His Ink

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Chapter Sixteen

Erika Nadine

“Are you serious?” Ana yelled as I unlocked the door.

“Why are you here?” I asked her, as I walked inside. It was still 2 pm, this wasn’t even lunch time yet she was home.

“Erika, I came back home because Gabby told me what happened.” She sighed as she sat on the couch. I honestly didn’t have it in me to think of what happened today, every time I thought of those insults my heart ached and I just wanted to forget them. “Why did you not tell me? I would have shoved his head in his ass.” She sneered.

“The words can’t be taken back Ana.” I shrugged and sat across from her on the couch.

“I know that, I know you were hurt but you didn’t have to resign, he would have eventually come back to senses.” She said in a low voice and I shook my head at the thought of it.

“It’s not a big deal, I can easily get a job anywhere.” I gave her a lopsided smile.

“You signed a contract for two years, Eric.” She huffed. “By submitting your resignation you breached the contract.”

“I will gladly pay the penalty then listen to all the bullshit that rolls out of his tongue.” I sneered.

“Erika, his tattoos are a very sensitive topic for him, you all discussing it did not help the fact that Oliver Grayson called him unprofessional.” Ana said in a low voice and I rolled my eyes.

“Don’t get started Ana, it is true tattoos are considered unprofessional in business world, as an executive he should know that.” I snapped and she shook her head, I expected her to bite back but she wasn’t. I didn’t know if she was holding her peace because I was losing my cool or any other reason but that wasn’t helping.

“Erika, I know he is an asshole. I’m not supporting what he did nor excusing his behaviour but don’t you think it was impulsive of you?” She asked me and I pursed my lips.

“No! I can’t stand him anymore, I had enough, there is a limit for everything.” I spat and her face turned pale. If he was a little less annoying I would have tolerated him, the thought of leaving the city or all my friends I had made here made me want to throw up, I didn’t want to go back to the same lonely life.

“Babe, he definitely wouldn’t have meant half the shit he would have said.”

“What is your point Ana?” I bawled out and she flinched at my harshness.

“Calm down, Erika!” I snapped my head when I heard someone chuckle, it was Louis, he walked in and sat on the chair in front of me.

“I asked you to leave, why are you here?” Ana growled and he rolled his eyes and flashed me his cheeky smile. “I told you I will talk to her.” She scowled and he gestured to her to talk. She turned back to me, “Babe, I will castrate him if that makes you feel any better.”

“This is how you talk?” Louis spat and she rolled her eyes. “I heard what happened and what you did wasn’t wrong, frankly he deserves that. I will tell you the reason what made him a sour bitch and why he acted so irrationally.”

“Louis, if you are here to tell me that Kingston Industries board has screwed him because of the ink on his body then don’t tell me that because I heard it a million times now and I’m done with it, if his body ink was a barrier to his career he should have got those tattoos removed instead of jumping on others’ throats.” I yelled and he gave me a smile which only made me want to bang my head against a wall.

“It is simpler said than done!” He chuckled.

“What do you mean?” I asked him curiously and his laughter died.

“Erika tattoo removal has side effects, it is not easy to endure that pain, scarring, discoloration and infection. There are even worse cases where people suffer from skin cancer because of the laser treatment and do you think it is affordable? It literally costs grands to get it removed despite of the pain.”

“I’m sure he can afford those grands!” I scoffed.

" Why should he get them removed?” He cocked a brow at me. “Because in the United States, tattoos are often seen as rebellious, irresponsible and unprofessional, they have to get it removed right? These are just false stigmas attached to facial piercings bias people into believing that someone who has piercings is less likely to do well in a work environment than someone without.”

“Louis that’s how the business world works, he has to adjust—” he interrupted me.

“Erika, physical appearance has no bearing on people’s abilities to work and be competent employees. Someone with a tattoo or piercing can work just as hard as someone without and if that person has a problem with meeting deadlines or showing up to work, it isn’t their tattoo or piercing, it is they and their own work ethic.”

“I feel that, in order to say whether piercings and tattoos are unprofessional the word “professional” needs to be defined and according to the Dictionary, a professional is someone who has a lot of skill or training, so professional businesses are places like hospitals, banks, schools, and where employees are required to have formal training. This has nothing to do with someone’s appearance.” He stated blankly and I nodded my head for him to continue.

“About 29 percent of Americans have at least one tattoo which is almost 46 million Americans, even though tattoos are more common now they still negatively affect your chances of getting hired. When employers don’t hire someone because of their body art, they are practicing a form of discrimination.

