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Ione & Her Tattoo
'Come on, Ione, look at mine!' 'Yeah, but your parents don't even know about it yet. The
only plus side to your tattoo is that you finally got Jay.' 'Whatever, Jessica. At least I have
somebody. What have you got? No tattoo, no boyfriend' no nothing.' Jessica puts her head down
in shame. She knows this is true but no one's ever gone as far as to actually say it. She
doesn't believe the reason she's single is because she has no tattoo. Her friends who plan on
getting a tattoo, or who have one now, may look at her like she doesn't know what she's missing,
or like she doesn't like to take chances; but she sees it as not being branded. Not having
something you're going to have to live with the rest of your life. Not having to worry about a
mistake you made' being free. She doesn't judge her friends who are tattooed. Why do they
judge her? 'Sorry, Jess. I didn't mean it. I just think if Ione wants a tattoo, she should go
for it. I did, and look at me! It's so cool having a tattoo, I feel different and mysterious; I
feel special. It's life-altering.' 'Did you ever think that's why I didn't wanna get one?
I mean, my whole life is gonna change. What if it's for the worse? What if my parents find out?
What if I decide I don't want it anymore? What if-' 'Whoa, whoa, calm down Ione. It ain't
that bad. If you think something bad is gonna come out of it, than it will. Plus, you want to
anyway, right? That's what you told Jess.' '*sighs* Yeah, you're right. Okay' I'll do
it.' 'I know just the guy.'
Danny knew his business was going down and fast. He needed customers who were just waiting to break
away from the mold of the world. He needed a naive, ingenuous, thick-headed group of people. He
needed teenagers. It was as if right on cue when Ione walked into his shop. He noticed first her
eyes, wide and hungering to rebel; her mouth, smirking at the thought of people wishing to be her;
her hands flipping through the pictures of previous women flaunting tattoos, waiting patiently until
it's her turn. Her walk, even, the way she pushed the doors open into the rest of her life, the
little sway of her hips when she knows people are watching. Oh, he'd hit the jackpot. He
recognized Marisa, though he didn't remember her name. She came to him a while back wanting
something provocative to show some guy that he could have her whenever he wanted. Or that's what
it seemed liked to Danny. Just another raw teenage girl wanting to be something she's not.
Business is business.
'Hey! My name's Ione and' well' I'd like a tattoo.' 'Well hello, Ione. Where you
want it?' 'Umm' what do you think about my lower back?' 'Anywhere you want, little lady.
It ain't my body. I'm gonna need to see your ID, though.' Ione knew this was going to happen
but she never planned on how to approach it. She thought she could lie, but that would make things
worse; she thought she could just tell the truth, but that would mean no tattoo. She left this one
to Marisa. 'Hey, Dan-Dan, she don't have an ID. She's' a little young.' Business may be
business, but Marisa was legal business. Danny was hesitant. To the point where Marisa and Ione
were sure she wouldn't be getting the tattoo. They had been anxious all day waiting to see what
Ione would get and what it'd look like. And now they weren't even going to get to see?! Marisa
was fuming. She thought Danny of all people would go for this. Since when has he cared if it's
legal or not? 'You know what D-' 'Okay.' ''okay what? Okay you'll give her the
tattoo?!' 'Yeah. But look girls, this is really risky for me. So you need to hide it for a
little while. And if anyone notices it, you were never here. I can't lose my business. But
I'd like to help you out.' Danny figured it was no big deal. She wasn't that young. Plus,
he trusted her enough to keep her mouth shut.
Ione's parents had always been observational. They noticed that Ione hadn't made the gymnastics
team after she came home and ignored her mom when she said Gabriel called. They noticed her and
Louis broke up when she came home and was excessively happy. And now they noticed Ione was hiding
something because she hasn't said anything since she came home.
'Ione, honey,' her mom starts her attempt to get her to talk. 'talk to me. Tell me what's
going on. You can tell me anything. You know that' I'm your mommy.' 'Oh my God. You are
not my mommy. I'm sixteen. I'm grown-up now. I don't need you and dad there every step of
the way.' She left her mom speechless for the first time in years. Ione mumbled sorry and went up
to her room. 'What brought that on?'
