It’s in the heart of Sydney. Prime location, CBD. The elevators are old and small and there are always too many people wanting to get in. After a long wait the doors finally open and people seem to fall out of the tiny box. She steps in, alone. At the very last minute a man sticks his hand in between the doors that open just in time for his hands not to get squashed. Even though there is plenty of space the man stands eerily close to her. She doesn’t like it. She likes her personal space.
The man reeks of cigarettes and cheap perfume. He is not bad looking. On the contrary. His eyes are a bright blue and seem to pierce through everything they are looking at, yet they aren’t looking at all. His clothing is elegant, styled and probably comes from the fancy shopping center further along the road. The one she could never afford in a million years. He must be in his thirties. He must be here for some important appointment. He seems to have a lot on his mind.
Slowly the elevator moves up to one. It stops. The doors open once again. The man stays put. A woman walks in and even though the elevator is built for eight the man grabs the opportunity to stand even closer. His hand brushes her bum. Quietly she tries to move away, yet she doesn’t want to make anyone feel awkward. She seems to be the only one who feels awkward though. With a jolt the elevator starts moving again.
There is an odd vibe coming from the man. He stands slouched and his gaze is empty. The numbers change slowly as she stares at the sign above the door. Why couldn’t the elevator just go faster? Then, as the light turns to five, the man slowly turns his head and looks at her. She’s startled, her thoughts interrupted by the sudden movement. His eyes are filled with desperation. Before she knows what’s happening he presses a package into her hands and disappears through the opening doors.
She’s baffled and looks warily at the other woman, who hasn’t noticed a thing. Too busy with her o so important smartphone. Confused she stares at her hands. In the meantime the elevator reaches the top floor. Doors open. Doors close. As the elevator stops on the ground floor again she walks out and heads for her house, the package still in her hands. She unwraps the paper and gets a glimpse of the stack of banknotes.