The second she walked into the room,
I was profoundly uncomfortable
and didn’t know why.
She was impeccably dressed
but had sharp, dark, glittering eyes
with a hawk’s expression.
I bounced from table to table,
chit chatting with coworkers
in the moderately expensive
Italian restaurant we had chosen
for our company dinner.
I navigated between the various conversations:
dull shop talk,
boring recitations of what we had watched on TV,
tedious play-by-plays of Colin’s kid’s latest soccer tournament,
and, finally, some whispered gossip.
All the while I’ve got her in the corner of my eye,
feel her watching me,
feel her feel being watched by me.
Then before the buffet was served,
the big announcement:
The mystery woman was Diana Reeves,
our new vice president
and my new supervisor,
the woman who had taken the promotion from me,
and I think she knew it too,
from the slightly upturned corner
of her burgundy lips.
My heart took a dive
as I politely applauded her introduction.
I skipped the buffet,
walked over to the bar,
ordered a double gin and tonic,
and watched the rain pouring outside.
I grabbed my jacket from the coat check and left.
No one would miss me tonight,
already a ghost.