In every quarter of the year, the office that I work at host a party. A big, fancy party. For the hard workers; the ones who work overtime, who persevere to deliver the best results. For the ones who play smart, do the dirty work. Who laugh at others, befriend all the executives. Become their loyal servants. The ones who make their coworkers help them with their tasks, and later delete all their replies, never copy them in the email. To show the big shark that they are the ones who work hard. And we, we never do anything.
I avoided the invitation. Every time the reminder pops in my inbox, I immediately delete it. Ignoring its existence. “Lia, you’re coming right” Dianna, says. I look up to her. The partitions between our desks makes it hard to talk. Always making me straighten my back to see her. “I need to check” I reply, pushing a smile. “You have to make time for it! It’s the most important event! Everyone will be there, and hopefully you will be able to see someone you fancy”. Every time someone brings the topic of “finding someone I might fancy” my stomach flip. “Oh, Ok. I’ll make sure whatever is on the schedule is pushed”. By that, I have killed myself once again. Every time I put on that mask; the one that loves to make everyone happy, but myself.
I made my way to the gathering, dressed in a navy, ankle length dress; long. Boring. I tied my hair in a simple low bob. Hoping not to draw any attention; to not to be seen.
As always, the party was hosted in the same hall at the hotel nearby our offices. The only reason they host the party there is because it’s cheap. The hall, food, beverages are all cheap, but never the attendees. My pace was quick, wearing a relatively low high heel was the best decision I made; it doesn’t make any sound.
I sat at an empty table, in the far right corner. I faced the hall. Everyone was looking gorgeous. Woman dressed in dresses that fit weddings. Men wore suits, others wore jeans. Violating the silent dress code of the gathering.
“Lia! Why are sitting there! Go get yourself something to eat. Look around get to know people” Dianna’s piercing voice stunned me. Eagerly, she pulled my arms to stand up and follow her around. To teach me how to socialize. “Dianna,” I said, trying to suppress my anger. “I don’t feel well, I prefer sitting at the table, I” “Nonsense!” Dianna cuts me off “I found someone very interesting. I’m sure you’ll like him”
I snapped. Pulled my arms away from her, forcibly. “Dianna, I” I hear my voice tremble. Breaking down. I felt my face flushed. Warm. Sweat forming at the tip of my forehead. I felt lightheaded. I look at the floor. The cheap floor. “I need to leave”.