May 29, 2008
By Mary Krumm, Tigard, OR

As her eight-hour shift comes to a close, she starts her daily closing clean up routine. She has been standing, sitting and walking all around the shop. For some reason the last Friday of the month always seems to be busy. She feels exhausted and her feet are killing her.

Kat is the newest member of Addictions Tattoo Parlor and loves her new job. She mostly works as the receptionist at the front desk, but she is quickly getting some clients herself. Living as a single and spunky 23 years old, Kat loves her life. The craziest aspect about Kat is she can turn nothing into something beautiful, creating depth and meaning. She dreams of being the best tattoo artist in the world, the type of artist people would pay big bucks, just to have her use their arm as a canvas. The key to success is practice makes perfect, and nothing will stop her from enhancing her skills and fulfilling her dreams, so she practices perfecting her technique constantly.

One typical Friday night, she gets together with her co-worker/ room-mate, April, and they head over to a well known club called Indigo. They arrive on 5th and Taylor, and she searches for loose change at the bottom of her bag, to feed the meter. They have exactly four hours and 25 minutes. Quickly becoming friends with the bouncers, and by-passing the line, they flash their ID's to the bartender and order their first round of drinks.

The girls step on the dance floor together, and Kat can feel all eyes on her. She can't wait to show what she's got. Kat’s appearance is bold on the outside. Starting with her brick red lips, continuing down her tattooed arms, and flowing all the way to her brightly painted toes, she loves being noticed. But appearances can be deceiving. Kat’s looks aren’t the only thing that is beautiful about her; her personality shines as well. She believes in fate and letting things fall into place. "Everything happens for a reason," she always says. She maintains composure through most stressful things, and she realizes life is about living, not about worrying all of the time.
Tonight, Indigo has a new DJ and he is throwing down all of the latest tracks. Both Kat and April love to flirt on the dance floor. They know how to shake what they've got and they attract attention from every corner of the room. As the night proceeds, April wanders up into the VIP section, while Kat continues to light up the dance floor.
Glancing over and through the club regulars on the hard wood floor, she notices a guy perched up against the wall scoping out the crowd. "He has potential," she thinks, and realizes he is a risk she is willing to take. She shimmies over his direction, so she can casually take a closer peek at this intriguing looking man. He's tall, has an athletic build and has a large tat going up his left arm. "Just my type," she thinks. They finally make eye contact and decide to take it a step farther on the dance floor.
Their chemistry is an instant success. Their bodies rock back and forth, creating an indescribable connection. About halfway through the third song, they are interrupted by April crawling down the stairs. Apparently, she finished rounds two, three, four, and five without Kat. "This is not looking pretty!" Kat said out loud. As April heads straight to the bathroom, Kat knows her role... She has to follow her. She knows she is risking never seeing "Mr. Potential" again but it is a risk she seems predisposed to take. As she heads to the bathroom, she thinks to herself..."Why am I always the one who holds back other people's hair?"
Being the babysitter or the third wheel seems to be Kat's normal role these days. Having to tag along at social events, or being someone's date at a party she doesn't always feel accepted. Oh, of course people like Kat a lot, but she doesn't necessarily have a best friend or someone she can lean on. Sure there are people she can talk to but Kat is the type of girl that usually does all of the listening and advice giving.
As April starts to come back to life, Kat slowly picks her up off the ground and takes her over to the bathroom sink.
"Kat, thanks for helping me," April mumbled.
"Girl, you know I would do this any day for you."
As April and Kat stumble out of the bathroom, linked arm in arm, Kat notices her dance partner waiting for her, perched on the staircase, arms folded and legs crossed.
"Is your friend going to be alright?" he asked with a grin in his voice.
"Yeah, with a good nights rest and lots of water."
"Do you need help taking her out to the car?"
Kat hesitantly replied, "Oh, sure, that would be a major help!" As soon as she finished her sentence, he was on the other side of April, supporting them both. Together, they took their first few steps in the direction of the blinking red "EXIT" sign, out the door, and into a world of possibilities.

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