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Author Topic: story - When in Rome...  (Read 1297 times)

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: story - When in Rome...
« Reply #15 on: 31. March 2021, 16:28:16 PM »
Chapter 15/15 - The decision

"But ... but - stop! Stop! STOP!" Tanja stops so abruptly that a boy - not the same as before - almost ran into her. At that moment, something struck her that she hadn't even thought of before:

She has no idea at all how long she'd have to wear her headgear. She has no idea how bad it really is going to get. She has no idea what exactly is in store for her. Only Dr. Mahlmann could tell her ...

So far she hadn't given a single thought to how her further treatment would actually look like. The threat of headgear alone was enough to make her go into a panic-induced frenzy. Everything else was unimportant, only the imminent danger of making a laughingstock of herself was important.

But that is exactly what must not happen! As said before: She WANTS straight teeth. That's why she's wearing braces right now and that's why she has to earnestly consider how much this "beautiful smile" is worth to her. Falling back into her defiant stronghold-mindset is the wrong way to go ...

"Dr. Mahlmann has to explain to me EXACTLY what would happen to me if I should opt FOR headgear! For how long I would have to wear the stupid thing ... How long every day and so on! And how many weeks in total... He must explain all of that to me precisely! If he wants to install that thing on me, then that's the least he has to do! "

And maybe, if she's lucky, she doesn't even have to wear it for THAT LONG? After all, she's a borderline case, the doctor had said. Hopefully that means that she doesn't have to wear it as much as people who REALLY need heagear?

So maybe it won't be as bad as feared? She has no idea what headgear feels like. So far she had always assumed the worst without knowing what it was supposed to be. Maybe their fears were just exaggerated?

Then the prospect of a metal bow around her face would still be shit, but no longer the worst nightmare of her life ... - yes, OK, that was again a little exaggerated ...

Still, she definitely doesn't want her friends to know about it. This is still an absolute no-go. "Nobody, not even my best friend, is allowed to know that I might have to wear a thing like this. I would make a total fool of myself ... No, never!"

But ... but if it could be arranged to keep it a secret and just herself - OK, OK: herself AND her parents AND Dr. Mahlmann - knew about it ...AND if she only had to wear that metal bow in her parents flat ... then ... well then at least ONE of the numerous hurdles would be eliminated ...

And ... and maybe ... maybe it's really not THAT bad wearing a bridle like that? After all ... after all, she had gotten used to the fixed braces more or less, although she couldn't stand them in the first week. Maybe it's similar with headgear too ... Maybe it's not that bad after all? Maybe she CAN get used to wearing that stupid thing at home?

Tanja is suddenly full of vigor, almost euphoric, when she realizes the consequence: Because if she COULD come to terms with it, wouldn't that automatically mean that she would get nice straight teeth? Really nice straight teeth this time? That was what Dr. Mahlmann said that on the phone, didn't he? Wasn't her orthodontist practically promising that she would get a beautiful smile if she could live with such a bridle for a limited time?

The thoughts of straight teeth and a beautiful smile suddenly give Tanja an unexpected boost in motivation ...



"But ... but what if ... what if I have to wear it longer?" Immediately, part of her brain reports in panic. "What if I CANNOT keep it a secret? When everyone in school finds out that ..."

She sighs deeply and long. Don't panic now. Now that she is closer to solving her problem than ever before, she definitely has to keep calm NOW!

"It will never come to that," she then reassures herself emphatically. "Nobody will ever find out that I have to wear a thing like this. My parents and Dr. Mahlmann have to promise me that. Otherwise they can absolutely forget that I even use the thing once ..."

"They MUST promise me that I only have to wear the headgear at home. If not, or if I have to wear it for too long, then I'll just refuse. It's that simple. And then my parents can argue till they're blue in the face and I won't care. Yes! "

She slowly picks up her clothes. Should she put on her clothes? No, she decides against it. The towel is full of sand, Tanja shakes it out. She doesn't want to become a sand statue when she ties it around her waist. All of this happens slowly and deliberately, because she is just in the process of formulating a crucial thought:

She almost senses that she is on the verge of a decisive breakthrough. Now don't rush into anything and don't let yourself be distracted, then ... then she could really come to a solution:
   
Earlier ... she had thought about what she CAN expect if she decided against headgear. Isn't the more important question now, what is she ALLOWED to expect?

