by Kayla Haliski from Metropolitan Learning Center
Published in the 2007-2008 WITS Anthology I Once Was Young and Strong (Available for purchase)
I had been looking forward to this moment for what seemed like centuries. My dad, during the car ride there, had asked why I wanted this. I jokingly replied, “Because I’m such a rebel.” Unfortunately, he took me seriously. He gave me The Look, I took the cue, and launched into my speech as to why I was doing this. I spent the next two minutes reassuring him that I was purely teasing him when I mentioned rebel, that it was definitely a “jk” moment.
A few minutes passed in silence. I then turned to him, and said, “I really need to pee. I’m getting nervous.” He laughed, and asked why was I getting nervous about such a small thing. That’s a good question, I thought. Why was I nervous? It might hurt, yes, but it certainly wouldn’t be anything large, like an amputation. Most certainly not.
After walking what felt like 300 blocks from the car, we reached our destination. The door clanged behind us. The man behind the counter asked if he could help us. Gazing at the piercing-filled display counter, I said, “Um, yea. I guess I want to get a piercing.” The man asked for identification. Identification? I felt the universe drop on my head. I didn’t think to bring any kind of identification.
I had been looking forward to this for so long, but no, it slipped just out of my reach.
I trudged out of the shop, exhaling deeply, noting the bar next door. I wondered how many people got drunk, then walked next door to get an unknown piercing. My dad and I glanced at each other. We were thinking the same thing. Our laughs softly rang out in the night.