Ione's mom ached for her to tell her what's going on. She felt like she was losing her little
girl. She knew something was wrong and she wanted to be able to tell Ione, somehow, that she would
love her no matter what. But every time she spoke to Ione, she felt like she was talking to someone
who despised her. She didn't feel like a mom. She felt like an enemy. Leo, Ione's dad,
didn't think it was a big deal. He figured Ione was just going through a 'phase'. Or,
that's what he told his wife, Stacy. He had noticed Ione acting like this for a while. She acted
like she wanted to talk to them, but knew she couldn't. He wasn't too concerned about what it
was because Ione had never lied to him or her mother. He trusted her.
Even though Ione knew her parents were suffering because of her discretion, she was going through an
even harder time. She was so proud of herself that she actually went through with it, and , did
she look good. But now she knew there was no turning back. No matter how many regrets she had
about the tattoo, she couldn't do anything about it. She wanted to tell her parents so bad.
Partly because she was so happy and pleased, and partly because she felt culpable for doing it in
the first place. She had gone from being trusted to being suspicious.
At school, Ione covered her tattoo up, but showed people who asked about it. Marisa's big mouth
had taken care of that one for her.
'Ione! Ione! I wanna see it, man! Marisa's been talkin bout it all morning and I ain't
seen nothin yet.' 'Yeah Mami, show us!' ' guys, calm down. Maybe I don't wanna show
you. Especially you, Ricky. Not after what you said bout Marisa's tattoo.' 'Haha. Yeah but
hers was ugly. Wasn't it, Malachi?'
Malachi didn't say anything. He was afraid of Marisa. But it was true that her tattoo didn't
turn out how everyone thought it would. It was obnoxious. Marisa was a gorgeous girl, though, and
she completely pulled off the hideous tattoo. Everyone thought that Ione's tattoo would be just
as bad, if not worse. But it was impressive.
'Alright, alright, I'll show you.' As Ione was lifting up her shirt, her teacher walked by and
told her to pull it down. He never said anything about calling home or detention, so Ione figured
she was safe.
It was about one o' clock when her mom answered the phone to the voice of Mr. Takahashi.
'Hello?' 'Hello, Mrs. Villanucci?' 'Yes, this is her. Who am I speaking to?' 'This is
Hiroshi Takahashi from Ione's school. I'm her history teacher. I was just calling to let you
know that your daughter has been flaunting her tattoo around school. Now, I know it's yo-'
'Excuse me?! What tattoo?!' 'Umm' Ione's tattoo on her lower back. She was showing a
couple of boys in the school today' I just thought you would like to know if you wanted to talk to
her about it.' There was silence coming from the other end. 'Mrs. Villanucci?' 'Oh. Oh,
yes. Sorry I'm here. Umm, yes I'll have a talk with Ione about that. Thank you for calling.
Goodbye Mr. Takahashi.' Stacy couldn't believe it! Her daughter had went off and gotten a
tattoo?! Who had even agreed to this?! Are people crazy? She was appalled and pissed off and most
of all, she was hurt. How could Ione not tell her this? Did she not regret what she did?
Ione got home and saw both of her parents sitting on the couch watching TV. There was no after
school snack waiting for her, the dog hadn't been let out and Ione's bedroom door was wide open.
Ione's parents were observational. But Ione had inherited more than just her mom's good looks.
'Ione, honey, could you come in here for a second.' She didn't even have a lie yet! There was
no way she was ready to talk to them. 'Umm, no I can't. I have a lot of homework to do. Mr.
Acton gave us a butt load of English homework.' 'I think Mr. Acton will understand, Ione. Your
mother and I need to talk to you.' Ione sat down on the chair next to her parents. She couldn't
even look up at them and she knew they weren't looking at her, either. She couldn't have felt
more ashamed and uncomfortable in her life. She knew she should've just told them the truth in
the first place. 'Honey, Mr. Takahashi called us today and told us you were flaunting something.
