Sammi was a beautiful girl, inside and out. Her hair and skin glowed, shone throughout. Her effervescent personality made others joyous and gay, she was a bubbly, vivacious girl, and she loved to make others happy and keep them entertained. However, Sammi had a personal nightmare, it was evident when she grinned, she always hid behind her open hand, because missing were her two of her teeth. She was ashamed to grin like the other children, to show her remaining pearly whites to the world, she was always told that beauty came from within, but within her mouth was where her exterior beauty ended, she believed, it was the torment of her inner world. She was scared of being judged, frightened of being viewed of as uncool, she knew she had beautiful characteristics and traits, but she wished her teeth had never been taken so soon.
That moment when she had toppled, so happily hanging from the monkey bars, when her teeth made impact with her shins, despite this being in the past, the memories of the pain, as they hit against each other, the ‘crack’ heard inside her brain, made her wish she had not been so careless. If she’d fallen slightly differently, the dentist had said, her teeth could have been saved, instead she was left with unsightly gaps, and pain within her that was always there, within her memories never going away. Instead they had shattered, unable to be retrieved, her baby teeth gone, never to be again seen. And cry and cry all that day, and into the next did she, poor little Sammi, her beauty compromised, her dream of being a beauty queen seemingly gone, her sorrow spread quite freely. And the times when she accidentally burst into a giggle or a guffaw, and unintentionally she showed her teeth, she became chilli red and frightfully embarrassed, for, she wanted nothing more than to hide in her bed, trying to ward off her fiercely warm complexion as though it were a contagious disease about her face, her head.
For now, Sammi’s dreams of being on show, walking down the runway with teenage model beauties from all over the world were scrapped now, her dreams once a whirlwind, an utter whirl, were now apparently unattainable for this unfortunate little girl. She had planned to grow into the industry, continuing her weekend beauty shows, but now, her best friend Susan scorned her, saying she was no longer the best in show.
“I’m telling you the truth, now,” she said firmly, “Not wanting to hurt you one bit, but those gaps in your mouth, they should be covered or filled, fix them with false teeth.” Her heart fell the most heavily at Susan’s sharpened words, for she was the closest friend in Sammi’s world, she could not understand why she was being such a nasty girl, was she suddenly cruel, no longer caring, had she fallen under a strange spell? Surely she understood that Sammi could smile without her teeth being shown wide, she could walk the runway and wave with delicateness, with glamorous pride, and there was no need for anyone to know that she was missing her teeth, she would train her mouth to disguise the apparent flaws, this uniqueness that she held within.
“I will still enter Miss Terrific Teenage World,” she vowed, from the age of still a little girl. “I will take on all the beauties, I will experience all there is to be seen and told.” And at that, she felt confident, that she could do this, despite her insecurities, despite her feelings that she was inadequate for simply missing two teeth. Although her mother and father had reassured her that her teeth would grow back, Sammi was dubious, their assertion did not seem a fact. She was certain that the two specific teeth she had lost were adult teeth, not baby ones, and that the dentist had simply gotten his facts wrong, and that of dentistry he possibly had much more to learn. After all, she had to prepare herself for the truth, that if she was not receiving any replacement teeth, she would perform the most, her utmost, at adaption; this was what she would do. And practised in the mirror, smiling and talking, while surreptitiously disguising her pearly whites at every minute free of her day and night, finally she gained great skill at deception, so she would not give even the most unsuspecting passerby a sudden fright.
As she grew, the time for Miss Terrific Teenage World finally arrived. She was flown to New Mexico, where all the other contestants were nervously biting their nails, drinking sugar free caffeine drinks, and others were with bright eyes, running on adrenaline, utterly alive. By this stage of her youth, Sammi had the art of speaking eloquently and with deception of her missing teeth down to a fine art, no one could tell, no one even knew, that she was different from the start. All they saw was her lovely face, her styled dress, her flamboyant nails and hair – the dress selected was a bit risque, but with the finery detailed upon the jewelled strapless garment to match her glittery, bejewelled necklace, she felt both at peace and excited beyond belief, she understood that her message to be shared with the world was heaven sent.
And when it came time for her to address the world, in the capacity that she knew of so well, she spoke of freedom, and false alliances to be broken, and strength in numbers, and holding self worth and confidence, that when she was greeted by an almighty audience cheer, a standing ovation far and near, she burst into a widened grin, no longer uncertain that she should hide herself anymore, she knew to shine from the outside and within. She wept tears of happiness when she was awarded first prize, the first teenage beauty to win with a couple of teeth missing beneath her rosy cheeks, beneath her expressive eyes. It didn’t matter whether they were there or not, for the truth be finally told, she was an amazing individual, whose stunted adult teeth would finally, eventually, in one single year, grow.
© 2019 Alice Well Art, Lauren M. Hancock, also known as Alice Well. All rights reserved.