TITLE: The Persephone Paradox
GENRE: YA Contemporary Mythology
"I can tell you've been clenching your teeth," my dentist says, leaning in so I get an extreme close-up of her pink-masked face. The headlight on Dr. Fallon's forehead gives the impression she's mining for something worthwhile in my mouth. She obviously doesn't know--there's nothing worthwhile about me.
She continues her excavation, wedging my jaw open with latex-clad fingers. "How old are you now, Zoe?"
My response is lost in the suctioning of my spit, but the woman is fluent in phlegm.
"Seventeen? Hmm. I've never seen so much gum recession in someone so young before." Dr. Fallon says this not with the sympathetic or scolding tone I'd expect, but with fascination.
I'm a prodigy in all things disturbing.
At least my hair's not receding, I think, but that gives me no comfort. Grey strands already infiltrate my natural black hair, making me look like a witch. Wrinkles radiate from the corners of my eyes as if some sadistic crow stomped on my face. And now my gums are shriveling, too? Just what will I look like in ten years? I wonder.
Then I realize it doesn't matter. I doubt I'll even still be here.