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Broken Elevator

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„Connor.“ - „´Quel.“ - „Funny.“ – „ Huh. D´you think? Really?”

Connor quirks his eyebrows at Raquel in an attempt to make good and presses a button.

Raquel isn´t falling for it. “You´re a funny, funny man.”

He leans over in mock-conspiratorial comradeship. “Deep down, I´m really sad,” he stage-whispers.

Raquel almost chokes on the non-existent laugh in her throat. Her eyes flick sideways, but don´t find him.

The elevator jerks to a sudden stop. Oh no. Asshole.

“Asshole elevator.”

“Yeah, that´ll help.”-“Oh shut up, Connor.”

Their silence is a long, painful one. They don´t speak when the doors open at last.

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The elevator doors close behind Raquel.

Connor wonders whether he is already high enough that he would die if it suddenly plunged.

Probably not.

He actually has to get off on the same floor as Raquel.
It´s the ground floor. The only way out of the building.

He can´t physically bring himself to follow her out.

He rides up to the third floor. A middle-aged woman in business attire gets on. He smiles at her and asks what floor she needs.

They ride up to the seventh floor and he cheerfully wishes her a nice day.

He hates himself. It doesn´t matter.

He wonders how long he can ride the elevator. Is there surveillance in this building? Will they send security to escort him out?

If he doesn´t agree to come out, will they send a negotiator? A psychiatrist? A specialist for people who won´t leave elevators? The fire department?

Will he be the most curious incident the security officer or the receptionist or the firefighter ever experienced in their career?

Probably not.

What will the other people working in the building think when they see him being escorted out, maybe even carried off?

He can shout something obscene, so they won´t think it´s because he rode the elevator for three hours and refused to leave it.

3-2-1-0-ding! Ground level again. Doors open.

Connor exits the elevator. He has failed again.