Floor 77

He rushed out of his flat slamming the door with his left hand while the right is putting on his mac, delved for his watch in his pocket, pressed the elevator down button and wrapped the watch around his wrist peering at the hands.

For a few moments he moved relentlessly back and forth along the corridor; then he looked at the red glowing numbers, both read 77.

His mind speeded downstairs and through the hall to the parking lot and got into the car. He opened maps for the 10th time within the last 5 minutes, checking the location. Google says 54 minutes.

He looked up again, both elevators are still in 77th! Pulsating sharp thuds broke the silence from round the corner. His mind driving hastily across the crowded roads occupied by an ambiguous scent.

Black high heels and a red dress embraced by mink fur emerged raising the drumming beats to compete with his heart in a frustrated race and filling his existence with mystic perfumes. The lady pressed the other button.

The lifts did not move! What the heck is going on? Now google reads 57 minutes. He tried to distract himself by observing the woman who stood placidly resting her back to the wall: The little silk bag dangling from her forearm; a mirror in her hand, the other keeps fixing unseen defects in her make up.  

She was a model, he thought, Venus. She seized his attention for 2 minutes, only to be shaken by the sound of another person coming. The lifts are stationary. This is crazy! He rummaged through his phone for the maintenance number. He swiped the number to the right, it’s waiting.

The coming resident stood next to him. He kept calling the number over and over for 3 minutes; finally, the other side replied. The dull slow waiting music flew through his ear further pressing his nerves. His mind parked the car, hurled the keys to the valet and ran to the entrance. ‘Welcome Mr Brown, you barely caught the interview; all the others are gone and the last one is in there.’

He jumped frantically when the guy asked him about the time. He stared at him in a dumb look as if it was the first time he realised his presence. He was a tall shabby middle-aged fellow. He apologized and looked at his cell to tell him the time. ‘Upon my word,’ he yelled, ‘it’s 5:53.’ About 5 minutes passed listening to this everlasting piece. He had almost collapsed beside the elevator door when an even more dull voice came off the phone ‘Building maintenance, this is Mark; who is speaking please?’

He shrieked ‘The elevators are stuck in the 77th floor for about 15 minutes now, and we can’t get out of here!’ The icy voice replied back, ‘We have received a lot of complaints of the same, sir; and we have already sent someone to investigate the matter’, what he felt a long moment of silence followed before the voice came again, ‘Anything else, sir?’

He hung up scanning maps desperately, it showed 59 minutes! He ducked by the wall with his head between his hands. The man was gone and the lady, now lost her divinity, was tapping the porcelain tiles rhythmically. He closed his eyes in despair. He didn’t know how many minutes elapsed before the distinctive ding announced the arrival of the elevator. It was the going down one so the lady kept striking while he entered the empty elevator. He punched the button 77 then the closing button.