This story is now published as part of the anthology ‘Loyal and True’.
She had been working on it most of her adult life.
It had to be just right.
Not a single comma out of place.
It was going to be hard enough to convince them, she didn’t want any distractions.
In the final year she was living on can soup and the kindness of friends, she could not earn a living, all her time went into finishing the presentation.
Everything hinged on it.
On the momentous day, she was walking toward the great hall with the book [she’d had it bound especially for the occasion] tucked jauntily under her arm.
She had a spring in her step and a glint in her eye.
She felt like students do when the work is done, the exams are over, and they know they had done well.
She wasn’t worried about standing up in front of all those learned people [most of them male, things hadn’t changed much in the world of academia].
The work would speak for itself, the hypothesis was bullet proof.
She approached the great wooden doors that led into the polished timber assembly hall but as soon as she walked through the entrance she stopped dead.
She stood there for a few moments frozen by the feeling that she had done all of this before.