. "Hey, I'm Lena. What can I get you?" I ask. "Me and my brotha bout to get tatted. I hear yall fye. Who is Lena and Ke Ke, I think?" He asks. "I'm Ke Ke. That's Lena." She says, pointing and smiling. See, this is why we connect like dots. She never lets personal bs come between our money. She just sucks it up with a smile. They look at each other and grin. "I'm Artavius, call me Tay." deadhead introduces himself, grinning at Ke Ke. "Dayvon." the other introduces himself. He extends his hand. I shake it then he kisses my hand. I laugh. "Well... Clearly you a sweetheart." I say. He smiles a perfect smile then shrugs his shoulders. "Well, I try." He says. I look over at Tay and Ke Ke just talking and laughing. "You are hilarious. But seriously, you made my day. Do you have any ideas of what you want?" She asks him. "Yeah... I want Tara on my wrist." He says. "Tara must be very special." I say. "She our momma." Dayvon tells me. I nod. "So yall are getting matching tats?" I ask, getting my ink ready. They laugh. "Hell naw... I want Miracle on my rib." He says. "And who's Miracle?" I ask. "My girl." He says. Well damn...
I nod my head. "That's so sweet." Ke Ke says, drawing up Tay's tattoo. "I wish my so called man loved me enough for that." She adds. "So yo man ain't shit?" Tay asks. "Pretty much. Miracle is blessed." Ke Ke says. "I'm bullshittin, she my daughter. That's my rib." Dayvon says. I look at Ke Ke. "Awwwwwwwww!" we exclaim in unison. We all laugh. "Fuck... Slow down with that fuckin needle." Tay says. "Let me find out you can't take a needle, sir." Ke Ke says. "You got a billion tattoos and you still pussy." Dayvon says, making me giggle. Tay flips him off. "Bitch ass." Tay says, closing his eyes tight. I get started on Dayvon and surprisingly, he's showing no signs of pain. I won't even lie, the sexiness of his body is definitely a distraction. I tattoo plenty of men's chests and ribs everyday but this is by far the best body I've seen in all 5 years of my career. "I'm done." I say. I lead him to the back where the mirror is. He looks at it and smiles. "Damn, thank you Lena. How much?" He asks. "Thirty and no problem. I'm glad you like it."I say, smiling. He looks at me. "What time you get off?" He asks. "Now. You were my last customer. Why?" I ask, grinning. He chuckles and rubs the back of his neck. "I wanna take you out. I know you ain't got a man. I saw your face change when I said Miracle my girl." He says. I laugh and put my hands on my hips. "You bold... I like it." I say. I gotta give it to him, it's something about him that screams "I'm that nigga" and I like it. He nods his head. "And I know you do. Listen, I wanna get to know you. I'm ready to go when you are." He says. I nod my head. "Let me get my things." I say. I walk out the room, smiling. I hope he ain't just another nigga. I'm sick of being played and hurt. Sometimes, I feel like there's nobody out here for me. I feel like these niggas have a main goal and that's to hurt me. I hate that so much.
I'm sitting, waiting on Dayvon to get through in the back. I watch carefully as Ke Ke cleans off her needles. I ain't gone lie, she sexy as hell. She stands about 5'3, a pretty honey complexion, the most beautiful eyes I've ever seen, and long, natural curly hair way down her back. She just plain beautiful to me. She has a nice body; flat stomach with enough ass and titties just like I love mine. She a naturally beautiful woman. She ain't even gotta try. "I hope you like your tat as much as you say you do." She says, sitting in her chair. "I love that shit. You talented." I say. "Thanks. I try." She says, smiling a perfect pearly white smile. I stare at her for a second. She looks down. "What?" She nervously asks. I get up and lift her chin. "You too beautiful to be lookin down." I say. Call it corny, but that's how a nigga feeling right now. She stares in my eyes. "You think so?" She asks. I nod my head. "I mean it." I say. She smiles. Right when I was about to open my mouth, the door came flying off the hinges.