It had been one of those days. There was no special relief waiting for me at her new flat, but that is where I was headed.
I got out of the cab and walked to the elevator. A number of us got in together – a pair of powdered plump women (A1 & A2), a dark lean man with spectacles (B) and a younger man who seemed somewhat boisterous (C).
We pressed the buttons cautiously one after another indicating where we wanted to disembark. The buttons were soft, and deliberately avoiding the gazes of my co-occupants I looked up and around the elevator. The insides were fleshy pink in color with a soft matte finish. The top of the elevator wasn’t flat, but a dome at a height equivalent to around two floors by my estimation – rather high. A faint glow seemed to emanate from all the surfaces – there were no individual lights (or a fan for that matter).
The house was on the fourth floor and I noted with some angst that we would be stopping once before that, on the second. The elevator started moving.
“It seems to be moving smoother than usual…”, C remarked – I didn’t know what the ‘usual’ was, but it was smooth indeed.
It didn’t stop at the second floor – it was almost like it pretended the second floor did not happen, or for that matter did not exist. C let out a perplexed, angry expletive.
I was secretly amused, overjoyed. Serves him right, he could have taken the stairs (I guess the fourth floor just makes the cut).
It then missed the fourth floor in the same way.
A gradual unease crept in as I grappled for an explanation. I pressed ‘4’ again and the button blinked as a matter of acknowledgement and record, just as it had before. And then it blinked off, almost as if it had winked.
The elevator picked up speed. It did not bother to stop at the other floors either.
“Maybe it’ll go till the top and start down from there…”, B said softly.
I looked around. A1 looked back at me and there was something curious in her eyes – it wasn’t fear. I think the rest of us had the(its) rusty taste somewhere.
There were 13 floors in the building. The display had just counted past 12.
Then there was 13. And still there were no signs of stopping.
I wondered where we were going. I wondered how far away it would be from here. Would we go somewhere in the sky and just float there?
The display read ‘Extra floor’, but only for a split second. Then it read ‘ Goodbye’ for a fraction of a split second.
We came through the top of the building and all that momentum seemed to have just disappeared, dissipated inexplicably. We were in a hole on the floor of the terrace and the elevator had broken almost perfectly in two, allowing us to crawl out one by one, by ourselves.
I waited for the others to pull themselves out and was the last one to leave.
I took the stairs down to her flat and rang the door bell. She knew I was coming. The door opened and I walked in. “How are things?”, she asked me. “Alright”, I said.
We hadn’t exchanged glances. There was very little left to exchange. “Listen…”, I said. “Yes?”
“…We need to talk”.