“Can you please press 10,” said a petite young woman as she rushed into the elevator. Her hair was all over her face and it seemed liked she'd been running. She must be late for something.
“Excuse me, can you please press 10?” she repeated. This is embarrassing. I must have been staring at her so I quickly look away and press 10. She had a very familiar face but I couldn't place where I'd seen her.
“Oh no! What happened now? UGHH!” exclaimed the woman as the lift came to a sudden halt and the lights went out.
“Don't worry; I think the power just went out. But, our apartment has backup power. I'm sure it will be back in a few minutes.” I said as I pressed the emergency button.
“Okay. I'm just a bit nervous. I actually came here to meet someone very important.” She was mostly talking to herself. “I was running on my way over here because it felt like if I had time to think about it I'll change my mind. And, now here's me thinking about it. Maybe it's a sign that I should head back. What do you think?”
“Umm, I really don't think you should be asking a stranger such a question if it's an important matter.” I think my reply came out curter than I wanted it to be because she turned to the other side and started looking down at her feet. It's just that I've never been very good at conversations with strangers. But, I wanted her to keep talking.
“What I meant was, I'm just a random guy and I wouldn't want what I say to change your mind about something which you've obviously put a lot of thought into. I mean, I don't even know what you came here to do. For all I know, you came here to hunt down your long lost enemy.”
“You actually came pretty close at guessing. I came here to meet my “long lost” best friend.”
“Shouldn't you be excited then? Why are you nervous?” I asked her.
“You see, when I was young, I was best friends with this boy in my neighbourhood. We used to play in the park every day. But, one day he just stopped coming. His house was later found empty and a new family moved in there after a few weeks. I never saw him again and I never knew what happened to him. It's been nearly 15 years and I guess I'm nervous because he left without saying anything.”
Thankfully, the lights came back on that instant and the elevator started going up. In the light, I could finally see her face clearly and it reminded me of the night my parents rushed me out of the house in the middle of the night. I don't remember much from that night but I remember crying out “Elena would be waiting for me”.
She was looking at my face as well but before she could say anything, the elevator door opened. It had reached our floor. I let her out first and then silently followed her to my apartment.
Tasnim Odrika is having an existential crisis at the moment and doesn't really know who she is anymore. Send her compliments at firstname.lastname@example.org