Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Lip Tat Boy

It was very Long Island shore meets CT coast. Very Mega Monster Energy meets Skinny Vanilla Late. Very boy meets girl. Very real.

He skateboarded to class, and when he passed me strolling in my Sperry’s, he waved. And he smiled. And I kept smiling for way too long after that.

His walls were plastered with posters of rappers and surfers. Mine were collaged with pictures of friends, family, and one of just me, overly excited at Harry Potter World. He made fun of me relentlessly for the Harry Potter print. I didn’t want him to stop.

When we ordered Chinese food with our roommates, he called. In panicky indecision, I told him just white rice would be fine for me. He rolled his eyes and ordered something foreign-sounding instead. Covered in a scary-looking sauce, I was hesitant to chopstick it into my mouth. But then I tasted it. When I loved it, he grinned.

His nickname was Wild Bill, and I wondered if that was a red flag. But he thought I was funny and he made me laugh. And the more we laughed together, the less I wondered –the less I cared. I’d never met anyone like him, but together was comfortable. We were freshmen in college, but with him, I felt at home.

The night he showed me his inner-lip tattoo, my breath snagged. I could feel things simultaneously falling together and falling apart inside me. A lip tat was exotic and verged on crazy, and I liked it. But then, I could never date a boy with an inked-up lip. My Connecticut mother would not find it endearing in the same way I did. I could already feel the judgmental gaze of my grandmother. There was no way. But in that moment I knew that I wanted there to be a way.

We accidentally passed out on my roommate’s bed listening to country music –my lip-tatted friend fell asleep on my lap. When he woke up in the middle of the night I felt him slip out. And I wished he’d just forgotten about the room that he left. I wished he didn’t have to go back. But people don’t just forget where they come from.

Except for the one 2 a.m. when I did. With each tiptoe towards his room, the CT coast grew foggier. Whispers flew like fire between us in the middle of that night; we lounged next to each other on his bed like old friends. And for hours, we talked. The sky started getting lighter, and, exhausted, I leaned into him. He kissed my forehead and my stomach dropped. I was scared and hesitant. But then I kissed him back. When I asked him if kissing hurt his lip tat, he grinned.

It was very juxtaposed. Very forbidden love. Very once-in-a-lifetime, for a girl from the CT coast. But most of all, it was very real.



Join the Discussion


This article has 2 comments. Post your own!

theblondechickThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 18 at 7:35 pm:
This is probably one of my most favorite love stories on here. It's not sugar coated or like "those" love stories. It's very REAL, as the story says. It was honest and really captures the unexplainable mess that is love. Wonderful job!
 
KaleyRoberts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
today at 4:19 pm :
Thank you so much :) I accidentally posted it to fiction I just realized, but it's nonfiction!
 
Reply to this comment Post a new comment
 
Site Feedback