Would you like to tell mommy what it was?' 'My tattoo.' Straight forward, don't hide
anything. She looked up at her mom, soon after realizing she shouldn't have. She saw a huge wave
of disappointment on her face. She had never seen her so disenchanted, especially when it comes to
her. 'You let your mom down, Ione. What has she ever wanted from you besides the truth? Is it so
hard to just come to us when you have a problem or when you're feeling pressured?' 'I wasn't
feeling pressured! I wanted the tattoo and I'm glad I got it! I don't see anything wrong with
it. It's my body and what I put in or on it shouldn't matter to you. If I'm happy, then
I'm happy. That's all that should count, right?' 'No. You are under MY roof and as your
father, I expect you to follow MY rules. Tell me right now who gave you that tattoo.' Ione got
quiet. It took a lot to get her dad upset. She knew she messed up. 'I' I can't say. I
promised him that I wouldn't and' and I don't want to get him in trouble'' 'I don't
care, Ione! I am your father and he's just some man who you don't even know. He knows better
than to give a minor a god tattoo! I can see you not knowing any better, you're young,
inexperienced, easily influenced. But he should know better than to let you do that. Tell me RIGHT
Danny hadn't heard anything from the cops or angry parents in a while. He knew that little girl
wouldn't say anything. He was putting away his paperwork when he heard a knock on his shop door.
'That's weird. We're closed.' He went to the door and saw the cops and parents he'd been
dreading. '.' 'Mr. Ramirez?' 'Yes, that's me. How can I help you?' 'You don't
know why we're here?' He hesitated. Maybe he should just tell them now. 'No'' 'Do you
know a young girl by the name of Ione Villanucci?' 'I can't recall. Why are you asking?'
The cop looked at him with an all knowing look. But it wasn't him who spoke up. The conversation
took an unexpected turn when Ione Villanucci herself came forward to discredit Mr. Ramirez. 'Look
dude, you know you know me and you know you gave me the tattoo. There's no use in hiding it,
it's one of YOUR designs. Marisa came with me. You took a picture of my tattoo on me after you
finished it.' He sensed the tone of her voice. If I'm going down, you're coming with me. Her
eyes had a different look than he'd first remembered. They no longer had a look of
rebelliousness, instead he saw sorrow, he saw hurt' he saw someone who needed him. 'Yes, I gave
her the tattoo.' 'You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say or do will be'' He
drowns out their voice. All he could see was Ione's eyes apologizing to him. He knew she was
sorry, he knew she had no choice, but he still wishes it didn't have to end like this. All he
wanted to do was give the little girl what she wanted. To make her happy. The look on her face was
anything but happiness.
Ione still thinks about him sometimes. To temporarily lose the trust of your parents is one thing.
To lose everything you've worked so hard for your whole life, is another thing altogether. She
doesn't know how it ended up like this. Something that seemed so simple and fun ended up so
intricate and horrible. Everyday she's reminded of what she did to Danny. It scorches her skin;
it burns remorse and shame into her body. She can hardly look at herself in the mirror after she
takes a shower because she knows what she'll be reminiscent of. And Danny? He sits in a cell all
day everyday, alone. All he can do is think to himself about what he did. The guards are even
cautious of him because of the rage beneath his eyes. And there with the rage, they see lust.
Lust; to be able to just sit in any tattoo shop and feel the rush he gets when the needle first hits
the skin. Or the gratification he feels when he flips through the pictures of every tattoo he's
ever done. And the sense of accomplishment when a previous customer comes back and stays loyal to
him. But he can never feel that again; because, thanks to Ione, he lost his shop and his tattoo
license. He's left with nothing.
I wrote this allegory about statutory rape because I feel like it's an issue that people don't
really understand. Most people think that if an older man is with an underage girl that he's a
pervert. I disagree. You don't hang out with someone planning on falling in love. Love is
accidental, that's what makes it beautiful. My story depicts the life of a girl in love with a
man who, by society's morals, is much too old for her. Both the characters in the story are kept
from something they love (Danny, from tattooing-which represents the underage girl), or have to hide
what they love (Ione, her tattoo-which represents the older man). Everything in life has boundaries,
rules and consequences. Love shouldn't.