36 comments

Romance Drama

“Get ready! One, two, three–” I jumped and the dark elevator shook a little.


“STOP IT! Bea, don’t!” Pol’s voice bounced off the steel walls of the elevator car. “Are you trying to get us killed?”


“I was just trying out this thing to see if it’d restart. Maybe it just got stuck or something.” I replied with the confidence of someone who has fixed many glitches by simply rebooting a computer or hitting really hard and persistently the sides of a TV.


“Please, stop messing up,” he pleaded, his tone of voice subsided. “Don’t you see the lights are out? There must’ve been a power cut.”


“They are not all out,” I objected. “There's that light over there,” I pointed to the shimmering yellow dot above the door.


“You can’t be serious,” Pol’s voice trembled a little. “That’s obviously an emergency light that gets powered by a generator. It’s not good for seeing further than your nose anyway.”


“Well, if there's a generator to power the light, why wouldn’t it power the elevator as well?” I asked while still staring at the hazy light. “Also, I can see further than my nose!” I insisted to the empty space next to me. “Pol? Pol? Where are you?” I looked around, not being able to see much more than my own shadow falling across the elevator walls. Then I looked down, “What the hell are you doing on the floor?”


Pol was sitting on the floor, hugging his knees, with his back against one of the corners of the carriage. He looked up at me, “OK, it might be a simple AA battery. I’m not an expert on what powers emergency lights in elevators.” Then he fixated his eyes on the floor. “I’m not doing so well–“


It was the first time I’ve noticed that my friend was shaking. Was the blackout really making him that anxious? I decided to try to distract him in the best way I knew – by making a joke, “I hope you weren’t looking up my skirt, mister! I know the view could be a heartstopper, but it wouldn’t be very decent of you.”


My comment seemed to liven up his mood. Ha! I knew that Pol’s dirty mind had the capacity to overtake the part of his brain that was responsible for his failed crisis management reaction. He mustered a smile and said hopefully, “Maybe if you do let me have a look, my heartbeat will get back to normal?”


“Or more likely it will accelerate even more and explode,” I laughed back at him. We were always exchanging playful flirtations like that, ever since we spoke for the first time at the company Christmas party. Despite the fact that we were both accompanied by our respective boyfriend and girlfriend at the time. Despite the fact that it was right at the onset of the #MeToo movement. We seemed to have the same type of sarcastic humor that helped us click really fast, and an unspoken pact was sealed there and then – you can joke inappropriately with me, if I can throw back the same saucy comments at you, as long as it helps us make our day at work a bit more fun no one has to get management involved in our childish games. Now, two years later, we are both single and the bestest of friends.


I tucked my flowy skirt between my legs and crouched next to him. “Seriously, are you OK? I didn’t know you have a phobia of... elevators, tight spaces, the dark? Actually, which one is it?”


“Try all of them.” He looked like a child someone had left home alone. “You can imagine it’s not something I go bragging about…”


“I had no idea. Dude, you could’ve told me. We are friends, right?” I tilted my head and looked at him inquisitively. “I know about the girl who tried to drug you in order to have your baby, but I don’t know important stuff like that?”


“Haha, you’re right!” The memory of one of his less successful conquests seemed to cheer him up, although at the time catching his crazy date right in the middle of spiking his drink had been quite the shock. “Well, I'm a guy, you know. I have to be tough. Or at least play the part.” He continued, “If you think about it, we’ve never been in this situation before, so there was no point in admitting how pathetic I am. Actually, I never take the elevator. I have no idea what made me follow you today. It must've been your red skirt.”


“Yeah, right! Now it’s all my fault.” I was trying to keep the conversation light, but seeing Pol struggling to come up with a funny reply made me worry about him even more. Pol, the big guy who trains every day in order to keep in shape, had a vulnerable side to him. Who knew? I looked him in the eyes, “So that you know, I'm not responsible for the electricity in the building, but I do know that elevators also have emergency buttons. I’m going to call and hopefully someone can get us out of here soon.”


“Bea, no, please don’t.” He held my arm, forcing me to remain with him. “Promise me you won’t move or touch anything else in this elevator.”


I let out a heavy sigh and sat down on the floor next to him. “This is really serious, huh?”


“Maybe, I don’t know,” he replied. “As long as I avoid confined spaces and let the street lights shine in my bedroom at night I'm fine. But then something like this happens and I freak out.”


“Where does it stem from? Do you know?” I asked. “Something must be triggering it. You're a grown man. You surely know that a dark room is not something to be afraid of.”


“Yeah, I'm aware these fears are completely irrational. But I can't do anything about it.” He shrugged, “And it’s kind of my fault actually.”


