‘What the hell is that?’ thought Kate to herself as she was awoken by a buzz. After a few seconds of confusion she turned to her left and tapped the screen of her phone. It was her alarm sounding. She lifted the phone up from her bedside locker and looked at the time on screen; 06:30 it read. She put the phone back down and turned onto her back. She stared solemnly at the ceiling for a few seconds before suddenly getting out of bed. She threw the covers back and sat up, turned around and swung her feet to the ground all in one movement. She looked down at her phone once again, which now read 06:31, and sighed. ‘Another early morning,’ she thought; wishing for Saturday to arrive sooner rather than later. She walked from the bedside into the en-suite bathroom which was no more than six or seven steps away. She pushed aside the shower door and switched it on. She closed the shower door and took her clothes off. She dropped her black pants and black t-shirt on the ground and stepped into the shower. Kate, after allowing the shower to wet her long brunette, slightly frizzy brown hair massaged in some shampoo and then scrubbed it vigorously under the stream of water. While in the shower she thought, as she always did. She seemed to do most of her problem solving while under the warm, steamy jets of water. This morning in particular she was concerning herself with a party which she had been invited to. Kate wasn’t exactly the most social person, in fact she few friends, and little family of which to speak. One of her close friends, though, was having a party the following night. That would be fine, however Kate, being shy, didn’t particularly fancy it. She knew she probably should go, as Louise was one of her closest friends but she couldn’t help being nervous around people. Even walking through a group of more than four or five people made her anxious. She knew she was just being paranoid, but even hearing someone laugh while she was present made her instantly think they were talking about her. This morning, she was trying to come up with an excuse not to go to her friend’s twenty-third birthday. ‘What’s wrong with me?’ she thought to herself, ‘I’m twenty-two, I should be a party animal, not some nervous, “odd,” wreck.’ That’s exactly what people had called her when she was growing up, “odd.” Even her own parents had called her it at times. She hated it. She couldn’t help being anti-social. If she’d had the choice she’d be out every night of the week, but that wasn’t her then, and it wasn’t her now. Unsure what she would do about the following night’s events she continued showering until of her five foot, six inch, slim frame was clean. She got out of the shower and grabbed for the towel which was sitting on the side of the bath; itself located beside the shower. She ran the towel over her head a few times and tried to soak up any dripping water from her hair. She proceeded to wrap the towel around her body. She walked to bathroom mirror and looked at herself in it. Her bright blue eyes sparkled in the water droplets running down the steamy mirror. She gave the mirror a wipe with the back of her hand and examined her milky-white, unblemished skin closely in the mirror. She pulled the skin back, and prodded it, and finished by examining her almost perfectly white teeth – still though, she didn’t look happy with what she saw.
She went back into her bedroom and got dressed in black trousers and a black jacket, along with a white satin top.
Kate entered the kitchen just as the clock on the oven changed to 06:52. She opened the high cupboard directly in front of her as she walked in and took out a bowl. She then went down on her hunkers and fished into the back of the cupboard below it to try and find a box of cereal. She eventually found a box with more than just crumbs in it. She poured it into the bowl and opened the fridge which was to her left and grabbed the milk. She opened the new carton of milk. She held it above the bowl only for the milk to miss the bowl and spill on the counter top. She continued with the milk until there was enough in the bowl however. She put the milk back into the fridge and slammed the door shut. She was getting stressed now. She reached for a dish cloth and wiped around the bowl which was surrounded by milk. She lifted the bowl and wiped the underside of it, and then wiped the counter where it had been. She threw the cloth into the sink. She pulled open a drawer to her right and got a spoon. She began eating there and then in the kitchen, gazing out her window onto the city outside. It was a crisp dry, January morning. It was quite cold too, which she could feel from inside. When finished with her breakfast she left the bowl where it was, left the kitchen and ran upstairs to brush her teeth and hair. She came back down the stairs and turned right into the sitting room. She sat on the couch and reached for her heels which were lying where she had kicked them off the night before. She slipped the black, glossy, four inch heels onto her feet.
As she left the sitting room and headed for the front door she grabbed her keys from the table beside the door and put them in her handbag which was also on the table. She reached into her right trouser pocket for her phone and dropped it into her bag too, but not before checking the time; it was now exactly 7 PM. She left the apartment and closed the door behind her. She made her way to the end of the dull hallway and pushed the button to call the lift. The lift doors opened, and she made her way inside.
The door of Kate’s car swung open. The electric blue Honda Civic was parked in the third level of the multi-story car park. She turned around in her seat and both of her feet hit the ground at the same time as she stepped out of the car, pausing only momentarily to lift her handbag from the passenger seat beside her. She dusted herself down and closed the door behind her. She pressed the remote lock button on her car keys. The car made a beeping noise to signify that it was locked. She strode towards the lift at the opposite end of the car park, her heels clicking and echoing in the empty, silent structure. The pushed the button on the lift and stepped inside. She pressed the number 1 to take her to the bottom of the car park. When there she made her way from the back alley entrance to the car park to the pavement along the busy road which her office was located on. It was only a two minute walk from here to the front door of the building she worked in, but it felt a lot longer today with the sharp chill in the air. Eventually she was in front of the Gough building in London’s bustling city centre. The twenty-three story building was largely concrete, though obviously frequently cleaned from the look of it, with more windows than could be counted, all shining, all reflecting the sun into onlookers’ eyes. Kate made her way through automatic doors.
Inside the building, there was a waiting area to the left which consisted of black leather couches and chairs, which contrasted the white painted walls, surrounding a small coffee table. To the right was a desk at which there were four young receptionists stationed behind, all wearing ear pieces and typing away on computers. Kate walked straight ahead along the white tiled floor to the lifts at the end of the room, passing offices on her left and rights as she went. Once in the lift she pressed the number twenty-three button. As the doors opened she was met with a bustling office floor filled with cubicles. Each cubicle had a computer with a person working away behind it. The room seemed to go on forever. She exited the lift and turned to her right and walked towards the end of the room. Her cubicle was at the very end of the room, nearest the window. She reached the end of the room and took a left turn. She continued on until she reached her cubicle. She sat down and entered her username and password, peering out the window as she waited for computer to log in. As her desktop loaded she took out her phone and checked the time on it; it was 7:57am. ‘Three minutes until I have to start work,’ she thought. She put her phone on the desk. She looked around the office, which was quite noisy, with people talking and keyboards being typed upon. She looked back at the clock on her computer which was now reading eight o’clock. She put on her headset which was lying on the desk and began work. Kate worked for ‘Prozoniev,’ an Eastern European owned company which dealt with insurance claims. She took her first call of the day. It was a man from Boston, who was attempting to make an insurance claim. It would be partly Kate’s job to decide whether or not he would receive any compensation. Kate asked the man for his name. “Brian. Brian Phillips,” he told her. “And how may I help you today sir?” asked Kate. “Well,” said Brian, “My house has been damaged quite a bit.” Kate replied in a professional tone, “I see, would you mind telling me more about that?” “Not a problem,” continued Brian.
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