Inkless Agassi E3

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EPISODE 3 – REGRESS

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At home after the festival, Nicole rinses out her uniform and showers. While fluffing her hair with a towel, her former resolve weakens. She types a seemingly innocuous text message to her ex-boyfriend, Ricky:

Nicole: “Off work now. How’s the tat biz? -Nicole”

Regret consumes her after hitting the send button. She endured months of lasers burning the ink out her skin to start a new life. Now her heart is regressing.

Ricky: “Babe! Biz be buzzin’,” is his reply.

Nicole smiles at Ricky’s alliteration. He always has a way of making her laugh. But can she pull him from the pit of rap music, drug use, and tattoos?

Nicole: “I had my tats removed.”

Ricky is shocked. He texts back:

Ricky: Why? Which ones?”

Nicole: “All of them. I had to clean up my life.”

Ricky: “Wow. That’s radical!”

Nicole: “Is there anything or anyone for which you’d be willing to do the same?”

Ricky: “Inking is kinda my life. But I’d love to see you again.”

Feeling that she has received her answer, Nicole lies to end the conversation:

Nicole: “Can’t do that. In a relationship now.”

Ricky: “Sure... me too.”

Nicole now wonders if his last message is true or if he is just trying to save face. Any further reply from her would belie her desire to end the conversation. So she lays on her bed, reminiscing about their relationship.

Then the phone rings. “Hello!” she answers with urgency, assuming it’s Ricky.

“Hi, Nicole. This is Jack. I just want to see if you’re okay and let you know that the paint blast was all in good fun.”

“Oh, hi, Jack. You caught me off guard but I enjoyed it. There aren’t many opportunities for me to take part in festival activities while keeping an eye out for disturbances.”

“That’s what I assumed. I was hoping to share a good time with you. Anyway, I was thinking about all the fantastic restaurants we have in the city. Would you consider accompanying me to one next week?”

“Wow! Yes, I appreciate the thought. When would you like to go?”

“When is a good day for you to eat dinner?” Jack asks.

“Tuesday evening is the soonest. Is 7 PM too late?”

“You’re fasting until then, I guess? I get it. Sounds perfect. I’ll pick you up at seven. It won’t be in a squad car and won’t involve a prank.”

“Okay, bye,” Nicole giggles while trying to hide her excitement.

Melodic Complaint

The next morning, friends of the teens playing rap music complain to Jack Agassi about ejecting them from the festival.

“It’s only once per year. Why couldn’t you just confiscate the music or something?” Paulette, a coffee shop owner, asks.

“We had our eyes on over 2,000 festival attendees. We couldn’t divide our attention on a caravan of disruptive individuals.”

As Paulette storms out of the police station, she shouts, “This won’t be the end of this!”

An hour later, Jack receives a phone call from his sister. They have not seen each other for several years.

“Hey, Jack. This is Jillian. What’s up?”

“Jill, it’s good to hear your voice. Were you at the festival yesterday?”

“No, but I may be in town on Monday, if I’m still welcome.”

“I assure you that I’ll roll out the red carpet. Few people have met you and I’d be proud to introduce you.”

“Okay, I’ll hit you up when I get there,” Jillian concludes.

After she hangs up, the buzzing sound of a parlor artist resumes tattooing her thigh.

Coffee House Confrontation

Of all the restaurants to visit, Jillian, the rebellious child, steps into Paulette’s coffee shop wearing short pants and short sleeves that reveal her fresh ink.

Walking up to the counter, Jillian says, “Give me two large cappuccinos, please.”

Paulette is besides herself but does not want to get into a confrontation. So she has Jillian take a seat. While an employee named Anthony prepares the drinks, Paulette phones Jack at the police station. By the time he arrives, the two drinks are on the table.

Paulette nods towards the woman at the table with the cappuccinos. Walking up behind her, Jack says, “Excuse me, young lady. We have strict dress code ordinances. Could you please stand up and turn around?”

Slowly lifting the cappuccinos, Jillian turns around and extends one to Jack. “I’m ready for my red carpet tour,” she says.

“Jillian?” Jack shouts in amazement.

“In the flesh—the fresh ink that is… in the flesh,” she mocks.

“Can we step outside, please?” Jack asks in an effort to diffuse the situation.

“Sure. No hug for your sister?”

Overhearing the remark, the gobsmacked Paulette asks, “Is this your sister?”

“I certainly am. Hasn’t Jack told you about me?” Jillian replies.

Jack is irritated and ushers Jillian outside the restaurant and into his car. “You just put me and your father in an embarrassing situation. The laws of this town are very familiar to you. Yet, you show up flaunting them.”

“Are you going to drive me out of town?”

“Right now? I’m going to take you to our father.”

“Oh, I get to see the mayor. That’s red carpet treatment. Should I buy another coffee?”

Jack phones Mayor Bill Agassi to apprise him of the situation. “I have some good and bad news for you this afternoon. Jillian is in town and I’m bringing her to meet you.”

“What’s the good news?” Bill asks.

“She’s covered with visible tattoos!” Jack warns.

“For God’s sake, don’t bring her to City Hall. I’ll meet you at the police station.”

“Roger that.” At the station, Jackson and Jillian exit the squad car and enter the building.

“I love what you’ve done with the place,” Jillian remarks while looking around. She then begins posing to show off her tattoos.

Jack just shakes his head. Bill comes storming in. Soon afterwards Paulette arrives.

“What are you doing here?” Bill asks.

Paulette replies, “I’m here to press formal charges and see that there is no double standard.”

Jack explains, “At the festival yesterday, some visitors of Paulette were escorted out of the city for playing loud rap music.”

“Paulette, I must ask you to leave,” demands Mayor Agassi sternly. “We’ll talk about your complaint later.”

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