Read Part I, here.
When we last left our heroine, she was skipping happily away from the auditorium where she had just heard her very favorite author speak, met him, and had handed him a letter detailing her adoration of his books. It was the best day of her life, she already knew that. It was a day that would live on in her mind as a pivotal moment in her adolescence - the story of that day would be shared conspiratorially over drinks in dark bars and with potential suitors throughout her life - this she was sure of. It hit her that she needed to commemorate the day somehow, needed to acquire a token that would forever remind her of the day she met her hero...but what token would ever suffice?
When the thought hit her, she was sure. From the UCLA campus where the book fair was being held, she headed east towards Melrose Ave. She had spent many hours of her life languidly walking the strip with her sister, searching through racks of mothball scented clothes at thrift shops, perusing the punk section at the record stores, and once even getting her nose pierced in a shady-looking jewelry store by a dude who made her promise that she was 18 (she lied, she had been 15 at the time).
It was in this vain that she found the most respectable looking shop that advertised tattoo and piercing services. The lone shop keeper took some persuading, but eventually believed her insistence that she was indeed 18 years old, despite her lack of identification (she was lying, she was 16 at the time). He took her to a back room and she watched as he pulled latex gloves over his sweating hands, followed by a second pair, much to her relief. They chatted as the tools were cleaned and laid out, and she told him the story of whom she had just met, and why this act was an important one to her.
And then it was time, and she was nervous, but she hid it well until the small needle pierced her nipple, and she closed her eyes tight and gnashed her teeth as he slid the ring through. It was the most pain she had ever felt in her young life...transcendental pain that encompassed the entirety of her small-framed body. She sat in the chair for a while, until the spots in front of her eyes cleared and she no longer felt woozy, and then she paid the man and left.
Later that day, when she had driven home and was hanging out with her best friend, she ripped the strap of her dress while pulling it down to show her new jewelry. Her friend was shocked at her new accoutrement, but giggled with her about it once the surprise wore off, and had to admit that it looked pretty damn cute.
It's been over ten years since that day, and there's just a small scar where the piercing used to be, really it's only noticeable to her. But when she sees it, when she thinks about it, she feels a sense of pride at the bold teenager she once was. She's glad she still has some of that fire left in her, but also relieved that her adult self is better at controlling her impulses.