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The International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes

In the Lift
Tara L Clark

'This is no big deal.' Jerry mumbled to himself while clutching his briefcase and rocking from his toes to his heels. He had just fourteen floors. Fourteen floors to think about how he’d get himself out of the situation that he had just recently put himself in. His mind spoke to him. ‘Someone else was using your computer. That’s all. That is a perfectly fine excuse.’ Surprisingly, it took Jerry more than two seconds to remember that he lived and worked out of his own apartment. He had no employees, and he had only rented the apartment one week prior.

Jerry’s girlfriend, Sarah, had moved to Manchester eight months ago to pursue her career as an Advertising Executive. Jerry hadn’t thought about developing a property in Manchester before but the prospect had recently become a more promising investment. Living closer to Sarah for a while was an added bonus. But quite obviously, of course, Jerry hadn’t been faithful to Sarah. After all, they had decided on a long engagement, so settling down together was some time away yet, and Sarah was so busy with her new job that visiting each other had become quite rare for several months.

'This is it. This is the end.' Jerry spoke to himself again. It was indeed ‘the end’. For as he reached the tenth floor Jerry’s erotically explicit email had become available to Sarah, whose internet connection had been playing her up for some hours. And as she opened it, Jerry shuddered. Not because the lift he was traveling in had heard his subconscious cries for help and broken down in order to postpone his imminent death, but because he believed Sarah was trampling over his grave - hypothetically of course.

He had three floors to go. Still he hadn’t conjured up a decent explanation. But he had asked himself the obvious question, 'Why are you here! Why are you coming to confront her?! Of course she’ll have read the email; she spends half her day on a computer!' He didn’t have an answer to his own question however. He knew he hadn’t even the time to think about it. Any how, he was already in the lift and heading for her floor. He’d have to get to the thirteenth floor, wait for the doors to open, wait for the doors to close again, and hope that Sarah wasn’t racing him to the bottom via the stairs.

'Floor thirteen.' The lift said to him.

‘With any luck she won’t have read the email yet.’ He thought to himself. ‘I can go to her office, ask her to grab me a coffee from the canteen, log onto her computer and delete the email.’

What Jerry didn’t take into consideration was that Sarah was undoubtedly a workaholic. Not to mention the fact that if Jerry were to ever ask Sarah to do anything that he couldn’t do himself she’d certainly tell him to politely 'Fuck off'.

He reached her office door. 'She’s in there. Just knock.' The secretary’s squeaky voice said from behind him. 'Thank you.' He said nervously. He knocked the door. There was no answer. Maybe she went home ill and her secretary is just retarded, he hoped. 'Hold on a minute.' A voice from behind the office door shouted. Sarah was in the office. He took a deep breath and entered the room.
'What the hell, I told you…'
'Oh.' Jerry said quite abruptly, while his girlfriend picked her bra up off of her computer and wrapped her blouse around her breasts. 'Sorry.' Jerry said, as a sweaty, muscular man zipped up his trousers.

Jerry walked out of Sarah’s office. He glanced at the squeaky secretary. 'Goodbye Sara.' Jerry croaked to her. She looks far too pleased with herself, he thought. Jerry headed toward the lift and pressed the button.
‘Shall I pass that email on, Jerry? Or was that one meant for someone else?’
Jerry could hear her desperation to burst into laughter. For some reason, Jerry chose now to think about how he wished his fiancé and her secretary didn’t share the same name. It annoyed him that he couldn’t ignore the image he got of her every time he said the name Sarah when in bed with his fiancé. He wanted to ignore it. Now, he thought, as the doors to the lift opened, I definitely can.
He walked into the lift and pressed ‘Ground Floor’. He had fourteen floors to wait. All the time in the world.

Tara Clark April 2008

Tara is studying Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth

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