“What do you mean your fault?”


“Well, you know how I am. Now, multiply that by a hundred. That’s me during my childhood. I used to be quite the wild kid.” Pol continued, “My parents had a tough time trying to control me. So, when nothing else worked, they just started locking me in the pantry until I calmed down. That’s a lot of hours, days even, spent in that dark smelly hole of a room.”


“Oh, that sounds awful! How could they do this to a small child?”


“I don’t blame them. I was one nasty and annoying little brat.”


“Even so, surely there must be better ways to discipline a child. At the very least they could’ve locked you in there with the lights on.” I touched his arm which was still trembling slightly, “Obviously, this way you can only traumatize your kid for life. What better example than a grown-ass man freaking out just because a few lights went out.”


“Maybe you’re right. One thing I’m sure – if one day I have kids, I’d never do this to them.” Pol smiled at me. He took my hand a squeezed it gently, “You know, I had never told this to anyone. Just by sharing it with you I already feel better. Thank you, Bea. I am really grateful to have you in my life.”


“You silly man!” I smiled back at him. “You know you’d have to seek professional help to deal with this, right?” He nodded. “In the meantime, I’ll always be there for you.” I reached out to wipe the beads of sweat forming on his forehead. His honey-colored eyes looked back at me, finding their way to my soul. My heart did a somersault as we both started to lean over.


The lights turned on.

September 07, 2020 15:00

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36 comments

Jade Young
17:41 Sep 15, 2020

Ah nooooooo! I demand a refund. Stupid lights coming on right at the best part :( I really enjoyed reading about your characters, and their relationship dynamic. Through the way you made their dialogue seem so natural, their chemistry becomes natural as well. It popped off the page. I mean it when I say I was hooked from beginning to end. Keep up the great writing ;D

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Bianka Nova
18:15 Sep 15, 2020

Ohhh, thank you so much! You're so sweet 😙 Maybe I'll explore another time what happens after the lights go back on 😉

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Kristin Neubauer
16:45 Sep 13, 2020

Oh, that's fantastic, Bianka! Your dialogue flows so easily and naturally - I could totally see this scene playing out. Your ending leaves much to the imagination and I could see these characters returning in another story. Maybe their attraction levels off once they're out of the elevator....until they get stuck in another dicey situation....and then it goes to a new level. 😊 Clearly you have created characters who seem very real to me - well done!

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Bianka Nova
17:19 Sep 13, 2020

Thank you, Kristin! I actually have an idea for a "will they won't they" novel with characters not too dissimilar to those two. I'll try to give it a go some time soon. 🙃

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Kristin Neubauer
17:26 Sep 13, 2020

You should!! I can't wait to read it when you finish! 😊

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Bianka Nova
17:41 Sep 13, 2020

Thanks a lot for the encouragement! I will definitely self-publish a novella by the end of the year, so I'll make it known when it happens. 😊

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Kristin Neubauer
20:02 Sep 13, 2020

That's great! Good luck!

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Lynn Penny
18:19 Sep 12, 2020

I loved this! I was scared most the elevator prompts were going to be stale but I was proven wrong. The dynamics between the two characters were amazing, the dialogue told a perfect narrative. There was something about your ending though, it was so simple yet I found in hilarious. Keep up the awesome work!

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Bianka Nova
19:34 Sep 12, 2020

Thanks a bunch! I've read a few of the other elevator stories as well, and they were all good actually :)

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Charles Stucker
23:31 Sep 09, 2020

"Pol’s voice bounced off the steel walls of the cabin" In America we call them elevator cars. I know cab and carriage are used elsewhere, but I have not encountered the term cabin before. Just a thing to think about. "I didn’t know you have a phobia of ..." you don't need a space before beginning ellipses. Spell check will reliably catch this, so not a big worry, just run the grammar option before you finalize. This is very good. You have a quick inciting moment, good tension which rises throughout, and a resolution which leaves a th...

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Bianka Nova
12:28 Sep 10, 2020

Thanks again for a very valuable comment, Charles! You are absolutely right. I don't know how I came up with "cabin", I guess I've never called an elevator anything else than an "elevator" or a "lift", so I had no idea what its different parts are called. Considering the fact that my spell check was on US English for this one, I think I'll change it to car. 👍 I admit I did not spend much time on the title. I just slapped this one on there. It's OK, but not very original. I do see how a play with electricity, etc. might work, but I'm also ...

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Yvonne Barker
06:43 Sep 17, 2020

Is Pol really phobic? I think he could be displaying vulnerability to get close to Bea, especially as he asked her not to move or touch anything else in the elevator when she wanted to call for help. Though I hope he is not making up a tale about being locked in a cupboard as a child - a lie would not be a good basis for a new relationship!

