Marshmallow Mondays


…Simon’s Silver Smile

            The day he got them on, he wanted them off.  They hurt his mouth.  Chewing seemed like a chore.  The inside of his cheeks were always getting cut up, and worst of all, no more pizza or bubble gum.  Simon hated his braces!  Not only did they cause him pain, but they made him feel ugly.  The names his classmates called him hurt just as much as the pain inside of his mouth. 

            Today was especially bad.  The second Simon walked through the front door at school, his friends pointed and laughed.

            “Here comes metal-mouth!” they yelled.

            Simon hung his head and fought back the tears as he did every day.  When will it ever stop?  He thought to himself. 

            Simon had tried everything he could think of to disguise his braces.  He didn’t raise his hand in class anymore so that he wouldn’t have to speak.  He never smiled, and if he did he made sure not to show his teeth.  He pretended to scratch his nose when he did need to talk, so that his hand covered his mouth.  For awhile, those little tricks worked.  Kids forgot about Simon and his braces as long as he was quiet and kept to himself.  That was hardly any fun, though.  It was rather lonely actually.  Simon missed laughing with his friends, telling jokes, and participating in class.

            That morning in math class, though, Simon had no choice but to talk when his teacher called on him to do a division problem at the blackboard.

            As he made his way to the front of the room, Marcus, one of Simon’s classmates, said, “Uh-oh, Simon, looks like you’re gonna have to show us your silver smile!” 

            The class laughed alone with Marcus, who got nothing more than a dirty look from Miss Jansen.

            Lunchtime was even worse.  While most kids enjoyed pizza, Simon ate chicken soup because Dr. Roberts told him the cheese on the pizza would get stuck in his braces.

            “Hey brace-face,” Marcus yelled at Simon, “how’s that soup taste?  My pizza is delicious!”

            What Simon really wanted to do was dump his bowl of soup on Marcus’ head, but he knew that would get him into some pretty serious trouble.  He simply bowed his head down as usual and ate in silence.

            After school Simon walked home in tears, partly because his teeth hurt, but mostly because his feelings were so hurt by his classmates’ cruel comments.  He walked into his house, threw his backpack on the floor, and told his mom he wanted his braces off.  Mom tried explaining to Simon that the braces would give him a beautiful smile, and that not all children are lucky enough to be able to afford braces.

            “I don’t care,” Simon said.  “Nobody else gets made fun of for having a brace-face!”

            “Honey, it will get better soon.  They will get tired of being so mean.”

            Simon wasn’t convinced.

            That night he had an appointment with Dr. Roberts to get his braces tightened.  After Dr. Roberts had finished the tightening, he told Simon that he would now need to start wearing rubber bands, one on each side of his mouth.

            Great, thought Simon, now they have something new to make fun of me for at school.  Dr. Roberts brought out a little plastic bag of neon colored rubber bands and showed Simon how to attach them to his braces.

            The next morning Simon woke up for school, and his mouth hurt worse than ever before.  He could feel the rubber bands pulling at his teeth.  Mom made him eggs and bacon for breakfast, but Simon couldn’t chew the food.  At school he walked to his locker, preparing himself for the teasing that would soon come.  A friend of Simon’s came up to him and asked if he could borrow a pen for the day.

            “Yeah, sure,” said Simon.  “Do you want blue or black?”

            “Whoa!”  Lee exclaimed.  “What kind of candy are you eating?  Can I have a piece?”

            “No,” replied Simon.  “I have rubber bands in my mouth.  I have to wear them to help make my teeth straight.”

            “Wow, those are pretty cool.  I like the colors,” Lee said.

            “Uh, thanks,” Simon said, a little surprised.

            By that time, the rest of his classmates had all gathered around Simon to see his rubber bands.

            “Awesome!  It looks like your mouth glows,” Marcus said.

            Lee asked if Simon had different colors, so Simon pulled out his little plastic bag that Dr. Roberts had given him the night before.  He then showed everyone how he changes the bands.  Simon was shocked at how amazed they were.

            “Hey, Simon,” Marcus said.  “I’m really sorry about the name-calling.  Actually, I went to the dentist last night and said I’m gonna need braces too.  You think I’ll get some cool colored rubber bands like yours?”

            “Maybe,” Simon replied.

            Simon felt so relieved to talk with his friends again, to smile, to laugh, and to hear Marcus apologize.  Simon no longer felt the need to hide his teeth.  Mom was right after all.  He even noticed that the rubber bands weren’t hurting his mouth anymore!


1 Comment so far
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Love the story, simplicity at its best, reminds us all to stop and think about the next step.

Comment by Dawn




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