The Siren’s Curse
Jadra walked nervously down the street, each step carrying her closer to the moment that had her so worried. Over the past month she’d met challenges and achieved things she’d been told would be impossible. She’d proven her family, and especially her father, wrong each of those times and had gained a confidence she’d never known before. But now she faced the greatest challenge.
Her steps faltered as she neared the building, then she forced herself to move again. She could do this. She had to do this. There was no choice. So she gritted her teeth, kept walking, and pushed through the door into the bank.
She stopped just inside the entrance, very aware of the security guard taking in how she was dressed. The extremely large sunglasses that covered not only her eyes but a fair portion of her face. The hat she’d pulled down to meet the top of the sunglasses. Her baggy, shapeless jumper, similarly shapeless jeans, and clomping great boots.
Her heart was hammering under his gaze but she forced herself to take a step forward, then another, and another. The security guard frowned at her, but he didn’t speak or step in her way. As she passed him she felt a thrill of excitement. She’d done it! She’d cleared the first hurdle without anything bad happening. Maybe she could do this after all!
A young man with a wide smile and a tablet in hand stepped forward to meet her. She smiled back tentatively.
“How can we be of service today?” he asked.
“I… I have an appointment,” Jadra managed to say.
“Of course! Could I just take your name?”
“Oh yes, I can see you here. I’m afraid we don’t have your surname, though.”
Jadra’s stomach started to churn. She wanted to appear normal, to be normal, but she also didn’t want to tell any lies.
“I… I don’t have one. None of my family has. We just have a single name.”
The young man’s face lit up with a smile.
“Like a pop star! That’s fine, I just had to be sure we weren’t missing the information. Please take a seat in this booth. Mr Cole will be with you in just a couple of minutes.”
Jadra’s legs felt wobbly and she fought not to stumble on her way to the chair. But she’d done it! One more step negotiated successfully, though there were still more to go to get what she wanted.