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The Dentist This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   She brushed back her long red curls with her hand. She was tall and slim although it was impossible to tell, since she was slumped up against the fence, waiting impatiently for her mother to pick her up. There was an uneasiness in her stomach which was floating around and every now and then splashed about. It was quite frustrating because whenever she got her mind off the dreaded subject, something would remind her of it and she would feel a terrific kersplash. The problem was, well, basically she hated the dentist and there was no way around it. That's where she was headed. All of a sudden she felt panicked and she found herself constructing complex plans to get herself out of the situation. Then it came to her, there was no way out. She had to go to the dentist.

When she arrived at the dentist's office, the first thing she recognized was the discomforting smell of ammonia and Lysol. She checked in with the rather large lady at the desk and took a seat in the waiting room. She picked up a magazine and pretended to read it, hoping to trick herself into passing time, although she knew it wouldn't work. After what seemed like an endless wait, her name was called and an unexpected tidal wave crashed in the pit of her stomach.

A small fragile woman who looked as if she would shatter if you dropped her from three inches above ground, led her to a small table. Here the woman instructed her in a small high squeaky voice to brush her teeth and that the dentist would see her in a minute. Needless to say she brushed furiously.

Her dentist was surprisingly friendly-looking and nice. It didn't make her feel any better. She figured she knew the type - sly and deceiving. His gentle smile and manner were just an act; he really couldn't wait to screw up an innocent, unsuspecting child's mouth.

"Come in, dear Katherine," he said in a sticky-sweet voice. He didn't fool her for a minute. She reluctantly walked over and sat down in the chair.

"Now, open wide," he said in a similar tone. He stuck his white-gloved hand into her mouth. She had to resist her natural instinct to bite it. And that was not an easy task.

The visit continued with her stomach splashing every now and then. But then something awful, something terrible happened. Something every child fears throughout childhood. She had a cavity. She wanted to break down and cry, but she knew she couldn't. She had to be strong. So she sat, tidal waves crashing in her stomach, taking the news calmly and maturely. In her mind she was cursing at the imbecile. She knew he had it in for her all along, and he couldn't wait to cause her more pain and suffering.

On her way out of the dentist's office, the fragile woman who had led her to the table gave her a huge blue balloon and wished her a good day.

Unfortunately her mother had been running errands while she was having her check-up and wasn't back yet. While she was waiting, she tried to convince herself it wasn't that bad. It didn't work. So instead she read a magazine she had brought with her. On the cover was a conceited woman with perfectly fixed hair. You could tell she had spent hours trying to make it look like she hadn't, which seemed silly to Katherine. Underneath her picture it said: "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful." Tough, she already was. She read for ten more minutes when her mother drove around the corner with a pitiful look on her face. Katherine flashed her a forgiving smile, although she didn't mean it, and hopped into the car. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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