S started to giggle, while prying J’s fingers from her shirt. The lisp was proving to be funny, even if the situation wasn’t.
S: Babe… if you can say “SuperCalaFragilisticExpialadocious” I will gladly yank that tooth out for you.
J: That’th not pfuckin ppphunny. Phick you.. *wince*
S: It is. But only to me, maybe? Okay.. babe, you know what happens if I yank this baby from your mouth right?
J: Yeth… pain gone!! J made a low pained noise, and S suddenly felt bad. Delay in human emotion, but at least it was there…
S: Sit tight. Go.. sit, I am going to rummage through your kitchen.
J sat obediently and closed her eyes. The pain was immense, and filled the entire left side of her face with a raw nerve burn that had become too much to deal with. Too much.
S opened drawers and looked through cupboards and smiled when she found the clove she was looking for. She put the clove in a dish and mashed it up and made a paste with a tea spoon. Thinking to herself about the process ahead. S filled a a half way with warm water and poured salt into it. She swished it round and and headed to where J was seated with the clove paste and the salt water.
S: Okay Babe.. listen to me. This has to happen fast. It’s going to hurt like a mother fucker and you have to stay with it. Okay??
J: You know what you’re doing?
S: I’m no dentist love… but, I know how to pull teeth. So this is what will happen. You are going to rinse your mouth with this salt water. I will yank the tooth as fast I can, and then we will put the clove paste on the gap… whatever you do, do NOT touch it with your tongue.
J: I hab clobe??
S: Yeah. Thank fuck.
J: An’ den what?
S: Then, you come to my spot so I can look after you for the night… I have a few painkillers left I think, and once I have you settled, I will go to one of those 24 hour drug stores and see what I can get..
S: You should have fixed this when I told you to…
S pulls pliers out of her back pocket and for a moment feels weird that she is about to pull teeth from a live person. S looked at J and she has tears running down her face. She made no noise, but the pain, was winning…
S: Poor thing. Fuck. Okay.. C’mon rince, babe. It’s gonna hurt – but just think of it as a temporary now.
J tilted the cup of salt water slowly into her mouth and S saw the surge of pain in J’s eyes. They watered and her face went red.
S: Swish it round. I know it hurts. I’m sorry…
J didn’t spit the water out. She leant over and let it fall out of her mouth… the pain had gripped her completely. S knelt down in front of where J was seated, and looked J in the eyes.
S: Listen to my words. I will speak the entire time. Try to listen to what I say and focus on my words. Now lay down, and don’t focus on me, focus on my words…
J lay flat on the couch and closed her eyes. S took a deep breath, knowing full well that if she didn’t get the whole tooth out, roots and all in one go – this was going to be torture for J. S started reciting William Ernest Henley as she placed the pliers in the best possible place around the tooth that was causing all the pain.
“Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
for my unconquerable soul…
S carried on speaking, and ignored the squirming below her. You cant pull a tooth and its roots ‘fast’. You have to ease it out.
J cried, audibly and it broke S’s heart. But stopping now would be crueler than not stopping.
J was dizzy, and then a sharp burning filled her mouth. S was smearing the clove on the open bleeding hold where the tooth had been. She could taste it mixed the the metallic blood, and feel it burning her sinuses. The sensation was both intensely unpleasant and relieving at the same time.
S: Don’t speak J. Don’t move your tongue around. Lay still while I go grab some of your things and we can get back to my spot.
J’s head was reeling. She saw S drop the tooth in the trash and stick her pliers back in her pocket… and disappear into another part of the house, before closing her eyes again..