Not Crushed on the Road

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There they were, lying on the ground, like diamonds blending in with the ocean blue. As much as I couldn’t believe that I could have lost them here, I couldn’t believe I could find them again. It was like accidentally dropping a needle into a haystack, then managing to get it back.


It was a beautiful summer day in Beijing, China. My mom, my uncle, and I were in my uncle’s new Audi, driving off to go shopping for cheap deals at a mall. Then, we would be going to a premium restaurant that served spicy Sichuan cuisine, complete with performing dancers. My whole family was not with me, but we would be meeting them at the restaurant.


I was having lots of fun, but my time was hampered by one thing: my retainers. I was not very consistent in wearing them. That day, I had worn my retainers enough so my teeth seemed just about straight, and my retainers were stuffed in my pants pocket, even though I was supposed to wear them all the time. Soon, we arrived at my aunt’s apartment complex, and I got out of the car to switch seats to accommodate the new passengers. Next, we trundled off to the mall, and spent the following 2 hours bouncing from shop to shop, taking in the sounds and sights, all while keeping our eyes out for bargains, and eventually went back to the car with bags of sweet deals.


I remembered to my retainers when I got back onto the car. “My pocket is a safe place,” I thought, as I patted them contently, only to notice that the small bump that was usually my retainers was gone. Startled, I plunged my hand into my pocket, finding only air. I looked around frantically, checking all my other pockets, the floor around me, between the seat cushions, but the retainers were nowhere to be found.


My mom asked, “What are you doing?”
I replied, “Um… I think I lost my retainers.”
Everyone in the car looked at me. My mom said slowly, “Aren’t they on your teeth?”
Busted. “No... But they were on for most of the time!”


My uncle and my mom said in unison, “That’s bad... We go back to the mall and search for it?... Don’t let your dad know about this or we’re all dead.” We followed the exact same trail that we took while at the mall: through the parking lot where we managed to find a spot in the back, into the huge glass front doors, and through the myriad of shops that we visited.


We had no luck. Eventually, we gave up, since we were going to be late to the family dinner. My uncle said, “I guess you’ll just have to brave your dad’s anger.”


On the way to the restaurant, I drooped in my seat, closing my eyes, nervous about the impending doom. Suddenly, my mom said, “Stop! What is that on the road?” My eyes opened and looked around. We were at my aunt’s apartment complex again, and there was a small disturbance on the road, to the right of the car. We screeched to a stop, and my mom and I instantly stepped out. My eyes widened as I noticed the two retainers on the ground, and I shook my head in disbelief.I picked both of them up, and instinctively began to stick them in my pocket. My mom saw this and she was immediately alarmed.  “Stop! Give them to me, I’ll put them in my purse. I did as she said, still shocked that I could’ve dropped them in that short time I was out of the car to switch seats.


We arrived at the restaurant in time to not seem suspicious. The food was scrumptious, the performance was beautiful, and my family and I had the chance to join them in their dancing! Best of all, my dad never found out, and life continued on just about normally. One thing changed though: I started actually wearing my retainers on my teeth during the day.






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