I was ten years old when Kelly came home from the dentist looking as though she was sucking on a large jaw breaker. Her lips barely touching as she sat there with her mouth shut.
"What do you have in your mouth?" I asked my sister. "Did you steal one of my jaw breakers!?"
She unfolded her mouth into a smile and there it was! Not a jaw breaker but a glistening wire retainer.
"I need to wear a retainer now," she said. "And it hurts!"
"Let me see it again."
She leaned toward me so I could get a better stare.
I thought it was the coolest thing.
So one day during 5th grade, just before Show-And-Tell, I unfolded a paper clip and wrapped it around the front of my teeth. I went up in front of the class and slightly smiled to show everyone that I went to the dentist and he gave me a retainer to wear.
I tilted my head forward and moved slowly around the class so they could all see a bit of the paper clip wrapped around my teeth.
"Shawn?" asked Mr. Larson. "Is that really a retainer?"
I instantly felt ashamed and embarrassed.
"No. It's. It's.. It's..." I struggled for the words.
"It's ... It's HAPPY EARLY APRIL FOOLS DAY!!!!!!!"
It was in November.