A Story by Hanna Arenstein

A Tumblr Prompt prompt inspired this: Jasper works at a pet shop in a world where you can draw on your skin in pen and the same markings appear on your soulmate’s skin. Tobias, a punk, is his soulmate


Every morning, Jasper knows whether it is a weekday or the weekend depending on the time he feels the familiar tingling on his wrist. You see, Jasper lives in a world where humans have been genetically altered. Pen ink has been implanted into their blood types, so now, your DNA knows who your soulmate it and can take any pen ink and transfer the same markings onto their skin. And the markings they write on themselves? Those very markings appear on you. 

What Jasper loves most about this is that he can watch as his soulmate, a boy he’s learned is named Tobias since the law which prevented people from writing their name on their skin - it had been considered cheating fate for a while - was lifted.

That was the day he learned his soulmate’s name: Tobias Howe.

Tobias wrote on his skin once a day. Either at 6:00 in the morning, or 9:00 in the morning. If he wrote at 6:00, it was a weekday. If he wrote at 9:00, it was the weekend. 

Jasper was thankful for this because these times were exactly the right times he needed to get up at so he could go to work. Jasper loved working at the pet store named “Animal Jam” like the website for children. His best friend, PJ, had gotten him the job even though PJ ended up quitting 4 months after that occasion.

Toby wrote one thing every day to Jasper, which was a really sweet or deep quote. When Jasper wrote on his skin a question, “Why don’t you draw on your skin?”

Toby had written the reply, “Because I have zero artistic ability.” But Jasper doesn’t mind. He loves the quotes. Today, a Friday, Tobias writes, “When people are smiling and they try to stop smiling, but they can’t stop smiling, dear God, that is the most beautiful thing in the world.

That quote makes Jasper smile and looking at it all day won’t help him stop, but maybe that’s what Toby intended.

When the writing stops, Jasper rises from his bed, wrapping his wrist in plastic wrap before he showers so the writing doesn’t wash away. And only 15 minutes after his shower, he’s dressed in a black T-shirt with plenty of cute ghosts flying around in a pattern, gray skinny jeans, and his favorite back shoes. 

As he walks to Animal Jam, he can’t wipe the smile off his lips while twirly three ball-point pens -one red, one black, one purple- on his fingers. He loves his quirky soulmate’s amazing quotes and one about smiling? Well, how is he not supposed to smile!

“Well, aren’t you cheery today?” his boss, Maia, a pretty girl with long chocolate brown hair and blue-green eyes framed by thick-rimmed glasses asks with a grin of her own, her beauty mark in the same place as Marilyn Monroe’s rising with her lips. “Look what my soulmate wrote,” Jasper brags, showing Maia his wrist. She whistles in amazement.

“That’s beautiful.”

“The quote?”

“No, their handwriting. It’s almost perfect calligraphy.” she points out. Looking down at his wrist, Jasper examines the writing and realizes she’s right. Tobias’ handwriting is a curvy, beautiful, very well practiced calligraphy. “I never noticed,” he whispers, walking away to put on his employee shirt with his name tag. 

On his way, he stops to look into the tank of one of his favorite animal residents; a leopard gecko named Hope. He grins at the lizard who is staring past him at the box of crickets and wagging her tail. She always does that when she’s hungry. Jasper takes out his phone and takes a photo of the happy lizard, excited to draw her for Tobias.

2 hours later~

“Perry?” Maia calls, after having checked out a few fish to couple with matching outfits and drawings.

“Yeah?” Jasper calls back, busy trying to catch one of the musk turtles hiding in its tank so he could clean it. Even though the musk turtles were uglier than Golem, he still found them cute with their hog like faces.

“Stop trying to catch Ms. Piggy. We should go across the street to Starbucks and get something to eat before someone else comes in,” she says, pulling her employee shirt over her head. Her low cut black shirt with long, lace sleeves revealed the words “You are loved” written backward across her collar bone. 

Jasper chuckled at the hilarity and cuteness of it as he took off his own employee shirt. In the middle of this action, Maia swats him in the stomach making him wheeze. She must’ve heard him laugh.

He watched Maia close up shop before walking across the street. He was thankful that the writing on Maia’s collarbone reached up to her neck as well because it shows that they aren’t soulmates. Good friends, yes, but not soulmates.

When they enter Jasper darts to an open booth. He knows that Maia knows he wants a slice of cinnamon crumb cake and pumpkin spice latte.

He takes out his phone and starts to draw the outline of Hope underneath the quote. It takes him 15 minutes to draw before labeling it “Hope the leopard gecko.” and then Maia comes by with their snacks and drinks. Ge thanks her before quickly drinking some of the spiced lattes.

“Wow, Toby, your soulmate’s really good at drawing. Hope the leopard gecko? Cute.” he overhears and whips his head up and sees a girl behind the Starbuck’s counter holding the arm of a boy who’s name tag reads “Tobias”.

Jasper watches the boy in glee and amazement. Toby is something else - in a good way.

He’s punk styled. His brown hair is styled in a fringe that’s flipped the opposite way than Jasper’s and has two purple streaks in the front. He has a black piercing on his lower lip and black plugs in his ears. His shirt is black, and Jasper can see the rims of his underwear poking out from his black skinny jeans.

Suddenly, Jasper knows exactly what to do. He takes out his black and purple pen and begins drawing on his arm.

Toby looks down at his arm with a grin when he notices that Jasper is drawing again. He was so damn thankful Jasper had some kind of talent because the only thing Toby was good at was making lattes and mochas. “Louise, he’s drawing again,” he calls over his best friend and co-worker who just seconds earlier complimented his soulmate.

He and Louise watch as his soulmate draws two purple, parallel lines. Then, a face. Toby’s face. Black eyeliner, piercing, and dimples. “Oh my God…Toby, he can see you,” Louise squeaks, a hand over her mouth to hide her humongous smile.

Toby whips his head up to look around when his eyes meet cobalt blue ones. The black haired boy raises an arm to waves, showing a quote written in Toby’s almost perfect calligraphy that reads, “When people are smiling and they try to stop smiling, but they can’t stop smiling, dear God, that is the most beautiful thing in the world.

Tobias had written the quote because he often found it hard to smile when Jasper wasn’t writing on him. But now, seeing the boy with those words on his wrist, Toby can’t stop smiling.

He doesn’t stop smiling either. Not when he gets strange looks for jumping over the Starbuck’s counter. Not when more people stare when he walks over in determination to Jasper, who has risen from his seat. And not when he places a hand on Jasper’s cheek and kisses him like he’s a long-lost lover.

When the kiss ends, both boy’s are breathless and barely register the claps and cheering in the Starbucks. All Jasper can think is that he loves the kind of kisses that leave him breathless. That they’ll always leave him smiling more than the smile Tobias had worn when his eyes met Jasper’s.

It’s Tobias who realizes after breaking the kiss that he hadn’t even spoken to Jasper yet and whispers, “Hi,”.

© 2017 Hanna Arenstein

Author's Note

Hanna Arenstein
I know this sounds really young, but I wrote it a really long time ago. I think I was twelve. Please ignore any seemingly youthful wording.

My Review

Would you like to review this Story?
Login | Register

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Added on April 3, 2017
Last Updated on April 3, 2017
Tags: tumblr, prompt, soulmate, lgtbq, gay, cute, love, nerd, punk, sweet, pen, drawing, romance, tobias, jasper


Hanna Arenstein
Hanna Arenstein

Chicago, IL

I say I write fiction because I write multiple kinds of fiction. Suspense fiction, fiction about assassins, romance fiction, LGTBQ+ fiction. I just like writing fiction because I can create anyone I w.. more..