She steals the money – from her mother's purse, the registers at her father's store, and when she gets more daring, from the office at school, and once from a panhandler on Vine St. She just pushed him down and ran. The rush of adrenaline she felt was almost enough that she thought of forgetting about it. She didn't need to do this any more, but three hours later, she was sneaking back out the French doors, heading downtown, out way past curfew.
It was getting harder to find places where they don't recognize her, places where they won't card her, or won't look to close at the fake ID she fashioned in her dad's copy shop. It was pretty good – she had gotten a few helpful hints from the Haitian, so her dad probably knew that she had it, but was willing to overlook it as a part of a slightly paranoid set of escape plans. He was willing to overlook a lot of things these days, as long as she stayed under the radar and didn't draw attention to herself. Blemish-free skin on a tattoo addict's skin wasn't exactly subtle as he would like, though, even if it did help to hide exactly what she was doing from her dad.
She knew she was addicted, though. There was something about watching the ink being pushed through her skin with the burn, scrape of the needles, seeing the flowers bloom and butterflies kiss her skin before they eventually faded into obscurity that she needed more than breath. (She once stayed under water in the bathtub for 27 minutes and 34 seconds, before Lyle interrupted her.) She tried tribals and skulls, kanjis and tramp stamps. She bared her nubile (always) teenaged skin to their eyes and their hands and their guns, and let them put their mark on her, one after another.
She could usually hold on to the image until they were done. Only once or twice had she misjudged, left it too long. She thinks the constant abrasions, over and over help (she practices with a tiny little razor blade pulled out of her Lady Schick), but once that bandage is in place, it is gone, fading into obscurity. She thinks of it sinking so far into herself that is is shading her soul. She wonders if one day she will be as dark and colorful on the outside as she feels inside, all one big colorful, burning, bruise.