Caught in a Lift

Do you know what it feels like when your heart stops beating? Or when your heart is in your mouth … or moments when all you hear is the deafening beat of your heart and nothing else…

Well …life happens … even in a lift.

There were nine of us in there. All bearing that typical expression people have when in a lift. Do you know the word for it? Let me know …post it here please.

Well…so here we were leaving the office building at the end of the day, relieved that we had finally completed the training workshop before 6.30 in the evening. I don’t know about you but I do feel brighter if I’m on my way home while it’s still daylight.

So in the lift …as the doors slid close, I held my breath, put on the customary bored poker face expression and started playing a game on my phone. Usually I’m a bundle of nerves as soon as the lift doors shut but today I had an amiable colleague with me and felt a ‘little reassured.

In the lift, from the 12th floor we slid down to the 3rd floor and …stopped. 10 secs…30…60… Oh no! Now my heart was in my mouth and I could barely breathe. All the men were doing something – either giving each other advice or pressing the buttons or commenting about how often this lift gets stuck. That was certainly not what I wanted to know especially at that moment …!

Someone pressed the alarm bell and held on to it. Perhaps that’s all we could do really! The watch showed that 3 minutes had passed when we felt the jerk of movement and saw that we were going …back up! To the 14th floor! More advice and more comments. More holding of my breath for me… to others it looked like I was maintaining a dignified silence…apparently! Oh really! Oh well.

As the doors slid open on the 14th floor I stumbled out, all dignity gone to the wind, and refused to get back in again. I went towards the staircase to slowly climb down the 14 floors. Just as I stepped onto the first one I heard a voice behind me, ‘Wait. I’m climbing down with you.’

Things that really matter often happen without fanfare, so simply, so quietly and what really stays with me is this voice of my colleague as he joined me at the staircase saying. ‘I’m climbing down with you. Can’t let you climb down alone!’

Suddenly the evening was lighter and my faith in mankind renewed.

Do you have such a story?

14 floors. 14 stories. Send me ‘Your stories in a Lift’. Okay …elevators if you wish.

And do tell me what stays with you over and above the actual event. Thank you.

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