Drama Contemporary Inspirational

Evan Clark got on the empty elevator on floor nineteen. He had been putting off leaving work, dreading his next destination, and he was running late. He tapped his foot and stared around the elevator impatiently. 

To his great dismay, the elevator stopped at floor seventeen to welcome an extremely frazzled looking Brianna Cowell, whom Evan did not recognize. 

Long moments of silence passed, anxiety emanating from both bodies in equal force. Little did they know, the possibility of either getting where they were headed on time had already disappeared. Disappeared with the building’s power, that is.

This fact hit like a load of bricks when the elevator crashed to a halt.

“No… no, no, no, no, no…” Bri muttered, looking around the small room in a panic. 

Evan sucked in a heavy breath. “I think we’re stuck,” he said, pulling out his phone to discover the absence of signal. “The power’s gone out. We’ve got to trigger the alarm.”

However, Bri was already ahead of him, and violently slamming her thumb into the silver button. Spotting her frustration, Evan became concerned and put a hand near her arm in an attempt at comfort.

“Hey, it’s alright. We’ll get out of here,” he said, in the gentlest voice he could muster. He felt like he was speaking to a child, though Bri was barely younger than him.

In response, she groaned and curled up in the elevator corner. Bri knew she was acting like a child, but her embarrassment had taken the back burner. Hot tears of frustration rolled immediately down her cheeks, hidden in the heels of her hands. Tardiness, whether it was her fault or not, would surely cost her a chance at this job.

Evan was alarmed, unsure how to react. Should he try to comfort her, put a hand on her shoulder, or would that just make her feel worse? In the end, he settled on sitting down next to her, not too close, and letting her cry.

So she did. For a few long minutes, Bri cried. Every frustration of the last few days had finally caught up with her. When she could finally compose herself, she wiped the back of her hand along her cheeks and turned to Evan.

“I’m sorry,” she sniffled. “I’ve just had a really bad few days.”

“Yeah?” Evan replied, trying his best to look comforting.

“Yeah. I was supposed to have this job interview today, that I really needed. I only graduated two months ago and I’ve had to take money from my freaking parents every few weeks just to support myself. I’ve had to give up on acting. Only two months and I’m already a failure,” she said. Bri’s tears fell quietly now and her voice cracked.

Evan hesitated, not sure how to respond. After a few moments, she did it for him. “I’m sorry, you don’t want to hear about my problems.”

“No, no, it’s okay. It’s fine, really. I don’t mind,” Evan replied. Bri offered a small smile in his direction. “What’s your name?”

“Brianna. But it’s just Bri. You?”

“Hello, Just Bri. I’m Evan,” he said, and she chuckled. A long, thick pause filled the elevator.

“It’s just, it wasn’t supposed to be this way. But my parents were right. I can’t live off them forever. I need to get a real job. A full-time job.  Acting will have to wait.”

“Why a full-time job?” Evan asked, unable to help himself.


“Why a full-time job? If you could support yourself with a part-time job, why not do that? Then you could keep acting. It seems like that’s what you really want to do.”

Bri shook her head. “No. I need to be an adult now. That’s what adults do. They forget about their stupid dreams and they do something real with their lives. I don’t want to be a waitress or a cashier forever.”

“But money isn’t happiness. Would you rather have a job you hate and be miserable but have a lot of money or go for what you want but only have some money?”

Bri took a deep, shaky breath. “You sound like every guidance counselor ever,” she chuckled. “But it’s just not that simple. I’ve already decided.”

“Just consider it, alright?” Evan caught her eye and waited for her to agree.

“Alright, fine,” she agreed. “Anyway, what about you? Where were you going?”

Evan blushed and turned away. “Nothing huge. Just a date.”


“It’s just a blind date. I haven’t gone out with anyone since…” he caught himself.

“Since what? Come on, I spilled my guts to you, didn’t I?” Bri teased.

“Since my girlfriend broke up with me. Two months ago.”

“Not very long…”

“Nope,” Evan agreed.

“Was it serious?”

He took a deep breath. “Yeah. Yeah, it was serious.”

“So why so soon?” asked Bri, her brows knitting together in concern.

“Well, I haven’t gotten any better since Claudia ended things. I thought I would, but I haven’t. I still miss her just as much. So I’m trying to move on. I thought it would be the healthy thing to do.”

“Why’d she end things?”

“A big fight. She said she was quitting her job, and it made me mad because she had worked so hard for it, and I was angry. I said some things I shouldn’t have, and she ended it,” Evan explained, staring into space. His mind was far away, back in his ex-girlfriend’s apartment.

“If you miss her so much, why don’t you go back to her?” Bri asked.

Evan chuckled humorlessly. “I wish it was that simple.”

“Isn’t it? You regret what you said, don’t you? And you miss her?”

“Of course.”

“Then you’ve got to give it a shot. Go to her. Apologize. Maybe you can work things out. Even if she says no, isn’t it worth the risk?” Evan looked Bri in the eye skeptically. “Of course it is! Oh, come on. I don’t even know you and I can tell how much you miss her.”

“Yeah, maybe you’re right,” Evan sighed.

“So skip your date. Drive to her place instead. Show you care.”

An idea suddenly lit Evan’s chestnut eyes, and he shifted towards his new friend. “On one condition.”

“I’m listening,” Bri replied, amused. Her first real smile in days crossed her features.

“If you keep going to auditions, I’ll go after Claudia.”

Bri blushed and turned away. “You don’t even know if I’m any good.”

“Do you think you are?”

“I don’t know.”

“Yes or no?”

“Sure, I am.”

“That settles it then,” Evan finished. He extended his hand for Bri to shake. She watched it quietly, and couldn’t help the smirk growing on her face. One path felt like freedom, the other, misery. The choice was clear. She shook his hand.

Only moments later, the power returned, and the elevator brought them to the closest floor. The two were relieved to step onto solid ground, and Bri surprised Evan with a hug.

“Thank you,” she whispered in his ear.

“Thank you,” he replied, gently nestling his arms around her.

“Go for what you want, okay?” Bri muttered.

“You too,” he said, and Bri let go and turned to walk away.

Before she had gone ten feet, she turned back. “Good luck,” she said.

“See you in the movies,” Evan smiled at her.

A smile from ear to ear grew on Bri’s face, and she all but skipped away.

September 11, 2020 15:16

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