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My high heels echoed in the darkness. They were clicking against the sidewalk on a night that felt endlessly black, cold and clear. Around me, the air felt alive. Electrified. Clouds surged forward; the moon disappeared. Wind sent falling leaves skittering into the air. Above me, the trees were inky-black, brittle-branched, and practically bare. I pulled my coat across my chest and leaned into the thin night air.

I’d been working late that evening, tutoring at the college, and I had a stack of papers still cradled in my arms. The wind pulled at their edges. I smiled though, satisfied with another day of work, and a job accomplished. I was almost home, I told myself, and almost warm. But when I moved my lips something small and sharp pressed against my tongue. I put my hand to my mouth.

Blood.

There was only a small spot at first, just enough to stain my glove, but soon blood began to rush between my fingers. It poured down my chin and dropped onto the concrete. “Help,” I whispered. “Please, somebody, help me. Anybody!” My heart began to race. The papers I was holding fell. The wind caught them. They scattered in the air. “Can anybody hear?”

“Emma?”

“Chris? Is that you?” I squinted into the darkness. “Chris? Are you there?”

Overhead, the clouds shifted; stars appeared. Chris stepped forward through a pool of sudden moonlight, smiling and brave, ready to save me, but he froze before he got too near. “Jesus, “ he said. “What happened?”

“I don’t know. I just —.” I covered my mouth with my hand, and a tooth spilled into my palm. I looked up at him, and spit out another one. “Can you help me?”

He backed away. Another tooth fell.

“Don’t leave me.”

“I can’t help you, Emma.” He shook his head, retreating. “It’s too late.” He looked around. “You’re never going to find a dentist here.”

++++

Stress dreams. Have you had one?

Experts say that when you dream about losing your teeth it’s a sign of high anxiety, which is typical during major life transitions, and I think that explanation makes sense. When I got married I was plagued by dreams like this one. After all, I was just out of college, trying to find a job in a bad economy, cheering my husband through flight school, and trying to come to terms with the idea of his first deployment. We were starting a whole new life together, and even though our new life was exactly what we wanted, I was more than a little bit stressed.

One night I told my husband about my nightmares. He furrowed his brow and looked at me. Then he said the words that wormed their way so far into my subconscious that they were eventually echoed by his dream-self, and my nightmares disappeared.

“But babe,” he said. “We have insurance. You’ll find a dentist. No stress.”

And he was right: MetLife TRICARE Dental Program makes finding a dentist easy. Trust me, I haven’t lost a single tooth yet!

 

Emily Sovich
Emily Sovich

During her years as a military spouse, Emily Sovich has traveled through five continents and approximately thirty countries. She’s climbed the Great Wall of China, gone swimming with sharks in Australia, and ridden a camel around the pyramids in Egypt. She loves culture and adventure, but she’s happiest at home with a book in her hand, a child in her lap, and a cup of coffee on her bedside table. You can read more about Emily’s life and adventures on her blog, Keeping Time.

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