Many years later, a single girl called Kirsten had a tattoo done at a studio in Manchester, where the tattooist remembered a young soldier called Mark who was about to fly out to Iraq on his third tour of duty. Before he went, Mark had a tattoo design called “Man’s Ruin” on his upper left arm. In the tattoo design it featured a drinking glass with a bottle of whiskey, a pair of dice with a hand of cards, a cigarette with a Zippo lighter and most poignant of all, a beautiful young woman who looked just like Kirsten. How spooky was that last bit? The tattooist showed Kirsten a photo of Mark and of his new tattoo; he was a trained killer in the British Army yet looked so young and innocent.
When the young lady started to cry, the tattooist silently took the snaps out of the album and gave them as a gift to the distraught woman. He quietly he said, “So you’re the one. I read about what happened in the paper; it must be nine years ago. You’ve been to Iraq as well, it must have been tough. Mark used to talk about it now and again, when he was back on leave after his tours there. His first was the hardest, he told me. I’m so very sorry about it all, about your loss. Mark was a good bloke. I know he would have loved you like no other. Come into the studio; let me do your tattoo. Mark will always be with you, on that I’m sure. He’d want you to be happy.”