I knew this dreaded day would come sooner or later. It came too fast and
there I was, in the sterile waiting room of the dental clinic, miserable with
butterflies in my stomach.
My parents told me to sit up, stop wringing my hands and to take
deep breaths to keep calm. It worked. I was calm for maybe two seconds
when I heard my name being called. I pretended to be deaf but my mother
nudged me to get up. I forced myself to step forward and promptly
stumbled over a toy left lying around by some kid. My clumsiness got
me the attention of everyone in the room. Being scrutinized by that many
pairs of eyes was too much and I scuttled towards the consultation room
as fast as I could.
I had refused my parents' offer to accompany me. I meant to show
them that I was brave enough to face the ordeal on my own. I regretted
it. Thankfully, I forgot my anxiety as I looked around the dentist's room.
Tools of different sizes were arranged neatly in a tray on the tiny table
which was connected to a chair with buttons and a light hanging right
over it. I avoided looking at my dentist in the eye as I took my spot on
the chair shakily. I almost jumped out of the seat when all of a sudden the
chair moved and I was lying down facing the bright yellow light.
The dentist spoke in a soothing voice behind her mask. Everything
was going smoothly and I was quite proud of myself. Then disaster struck.
I was picking up the cup of water placed next to the chair for patients to
rinse their mouths when I caught sight of the dental drill. Panic related
to a bad childhood experience involving the drill kicked into me and on
reflex, I spat out the rinsing water, right into the surprised dentist's face.
I apologized profusely as I tried desperately to wipe away the water
with a tissue, only to knock down the tray of instruments. The sharp
instruments went flying and something that looked like it could have
poked a hole in my eye flew past centimetres from my face. The dentist
tried her best to disguise her annoyance with a very fake smile. I pulled off
the tissue napkin around my neck and bent over to pick up an instrument.
Somehow, my head bumped the overhead light in the process, sending it
swinging directly at the dentist's head. It knocked her off her chair and
she ended up half-conscious on the floor.
As the dentist's assistants went to her aid, I retreated from the room.
My parents were standing near the door, alarmed by the commotion.
Without a word, I dragged them to the exit. I knew they would find it hard
to believe what just happened. It was the most embarrassing experience I