Samuel and Michelle worked in the same building. Each morning and night, they took the same elevator up and down.
One morning, they stood next to each other in the elevator. Samuel set his briefcase on the floor to tie his shoe and then quickly stood back up. His hand grazed the hand of the woman next to him. He could hear her thoughts, What will we talk about at the meeting this morning? He wondered if she could hear his thoughts even if it was for a brief moment.
Michelle walked into the office and sat at her desk. Two hours went by and it was time for the meeting.
She walked over to the boardroom and pushed open the door. The meeting was already in progress.
“Sorry I’m late, I had to head to the bathroom before this,” Michelle said.
“It’s fine, Ms. Bourjis. Please take a seat, we were just talking about the projections for next month,” Mr. Devion, the boss said.
Michelle listened to Mr. Devion and tried to add her own ideas, but the men of the meeting interrupted her or talked over her.
The next morning, Samuel and the woman pressed the “13” button at the same time. Their hands touched and they could hear each other’s thoughts. He is cute. She is pretty. They were confused when these other thoughts appeared in their minds. The woman, Michelle thought she was crazy, she was hearing voices. She was tired. Samuel thought it was something special. Maybe they had a special connection or powers. They retracted their hands and the elevator doors slid open and they went their separate ways.
Michelle walked to her office and back to her desk. She had two hours before the daily morning meeting.
She looked at her watch and was surprised to see the hours had flown by. The chair spun around as she got up from it. The phone rang. What if it’s a client? What if it’s a new prospective client? she thought. She picked up the phone and answered, “Papero, we sell great paper for great prices. Michelle speaking.”
The new client asked if she could tell her about their ‘great prices’.
She responded with their price rates.
The phone call lasted thirty minutes and she rushed to the meeting.
“Late again, Ms. Bourjis?” Mr. Devion asked.
“Sorry, I had to take a client call.”
“Just be on time for tomorrow’s meeting.”
“Is this boardroom one-twelve?” the man (Samuel) in the doorway asked.
Michelle saw the man caress his brown bangs and adjust his tie.
“No, that’s next door, this is one-eleven,” the boss replied.
The man left and she couldn’t get him or their earlier encounter off her mind. There was something special about that man and she had to find out what it was.
Later that night, Michelle walked into the elevator after a long workday. The man quickly rushed into the elevator before the doors closed. She held the left one open.
“Thank you,” said the man. “I’m Samuel by the way, but everyone calls me Sam.”
“You’re welcome, Sam. I’m Michelle.”
“How long have you worked on the thirteenth floor?”
“A few years, I used to work on the twelfth, but I got promoted.”
“A real move up in the world.”
“Yeah, you could say that. I did move up in the building.”
They laughed and the elevator dinged as it passed the fifth floor. Michelle’s glasses fell and Sam leaned over to pick them up. She looked around in the blurriness until she touched his hand. Is this really happening? His hand is so soft and smooth.
“I think these should help,” Sam said as he gently set Michelle’s glasses on her face.
“My glasses, thank you,” Michelle replied with a smile.
“I’ll see you tomorrow morning.”
“Yeah, in the morning.”
The sun was barely up and neither was Michelle. She slept through her alarm and was almost late for work.
As she entered the elevator, a paper with a blue sticky note on it fell out of her briefcase.
Sam picked it up and stood back up. He detached the sticky note from the paper, realized it had her number on it, and shoved it in his pocket.
He whispered, “You dropped this.”
Michelle touched Sam’s hand as she grabbed the document. Should I say something? Don’t say anything, about the phone number.
“What phone number?” Michelle asked.
“What are you talking about?” Sam questioned.
“What? — Nothing.”
They didn’t talk to each other in the elevator for the next few days, since Sam was too nervous and Michelle was preoccupied with work on her mind. He wanted to call her number, but he was too anxious to do it. Michelle kept thinking, Give it to him now! But every time she looked for the sticky note with her number on it, it was nowhere to be found. She could write it on another one, but she wanted to stay single a little longer.
To her surprise, that Friday night, she received a call.
The note must have gotten lost and he found it? Michelle thought.
“Yes, I know it’s bold and sudden, but I was wondering if you’re doing anything tomorrow night?”
“Tomorrow night? I’m not busy.”
“Great, I’ll see you tomorrow at eight at the Megaplex.”
“See you then, bye.”
That Saturday, Sam drove to the Megaplex and parked in front of the movie theater. He got a good parking spot as close to the theater as possible. He waited for his date in the lobby. I can’t wait. I finally asked her out. I wonder what movie we should see?
She arrived and looked around for her date. She found him sitting on a bench by the entrance.
Sam turned around. “Michelle! You made it.”
“So, what are we seeing?”
“I was thinking the movie, ‘Thirteen’.”
“Isn’t that a horror movie?”
“Yeah, so. Are you scared?”
“No, how about ‘Hearts Colliding’? I saw the previews for it online and it looked pretty interesting.”
“What’s it about?”
“A man falling for a female alien.”
“A Sci-fi RomCom movie? I don’t know.”
“Come on, it’ll be fun and romantic.”
He bought two tickets for ‘Colliding Hearts’ and then wait in line for snacks.
“I’ll wait in line and go in and find us some good seats. Upfront, but not too close,” Sam told Michelle.
She agreed and gave her ticket to the ticket attendant.
The previews played and Sam shimmied down the aisle. He tried not to bang into anyone or drop the popcorn.
“You want some?” Sam asked.
“I’ll take the candy,” Michelle replied.
The movie started, “Here, hold this,” Sam whispered.
“I said I don’t want any.”
“Just hold it for a minute.”
“Fine, hand it over.”
Sam stretched his arms in exhaustion and he put his left arm around her shoulders. What is he doing? I don’t want to hold this anymore. I just want to get closer to her, but how?
She set the tray of food onto his lap.
They watched the movie and munched on popcorn and candy.
The credits rolled down the screen, they got out of their seats, and threw away their trash.
“So, what did you think?” Sam asked as he held the door open for his date.
“It was alright.”
“What do you mean it was alright? I thought it was spectacular. The passion in the war at the end was incredible. They fought for the earth, but love still won.”
“You really liked it? Too much fighting, not enough romance.”
“Maybe they were trying to market the movie toward men taking their dates out.”
“Maybe, can you take me home?”
“So soon? The night is still young.”
“Yeah, I’m tired.”
It was a normal Monday morning, but it wasn’t, it was awkward.
The elevator ride up to the thirteenth floor was silent until Sam asked, “Hey, do you wanna go out this coming Saturday?”
“Why not? Didn’t you have fun?” Sam asked as he set his right hand on her shoulder. Don’t touch me!
Michelle turned away and she batted his hand away. What did I do wrong? “No, I didn’t fun. I don’t want to see you again.”
“But we work on the same floor.”
“I’ve been meaning to ask my boss for a promotion.”
The elevator doors opened and they went to their separate offices.
Michelle was promoted to the fifteenth floor, so Mr. Devion wouldn’t have to deal with her anymore. And Sam stayed on floor thirteen. They did take the same elevator up and down, but they didn’t talk to each other.