Stuck in an elevator.

a few second of silence passed
i smile
– an instant reaction
to awkward situations
like i’m laughing at the mess i’ve become
in my mind

i try to find a panic button or something
without meeting her eyes
but my hands merely stumble across the walls
my trembling sending currents of anxiety into the air
and with a few missed breaths
i fall

The day turned from grey
To a sky of fireworks

Running late for work
I’d darted across town
Like it was second nature
Picking up my morning coffee
Dodging cars and streams of people
Messy hair and heavy breathing
I kept my head down
Until I reached the elevator

Walking in from the damp world
A wave of summer invited my gaze
Her face was buried in her wide-knit scarf
Yet the red of her nose and cheeks peeked out
Like she was glowing

I felt a different type of breathlessness

And with the sound of the bell
We entered through the doors
One after the other
Just the two of us
And the world closed in

I felt a rush of calm
Taking a minute to feel present
So aware of my surroundings
My mind stopped whirring
And so did the sounds of the elevator

Stillness filled the space around us

I look over
And find wide eyes in search of something
It was as if my restlessness had been transferred to her
I was planted in the corner
Paralyzed in the moment
As she sweeps across my vision
Her head drops
Hiding a smile
I raise my hand and find
The same expression blossom
Across my own face
And so it only grows

Her back against the wall
She throws her head back
Her hair crowning her face with curls
And she slides down
The pleats of her skirt finding the floor

the air erupts with giggles
ears ringing
eyes squinting
our bodies shake with laughter
space one again filled with sound and movement

we introduce ourselves:
“hey, i’m aura”


the doors open
a patiently waiting face
putting time back into context

“Hey, I guess we forgot to press a button”

i reply with a broken smile
trying to hold back more laughter
but she bites her lip and extends a hand
lifts me out of my daze and we dash out

—By Maureen N., 17, Manchester, England