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Pain, needles, blood. An intense fear paralyzed Lily as she crossed the threshold into the densely crowded building. People of all ages, all sizes, all colors, all backgrounds, all here All here on this, as Lily viewed it, morbid, terrifying, humiliating day, to, she believed, watch and laugh as she faced her most intense and petrifying fear.
She slowly made her way to the second level of the building, thoughts swimming through her mind as the fear became more and more real. Accompanied by her mother and her best friend Maddie, the three of them trekked through the dense corridors, and soon the looming events became too much for Lily. She broke down, tears streaming down her face, attracting more attention than she had originally anticipated.
“Lily, calm down!” Maddie told her, “You’re going to be fine, I promise.”
A few tissues and a hug later, they finally made it to their destination. Not even the bright colors of the room could make Lily feel any better. She sat in a tall seat by the door and waited while her mother made the arrangements with the woman at the counter. When she had finished, she and the woman walked back over to Lily, who was now choking back tears and holding Maddie’s hand.
“Lily,” her mom began, “Are you sure you want to go through with this? You don’t have to.”
“Yes,” Lily replied, her voice shaky and her tone unsure, “I do have to.”
The woman prepared the tools and the anticipation continued to build as Lily gripped Maddie and her mother’s hands now more tightly than ever. The woman slowly made her way closer to Lily, inch by inch, second by second. Lily cringed- then, BANG! Then another. The color drained from Lily’s face.
The pain; the blood; the needles; the sobs; the provoking audience. Where was it all? Why wasn’t Lily feeling it? When would she feel it?
“Okay,” the woman said, smiling, “You’re all done.”
“That was it?!” Lily said in disbelief, looking in the mirror at her new ear piercings. Her mother and Maddie laughed as the thanked the woman and exited Claire’s, headed for the mall exit.
Lily felt very different than she had expected. There was no pain, no blood, no wailing. The only visible aftermath was the beautiful pair of diamond studs now adorning Lily’s ears. How could I be so stupid? Lily thought to her self. It wasn’t half as bad as she’d expected. Lily now knew that getting so worked up over little things was pointless, and that in the end, it’s almost never as bad as you’d expected