The title says it all, except perhaps why I refer to myself in the third person. In the weeks and days beforehand, I didn't remind anyone about the impending announcement. Perhaps you can relate to this, that small loss of energy that is experienced in the verbalising of your dreams, even when those around you want only what is best for you. I, as the "I", not the "she"(for I was still inhabiting my mind), went about my business getting ready for work, as though a whole daydreamed future did not hang on the outcome of the competition. At the point of opening the laptop to the day's emails, the "I" in me began to slip away - a protective mechanism perhaps. The publisher's font sat amongst the general incoming mail and I/she tidied up around it before getting the courage to open it. A generic message directed readers to the attached announcement. Something sank in the pit of her stomach. Surely, if she was the winner she would have been told. The "I" returned, the "I" that was used to rejections opened the attachment, trying to be good-hearted enough to send mental good wishes to the winner, whoever that would be.
Congratulations to Amanda Apthorpe of Victoria
She stared at the name, not making any real connection, certainly not identifying with it. Just letters on a screen, too far out of her range of experience. "Look," she said, pointing to the screen as a colleague passed her desk. She needed someone else to make it real for her. The colleague squealed with true appreciation of the moment.