“There are negative stereotypes surrounding any form of body art. There are various types of workplace policies that discriminate against people with tattoos. Employers may not hire someone just because of their tattoos, or make them cover them with long-sleeve shirts or bandages. Employees in the U.S. have been fired because they didn’t cover their tattoos, or been forced to resign because customers file complaints about them. Do you think this discrimination is fair?” He questioned me after a long rant and although it took me a little time to process the information I felt disguised of how people are so judgemental.

“No, this is not fair.” I answered him in a very low voice, my anger from before had vanished and if anything I was mad at myself for being one of those judgemental minds and so ignorant to the struggle people are facing.

“46 million Americans! To say the least at least 50% of them suffer this discrimination.” He sighed and glanced at me. “Ryan was a victim too and none of us realized it until he was discriminated. His grandpa demanded him to go for laser removal treatment but Ryan refused because he wanted to revolt, he wanted to change people’s mindset and end this.”

“It is impossible Louis, he can’t change the world.” I sighed.

“He can’t but he wants to be that change, he wants to inspire people to fight for their rights. He doesn’t want to go on roads with placards and start a civil war but he wants to break these trashy stereotypes. He wants to work and reach heights and mock all those who discriminated against him and preach that body art doesn’t define a person’s work etiquette. It may take ten years from now or probably twenty years but he won’t chicken out.” Louis explained with a small smile tugged on his lips, he was indeed proud of his friend.

Just a few minutes back I hated him with every living cell in my body, but now I understood what it was to be in his shoes but that didn’t mean he had to trash me in front of my co-workers. Yes, I was still mad!

“The whole reason he got pissed off would be because he expected you to understand it but that is not your fault, he was upset with how the deal went and you became his prey, whatever he has said was all out of rage and agony, he values you more than what he shows you, watch him come after you like a chihuahua when he sorts his mind out.” Louis grinned at the end of the sentence and I couldn’t help but to laugh.

“Did you just smile?” Ana exaggerated and I rolled my eyes in response. After hearing Louis’ words, it felt like I acted impulsive and couldn’t help but to feel regret. Should I apologize for quickly judging him?

No, shut up idiot, he should apologize!

“Thank you for” I paused, thinking of the right words. “Educating me Louis.” I smiled and he shook his head fondly.

“Don’t give in easily when he comes back to you, the bastard deserves a lesson.” Louis smirked, running his hands through his hair.

“Why will he come back? He probably would have called Mr. Evans to ask for a new assistant and whatever his reasoning was no matter what he really didn’t have to bash me like that.” I muttered and started fidgeting my fingers. Louis and Ana burst out into laughter and I looked at them with a dumb expression. “What is so funny?”

After five solid minutes, they stopped laughing and Louis answered. “In the span of three years that silly bitch literally changed ten assistants, he has a great reputation in NYC who do you think will work for him?” I chuckled as Louis reasoned. “I am honestly surprised you lasted for five months.”

“If he would have kept his tongue in control rather than insulting me I would have stayed five years too.” I pranked and Louis gave me a warm smile.

“About bashing you, you just became his victim of rage. It is not acceptable, but till the past few minutes you were snapping at me and Ana, we are only here to comfort you but you weren’t in the right state so you snapped, we understand that, I wish you will forgive him when he apologizes.”

“Okay you guys stop, we have to discuss about my birthday celebrations.” Ana demanded and Louis groaned. “So there are gonna be hundreds of dancers and thousands of fireworks. It is going to be amazing!” She started daydreaming and Louis slapped his forehead as Ana continued to say about her wish list.




“Ana, I don’t want to come! I don’t want to see that dickhead.” I groaned as she came back with a line short frock in her hands, she was only in her robe but she was least bothered about her getting dressed, although it was her birthday she was acting like it was mine.

“Don’t be a bitch, wear it!” She hissed and I scowled at her as I looked at that dress, it would barely reach my mid thigh.

“No, this is too revealing.” I gave it back to her and she gave me a death glare before throwing it back at me. “I don’t want to dress up like a slut.” I groaned.

“Don’t you dare slut shame my designs.” She hissed and I scoffed at her reply. She instantly started bragging about herself, I fought the urge to laugh when she said she is the best fashion designer on the face of the earth. The word dramatic definitely didn’t justify her actions, there should be even more intense words.

As she continued worshipping herself I took the dress and walked into my bathroom to get ready. After I was done I came back from the bathroom and saw her standing in front of the mirror in a Burgundy sequin maxi dress with a side slit.

“Ana, isn’t Ryan your crush?” I asked her and she instantly turned back to me.

“Have you ever seen his face? Rodger looks hotter than Ryan.” She exaggerated and turned back to look at herself in the mirror. Ryan and Rodger were identical twin cousins, by saying that she finds one of them hotter than the other this woman has yet again proved herself as dramatic.

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