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Orthodontics


She appeared around the corner, Godzilla herself. She stomped down the corridor with the heavy step of an angry bull. The drool slid from beneath her front lip down the metal wiring around her head keeping her orthodontic device in place until it finally dripped down onto the floor, leaving a small trail of thick saliva on the floor behind her. She breathed heavily and her face was always bright red, as if she'd just come from a run.


The children moved out of her way as she stormed down, anxious not to get catch a whiff of the pungent odour she constantly secreted. It was always easy to see her coming by the sight of her bright purple jumper with “I'm Awesome!” written across it in obnoxiously bright yellow block letters. She had a mean look beneath her thick dark eyebrows. Her unmatching dirty blond hair was tightly tied into a ponytail. You could tell that her hair was wispy and thin from looking at the way the loose ends trailed at the end of it.


She had her hands curled up into fists, always curled up into fists, and her arms hung straight down by her sides. When she moved, she moved quick but no matter how fast she ran, her arms would always remain rigidly straight by her side, as if keeping her on her course.


A trail of snot our her nostril out of her thick nose and onto her cracked lips. She wiped it away with her sleeve which had already gathered a small patch of crust on it from the amount of times she had used her sleeve to do this.


And as usual, her needlessly large, black backpack violently swung side to side with every step she took. It jingled with the sound of countless knick-knacks, pencils, bottle tops and whatever else she found and collected inside. There was a reason she was colloquially know as “The Scavenger” around school. Or at least she used to be, until she got the orthodontic device and became Godzilla. She didn't even know what Godzilla was.


She continued to make her way to the principal's office, and anyone who had cared to take a closer look at her as she power-walked by would have noticed the tears that were welling up around her eyes and the strain in her face from holding them in. She knew she just needed to hold it for a few paces more, that the principal's office was just around corner.


She had been sitting on the bench in the playground, playing with her bottlecaps and telling herself stories about them. One of them was a great adventurer who needed to defeat the evil wizard. Then she felt it. A wet hand grabbing the base of her ponytail and sliding all the way down. She didn't know what was on the hand. Maybe it was just water. Maybe it was spit. It might even have been snot. But she knew it was something bad when she heard the sound of mean laughter of boys running away behind her. She didn't turn around to see who it was, she just put her bottle caps in her pocket and walked back into the school.


And now she just had to get to the principal's office before anyone saw her cry, she couldn't let them see her cry. She wouldn't be able to take the embarrassment. She didn't like showing emotion in front of her classmates, not even laughing or smiling. Her classmates found her uncomfortable and she knew they thought she was weird. She didn't mind showing her emotions in front of the principal though and that's why she was trying to get there as fast possible.


She was just 10 steps away now, she could see his door but she wasn't sure if she would make it on time. Just seeing the door was already opening the flood-gates within her and she was particularly hurt by the cruelty of the boys' prank this time. She knew she had ugly hair, she didn't need other people to make her feel worse about it. She let out a sob as she grabbed the doorknob of the principal's office. She turned the handle but it wouldn't budge.


No, he couldn't be out. Not now. Of all the times, he couldn't be out now. She tried turning it again. She became aware of another child a few steps away looking at her. He had sensed her distress and was trying to see what was going on.


She didn't want to cry in front of him so she desperately tried turning the doorknob again and it still wouldn't budge.


She was about to lose hope and break down right then and there when she heard his voice inside. “Come in.”


What was going on? He wouldn't keep his door locked if he was in. That's when it dawned on her: she was turning the handle the wrong way. In her distress, she'd couldn't remember which way to turn the doorknob. She turned it the other way and rushed inside the office and immediately closed the door behind her.


The tears were already streaming down her face when she turned to look up at the principal's kind face.

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