Tanja rolls her eyes when she realizes something: "Oh my God, I sound like my parents ... Terrible!" Indeed, this is a question she probably would hear in an argument with her parents:

"If you don't want to wear headgear, that's your decision, and we respect it," the parents could say, for example. "But then you mustn't complain if you don't like the result in the end! You KNOW now that you need headgear. If you don't wear that ... then YOU have to be able to live with the fact that your teeth may not get as straight as you might hope ..." Tanja can almost see her parents in front of her with a raised index finger: "Can you live with having crooked teeth?"

Tanja hisses in annoyance, which causes an older, sunbathing couple to look over at her in astonishment. Oh man, this is new: Now her parents are pissing her off, even though they are innocent this time ... but ... but EXACTLY THAT is how her parents would argue, so she is allowed to be angry at them, right?

Oh, that's all shit, especially because the point "her parents" made, holds water. She's been thinking things through long enough to realize that ... that ... damn it, how should she put it ...

"I ... I want my teeth straightened, really." Tanja pronounces every word slowly and deliberately, emphasizing every syllable. "If there really is no way around headgear, then ... then maybe I should at least try and see if I can somehow get used to it. Or not? Yes ... Yes, yes, I should! Yes, I really should! And if it doesn't work, then ... well ... then I just have to live with the result that the fixed braces can achieve on their own."

"Because ... Because Dr. Mahlmann had said that my teeth would be straight even without headgear. Maybe not as straight as they could, but they will still be straight." If she really can't get used to the bridle, well, then she'll just have to take what she can get. That means: Then she just has to be satisfied with a "good" and not the "best" result. That wouldn't be so bad either. Every outcome will be better than the situation now with the completely crooked teeth ...

"But at least then I know that I have tried..." Tanja nods, astonished and impressed by herself. She never would have thought that she could bring herself to entertain such thoughts. The prospect of such a bridle is still terrible enough that she has to fight against goosebumps. But the fact that she's now apparently ready to at least consider headgear for a while ... it's like a revolution.



And if ... Tanja suddenly pauses, flip-flops in her hands. She tilts her head. Her face makes a grimace, she grins broadly.

"My God, I don't believe it. What's the matter with me ...?", She shakes her head, grinning broadly.

At that moment, one thing became clear to her: She was thinking absolutely earnestly about the situation in which she has been since noon today. And yet her thoughts have changed radically in the past few minutes.

Today at noon she had already once thought "earnestly" about her situation. But about how she could maneuver past the headgear as safely as possible. After all, she "knew" that all advantages could never outweigh the disadvantages...

And now... now she's seriously considering whether she should give this thing a try? WOW! The advantages are undeniable and if she could manage to keep the disadvantages at bay... then it would be worth a try, wouldn't it?

If that's not progress ...

The grin gets even wider, because she has just recognized something else: Earlier, when she came down to the beach, her thoughts were only centered about the fear that Dr. Mahlmann could announce that there is no alternative to headgear.

But in the last few minutes it hadn't mattered to her anymore whether her orthodontist really insists on it. She had completely accepted that such a metal bow will appear in her treatment plan. There can no longer be any reasonable doubt about this.

Oh, after talking to her mother on the phone, Dr. Mahlmann will NO DOUBT include the headgear in the treatment plan. The only question is whether as an "option" or a "must". And even that is now only of academic interest ...

At first her thoughts only revolved around how best to PREVENT the consequences, but now she had spent the last few minutes trying to figure out how best to get the consequences UNDER CONTROL:

Whether Dr. Mahlmann insists on headgear in the end has become irrelevant. Tanja has decided, to listen neither to the doctor nor to her parents, but to find her own way through her treatment. If she decides against headgear, she won't wear it, it's that simple. But if she decides FOR it, well...

An - admittedly very narrow and winding - path currently leads her in the following direction: As long as her doctor is of the opinion that headgear in her treatment is at least beneficial, she has decided not to categorically reject it!

And since he will surely recommend her to wear that headgear ... She sighs ...

