‘Someone died in this building once.’
‘Really?’ I say. We’ve been stuck in this lift for five minutes and this is the first thing you choose to say to me. I look at you. You are quite pretty, but not my type, too demure.
‘Yes. They said it was an accident.’
‘Actually, I think I might have heard about that,’ I say. It rings a bell. I feel like there is something I should tell you about it but I can’t remember what it is.
You try the intercom again but it just crackles with static. ‘Bloody lift,’ you say. ‘I told the building manager it was making a funny noise.’
‘So what happened?’ I say. ‘Who died?’
‘It was something to do with this lift. Someone fell down the shaft.’ You look around. ‘I’ve never really liked using it. Do you live in the building?’
‘Oh. I haven’t seen you before. But I’m quite new here. I’ve just moved into flat 2B.’
I nod. ‘I’m usually only here in the evenings.’
You look at yourself in the lift’s mirrored walls and make an adjustment to your short skirt. Satisfied you turn back to me. ‘I worry sometimes, that it’s my flat the man used to live in. Is that silly?’
‘No, I say. ‘Not silly at all. But you’re probably best not thinking about it.’ I smile at you. You really are pretty.
You smile back and the intercom crackles into life.
‘Hello? Is anyone stuck in the lift?’
You bend your head to the microphone. ‘Yes. Two of us. How long is this going to take?’
‘Don’t worry love, we’re working on it. We should have you out in a jiffy,’ the voice comes back.
I lean back against the wall as the intercom crackles into silence. ‘That’s good news,’ I say. ‘Hopefully you won’t die today.’
You give a small smile and look away. I realise my joke has fallen a little flat. Perhaps it was a bit inappropriate.
The lift doors open. The building manager stands smiling, a spanner in his hand.
‘I thought you said there were two of you in here, love?’
You look over your shoulder. Your smile falters and I remember what I need to say.
‘It wasn’t an accident!’ I shout. But you can’t see me anymore.