It's your secret.
My eyes flicked over to the clock on my desktop for the umpteenth time. A few more minutes to lunch. The day was crawling by at a pace far too slow for my liking.
Around me, I heard the monotonous tapping of keyboard keys, the frantic clickings on a mouse, a restrained cough or two.
But something was not quite right.
My chair. It seemed to be trembling, ever so slightly – as though it was threatening to buckle under my weight. My mind immediately dismissed the idea as ludicrous. But it did not stop me from imagining myself on the ground, surrounded by broken pieces of my own chair, a dazed expression on my face.
What a strange sensation. Or-
An earthquake, perhaps. I looked up. Everyone else seemed oblivious; their eyes were still drawn to their monitor screens, their utmost concentration dedicated solely to work. I decided to attribute the mild tremors to some drilling being done at one of the many construction sites nearby.
Then a voice piped up, an innocent question asked.
“Do you feel something?”
That one question somehow prompted a dozen or so other responses from those within hearing range.
“The building’s shaking!”
“I feel it!”
“It’s shaking, shaking!”
“I don’t feel anything…?”
“Is this another earthquake?”
“Should we evacuate?”
It should be so easy. All it takes is just one question to clear up any lingering doubts, and you join the rest of the world (well, sort of) in acknowledging the powerful presence of an earthquake.
The second time around, an hour or so later, no one had any qualms in making their voices heard with immediate effect.
“It’s shaking again, isn’t it?”