Lonely Ascent

By @lucymyst

Chapter 1

He entered the elevator a floor later than me. My thoughts were running rampant over paying for Lily’s diapers and planning for a good education, and while I questioned who would be responsible enough to watch her this weekend during my business trip — it was either going to be my overzealous parents or my expecting sister — he stepped on. His hair was gelled up and away from his forehead and his face held a calm evenness to which I had grown unaccustomed. His features were enigmatic, with hair the color of a new moon’s sky, eyes crisper than a dark reflection, and skin that has seen long hours in the sun.

           The doors closed after the lady who had been next to me stepped off. Just the two of us left, with fourteen floors to go in that skyscraper. My thoughts closed in on him, too, and the possibility of us together — of having someone who could be there for me and for Lily. I could picture his long fingers trailing up my white arm, our legs tangled in the blue sheets of my bed as the sun rose behind closed curtains. In the dim light, I would study his silhouette, note the toned muscle curving through his arms to his shoulder, chest, core. His trailing fingers would be just a whisper that filled the silence. I pressed my red stained lips together as I imagined his full ones on mine; all the overwhelming joy of feeling loved. We’d lay in bed together every morning, sipping coffee and enjoying simple, uninterrupted moments. Talk of traveling the world would encompass the space between us, his hands running through my rosy hair as he thought of us together underneath the Egyptian moon. I’d let my small hands caress his face when he imagined our future beyond that.

           But then Lily would wake up, or I’d become pregnant again. He’d become scared and would wait for the right moment to step back, to walk away as he did when we reached the twentieth floor. My pale eyes would follow him just like that; his confident smirk leading him out the door while I was left hopelessly watching his suit-clad figure disappear.

The doors closed, and I continued up five floors. Thoughts once again pooled over whether I had one or two jars of puréed carrots left, and if I needed to buy more before I left for my trip. My life with Lily moved on and, like what happens with all other men, I stepped off the elevator alone at the final floor. 

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