To show our appreciation to our valued patients and followers, we present to you in parts the novel: The Wirebender, written by our very own orthodontist Dr. Naila Farukhi.
This story revolves around a young boy and his friends as they discover their braces give them superpowers. Now they must work together to help each other and begin an adventure towards self-discovery.
It is our great pleasure to present to you Part 1: The Waiting Game
THE WAITING GAME
In the first place, Adam had never been much concerned with his appearance. What was the point when your goal in life was to be as invisible as humanly possible? With his small stature, thick glasses, and overall bookish mien, Adam had all the markings of a pint-sized prey in the jungle that was the junior high schoolyard—and he knew it. Now, as if all that wasn’t bad enough, his mother had decided to add braces to the mix.
Adam stepped out of his mother’s car and stretched his arms up to the sky. The still air made it suffocatingly hard to breathe. Even the birds had stopped singing and were perched quietly in the shade. An ominous sign, thought Adam as he squirmed around trying to take off his cardigan.
“Adam, stop that,” his mother said as she locked the car door. “It might be cold in the office.”
“But, Mom, I don’t want to go! Please, please don’t make me go. My teeth are fine—look it!” he grinned half-heartedly.
No luck. Without responding, she took hold of his hand and marched him briskly across the parking lot.
“The nameplate on the door glistened as they stepped through. “Dr. Y. R. Bender, DDS,” Adam read aloud, mostly to himself since no one was listening. His mother was already talking to the rather dull-looking receptionist behind the desk.
“We’re a few minutes early,” his mother said as she returned to where he was standing. “Why don’t we sit down and see what magazines they have?”
“I don’t like to read,” he responded sullenly.
Adam dragged his feet toward the chairs. It was a nice enough waiting area, about the same as any other doctor’s office he had ever been to. Comfortable-but-not-too-comfortable chairs lined the walls. Four for each wall, he counted in his head. Nice and symmetric. A rectangular table was placed neatly in the center of the room, upon which was displayed an array of magazines he was sure nobody in his right mind would actually enjoy reading. The token plant was in the corner, basking in its uselessness. Directly facing the room, near the glass door through which they had come in, was the front desk—complete with multiple telephones, state-of-the-art computers, files upon files, and a middle-aged woman sitting behind the desk ignoring it all. It was indeed an office like any other.
When he finally chose a chair close enough to his mom for his comfort, but not close enough for hers, Adam looked around at his fellow inmates. Across from him sat another boy, probably near his own age. The boy’s chin was lifted in defiance and his green eyes flashed, ready to snap at anyone who would dare to talk to him. Adam looked at him with some interest until the boy’s angry glance prompted him to shift his gaze elsewhere.
In the corner next to the droopy plant sat an even droopier young girl; she was staring at the floor with her head resting against the palm of her hand. Her mousy brown hair fell over her face like a curtain, and she sighed continually. She must be either very sleepy or very sad, Adam thought. As his gaze rested on her a moment, her eyes fluttered up to meet his. The effect was immediate. She turned bright red and looked away, curling herself into a ball on her chair and scooting closer to the plant.
Seated next to the extraordinarily sensitive girl was a nervous-looking woman.
“Your son seems to be the curious type,” the woman remarked wryly to his mother.
“What? He—oh, yes,” his mother responded.
The woman appeared to have more to say, but luckily she was interrupted by the dental assistant.
“Caleb Winniker,” she announced.
The angry boy stood up and stretched his arms, evidently in no hurry to comply with the summons.
“The dental assistant tapped her foot as Caleb took his time to look around for any further possible distractions before sauntering over to where she stood.
“Come on in,” the assistant smiled.
She handed Caleb off to another assistant waiting just beyond the door. Once she was sure he had been escorted to wherever it was he was going, she looked down at her list and called out once more.
Droopy stood up slowly. She shuffled over and barely glanced up as the assistant swept her inside the door.
“And then there was one,” Adam whispered to himself. Without the other two children, the room suddenly seemed larger. The woman at the front desk clacked away at her keyboard, creating a droning background noise. Adam’s mother and the nervous woman had struck up a mundane conversation about the weather that neither seemed to fully comprehend.
“Yes, the sun was quite hot yesterday,” the woman was saying. “But I do believe today is much hotter. I think it must have something to do with the pollution.”
“Oh, yes, definitely,” his mother nodded. “Something must really be done about this global warming.”
“I heard that the polar bears in Antarctica are mixing with the grizzly bears to maintain their population.”
“Oh, are they? That’s good! The Eskimos will have more food to eat.”
Adam was reaching the end of his patience. He looked around desperately for something else to focus on.
He was saved just then by the reappearance of the assistant.
“Adam Petricelli,” she called, tapping her clipboard.
He walked over, ignoring the warning glance to behave from his mother. The assistant placed her hand at his back as she gently pushed him through the door. There stood the second woman he had seen before. Her hand was outstretched, ready to escort him down the hall.
“Welcome, Adam,” she smiled down at him. “Welcome to Dr. Bender’s office.”
Excerpt From: Naila R. Farukhi. “The Wire Bender.”