The office on the 4th floor had been quiet since Peter's death. People seemed to think that all should speak in hushed whispers. Giggles were suppressed and the place was beginning to feel a little depressing.
The first thing Tamzin had done when she heard that Peter had died was swap her chair with his. Her chair had a squeaky wheel and an arm rest was loose. So, as she was first in the office, she wheeled her chair over to his cubicle and took his. She looked at his desk. It had already been cleared of anything personal. She hadn't really known Peter. He had been very quiet and didn't really involve himself in office politics. Maybe they would have been good friends if both had made the effort. Now it was too late.
She pushed her new chair over to her cubicle. She smiled to herself as she listened to the smooth sound of the wheels as they ran over the carpet. She sat and allowed herself a few minutes to play with the chair. To press the lever that made it go up and down. To spin around in it and to wobble the arm rests. She did feel a little guilty about taking it. Maybe she should have asked first. No, she had worked in the office for 5 years and deserved the chair. She had been here longer than most of the others. Yes, the chair was hers.
She switched on her computer and signed in. She took a box from her rucksack. She went over to the kitchen area and boiled the kettle, placing a raspberry and vanilla tea bag in the cup. She was always a little disappointed with herbal teas; they smelt so promising but ended up tasting of slightly perfumed water. This type also stained the inside of the cups making them pinkish.
She glanced at the clock. It was nearly eight. People wouldn't start arriving for another half an hour or so. She liked this part of the morning. It gave her time to settle herself and prepare herself for the day. It meant that she could be busy and avoid any direct contact with anyone else in the office. She preferred her own company. She liked to eat her sandwich on her own in the little park while reading a much loved Penguin classic.
She walked back to her cubicle and sat down. Her computer beeped. She looked up and saw a small window open on the screen. It was an instant message from someone calling themselves 'Rochester.1'. The message read 'I like the smell of whatever you are drinking. Does it taste as good?' Tamzin looked around. She was the only one in the office. So who had sent it. She quickly moved the mouse over to the small cross and clicked it away. After all, using messaging for personal reasons was against company policy. She took a sip of her tea and got on with checking her emails.