The waiting room was still and quiet except for the hypnotic tick of
the old plastic clock hanging on the wall. A smell evoking images of
latex gloves and mouthwash hung in the air, as the dentist worked
behind the closed door. The little boy across the room fidgeted
uncontrollably while his mother chose to ignore it. Her face was drawn
and pale. Her hands were placed on top of her lap and she wrung them
continuously. She wore baggy red patterned trousers, a multi-coloured
striped jumper and on her head was a faded red bandana, firmly sealed
over a mass of scruffy brown curls. The child’s brown hair stuck out
in all directions. His coat was dated, his tracksuit bottoms gathered
around his ankles, and his black shoes hung of his feet with the
frayed laces draping downwards.
The white washed walls in the waiting room revealed not a spot of
dirt. The navy carpet was woven and the red seats were covered in a
plastic ‘ wipe clean’ material. Eyes delivered across to the large
wooden door as the silver handle turned. The door creaked open and out
stepped the dental nurse. She was young, tall and slight. Her ponytail
hung over one shoulder, her cheeks were blushed red, mascara made her
eyelashes look like spiders legs and her lips were tinted pink. The
nurse looked down to her note pad and called, “Miss Mines, if you’d
like to come through, the dentist is ready.” The lady with the odd
attire stood up and with her little boy in tow, took a deep breath and
walked slowly towards the door.
The door to the dentist’s room quietly shut and whispers swept across
the waiting room.
“Did you see the state of that little boy, how could his mother leave
him to get like that.” Bickered to elderly women in the corner.
“I heard she’s going to court for benefit fraud, claiming the little
boy had an illness she was,” the two secretaries behind the desk
Slowly, the gossip calmed and again the only noise in the waiting room
was the hypnotic tick of the clock. Minutes passed by and it wasn’t
long before the scruffy lady and her little boy stepped out of the
dentist’s room and made their way to the secretary’s desk. The
secretary looked up. “Can I help you?” she enquired. The lady didn’t
answer but gazed out of the window behind the desk; her big brown eyes
were shallow and empty. Her little boy began to tug on her jumper,
“Mummy…the lady…Mummy!” The mother soon...