~ a story ~
As the doors opened, my breath caught in my throat, yet I tried not to show it. She just stood there, no leaned there, against the wall of the elevator, her manner so striking, yet quiet, unassuming.
Her body was positioned in the lazy way fashion models try to fake, but on her it was real. Her hair was raven black, cascading down far past her shoulders, skimming the sides of her hips.
Her eyes darted up for only a moment before returning to the tiny screen in her hands. Even in that brief millisecond I saw they were a rich brown, almost as dark as her hair. One ear bud hung from the other, only half delivering music I could just barely not hear.
Like everyone these days she was bundled against the cold. And like most magazine covers, she made my paltry drab look all the more quaint. Her thick knit scarf, the cream color a soft accent against her sun-kissed skin, hid all of her throat. Her black leather jacket was buttoned up and zippered, but with the belt strap hung loose on her sides. Her jeans had rips and holes that revealed blood red tights underneath. And her scuffed and worn dark brown boots looked older than she did.
It was as if I were looking at a fantasy, as if the elevator had created a dream and revealed it to me, some sort of evening prize after my long day at the office.
I’d stood so long at the entrance, shocked by the sight of her, that when I went to step into the elevator, the doors knocked into my arms and opened back up. She didn’t bother glancing up at my clumsiness. I took a spot across from her, leaned against the elevator wall as well, though not nearly as cool as she, and waited for the doors to close.
After a moment, she reached out her hand and softly hit the Door Close button. Before I could stop myself, I said, “I think they make those, but never connect anything to them. They just want to give you the satisfaction of thinking you’re doing something to make your trip quicker.”
Her eyes flashed up at me again, her annoyance easily conveyed without words. The doors closed slowly; somehow it felt like the world was growing smaller, claustrophobic-like. Instead of hoping for more time in the presence of this beauty, which was all I wanted as soon as I glimpsed her, now all I desired was for the small box to move quickly so that I might run away from my embarrassment.
But, true to form, the elevator stopped on every floor on its way up to the seventh level where my, and it would seem hers as well, car was parked. No one else got onto the lift, yet there must have been some random malfunction since none of the indicator lights for any level were lit. And at each new stop, she extended her finger and jabbed the Door Closed button a few times, a futile effort to get away from someone who wanted the separation just as much as she.
As we painfully endured our long trip, I could think of no way to salvage my self worth, no way of redeeming my stature to her, so I merely stared at the floor and bit my tongue, hoping to not let loose any more ill advised words.
When finally we reached the seventh floor, she seemed to make a made dash for her car. In a quick moment, as a game to myself, I tried to snap guess what car she drove. But it was obvious from the start as soon as I stepped off the elevator. The only two vehicles about were a shiny jet black Prius and my old Jeep.
She hopped into her ride, silently turned on her car, and slid away, cool to the very end.
I stepped into my Jeep and let it warm up as I banged my head against my steering wheel a few times. Then I drove off, hoping I would never see her again.
Categorised as: Gen Fiction
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