Photo by DESIGNECOLOGIST on Unsplash
‘ Come in here, and we’ll take the lift ‘ . His voice gruff and commanding. It was what I expected from someone like him. The red checks, large beer belly, the result of much good living and little exercise. He was tall, and had the complexion of one who spent much time in the outdoors, and lived on a bad diet.
Like many of his age, he always wore a suit. It was just the way of it, for men of that time. The people round us hurried about their business. It was never the happiest of places. Too much human tragedy likely to happen here at any moment a distinct possibility. As was happiness and joy. Well more relief at the outcome, and then the freedom.
At last the lift arrived at the ground floor, the other’s exited it. Watching them it was hard to tell, how it went. Many people are hard to read. He went first then I followed. No one else decided to join us. The dull grey interior of the lift, badly in need of a clean, and spruce up. The ever present scent of disinfectant, that even now takes my mind back to that place. The double doors shut, with a resounding swish like sound. He reached over and pulled the inner gates across and the lift began it’s journey upwards. He never let go of the loosely wrapped plastic package he held under his arm. It looked soft, so I assumed it was clothing . The lift silently make its way upward. After a few moments, he reached across and pulled the inner gates apart. The lift came to a juddering halt, and we both fell forward towards the grey steel doors. I looked at him, but his expression was plain, non committal.
He reached above my head to the copper colored control panel, that housed the different floor numbers and the open and close switches, an emergency phone, and the interior light, which he flipped to turn the interior to total darkness. I tried but could not see, not even my hand. I called out to him, but he did not answer. Alone in the darkness, I was afraid. Again I called out, but he did not answer.
It was unpleasantly warm to the touch. That rough hand on my bare thigh, as it slowly moved upwards. I silently cursed myself for wearing short trousers, as I cursed God for making the weather for being so warm. Then just as quickly I asked God if he would forgive me, for cursing him.
In the silence and the darkness, his breathing loud, fast and guttural. The scent of the earth, alcohol and cigarette smoke from him, sickening to my young senses. His movements were rough, brutal, and urgent. The soft package slipped from his grip, where he held it tightly, as he fumbled urgently at his clothing, and at mine. I struggled to escape, but in the small space I was trapped. He was stronger than I. The only sounds his moans of excitement, wrapped around quietly spoken swear words. It continued for a few moments. I closed my eyes and thought of the ocean, and the freedom it offered.
When he was satisfied, I tidied myself up in the darkness and the silence, as did he. Reaching across to the control panel, he flipped the switch, and the darkness turned to light. I knew the drill, not to look at him, nor speak. So I just stood facing away from him, and stared into a corner of the lift. He pulled the black wrought iron gates back together and the lift continued its journey upwards. When we reached our floor, we marched down the dull grey corridor towards the general ward.
She was sat upright in bed, reading the newspaper. Looking reasonably healthy, as the sun shone throw the windows. Everybody it seemed was in good form. That’s what the good weather can do. The nurses was smiling. The other visitors gathered round the beds of their relatives were laughing. It seemed like no one was really ill in the sunshine.
I followed behind him, as we approached the bed. She smiled and put down the newspaper, seeing us approach.
‘Welcome’ she said.
Written in response to a photo prompt seen here : https://creativewriting.ie/writing-prompts/