And it All Started at the Elevators

Elevators line the wall.

Clean borders and sharp edges.

Stark white and steely gray.

Painted brick and natural cement.

Shivering, Em steps into the high-rise. The morning sun beats down her back, crisp air conditioning cools her face.

Outside traffic rushes, a bicyclist slows, a tram stops.

Inside the low din of imperceptible nods and “Good mornings” fades into the background of comings and goings.

Em is in the doorway, betwixt and between- a familiar feeling.

“Excuse me,” a tall man brushes by her. Walking backwards, he almost stops, pausing against the open door.

His eyes wash over her dark curls, slender curves, and odd placement. “Do you need help?” He asks. His smile crooked, his accent delicious.

A smile plays on her own lips as she reaches into her mother’s old suitcase. The faded turquoise a perfect match to Laynie’s favorite beads, the thick buckles a nostalgic shade of pewter, and the intricate edging meticulously placed.

Em grasps the letters tightly. Splaying her fingers she reveals her hidden treasure.

“Can you help me find this?” She asks, looking up through lowered lashes, pointing to Richard’s address.

Her words curving around her heart that she is sure is on display in this place- so new and different and unknown.

He nods, places his hand on her elbow, motions to the elevators that caught her eye just moments before. And then he walks out the door. Em doesn’t mind.

She waves her thank yous as she moves towards the elevators where life is still happening.

A gray haired couple holding groceries.

Teenage girls linking arms.

A young mother quieting her children.

Em joins them, wonders if they know him, or about her.

She smooths her fingers over the cool buckles and bites her lower lip- unaware of either habit.

Thoughts of Jack tiptoe through her heartbeats. Alone, confused, angry. Reading the letter that she penned, not a treasure at all.

The elevator’s arrival brings her back to the people and the present and the future that she’s hung her heartstrings on.

Shrugging off thoughts of Jack, she makes her way up the floors and out the elevator and across the hall until she arrives at the address that she’s imagined and stared at and willed to become her reality for so very long.

She knocks twice, the noise jarring her yet again.

Tugging at her peasant blouse, its eyelets brushing her toned arms, she runs her fingers through her hair. She looks up just as Richard opens the door.

Their eyes lock, her body responds.

Impossible brown meets endless hazel. Lips to chest to belly stir.

He pulls her close, she releases the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.

Feeling the lines of his muscles, the warmth of his skin, she doesn’t dare move.

Now that she’s here, in his arms, she’s not letting go again.

Cheeks raised, she places her head on his chest. Circling her waist, he rests his chin on her curls.

“You made it.” He murmurs.

“I did.” She answers, untangling, unable to resist soaking in his sun-kissed face, his laugh-line framed eyes, his full lips.

He reaches for her bag, “Laynie’s?” He asks. She nods. Their expressions match- quiet, knowing, private.

As they step inside the apartment a wail greets them, demanding their attention. Em is stilled in a doorway yet again.

Their eyes meet. This time, she squints into her worries. “A baby?” She whispers.

 

writers' week This fiction piece is a part of my Work In Progress which I started in bits and pieces with Write On Edge {Prompt: Heartbreak} and is an entry in the Writers’ Week Writing Contest {Prompt: Elevators}. Constructive criticism is always welcome.

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Comments

  1. “The faded turquoise a perfect match to Laynie’s favorite beads, the thick buckles a nostalgic shade of pewter, and the intricate edging meticulously placed.”

    You are just great at making a sentence into something that I can reach out my hand and touch. Awesome!

  2. I love how you describe the elevator and all of the people in it. I can feel her anticipation before she arrives at the door! So well written!

  3. You have such an amazing talent in describing details, Galit. You weave words together like a beautiful charm bracelet.

    But, having said that, (ok, this is the part where I’m can’t stop pulling my hair) why?? Why Richard??? What about Jack?????

    And… um, a baby? Not. a. good. feeling. I’m feeling queasy…

  4. Oh no! A baby! And unless you’re taking us way into some sort of fantasy world (kidding), he can’t pull the “well, I swear it’s yours” card.

    Your imagery is so powerful, Galit, just simple word choices, like “tram” help set your scene so much more than loads of descriptors.

    I have a knot in my stomach. I was NOT expecting this from him.

  5. I hate when so much of something affects me and it’s “poor manners” to copy and paste each thing to bring it to light. Your descriptions and images were as vivid as ever, the perfect backdrop to this “new day” of hers.

    but this…

    Their eyes lock, her body responds.

    Impossible brown meets endless hazel. Lips to chest to belly stir.

    He pulls her close, she releases the breath she didn’t realize she was holding.

    Feeling the lines of his muscles, the warmth of his skin, she doesn’t dare move.

    Now that she’s here, in his arms, she’s not letting go again.

    Cheeks raised, she places her head on his chest. Circling her waist, he rests his chin on her curls.

    “You made it.” He murmurs.

    this made every fiber of my chick lit heart swoon. I wish every day that I could write like you. That I could bring readers inside like you do.

    I loved every single line.

  6. You have a way with words! I have a love/hate with how you leave it hanging! How can their be a baby? I’m intrigued.

  7. Great imagery. I could hear and smell the things that were going on inside the elevator and more importantly her head.

