Has this ever happened to you? It happens to me three or four times a week:
Love in an Elevator
or, An Occurrence at Owl Creek Office Park
The doors slide open and she stands there, watching me expectantly: the most beautiful woman in the office, if not the world. I step onto the elevator and my heart quickens as my nose fills with her fragrance. A part of me knows that she's wearing some expensive perfume, but I only want to believe that this is her natural scent.
I reach for the elevator buttons and see that the first-floor button is already lit. Of course — she has already pressed the button that brings her down from heaven to mingle with us mere mortals below. I push it again anyway, trying to look confident.
"Hi," I say. As beautiful as she is, she is no match for my witty banter. She will be in my arms soon.
"Hi," she sings as the doors slide closed on our own boxy Garden of Eden.
I glance at her hazy reflection in the brushed steel of the doors and deduce from the various foggy splotches of color that she is clutching a book to her perfect chest. My shoulders tighten with jealousy of that book.
I ask, "What'cha reading?" Let the seduction begin.
I turn my head and look into her sapphire eyes, but it is too much to bear. I lower my gaze to her long, slender fingers wrapped around the spiral binding of a blue notebook. The ring finger of her left hand, I notice, is enticingly bare.
"Oh, this?" she sings. "It's just for taking notes in the meeting I'm headed to."
"Oh," I respond, coolly nonchalant.
The elevator shudders and then stops. The lights flicker out for a moment and then glow dimly, casting malevolent shadows into the corners of the elevator. She abandons all pretense, drops the notebook to the floor, and runs into my arms. She's trembling in fright, but I sense from the slowing heaves of her chest that my embrace calms her.
She looks into my eyes and her fear transforms into something more intense and passionate. We kiss for a long time, deeply and warmly. For two hours, we are isolated in this broken-down elevator, exploring each others' minds and bodies, forming an emotional bond that I had previously believed existed only in books and movies.
Fourteen months later, at our wedding reception, I stand and tell our assembled friends and family the story of how our relationship began in a broken-down elevator, and how—
The doors slide open and she strides onto the first floor. "Have a good day," she sings to me, heading toward the conference rooms on the right.
I exit the elevator and stop, watching her walk away. (How I love watching her walk away.) My mind fumbles for the right words to say, the words that bring her back to me, that let her know how wonderful we would be together, how the great writers and poets of our time will write the story of our love, and how that story will be told in awe for generations.
"You, too," I say. I turn left and head toward the parking lot and a late lunch, wishing I worked in a taller office building.