Dirty Promise

By: Penny Wylder



After Kia got sick I forgot all about him. I forgot about everything.

I guess I can’t forget about him anymore, can I? Not now that she wants me to sleep with him. How exactly would I even go about doing that? It’s been a few years since I was in the dating pool as Kia so eloquently pointed out in her letter. For the past few months when I wasn’t working I was with Kia, helping her parents take care of her. It was a fulltime job. My life and my heart were consumed. There was no room left for anyone else. No time either. Dating had been the last thing on my mind.

“Please tell me this is a cruel joke,” I say and flip over the letter.

I try to picture exactly how to ask this guy that I’ve never even met to have sex with me. Do I just go up to him and say, “Hey, wanna hook up for the night?” What if he has a girlfriend? I couldn’t be that girl who steals men, even for just a night. Kia would never ask me to do something like that … which means she probably did her homework. I can’t help but find it disturbing that she wants me to sleep with a guy she called dibs on. Feels like I’m cheating, or going behind her back in a way.

I re-read the letter in the first envelope just as I did with the instructions. It’s the same. The words haven’t changed, and I didn’t make them up in my head. Kia wants me to sleep with the hot tattoo guy whose name I don’t even know and who I haven’t thought about in a long time.

What choice do I have? Those envelopes are my best friend’s last wishes—even though it’s completely insane and I question her mental clarity when she wrote them. I mean, she was on a lot of medication at the time. Still, even if she asked me to streak across a high school football game naked as the day I was born, I would do it because she’s not able to. God, I hope she doesn’t ask me to do that.

I’m not going to let her down. I have to figure out a way to sleep with this guy … I can’t believe I’m doing this.





2





I get dressed and take a taxi to one of the oldest parts of town. Everything around here was built in the 1800s. Most of these buildings used to be boarded up and falling apart. A few years ago, the city paid to have the entire block restored and eventually trendy shops moved in. One of those shops is Savage Tattoos. There’s a vinyl sign in the shape of a dragon covering most of the front window, leaving just enough window space to see the hot tattooed guy working at his station inside.

My heart is racing. I have no idea what to do or say when I get in there. I stand on the sidewalk outside the building like some stalker, staring at the window, trying to figure out what to do. I swear to God I should get all the best friend points for agreeing to complete Kia’s bucket list. There should be medals, and a ceremony…

I take a deep breath. Okay, let’s do this.

I go inside.

What the hell am I doing? That seems to be a reoccurring thought in my head, like a needle stuck on a record. My stomach is in knots. I want to leave and I almost convince myself to do just that. I love you Kia, but I can’t do this. How could she ask me for this favor? She knows how timid I am around hot men. To ask this of me is to take me so far out of my comfort zone that I might as well be on another planet.

Inside the lights are bright. Several artists are at different stations with clients, having conversations and listening to death metal at low volumes. The art on the walls is extraordinary. When I think of tattoo shops, the first thing that comes to mind are skulls and depictions of death. There are plenty of those, of course, but it’s not what I was expecting. It’s not all dark and miserable. There is so much color and technique. The whole place has a vibrant, lively feel to it. And though I’m definitely out of my element in this place with all these tattooed people, I’m not as uncomfortable as I thought I would be.

I’ve never really thought about getting a tattoo before. I was never the rebellious type. But seeing how beautiful the art is, I start to wonder if maybe I’m missing out.

Walking further into the building, I spot him, the guy in the window that Kia and I had giggled about on those drunken nights. He’s even better looking up close while I’m sober. He has a close fade haircut that’s longer on top, a razor-sharp jawline, just enough scruff on his face to give him a sexy, rugged look, and colorful tattoos on his neck and arms—and probably other places, but I can’t see those … yet. If all goes according to plan, I will be seeing them soon. If a hotter guy exists on this planet, I’ve never seen him before.

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