Hailey dosed off around half twelve o'clock, her head lolling between the headrest and the cold, breath-smeared window. Her slumber was shallow, as she attempted to keep a grip on the strap of her canvas satchel at the same time, and she soon frowned herself into unconsciousness at a dull yet all-consuming ache near her left jaw.

"Ugh," she breathed inaudibly, flicking her tongue against her inflamed gum, where the flat edge of a new molar was cutting through like a relentless powerdrill from inside her skull. Hailey knew nothing about wisdom teeth, except that most people got them extracted. She'd ask one of her aunts about it later, after the burials and after she had shaken a sufficient number of strangers' hands.

She glanced over at the old lady, who was talking on a mobile phone - one of those jack-knife ones with the huge screen and collosal buttons, designed for the old, the visually impaired, and (Hailey could only assume) those with fatter-than-average fingertips.

I wonder if she's had her wisdom teeth out.

Hailey pursed her lips in thought. I wonder if she still has any of her adult teeth.

Curiously, Hailey realised a new passenger had taken the seat next to her. Immediately taken back by his height, and the black and red beanie that hugged his head, she studied him briefly out of the corner of her eye. His shoulders were broad, yet slightly hunched, and he cradled an old-fashioned MP3 player in his lap. A thin white cord led from the music player to his ears, which were tucked away under the thick wool of his cap.

God, he smells amazing. Kind of citrus-y.

He caught her eye, barely turning his head, and Hailey whipped her head back around to gaze out of the fogged-up window.

Hailey, you idiot. No sexual lemon-scented fantasies; just focus on the fucking tooth instead.

The End

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