Linsy entered the Elevator for the second time. There was a tall man already inside with a sour look on his handsome face. Linsy guessed him to be in his early thirties.
Linsy went to press the button for the eleventh floor but it had already been pressed. The first time she got in the elevator, she went to the seventh floor and found there, that it was the eleventh floor she was looking for.
She turned towards the doors as they closed shut and the elevator began to steadily trundle upwards. “Looks like you’re going to my floor,” she said in an attempt to create small talk.
“Look, just don’t talk to me. O.K.?” he said in an irritated voice.
“Sorry,” she responded tenderly. “Are you alright?”
“I said, don’t talk to me,” his tone didn’t change.
She stayed quiet this time. The elevator stopped suddenly. Linsy fell backwards and landed with her back against the wall, the man clutched the hand rail and managed to stay upright. The sound of gears grinding to a halt filled the air and then, silence.
Linsy pulled herself up with the hand rail as the man stalked up to the panel.
“Come on!” he yelled, smacking his palm off the panel. He stopped. “Brilliant! Just, perfect!”
“I think we should just wait for help,” Linsy said.
“Really? You think? You sure we shouldn’t climb out the top like Bruce Willis?” he mocked her.
“Look, I don’t know what’s got you in this foul mood but that’s no reason to take it out on me!” she responded sternly.
He still looked annoyed and Linsy thought he was going to yell at her but then his face slackened and there was sadness behind his eyes. “I’m sorry,” he muttered in a submissive tone as his gaze drifted away from her. She wanted to ask him what the matter was but she didn’t have to. “I was prepared for an argument today, not kind words from a chirpy stranger,” he explained, his eyes were on her again.
“Who were you going to argue with?” she asked.
“My wife,” he paused, “well soon to be ex.”
Linsy wasn’t sure how to reply. “I’m really sorry,” she eventually managed to get out.
“It’s ok,” he said, leaning against the elevator wall, he crossed his arms and looked upwards. “She’s been cheating on me for a good while now.”
“Oh. Well why didn’t you ask her for a divorce earlier?” she sat on the elevator floor with her back against the opposite wall.
“I didn’t have proof.” He looked down at her now.
“So you have proof now? What is it?”
“A half empty can of men’s deodorant which isn’t mine in our room.” He uncrossed his arms and rubbed his eyes with both hands. “Anyway why are you here?” he asked as his hands came away from his face and were placed on the hand rail behind him.
“Oh,” her lips curled into a bashful and self-proud smile. “I’m here to surprise someone special.”
He looked her up and down and said, a cheeky smile on his face, “Lucky them.”
She pretended to be offended, her smile changed to a joking one. “You’re married.”
“Not for much longer!” he half laughed.
Linsy was standing slumped against the doors and wall whereas the man was sitting, cross legged, in the opposite corner.
“You know,” he began, “we’ve been in here for an hour and I don’t know you’re name.”
“Linsy,” she told him.
He offered his hand up to her, expecting it to be shaken. “Nice to meet you Linsy, my name is Andrew.” She went to shake his hand but stopped before doing so. Andrew looked at his hand. “It’s clean,” he told her. “I’d lick it to prove it, but then it wouldn’t be clean.”
“No,” she said with a distant look in her eyes as her hand dropped. “I’m trying to remember whether we pressed the help button or not.”
Andrew’s head and hand both dropped. Linsy heard him sigh. “No, we didn’t. We should probably do that.
“Would help,” she’s teased.
Andrew got up and moved to the panel on the wall. Linsy moved up beside him and they both stared at it. Andrew reached out and pressed the red button, labelled help. There was a loud beep, then silence.
“Hello?” a man’s voice issued from the small speaker.
“Hi,” Andrew said. “Eh, we’ve kind of been stuck in the lift for an hour and five minutes.”
“An hour and five minutes?” the voice said, surprised. “What have you been doing for an hour and five minutes?” He paused. “If you’ve been doing anything naughty, we have a camera in there, we’ll see it.”
Andrew looked at Linsy, he was just as surprised as her, but he shocked her when he asked, “Who could work that fast!?”
There was silence for a moment.
“I could,” the voice said.
Andrew was about to retaliate but Linsy cut in before him. “Yeah, yeah. Put them away boys, we have more pressing matters at hand.”
“Right, yes, sorry,” the voice apologised. “How many people are there with you?”
“Just us two,” Linsy answered.
“Ok and do you have any idea what floor you’re nearest to?”
Linsy looked at Andrew but he just shook his head. “Well I got in on the seventh floor and I reckon we at least passed the eighth. We’re going to the eleventh floor, so anywhere between the eighth and eleventh.”
There was silence again for a moment. “We’re sending up a team to fix the problem, remain calm,” a loud beep and then nothing.
Twenty minutes passed before anyone said anything. “So, tell me about your wife.” Linsy requested, she now sat on the floor with her legs crossed a little away from the wall.
“I really don’t want,” Andrew told her, he was sitting with his back against the wall opposite the doors with his legs stretched out. “Tell me about your boyfriend.”
“Who said I have a boyfriend?”
“You said you were here to visit-” realisation dawned. “Oh. So tell me about your girlfriend.”
“She’s funny, smart and really pretty.”
“Anyone can tell me that, tell me what you love about her.”
“Emm… I love the way she rubs her fingers with her thumb when she’s cold. I also love when she reads a book. She lights a candle to see it because she says it makes it more fun.”
Andrew’s expression changed to surprise, “Go on.”
“I love the way she loops her g’s when she writes and when someone asks her if she plays an instrument, she says-”
“-I play the radio,” Andrew interrupted.
“Yeah. How did you know that?” she asked quizzically.
“Your girlfriend’s name, what is it?”
Linsy faltered, “Sorcha-”
“- Henderson,” Andrew finished. “My wife.” They sat there, staring at each other in silence. A tear rolled down Andrew’s face. “I actually liked you.”
“I am so sorry, she never told me. If I had known, I would have broken it off,” Linsy said desperately.
A large thump came from above and they both looked up. Then footsteps could be heard crossing the elevator roof. They could hear the sounds of work tools.
“But I found men’s deodorant,” he said, ignoring her apology and dragging his gaze back to her.
She looked at him again. “Yeah, that’s mine.”
He didn’t say anything for a moment. “Well you really take this lesbian thing seriously, don’t you?” he spat at her.
“Shut up!” Linsy yelled. “I got enough of that crap when I came out!” She turned away from him and stared at the doors.
They hadn’t talked in forty minutes. Andrew was sitting in the same place but Linsy was sitting in the corner opposite from him, curled up.
“I’m sorry,” Andrew muttered. “I was trying to hurt you.”
“You did,” Linsy responded. “I wouldn’t have got involved with her if I knew she was married.”
Andrew didn’t respond for a while. “You remind me of her, you know. Well before she became a cheating b-” he paused and let out a loud sigh. “We both know I’m done with her, but what about you? What are you going to do?”
“I don’t know. I love her but I can’t overlook this.”
“I think, and I’m not being jealous here, but I think you should forget about her. Someone who could do that, isn’t worth the trouble.”
“I don’t know.”
The noises from above stopped, they looked up. A moment later the elevator jerked upwards and began steadily moving.
They looked at each other again. “Well you better make up your mind soon,” Andrew said.
They got up and stretched their limbs. The elevator gently stopped and the doors opened.
“You know, you’re right. She’s not worth the trouble,” Linsy said. Andrew looked at her and they stepped onto the eleventh floor, together.
© Copyright 2016 Luke French. All rights reserved.