  8. The description of the elevator and its occupants is really brilliant. I especially loved the “teenage girls linking arms.” And every time you describe Em and Richard’s interactions, I sigh. I can almost feel the flutter in Em’s tummy.

    Wonderful!

    But this baby…this baby has me worried!

  9. Wow…awesome. I was so pulled in! Love the description of the elevator

  10. wow… just wow and you need a book deal.

  11. Galit,

    Every time I visit here, your writing delights me. You have such a talent for creating a scene — the descriptions make me see the people, the dialogue lets me hear them and you let me be their eyes and hands. I watch through Em’s eyes as she sees the world in front of her — the gray haired couple, the man who helps her and even the suitcase she’s carrying.

    I know it’s not great to put up favorite lines, but there are times when I can’t resist. I loved how you wrote this line, “Her words curving around her heart that she is sure is on display in this place- so new and different and unknown.” The idea of “her words curving around her heart” WOW that’s great writing. I hope you win this contest. You deserve it!!!

  12. Oooh! Way to take the whole beautiful scene and have it come crashing down! I’m hoping he’s just babysitting…?

  13. WOW.

    Just wow.

    You’re good.

  14. a BABY??? WHAT? oh Galit, you leave me hanging and begging for more each and every time you write Em’s life story… I NEED to know more!! Obviously she didn’t arrive unexpectedly, so they’ve been in contact… and all those letters… where did the baby come from? whose baby is it? what will it mean for Em?

    where does this piece fit into the storyline? and when do we get to read more? ;) how’s that for 20 questions? beautifully written, as always, I can’t wait to read more!

  15. You’re so good, Galit. So, so good.

  16. So talented you are. the way you use words that grip me from the very beginning.

    May I lodge a complaint? I really NEED to know how this story ends. I feel like you’re just messing with my feelings giving me litlte bits and pieces every week. I want to buy the book! :)

  17. Love this!! And I’m dying to hear the rest!

  18. Their eyes lock, her body responds.

    Impossible brown meets endless hazel. Lips to chest to belly stir.

    God, you’re so good. There’s so much said in those few, perfectly selected words.

    You get better and better, I swear it.

  19. This is delightful, Galit! Betwixt and between–love that. Just love it.

  20. I love Em and the way she thinks. She is pure and kind and loves wholly. Love this stroyline and the characters. A baby can takes this all kinds of places. yeah for you on so many new adventures with your writing!

  21. Her anticipation is palpable! And the baby? So intriguing!

    Well done! :)

  22. I was standing there right next to her as it all unfolded. I so enjoyed this!

  23. As always, Galit, you pull me into the story with descriptions that delight my senses. I’m so glad Em finally made it back to Richard.

    Wait…baby?!

  24. Absolutely delicious! Love it…
    Thanks for stopping by.

  25. I love your writing! #thatisall

  26. love, love, love!!! When is the next installment????

  27. Not only is his accent delicious, but this cliffhanger is, too! You’ve got us all so excited for the next installment! So many great phrases. This time I loved the image of thoughts tiptoeing between heartbeats.

  28. I could almost feel her palms sweating as she was waiting! Excellently written, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

  29. I felt as if I was in the elevator with her, at the front door, waiting anxiously… Great write!

  30. Wonderful imagery and the right amount of dialogue :) Great sense of anticipation, both throughout, and at the end (whose baby???) I’m new here and am looking forward to finding more of your story.

  31. I love how you describe the details, the wording really brings everything to life. Beautiful writing! It’s my first time at your blog, but I will be back for more of this.

  32. His accent was delicious – that made me read it again. I understand all too well how tasty a voice can be. Great descriptions here. And oh crap! A baby…it can never be easy, can it?

  33. You are insanely good Galit, I don’t know what else to say. Your talent blows me away.

  34. Your turn for the big cliffhanger!

  35. “Impossible brown meets endless hazel.”

    So, so perfect. I love this description.

    The “breath she didn’t realize she was holding” feels cliché, but the piece as a whole is fantastic and I can’t believe you ended it there. I need to know more!

  36. That was rich, fantastic, absorbing. The suitcase, the hug, the smiles. It makes me want to know so much more!

  37. Oooooh, I’m dying to know more! Great job for the writing contest.

    And I see you’re reading Half Broke Horses? SO good.

  38. I love the details. You describe things so well I can actually envision them clearly. You writing is wonderful. I would read any book you wrote fiction or not.

  39. Once again you writing enables the reader to be in the exact moment you are describing. To see, feel, and touch what Em is. Brilliant!

  40. I truly think it is impossible to read any of your writing without becoming completely wrapped up in your words. I felt as if I were right there with her- beautiful as always. xoxo

  41. You are an amazing writer, Galit. The imagery of your words, just WOW! Please, don’t leave us hanging…

  42. I am betwixt and between swooning and sheer amazement that people can still write like this! This was soo good.

  43. What a beautiful piece. So full of imagery and the kinds of sentences that make you think and feel and wish you’d written first ;). Really enjoyed reading and want more!

  44. You are a true gift to the writing world, Galit. Each time I read your words, I gasp and think to myself “THAT’s how it’s done.” You make me want to become a better writer each time I step foot here. Your stories seem effortless but are thought-provoking and honest.

    I want more–need to know about this baby!

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