November 20, 2012
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Finally, the weight overcame me and I allow it to hold down my heavy arms. In a situation like this, all you have is either pain or memories. So, as the cold of the ground finally settles on my spine, I remember.

It was eleven years ago and I was 7 years old. I was sitting in the front seat of the minivan. My mom finally allowed me to sit in the front seat, saying “It’s time for you to grow up one tiny step at a time.” The whole ride I was smiling, starring at myself in the side view mirror. My dark hair was pulled into two long braids that fell over my shoulders. My eyes were still very green, not grey like they are now. Then there was my big nose, with “nostrils so big you can see my brain” the other kids would say. In which my mom told me to reply, “Well, then at least we can prove I have a brain. That’s more than I can say for you.”
I have always been a very observant person. I like to know the exact features of everyone’s faces, even my own, and the layout of all my surroundings. I had an intense imagination and knowing every detail of everything helped develop these little movies in my head.

We pulled up to Hartworth dentistry. I was there to get a cavity filled. I wasn’t nervous at all. In fact, I loved the dentist. Doctor Kepler would let me pick two toys out of the toy box instead of one. Something he said he only let me do. I skipped into the building, anxious to see what toys were awaiting me today.
My mother and I got to the waiting room. While she checked in, I immediately went to the giant fish tank and tapped on the glass, trying to get the puffer fish to explode. There was another little girl there looking at me from the other side of the tank, her face distorted by the glass and water. I could still see the whiteness of her teeth.

“Doctor Kepler just cleaned my teeth. No cavities and I got two toys today.” Staying on her side of the tank, she held up two blurry objects.

“Nuh uh!” I yelled, “He only gives ME two toys. You’re lying.” If I had been a puffer fish, I would have exploded.

“No way, you’re lying. I’m his favorite patient”

“You...You’re a…Jerk!”

My mom came from behind me and grabbed my arm.

“Morgan, apologize!” I glanced at my mom whose eye brows were turned diagonal, her eyes larger than normal.

In fear of not being able to go into the dentist I apologized, but with my eye brows turned diagonal too. My mom sat me down in the chair and our eyebrows begin to straighten out. Why should I be mad that that girl is a liar? It’s her problem.

A heavy set lady in a white coat filled with colorful pins and buttons called my name. I followed her back into one of the rooms. Doctor Kepler is waiting for me, like I knew he would be.

“Hi there Morgan, lie down in this comfy chair here and relax. I’m going to give you some laughing gas. It’s going to make you feel a bit funny.” He put a little pink rubber mask over my nose. He won’t be able to see my brain now. “Just breathe nice and deep.”

I just nodded and smiled. He pushes a button and the seat moved back into a bed. He stroked my cheek and said, “We are just going to give you a little shot on your cheek to numb you.” I watched his face as his fingers moved around in my mouth. His cheeks bones were distinct and sharp looking. His lips were very red, like a girl, but his eyes were all boy. They were dark and piercing. They made me look into them. I didn’t even feel the shot.

My arms were very weightless and I had to move my legs every now and then just to make sure they were still there. Everyone’s voice what ten pitches lower than normal. My jaw was sore from holding it open but I didn’t mind. I wanted to show Doctor Kepler that I was his best patient. Every five minutes, he would ask if I was doing ok. “Mhm” I would say with a little smile.
Before I knew it, my chair was being put back in the upright position and the assistant said that now only air was going to flow through my pink nose and to just lay back as the laughing gas wears off. Both the assistant and Doctor Kepler left the room as I was supposed to be coming back into normalcy. However, my arms and legs were still heavy and my world was spinning. I floated into my dream world. Doctor Kepler had his arm around my shoulder. We were walking through the zoo. He bought me a lion stuffed animal, because that was his and my favorite animal. The whole time he was smiling and his teeth were so bright that it blinded everyone, except me because we were best friends. So it was only me and him in the zoo, invisible to everyone else.
Doctor Kepler came back in and closed the door behind him, startling me to reality.

“Oh I didn’t mean to scare you, darling. How are you feeling, honey?” His voice is still too deep.

“I still feel funny”

“Oh don’t you worry, it takes a while to come back. Isn’t that laughing gas fun?”

“Yes, I did good today right? Do I get two toys?”

He pulled a chair up next to me and placed little bin of toys in my lap.

“Of course,” He said, smiling at me as I rummage through the bin. He placed a hand on my knee and stroked my braid with his other hand. “You are my favorite patient you know.”

I wiped away the drool falling from my numb mouth and smile widely at him. I knew it.

His hand moved up my leg, reaching the hem of my tie dye shorts, his other thumb tracing my swollen lip.
“You are a beautiful little girl, remember to keep eating lots of sweets so you can come visit me more often,” he said with a wink.
One of his fingers slid under the leg of my shorts. His cold finger tickled my thigh and I started to giggle. He giggled too. But suddenly the door opened and the assistant came in. Doctor Kepler shot backward and casually turned off the tank connected to my pink nose. What did I do? Why did he get so ashamed of me?

“Well…Um…It seems Morgan here is all set to go home.” He took the pink nose off my face, revealing my brain.

Still woozy, I stood up and stumbled a bit. Doctor Kepler caught me and leaned down to my ear. Real quietly he whispered, “We don’t want people knowing about this. We don’t want others getting jealous that you’re my favorite”

I nodded in relief. His favorite forever. He held my hand as we walked down the hallway to the waiting room.

“She is still a bit dizzy from the nitrous oxide and make sure she doesn’t eat for at least three hours.” He shook my mom’s hand.

My mom takes my hand from him. Her hands are hot and sweaty, not like Doctor Keplers. As we walk out, I waved goodbye with a slinky and play dough in hand. He winked. I got into the front seat and stared at myself in the side view mirror. Some hairs on my braid were loose. I had a mark on my nose from where the pink mask had been. I looked down at my leg, where his hand had touched. The hem of my shorts was folded up. I didn’t fix it. I smile at myself and thought “growing up one tiny step at a time.”

Five months after that, my mother asked me if Doctor Kepler had ever touched me weird. I said no, I didn’t want her to be jealous. A month after that, I was going for a cleaning. When I got there I found out that Doctor Kepler was no longer going to be my dentist. I screamed and cried, flailing around on the ground like a kindergartener. I ran to the fish tank and began to bang on the glass. I needed that puffer fish to explode. On the other side of the tank was the same lying little girl.

“I was his favorite and people got jealous,” she said “that’s why he had to leave.”

Suddenly, the heavy weight releases me and I can’t help thinking this was fate. I open my eyes. I can’t study his face, not this time, not when it is so dark. The man zips up his pants and runs away. He leaves me there half naked, lying on the grimy alley ground with nothing but my memories.

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