"But ..." she licks her lips, "but doesn't that mean that I ... that I am practically willing, at least as an experiment, to have such a terrible bridle strapped around my face? But I don't want to ... "

The only difference to before is that this "I don't want to" is no longer uttered with the same vehemence as it was a few hours ago. It no longer sounds like "never in my life", but rather has clear echoes of "what mess have I now gotten myself into?"

Tanja has more-or-less resigned herself to wearing headgear, at least on a trial basis. Now all she can do is hope that the effects won't get too bad ... and that her decision will stand. That she - like Melissa - will have the stamina to stand by her decision and not to upset everything time-and-time again.

As strange as that sounds, her biggest fear right now is not the fear of embarrassing herself with her headgear, but the fear that she will not be able to keep up her resolve.

No, that's wrong again: her greatest fear still IS making a fool of herself. ALWAYS will be! THAT is after all exactly the focal point around which all her problems with braces revolve ...

It's not about her teeth becoming sensitive for a few days when the orthodontist "re-tightens" her braces. Yes, that's uncomfortable for a few days, but she soon had it under control with the braces and she has no doubt that she can adjust to the "pain" caused by the extraoral addition.

No, with Tanja everything revolves around whether she can avoid the embarrassing situations. And the most embarrassing thing about headgear is to be seen with it. Duh! If she could avoid THAT ... a big problem would be solved.

But because she has already vowed to herself that she will do everything in her power to ensure that no one will find out about her headgear ... Isn't the problem almost solved?

Well... okay... maybe Melissa is an exception to that rule. She had shared so many secrets about her scoliosis-treatment with Tanja that it would be downright mean not to tell her in return about the upcoming changes in her orthodontic treatment. "Well... maybe... let's make this deal: As long as Melissa won't ask about it, I won't tell her... I know that she can keep secrets, but... I simply do not feel like telling her ... yet ..."



Tanja's fear is that her fear of becoming the laughingstock might regain the upper hand in the course of the next few days. It is basically the fear of the fear that causes her problems.

Tanja is currently sure that she can control the consequences IF her parents and her orthodontist play along and she only has to wear the annoying brace at home so that no one can find out about it.

Should that not be possible or should someone find out about her bridle through some stupid coincidence ... Tanja knows herself well enough to know that IN THIS CASE she would probably back down. And to be honest: Could anyone blame her for that?

But... even when she should stop wearing headgear, that wouldn't be the end of the world, because after all, she will still continue treatment with her "normal" braces. After all, her treatment doesn't end just because she doesn't want to be "bridled up" anymore. Nope... It is basically guaranteed that her teeth will become straighter. The question is only whether she can muster the courage for the "better" solution...



She makes her way back, the sand crunching under her flip-flops. The girl is happy to have gone to the beach again because, contrary to her earlier expectations, she WAS able to use the time to think:

She HAD brought order to the chaos, at least partially. She was able to define the problem more precisely and she feels that she is on the right track to find a solution:

"If it's not really necessary, I don't want fucking headgear! But I want straight teeth! Otherwise, I could have saved myself the troubles of wearing braces to begin with!"

Then she is forced to smile. "But I will never EVER tell mom and dad about that!"

Because if her parents should find out that she no longer categorically refuses all thoughts of headgear, Tanja's situation becomes "hopeless". Then it will be impossible to be able to somehow get out of the matter later, if in the end she should decide AGAINST headgear.



To say that Tanja is in a good mood would have been an exaggeration. But the fact that she was able to shed some of her greatest worries had a very similar effect. Or to put it another way: Tanja is full of hope that her problem can be solved.

The decision FOR headgear was probably - hopefully - the right one? Not the easy one, but probably the right one ... Tanja nods ... that sounds ... that sounds good! She smiles.

With the large bath towel swinging to the rhythm of her steps, the ONE relevant thought that will pursue Tanja in the next days and weeks FINALLY becomes apparent:

"How bad is headgear really? And ... and will I really manage to come to terms with it?"

END - There will be no further sequel

While this is the end of this story from my point of view and I - at least currently - have NO plans to write a sequel, I would be very interested in how YOU could imagine a possible continuation.

Therefore, my request to you: Please do write, whether in a few bullet points or a longer text, how the story of Tanja could go on from YOUR point of view.