Play Nice

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[This is where the summary would go if I'd bothered to write one.]

« Week 96Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana »

Every morning as she walks into the building he looks at her. She can feel him looking and ordinarily this would bother or frighten her but for some reason she doesn’t mind. They’ve never exchanged a word, not even a ‘hello’ or ‘good morning.’ They each pretend they don’t see one another. Why this is she can not say. But it’s been that way for so many years that she doesn’t think it could ever change.

Each morning, as she walks towards the revolving doors she stares at her reflection. On the days when the sky is overcast and she can see straight into the lobby, she imagines what she looks like. She wonders what she looks like to him. Her shoulders square off, her spine straightens and her breaths come much slower, calmer. It’s as if he was put there to watch over her. This thought and others idly occupy her mind as she climbs the 7 flights of stairs to her office.

They almost spoke once, she remembers. About 9 years ago, when she first started working in the building. The elevator was broken and when the doors opened it took her half a second to realize the shaft was empty. Her body registered the emptiness before her mind did and she gasped and reached out with her right hand. As her palm touched the cold granite wall, she felt fingers wrap around her left arm. She looked up and there he was. Had her breath not been caught in her chest she’s sure she would have thanked him. But all she could do was nod to him. He tipped his chin slightly and let her go once he was sure she was on solid footing.

She shook her head and turned towards the stairwell. The climb up came a lot harder that first day. But as her legs protested and her lungs stung, the only thing she was vividly aware of was the slight ache where his fingers had wrapped around her arm. I bet I get a bruise there, she remembers thinking.

Published 11/28/04 in Writing • | Views: 1991 times | Print

1 Comments & Trackbacks

I loved this story. Now let me tell you why. smile At first I wondered if you were going for the cliche. Sorry, didn’t think you would but there’s always that wonder. So anyway, I liked all the little moments: her straightening her back, the glance in the window, the glances, the grab.

And she takes the stairs. At first I couldn’t figure out why. I thought she would take the elevator as the reminder of their words. But she takes the stairs because it preserves that moment with the elevator? I’m thinking this through as I write it. I also see it as her way of preserving their relationship.

I like the set up with being the one to watch over her and we find out there was a moment like that on her first day. That was the romantic moment for me.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  12/08  at  03:57 PM

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