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Bianka Nova
10:48 Sep 17, 2020

Ah, I don't know. 🤔😉 That's the beauty of it - everyone can interpret it the way they like. I know what I had in mind when I wrote it, but it's not necessarily the only option. 😜

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Lily Kingston
13:26 Sep 15, 2020

awe, I love Bea's and Pol's playful relationship and banter :D Keep up the good work and keep writing!!

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Bianka Nova
16:00 Sep 15, 2020

Thanks, Cara! 😙

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Andrew Krey
20:37 Sep 14, 2020

Hi Bianka, I enjoyed your story. I particularly liked the way Lol acknowledged that he was a terror as a child, what else could his parents do!? That made me laugh. Happy writing.

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Bianka Nova
21:51 Sep 14, 2020

Haha, glad you enjoyed it. By admitting he had been a nightmare I think I might've made Pol too likable. 😄

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Andrew Krey
23:13 Sep 14, 2020

Haha well maybe just relatable to me, rather than likeable in general lol

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Waverley Stark
16:24 Sep 14, 2020

Great story! Pol is a really cute character.

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Bianka Nova
16:37 Sep 14, 2020

Hey, thanks. I like both him and Bea, since they are my babies of sorts ;)

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Rayhan Hidayat
00:45 Sep 14, 2020

This was such a joy to read! The quirky best-friendship, the flowing dialogue, the tease at a romance at the end—it all came through so well. Whether they remain platonic or not, I just want these two to be happy. Keep it up Bianka! 😙

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Bianka Nova
08:11 Sep 14, 2020

Thank you, dear! 🤗

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Rayhan Hidayat
08:16 Sep 14, 2020

No problem! If you can spare the time, I'd love your thoughts on my latest :)

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Marissa Tuazon
15:07 Sep 13, 2020

Beautiful write there Bianka. I love it!

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Bianka Nova
15:28 Sep 13, 2020

Thank you, Marissa 😊

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Marissa Tuazon
15:55 Sep 13, 2020

You're welcome.

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Genevieve Taylor
03:25 Sep 11, 2020

Wow this was incredible! I love reading stories for this prompt, and yours is DEFINITELY one of my favorites. I adored this story. The characters, the plot, the description, the dialog, everything was absolutely perfect! I caught one tense mistake, where you said "Pol, the big guy who trains every day in order to keep in shape, had a vulnerable side to him." In this, the word trains should be trained, because you're in the past tense. Other than that one tiny thing though, this was absolutely fantastic. Great work!! Stay safe an...

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Bianka Nova
10:54 Sep 11, 2020

Ohh, thank you for the kind words! I actually can identify with your Bio as well. I would love to be able to write something technical and profound, but I mostly find myself doing romance and general entertainment stories.

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Skyler Woods
20:02 Sep 10, 2020

This was romantic in a hasty way. 💞 I loved Pol and I could feel his anxiety. I also wanted him and Bea to be more than friends! This was a charmer.

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Bianka Nova
21:11 Sep 10, 2020

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it 😊

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Yolanda Wu
06:32 Sep 10, 2020

I loved the dialogue and language in this story, it was so fun and enjoyable to read about. And you captured the whole 'stuck in an elevator' thing so well, which is honestly one of my biggest fears. I love this line, “Obviously, this way you can only traumatize your kid for life." It made me laugh, fits my style of humour I guess. Amazing work!

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Bianka Nova
12:16 Sep 10, 2020

Thank you, Yolanda! I hope you manage to overcome your fear of elevators! ;)

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00:48 Sep 10, 2020

Love in an elevator. Aww such a sweet story. I love this and great job with the dialogue. Very realistic

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Bianka Nova
12:17 Sep 10, 2020

Thank you, Sarah!

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Jonathan Blaauw
07:00 Sep 08, 2020

This is excellent! You’ve created two real, believable characters and used circumstances – the power failure – to bring them together. That was really clever because you haven’t made the elevator stuff the heart of the story, despite the prompt. You’ve used it as a springboard for a more meaningful exploration of human relationships and the often blurred line between platonic and romantic. On that note, I would add ‘drama’ as a category as well. Romance obviously fits, but I think it could go in drama too – open it up to more readers that wa...

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Bianka Nova
10:27 Sep 08, 2020

Thank you so much! I'm always flattered by your comments. Now, I can only hope my little book can live up to your expectations. 😳 If it doesn't, I hereby solemnly promise to reimburse you by buying two copies of whatever future work you publish (which, let's face it, you have to do at some point, because the world needs it 🙌). And, yeah, contractions... Thanks! I'm on it! 😜

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