by Eliza West
Rated: E · Short Story · Comedy · #2279744
An easy-going IT guy and a high-horse lawyer get stuck in an elevator together.
| When you’re late for work, things don’t move as fast as you want them to. The car can’t race through traffic at 200 miles an hour, the barista at Starbucks still takes 67 seconds to make the coffee, and the elevator moves as fast as a 150-year-old tortoise. |
One morning in New York, two men run into work. Late. Sunlight reflects off the glass skyscraper as if the building is a mirror. The perfume of paper and sweat wafts through the air. People’s shoes click-clack on the varnished slate floor.
George shows his ID to the security guard and walks through the metal detector. No hello. No small talk. George just grumbles about how it’s taking forever. He runs a hand through his slick brown hair and makes a beeline for the elevator. This numb-skull is an associate lawyer at Lawrence and Cole and good at his job. But no, the world does not revolve around him.
Then Jeffrey from IT strides toward the guard.
“Hey, Bob, how are ya?”
“Good. You?” Bob smiles.
“When my alarm rang, I smacked my phone so hard, it went to bed and never woke up. I’m great.” He winked.
Bob shook his head with a chuckle. “Go turn some computers on and off. You’ll get a new phone in a jiffy.”
“You know that’s not how it works,” he quips good-humouredly.
“Isn’t it?” Bob exchanges Jeffrey’s ID for the extra coffee in the IT guy’s hand.
“See ya later, Bob.”
Jeff trots up to the silver elevator doors to catch the ride up in time. “Hold it!”
George lays back against the wall.
Jeffrey slips by before the doors close.
“Whew. Thanks, by the way”
George rolls his eyes.
“That’s only half-right.”
“Oh, great!” George chuckled sardonically.
Clank. The elevator stops.
The tortoise would’ve won this race.
“This is what I needed today.” He kicks the door.
“It’ll be fine.” Jeffrey presses the emergency call button.
“Yeah?” a deep voice crackles.
“Uh, Herman, we’re stuck down here. Would you please send down some guys to fix the elevator?”
“Sure, but it’ll take a while.”
George groans. “And there’s no service.”
The elevator lights shine on their sweaty faces.
“Might as well enjoy the morning.” Jeffrey sits down and boots up his laptop.
“What? Excuse me? How do you enjoy a morning when you’re stuck in the elevator for who knows how long with God knows who!” George’s voice bounces about the steel walls.
“Shut up and drink your coffee.” Jeffrey opens up Chrome and types a random letter into the search bar.
“What are you doing?”
On the Chrome page, a little dinosaur pops up with the message that there is no internet connection, but Jeffrey has no
problem with that. He jabs the spacebar and sips his caramel macchiato. He sighs as if he’s living his best life.
The computer bloops softly every time the dino hops over cacti of various sizes and shapes.
“You’re playing a video game? You have got to be joking.” George rubs his face.
Jeffrey simpers with a wink before he turns back to his laptop. “Seriously, George, this is the most ingenious of Google’s contributions to modern technology. No Wi-Fi? Play a game. Keep busy. Live life simply for a while. Most adults forget that.”
“Wait. How do you know my name? I don’t know yours.”
“Really? I fix your computer a lot.”
“Nope. Don’t remember you.”
“Huh. Maybe you should get down from Mount Everest.” Jeffrey shrugs his mouth and goes back to the video game.
“What is your name?”
“Bond. James Bond.”
“Just kiddin’. It’s Jeffrey.”
George leans back, watching as Jeffrey continues to play on the laptop and sip at his coffee perfectly content. It’s annoying. George’s eyelid flinches every time the computer bloops. Jeffrey is at 700 now, near breaking a record. George crosses his arms. Someone is having fun while he is sitting like a wet duck.
A few minutes later, he gives up and sinks beside Jeffrey. This is stupid. “Can I?”
A pause filled the metal box. “May I?”
George sighs and glares at the doors. Why is it taking so long?
“You do know you have a laptop too?” Jeffrey says without taking his eyes off the screen.
“Oh.” George lowers his brow. He grabs his paper-thin computer and recalls what Jeffrey did before.
An hour later, the elevator whirs into life again and climbs the floors all the way to the 50th. The doors open all right. The doors open on George and Jeffrey on the floor, legs splayed out, playing the “No Wi-Fi” dino game like hyper five-year-olds.
“Ha. I won this time.” George grins, having beaten Jeffrey’s winning streak. Jeffrey just shakes his head with a laugh. Then the two men in suits look up as it dawns on them. The doors are open. They’re on the 50th floor. And people are gawking.
As if nothing happened, George and Jeffrey pack up, shrug on their jackets, and sling their bags over their shoulders. They get out. People get in.
It’s glorious as the two step foot into the outside world again. The phones sing. The AC greets them like a cold beer.
They both sigh.
“Well.” Jeffrey clicks his tongue. “See you next time your Wi-Fi goes down.”
George chuckles. “Yeah, yeah. Later, Jeffrey.” George allows himself a smile, leaving seemingly less full of himself.
Success. Jeffrey smirks.
When time slows down, sometimes the best thing to do is slow down too, because world isn’t going anywhere.