“Hold the elevator,” the voice rings out from down the corridor.
“I hold my arm out to stop the doors from shutting, and they quietly subside and he runs in, his laptop bag balancing precariously on the edge of his shoulder as he stumbles, leaning against the back beam for support as he catches his breath.
“Thanks,” he announces, smiling widely at me – the kind of smile that leaves hearts in puddles – as he pushes the button for the ground floor.
“No problem,” I reply, smiling openly back at him as he sidles in beside me.
The elevator is tiny and I can never get used to it. Between myself and this (awfullly handsome, I have to admit) stranger, there’s hardly room to breathe. We stand shoulder to shoulder, his laptop bag rubbing against my jeans and his hand grazing mine as he reaches up and pushes his glasses into place on the bridge of his nose.
My, he is tall.
I glance at his reflection in the elevator door, taking in his darkly curling hair and the piercing blue eyes hidden behind frameless specs. It takes me awhile to realise that he is staring at my reflection as well. I blush and try my best to compose myself, but his smile just widens even further.
“I don’t think we’ve met,” he says, turning awkwardly to face me and holding his hand a little way out in front of him as a greeting.
“Carey,” I respond, letting my hand linger as I shake his.
“Martin. 409.” He doesn’t attempt to move his hand, his eyes staying with mine.
The elevator lands with a slight bump and our hands and eyes separate as the doors part. We step forward at the same time, and we giggle at the familiarity of it.
“Nice to meet you, Martin,” I say as we walk through the sunlit entrance and onto the street. He turns and smile at me once again, waving widely, before picking up the pace and running down the road.
409, I think to myself. Only a few doors down from my me.
“Hey, neighbour.” Too impersonal.
“Hey, Marty.” Too personal.
“Hey 409.” Perfect – the right blend of indifference and inside-joking-ness.
“Excuse me, ma’am.”
The voice pulls me out of my daydreaming and I turn to face it, faltering as I realise that it is a police officer who may have just heard me talking to myself in the middle of the street.
“Sorry, officer! How can I help you?”
“Sorry to bother, ma’am,” he says as he pulls a bent notebook from his back pocket. “It’s just that there’s been a report of a robbery in the building.”
He points the book at the apartment block that I just walked out of, and I catch a glimpse of a pencil sketch on the white paper. My face falls.
“Which flat was broken into?”
I close my eyes, my hands dropping to my jeans as I recall the graze of his touch, the bump of the bag. I’m sure I had my cellphone on me. My car keys. My house keys.
The officer flicks through pages of the notebook before confirming my suspicions.
And, since the last post included a link to the first few posts, here are some of the more recent contributions from other bloggers across the net:
What A Stranger/Psychopath Taught Me [SHORT STORY] | Ramisa the Authoress
How I Treated a Childhood Crush | Recis Dempayos
Going Up? « The Robotic Hermit
Stuck in a lift | Geek Ergo Sum
Daily Prompt: The Elevator | Staying in Focus
Peeing Yourself when Trapped in an Elevator | A Little Bit Stronger
Stuck | Tony’s Texts
Love. Life. | Doing Charity Work While Stuck in an Elevator
The Elavator | TheLifeandTimesofaMom
Elevator: Meeting Mrs Cocks | Khana’s Web