She, Him, and Me

Written for a prompt found at YEAH WRITE!

Write about being stuck in a small space with someone you hate. Example: a taxi, an elevator, etc.

Title: She, Him, And Me

Word Count: 479

The lift chimes and the doors slide open. I enter and push the number one with more vehemence than the lift probably deserves, but I want out. I want to get away, and this stupid box of modern mechanics had better hurry up before I turn into the Hulk.

The doors begin to slide shut when suddenly there’s a neat, manicured hand. The lift reacts, the doors open once more, and She is there.

“Oh, hello!” She laughs and struts in. She stands beside me, back to the wall, facing the doors, and I have to resist the urge to bolt.

The doors seal us in, and we begin the descent.

It’s only 14 floors, but this is New Year’s Eve, and every button is lit up like Buddy the Elf’s Christmas tree. We stop and start as more people file on and off. She is sometimes crushed against me, and I suppose that even I am more comforting than a groping drunk, but I still recoil from Her touch.

Her cell phone rings, and She answers it. She’s ignoring me, even though we’ve known each other for years; even though we’ve just left the same man and the same party; even though She’s pressed against me in this crowded lift and Her flirtatious perfume is offending my nose.

“Oh, darling, I miss you, too,” She coos. “Don’t worry, I’ve a taxi waiting. Yes, of course, I’ll call you once I get home. Oh, you’re so sweet to be concerned about me.”

I want to vomit. I want to run Her through with a very sharp stick. I want to toss Her from the rooftop to the frozen ground below. I want to snap Her neck with my own two hands.

But most of all, I want to cry because He noticed Her departure but not mine.

“I know, darling, I know, but you’ve got guests, and I really must leave. I’ve got to travel in the morning, you know.”

If I had known that She was leaving, I would have stayed. And if I had stayed and if She had left, then He would have come to me, and I could have pretended that for tonight He loved me more than He loved Her.

“Now don’t go kissing anyone else at midnight,” She warns, and then giggles at His response.

It’s not fair. I met Him first, I’ve known Him the longest. And He loved me, He did, until She arrived. Why Her? What is so great about Her?

She hangs up. We’re at floor three now. Soon this will be over and I will go home to an empty flat and hear the distant thundering of fireworks as time changes once more.

She doesn’t say a word and neither do I. The lift chimes, the doors open, and we’re released into the cold air of the end of 2010.

Originally posted on tumblr.


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