She was leaning on the doorbell as if it was all that prevented her from collapsing on the step. Even through the strands of long black hair that fell across her face, Millie could see she had been crying. Mascara was smudged below her red swollen eyes. She was shivering visibly in her thin party clothes although it was a warm night.
‘How did you get home? Did someone bring you? Where did you leave your bag?’ Phoebe asked anxiously as they helped Vrishti into the kitchen and sat her down at the table.
She remained hunched and shaking while Phoebe continued her barrage of questions but there was no response, and finally she gave up.
‘Here, get this down you.’ Millie gave them both a mug, sat down opposite them and sipped her tea.
‘Where were you? We looked for you when we were leaving but we couldn’t find you. I thought you’d already gone.’
She and Phoebe had shared a taxi from the Dean’s house with some other second year students who lived in town. That was just before midnight and there’d been no sign of Vrishti then. Naturally they had assumed she’d left early since she didn’t want to go in the first place.
Vrishti’s hands gripped the mug as if for warmth. She didn’t answer but lifted her shoulders slightly as if she was sobbing silently. Millie was wondering what she ought to do. What if she had been raped on the way home?