The next few weeks rolled by, and Charles and Laura got back to their daily routine. But Laura’s life unfortunately wasn’t all smooth sailing. Every morning she felt oddly tired on waking up.
No matter how early she went to bed the night before, she would always wake up feeling exhausted and out of energy. She also felt heavy and bloated every time she ate something and constantly felt the urge to puke. Her mood was always terrible and she would throw a fit on returning home, complaining about petty things and blaming Charles for all her problems.
Charles guessed it was the stress at work that made her irritated and he tried ignoring her by not reacting.
And work had indeed been the cause of all her stress.
Despite working hard and giving her best, she wasn’t getting the promotion she badly wanted. This annoyed her and she gave vent to her anger by fighting with her colleagues for silly reasons.
Almost two months had gone by and Laura’s anger issue had become the hot topic among her coworkers.
One afternoon, as she made her way to the cafeteria, she heard a group of coworkers whispering and laughing at each other’s comments.
As Laura walked past them, they fell silent and then resumed their conversation once she moved away. She took a sandwich for herself and sat down at a table right across them. Laura tried her best to ignore what they were saying, but couldn’t help eavesdropping. She heard one of them say how happy they were for finally being promoted and this enraged Laura.
She stood up immediately and slammed the plate on the metal table, grabbing everyone’s attention. She heard a few among them chuckle, probably at her reaction. She was certain they were teasing her by bringing up the topic of promotion and were trying to provoke her. She walked up to the group and yelled at no one in particular, “Oh! I’m sure you bribed the chief to get yourself promoted. Everyone knows you don’t deserve it.”
The one who had been promoted looked up at Laura and yelled back, “Laura what is your problem? You need to take a break. Your bad temper is bothering everyone…
“We were not talking about you,” someone from the group said.
The one who had been promoted stood up and said,
Everyone laughed at his remark.
Laura’s anger shot up. She clenched her fists to control herself, but looking around at everyone as they laughed at her she finally gave up and pushed the coworker with all her force.
He almost tripped over the chair behind him, but balanced himself and stood upright.
The cafeteria fell silent and everyone stared in their direction. Laura’s colleagues, Carl and Melanie rushed to her side.
Carl hissed in Laura’s ear.
When she finally came back to her senses, she realized how awfully she had behaved and moved forward to apologize, when the chief entered in and announced he wanted to have a word with her.
Gulping down the lump in her throat, she followed the chief, crossing her fingers and praying that she wasn’t in any kind of trouble.
Sitting in the chief’s office, Laura waited while he and Miss Kennedy, the HR manager were having a heated discussion.
Her anxiety was growing with every tick of the clock and her heart began pounding louder and louder.
She felt as if she were going to faint but when Miss Kennedy finally addressed Laura, her mind was distracted and her focus shifted to her words.
…I think we should start with the bad news first. Your anger issue and bad temper have been reported to us several times since the very beginning of this month. You were also seen yelling at your coworkers and saying bad things to them. And of course, what happened today in the cafeteria cannot be left unnoticed.
Now, despite your bad behavior, we cannot deny the fact that your progress has been remarkable. Working alongside your coworkers, you’ve solved many cases and helped arrest several criminals. So it brings me great joy in informing you that you…” she pulled out a letter from the drawer, and handing it over to Laura said, “…have been promoted to Corporal. Hearty congratulations! And I hope you continue to give your best, in serving the community. I will, however, have to remind you to keep a check on your temper. If we don’t see any progress in your behavior towards your coworkers, we will be left with no choice but to dismiss you from your job.”
The final warning did nothing to dampen Laura’s high spirits. She was ecstatic and her grip tightened around the promotion letter while her stomach twisted in excitement.
Charles was surprised to see Laura in a very good mood when she returned home that day. And his day was brightened up when she informed him of her promotion.
“Wow that’s brilliant!” he said giving her a tight hug.
“Yes this great news made my day and my weekend! We have to celebrate Charles!”
he said with equal enthusiasm.
“I’m sending out everyone a text,” said Laura taking a big bite of the croissant she had bought for herself while returning from work. “Friday is Ladies’ Night down at the club, we’ll get the drinks for half the price!” She took another bite, “And” Laura mumbled in between chewing her croissant “you, Paolo, Marcus and Carl can gaze at us while we enjoy our drinks.” Gulping the morsel, she laughed,
then burped loudly
before sprinting to the bathroom.
Almost twenty minutes later she walked out, rubbing her belly with a nauseated look on her face.
“Laura are you okay?” Charles asked, walking closer to comfort her.
Laura simply nodded and walked to dresser, opening the drawers one by one. “I’ll just take some pills. I’m fine, don’t worry,” she assured him.
Charles looked worried and as he moved towards her he said,
Laura shot him an anxious look as fear engulfed her, making her heart pound.
“No silly,” she gave a nervous laugh, “I just had my periods last… last week?”
Her heart pounded faster as she realized she couldn’t remember when she had her last period.
“Oh I should’ve noted it down somewhere. But I’m certain, I had my periods…. Just last week. Yes, that’s right… last week.” She said looking down at the pill before she chugged it down her throat.
Laura had lied to Charles because she was just so excited to go to the club to celebrate with her friends that she did not wish to think of anything that would ruin her plans.
“But are you sure, you’re feeling okay now?…
she assured him with confidence.
“Well, okay. But…” Charles hesitated, then said smiling sheepishly,
Laura chuckled and gave him a thumbs up, before heading to the bathroom to get ready for the party.