Much Ado about Nothing

September 18, 2009
By Anonymous

For those of you who have ever been forced through the terrible ordeal of having braces, you will know how elated I was when I finally got them off. Every two weeks in about a 3 month time period I had gone to the orthodontist in hopes of getting my braces off only to be pushed right out the door again with a simple “2 more weeks”.

Finally, the day had come when my orthodontist had promised me that they would be removed, and the day could not have been moving slower. It seemed as if every time I stole a glance at the clock it was in the same place as the time before. I was sitting in my seventh period algebra class, my neighbor’s foot tapping the ground as if to an invisible beat, and my math teacher was going on and on about some stupid subtraction property of equality. I started counting down the minutes until the lovely sound of the final bell would release us from our prison they call school. 25 minutes…20….10...5…one more minute! I can do this! I thought. Finally the bell rang and everyone ran out of the room like a herd of buffalo running away from an invisible predator. Only in this case, the predator was our math teacher waving the homework for the day above his head.

I practically flew as I collected my things from my locker and was out of the school and on the bus home. While on the bus, I slid my tongue over my braces for what would be one of the last times and pondered on what it would be like to be free from these metal demons. I burst in the front door of my house and practically dragged my mom into the car. We raced to the orthodontist’s while I was slipping into a state of trepidation as I worried about whether the orthodontist would really take them off now or not.

When we arrived, I sat in the waiting room anxiously flipping through a copy of People magazine while I waited for my name to be called. A typical blonde came out and I watched as she struggled with my name and finally came up with “Melissa.” At least she could’ve been original when pronouncing my name wrong. “It’s Marissa,” I whispered as I passed her and went into the main room. It felt like I was going into a gas chamber; my throat constricted with every breath. I sat down in the big dentist’s chair and watched the girl next to me get a cavity filled. When they started drilling, I winced and looked away. I started studying the room instead. It didn’t look any different from any other time I had been there. The light filtered in through the windows and the walls were covered with drawings from some of the orthodontist’s smaller patients. The shelves were lined with drawers labeled with their contents.

Just then, the orthodontist came out. I held perfectly still as she checked my teeth and practically jumped out of my chair in joy as she announced that she would take them off today. In a few short minutes they were off and I was free from those colorful things that I had come to know of as a type of teeth extensions. No more ugly braces pictures! I thought. I contemplated whether or not boys might like me better now that my teeth were perfect, and like the girl I am, my self esteem went up a few notches as I smiled at myself in the mirror. I started feeling like I was Narcissus and quickly found something to take my mind off of my obvious beauty. Though, I couldn’t help feeling that a small part of me that had been with me since the 5th grade was missing. I didn’t mind too much, though. What I had been looking forward to for 2 years had finally happened! I was complete!

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