Ella looked up at the clock for the tenth time in as many minutes. Why was the time turning so slowly?
She paced up and down the room, the dryness in her mouth worsening by the second. She felt dizzy, sick to her stomach and her legs didn't quite belong to her.
But she had to do this. It was for the best!
She felt in her pocket, checking that the device was still there – she knew that it would be, but she had to check. Without it, the mission just wouldn't work!
Time! She said to herself. She pulled on her jacket and left the house.
It was a nice day, sunny, with just a little breeze. That would make things harder. More people! People liked sunshine. Still it must be done!
Head held high, she walked into the busy town centre, cleaving her way between the shoppers. Look at them, laughing and joking, not a care in the world. They had no idea what was about to happen. No idea of what Ella had planned.
On she strode, taking no notice of the crowds of people, ploughing her way through them, making resolutely for her destination.
The building loomed closer, tall and imposing. She would soon be there, soon the mission would be over, she would have done what she had planned.
She was there! She pushed through the heavy double doors into the lobby. She stopped, looking around at the throngs of people milling about. Children crying, being comforted by their parents, elderly people sitting in uncomfortable chairs, stoically waiting for their fate.
She turned and headed down the crowded corridor towards the lifts.
Ella pressed the button. “Come on, come” on she muttered to herself, jabbing the button over and over in the vain hope that it would make its arrival quicker somehow.
At last! The lift arrived, its doors opening smoothly. She stepped into its cool blue interior and jabbed the button for the top floor.
The doors closed and the lift swiftly ascended. Once more, she checked to make sure that the device was safely in her pocket. Of course it was. Where else would it be!
She felt the fear rising, almost but not quite, overcoming her. Bile rose in her throat, threatening to break free, her legs ceased to listen to her commands, the blood roared in her ears!
The doors opened. This is it, she thought, leaving the quietness of the lift for the noise and bustle of the foyer. She glanced at the clock facing her, ticking away the seconds. Right on time!
She strode forward, pushing through the doors at the far end of the corridor.
A face, smiling greeted her. How dare she smile! Didn't she know what was going to happen? How unpleasant it was going to be?
We're ready for you now Ella.
She walked into the small, cell like room, the smell making her fear escalate even further.
There, sitting facing away from her, tapping at a computer, was her Nemesis.
Ah, Ella, there you are! Lets get this done.
Ella pulled the device from her pocket.
“Ah, brought your music, I see”, said the dentist. “What are you going to listen to today?”
“Some classical would be relaxing”, said Ella, her hands trembling as she chose the album.
Finally, she had plucked up the courage, at last, she was here. She didn't know what was worse. The fear of the dentist, or the fear of being around crowds of people!
No longer would that wisdom tooth taunt her, giving her pain – within a short time, it would be fixed!
She settled into the chair, making herself as comfortable as possible in the circumstances, put her ear-buds in and waited!