It began as a slight pain on the side of Ren’s forehead. She rubbed the spot and swept dark brown hairs, which had come loose from her ponytail, behind her ear.  Pushing her thin frame glasses up her perky nose, she carried on typing. With quick glances at the computer screen and paper sheets on the desk, she finished up the first of the many databases she was upgrading.

Around her, the office bustled with noise and people. A telephone was constantly ringing and often joined by other ones, forming a never ending ringing sound. Keyboards and computer mice clicked away in random rhythms as computer towers whirled and hummed alongside them. Voices rose and fell in snatches of conversations, pearled with laughter and giggling. Footsteps tapped or shuffled on thin carpet and wooden flooring.

Ren stopped as the pain began growing and blossoming into a headache. She leant on the desk with her elbows and taking both her hands, she rubbed her fingers in slow circles over her temples. Also, she closed her eyes and drew in some deep breaths. Clearly, she heard her colleague in the next cubical talking on the phone and tapping a pen on his desk edge.

Dropping her hands and opening her eyes, Ren went to the handbag at her feet and searched through for some pain killers. Finding some, she took two followed by a mouthful of water from the bottle beside her computer screen. She tried to get back to work, but the office seemed a lot louder than before. She gave up after a minute and decided to take her afternoon break early.

Picking up her empty mug, she walked to the back of the room into the kitchen/lounge area. Two women, whom she half recognised were talking about their plans for the weekend by the coffee machine in the corner. Ignoring them, Ren checked the kettle and flicked it on. She made herself a tea then sat down on a large worn out sofa against the back wall. Praying that the pain killers kicked in soon, she drink her tea and blocked out the distant office noises.

The pain wouldn’t quit and when her fifteen minutes was up, Ren went back to her desk with a throbbing head. Sit back down, she felt a pulsing on the right side of her forehead, rubbing it only seemed to make it worse. She pulled herself together and threw everything into her work. The pain wouldn’t be ignored and started to affect her sight with bright flashing lights.

Shutting her eyes, she willed it all away and wondered if she should take more medicine. However, she knew she couldn’t, even if it didn’t seem very dangerous at that moment. Home it is then, she thought with a big sigh and opening her eyes, she prepared to leave and tell her boss.