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Cover-up of a cover-up

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"But you can, right?" I ask Liam. Despite my determination, I can hear I sound anxious.

Liam nods, reassuring me. He is Tyler's artist, but I guess now he's my artist too. "Cover-up of a cover-up," he says, casual. "Wouldn't be the first time I've done that."

"There's not much meaning to the bird," I say, looking down at the lopsided dove on my wrist. "I was just somewhere else for a while." Somewhere after Tyler left, when I tried to stop caring about him.

Liam nods again, and goes back to frowning over the photos that we brought him. He hovers one finger just over my wrist, over one line of the dove's nearer wing. "The bridge here," he explains, then goes on to ask if I want people on it. I shake my head. I want the Multnomah Falls the way I've never seen the place, bare of tourists. As if there's no-one else to see it but us, Tyler and me.

Tyler squeezes my hand. "I know you don't need it, with your high pain tolerance and all," he jokes, "but I'll hold on." He leans in to kiss me, lightly, at the same time he moves his hand up to my wrist on that side, curving around the tattoo I'm keeping. That one I won't cover. No te rindas. Tyler's handwriting, his words, our truth: Don't give up.