The room was cold enough for the MC to make a joke as to why the heater hadn’t been turned on.
‘You know sometimes we never get used to this cold, and I ask myself, why is the British weather like Islam? And what do I think of? It’s because it’s either Sunni or Shi’ite’.
The crowd burst into loud laughter and it almost sounded like derision because it wasn’t ending. Verna kept looking at the MC while nodding her head, looking like a form of approval to show he was engaging the guests really well. Her promotion party was indeed beautiful; her colleagues and friends were in full attendance. If smiles were dollars, Verna would be a very rich woman, richer than she already is.
She turned towards the left side of the room and her countenance changed. It didn’t change because she was tired or bored; rather, because she realized that she was here by mistake and not by merit. Maybe she did merit it, but he had forcefully promoted her to be closer to him. She ran into the bathroom and let out a loud scream.
‘It’s okay Verna, it wasn’t your fault,’ She repeated to herself, each time with less conviction.
‘NO! I don’t deserve it’, Verna blurted while wiping her nose and walking out of the bathroom. She’d heard the MC announce her name.
Verna walked out and entered the room and sat down while the party continued, but all she could think of was the office, her boss—Mr. Kiel, the rape. Nothing was the same anymore.
Two days later, when Anna her best friend came to visit, she saw a note on the table. It read,
‘If you’re reading this, it’s too late.’
© Stephanie C. Odili 2019