An Awkward Elevator Ride
It was a cold rainy Saturday afternoon in February 2018, and Abby Thompson, 42, was on a mission. She was at Dillard’s, and she was heading upstairs, where she hoped to find something appropriate for a 40ish woman to wear to Pink’s upcoming May concert in Dallas. In the elevator with her were seven other people she did not know. There was a lady with brown shoulder-length hair who looked to be about 35 years old. She was dressed in a gray suit, she was carrying a Mary Kay bag on her right shoulder, and she wore on her face an excited, determined smile. Today was a day to find new customers, make them feel beautiful, and earn some money. She had just had a cup of hot black coffee, and now she was ready to make that happen. Standing beside her were two teenaged girls, one with short curly red hair, and another with long straight blonde hair. They had just come from the nail salon, they were admiring their beautiful pink nails, and they were whispering to each other about where they might go in the mall to scope out some cute guys, since neither of them had boyfriends. One of them suggested a store that sells baseball cards and other collectibles, and the other nodded in agreement. In front of them was an elderly couple. The woman was smiling, excited and happy to have a day at the mall. Her husband smiled, too, proud of his beautiful wife. There was a woman, 25, who had shoulder-length, bleach-blonde hair and was dressed in blue jeans and a T-shirt from a recent LifeShare blood drive. She was steadily reading James Patterson’s Kiss the Girls, and she never looked up from the pages. There was also a tall, bald, heavyset businessman dressed in a three-piece suit who looked very serious and business-like. The businessman finally broke the silence. short length wedding garments in white color
“So, I bet you are wondering why I gathered you all here,” he said casually with a smile. Then he pushed the elevator’s emergency stop button.
Instantly there was chaos in the elevator. The elderly couple had panicked expressions on their faces. The reader was still reading. The teen-aged girls were screaming, scared at the thought of dying before they learned to drive, went to prom, or graduated.
The air in the elevator smelled like a mix of perfume, cologne, floor cleaner, and coffee, and Abby wondered what the businessman had meant by his comment. Did he have super powers? Did he know that these particular people were going to be at the mall that day, riding the elevator at that particular time? She knew that Pink, her favorite singer in the entire world, could not come to her rescue. She was one of millions of fans that Pink did not even know. She wondered why the businessman, who appeared calm and confident, had pushed the emergency stop button. He did not seem to be having any problems. What did he want?
After a brief moment of claustrophobia, she collected her thoughts and considered her options. She could call 9-1-1, but she was pretty sure that the emergency personnel would not consider this situation to be a priority. She could talk calmly with the man and find out what he wanted. She could also simply wait and see what happened. She thought about the clothing that she had come to the mall to buy—perfect clothing for a rock concert in the spring that would complement her skin, hair, and eyes and would not make her look fat if someone in the crowd used his phone to make a video of the concert and posted the video on YouTube. She had to get out before all of the good clothes were gone. She took a few calming breaths, smiled, and spoke.
“Hey! I’m sorry—what’s your name, sir?” Abby asked.
“Leo Phillips,” he said.
“So nice to meet you, Mr. Phillips. My name is Abby Thompson,” she said politely, smiling and making eye contact with him as she shook his hand.
“You can call me Leo,” he said with a smile. Okay, so far, so good, Abby thought to herself. He’s being nice. Maybe we’ll be able to get out of here soon.
“Great. Hey, listen, Leo, it’s a cold, rainy, yucky day out there,” Abby said. “I’m sure you want to go home, get warm, and get in out of the weather. Besides, an elevator is really close quarters. What if somebody farts? Before that happens, is there something I can help you with, so we can get out of here?”
“Actually, I was hoping I could help you,” Leo said.
Oh, boy, here we go, Abby thought. Here’s where I’ll have to sit through a lengthy presentation on some resort that I can’t afford to stay in, and I’ll miss all the pretty clothes upstairs. I’ll wind up going to the concert in rags, and I’ll be the laughingstock of the entire world.
“You may have noticed that I am wearing a suit,” Leo said to the group. “That is because I am a successful blogger. I started blogging years ago, and when I started, I believed that blogging would always be just a hobby, and I would have to spend my life in jobs I hated in order to pay my bills. Then the money slowly started coming in, and I changed my thinking. Now I blog full-time. Give blogging a shot, and see how it works for you.” Then he handed each member of the group his business card, a simple, ordinary white business card that read “Leo Phillips, blogger” and had a pen and bottle of ink sitting beside the name.
Abby was the last one to get a card. When she got hers, something strange happened. The elevator doors opened! Were the cards magic? Did Mr. Phillips have super powers, in addition to money and apparent writing talent?
“Thank you, sir. I’m going to go home and get started right now!” Abby lied.
“You look like a writer,” Leo said to her. “I look forward to seeing your work.”
Was he hitting on her? She did not know. One thing she did know, though, was that she had somewhere to be.
She had never considered herself to be a writer. She had written many essays and research papers for school—pieces of writing that she believed were mediocre at best. Other writers she admired, like James Patterson and Judy Blume, were far better than she was.
Abby stepped out of the elevator and headed toward the women’s clothing section, glancing behind her as she walked to make sure that Mr. Phillips was not following her. She would go home eventually, but first she had some clothing to see to—beautiful clothing that seemed to be calling her name.
Anon., n.d. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/ AQYr9jrHNVDlOML9KHq9YHm38ulDbzXb3uTW3cTZg6pkSUTtyv6NKC4/ 14 February 2018.