“Well good thing you didn’t. You’d probably be the only one in the entire kingdom who doesn’t know about that!” he sat there by your side to try giving you comfort.
“Then tell me about it? Now you have me curious.” You scoffed at him, yet something about his calming voice and attitude which seemed to calm you as well.
“I just flunked my presentation. They talked to me about it, and I pretended to know more than I did, but turns out saving myself from a bit of embarrassment then just caused me to feel ten times more now!”
“Yeah, I can understand that somehow.”
“I can let you know if you want to hear.”
“Hah! Maybe that would help me feel less… Bad.” you said. His willingness to open up to you gave you a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. As if you were no longer alone in the world.
“One time, during my princely studies, I did a similar thing. Presentation, falsifying knowledge, and ultimately just flunking on a huge graduation type of thing.”
“What!” you said. “But you’re so smart.”
“See, that’s not actually the case. Honestly, I cheated my way through many of the other classes, I only wanted to focus on technology, but by that time I could barely even read.” you were stunned by your brother's honesty. In that moment, you realized the true connection with your sibling, and something came across you that made your fur prickle in a good way.
For the rest of that night, the two of you talked until the sun came up. You seemed to have forgotten your problems with the consultation of your younger brother, and the two of you seemed to empower each other through the rest of the week as you made up for your mistakes from the past. It even turns out that the crowd of angry people wasn't even that angry, it was just a small sect of aggressors who wanted to be violent. All that your people really wanted was to benefit from the research you had or fourth for so long prior.
With the help of your brother, you had the chance to rehearse and even redo your speech the following week. After having a legitimate 'audience' to let your tension out for, you decided it was time to try again.
This time, it was a success. Your speech was flawless, and your speaking skills had greatly improved, leading to a smooth execution of presentation. In the end, you decided to thank not only your sponsors, but also your brother for the support he gave you. The crowd roared with applause and the pride you felt was like none other.
When you finally had the chance to return to your work, you realized you were promoted to head scientist, and your work seemed to begin immediately. With each passing day, more and now things were asked of you, and it seemed as though the perceptions of your coworkers slowly began to shift.
Piles of work began to back up, and whenever you felt too exhausted to deal with it all, you would hear whispers around the workplace.
"Can she really deal with all that?" "How did someone like that even get promoted"
"They're just using her as a token of course"
"Haha yeah, this is a man's job of course!"
The micro aggressions were endless, and no matter how many times you tried to overlook the subtle sexism in your workplace, nothing seemed to actually help your situation; besides more hard work.
You ultimately worked yourself into an early grave, but as usual, you didn't leave without anything to show for it. The kingdom quickly became much more advanced over the following weeks and months, and your work had quickly thrusted the society past the renaissance, through the industrial, across the modern, and straight into the future era.
Flying cars, robots, and instantaneous technologies flooded the streets for your people, and their happiness was beyond anything you could have imagined. If only you were around to see.
Written by Driftingdragon on 25 October 2020
The end (for now)