I had barely walked out the door when an extremely searing pain tore through the side of my face. I grasped my cheek with as much force as I could, not minding painful clatter of my phone to the floor nor the unsightly smear of my make up on my face; it took me thirty good minutes to get my face that beat and now the whole thing was ruined. Whatever this was, was unbearable, whatever it was, it needed to stop.
It did, like I had some magic in my thoughts. I gathered the pieces of my phone and began to patch them together. Not bothering to retouch my make up, I walked back to the cafe. Whatever that sudden bout was had better not repeat it self. How wrong I was.
I dragged my very conscious self into the school cafeteria. For some reason, I always have this delusional thought that every one stares at me when I walk in. We all know that’s not true but the shy bones in me wouldn’t believe it. I hurried to get my food and back to my seat; I had settled for some cereal and a glass of warm water, that was all I could eat anyways. No sooner had the water touched my lips, the pain began again. In succinct reaction, I grasped my cheek again, this time harder than before. If I could just tear it off and end the pain. Whatever the demons from my village were cooking up, it had to stop, now! “Are you okay?” Grace asked from the corner. ” I think my tooth is reacting to the water; how’s that even possible?” She let out a sinister laugh and said “You need to see the dentist, we should probably go together.”
Quick fact about me, I had never ever visited the dentist. Don’t cringe! The monthly checkups weren’t really a thing were I was from. Besides, I never really had the need except to take care of my protruding tooth but my mother wouldn’t let me. “Embrace your natural self” she’d say to me. I thought i’d just do it when I came to the United States and was independent enough to take care of my self but then when I smiled, I kept getting positive comments from my people who’d say “I love your smile”, ” I love your teeth”, ” it’s perfectly spaced, did you ever use braces?” and I just thought, “eh, maybe I should really embrace my natural self, no need for the dentist, yaay to forward front teeth”.
Or not…because now there was a genuine, non superficial need. I went with Grace to the dental clinic that day, I even got money transferred to my account to take care of the bills. I set up an appointment for the next day. I was down and ready to get this thing taken care of once and for all.
I didn’t. In fact, I I decided a new pair of shoes would be a better investment; the pain stopped that night anyways. Penny wise, pound foolish. In the course of that semester I carried on with that tooth up until the next summer (9 full months). True the recurring bouts of searing pain was gone but in its place had appeared an extremely large hole which grew bigger by the day ; it stank, it was a cavity.
…to be continued….