The Elevator Ride

The elevator opens.  It’s late close to midnight.

  “I can’t wait to get home.” Pushing the lobby button.  Waiting to count the floors as the numbers light and go dark. Each bing, one step closer to home.

Two brings and a stop.  I move further back in the elevator.  A fortish woman gets in. Stares at my like am a psycho killer, and takes her place in distant corner.  Flexes her hands, keys flash in light.  She paces in place.  Feet kind of half stepping to nowhere.  I lose track of the bings and the lights.

The elevator chunks into the cradle at the bottom floor.  The delay of a half second seems like an hour.  I can’t wait to get away from her already. The nerves are like perfume of a skunk.

There’s one way out.  The revolving doors long locked in place. The side door with push button to open, followed by another one just like it.  It’s a three turn twisted path.

The door opens. The start pistol sounds.  She off. An imaginary race.  Is she fleeing from me?  Her pace is ragged. Herky Jerky.  A few paces and a side glance. I want to scream “Lady there’s two people here!  You are leading me to your car if I’m the killer you think I am!”  I shake my head.  Every psycho movie the killer catches the running victim. Why?  They run to the door that takes time to open.  The victim is preoccupied with only the killer.

Scared lady cuts a corner too sharp.  The trash can sitting in same place for ten years bites at the ankle.  

“Ouch! Ankle bone glancing off hard object.” I quietly say to myself. Wincing a little.

It slows down the last turn for her.  We are twenty feet apart and she gets to the door.  It doesn’t open. Horror film comes to life. She is ready to panic.  She slaps the button four times like a child trying to smash a bug.  It hesitates before surging open.  I’m at arms length.

“I was they would fix that door!” She makes eye contact for the first time with me.  I’m focused on her because she is dangerous with those keys.  She’s trying to talk normal.  Her tension could choke the life out of a room of people. She try’s to read me.

  I’m too tired to be read. I really don’t care anything about her.  “Just please get out of my way” my mind says.

She hits the second door button the same way.  Her body is sideways to me.  She can clearly see I maintain as much space away from her.  Her tension peaks as the door slides open.  Once again she leads herself away.  She goes left, I go right.

My sight falls to my car.  One hundred feet away. One car left in that side.  Echoes of shoes tell me where she went in the covered section.

I get to my car.  A second vehicle comes around a far corner.  It’s approach is following lines that mean nothing in an empty parking lot.  It circles toward the door I just left.  It is security patrolling the lot.  On the left, a SUV moves down a ramp toward the garage exit.

My car gets me to the same exit, where a gate will get me home.  There are yellow lights in my rear view.  

“What the hell?!” I throw out to the world.  I see a man approach my car as the exit nears.

“Sir? Can I help you with something?” He offers me.

“I don’t think so.  I’m leaving. The exit is still open, right?”

“There are some people who have seen people loitering here.  We didn’t know if you needed help or saw something.” He tells me.

“Well, I can tell you.  I was the only car in the lot.  It was there for hours.  You would know that if you patrolled the lot.  The lady who just called you.  Tell her to let the strange person leave first.  Or she would lead me to her car. In a deserted garage in the dark. With you driving around an empty lot.”

He stares blankly at me.  He has a flash light.  Maybe he could find a clue with it.

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