Daily Prompt: Elevator
It was in the year 2011 that I spentin where I was born. The first winter back in my home country in twenty five years. I had been back for a holiday to Holland several times before but each time it was during the summer season. Having lived in and spent many years in enjoying the warmer climate year round, this particular visit during a Dutch winter needed a serious “getting use to” attitude. The adjustment mode had to be on full power here. My dad had recently moved back to his hometown into a style so a visit was inevitable. Finding the place was relatively easy. It was a grey, cold and windy day. A true reflection of a Dutch winter and bringing back childhood memories. Finding the entrance to the apartment proved to be more of a challenge than actually finding the apartment itself but I finally managed to locate it. I was accompanied by my wife. Luckily we could park the car right in front of the building. As we entered the building two large automatic glass doors opened. As we approached the elevator a middle aged woman, just coping handling several shopping bags had entered the elevator and the doors were about to close on us. Then suddenly they opened again and the woman spoke with a soft and friendly voice. “I’m sorry I just saw you please come in, what floor will you be going?”
“I think the eighth floor thank you”, I replied.
I felt and noticed the woman had her eyes on me as we entered the elevator and as the doors closed.
“Lucas!” she said in a slightly louder and excited voice. “Is that you, oh my goodness how long must it have been?” I looked at her and words came out of my mouth automatically as if they were drawn out by some sort of mystical power. “Hey!, how have you been?” I responded. During the conversation that followed it proved to be a challenge to get some words in as she proved to be a bit of a chatterbox.
Woman, “Oh it must have been over twenty five years or so, oh my lord isn’t that a surprise? Do you live here?”
Me, “Well no we are actually here on holidays and to visit my dad, so….”
Woman, “Oh, would you believe it my dad lives here too, he is on the seventh. Mum passed away a few years ago and dad moved in here since which is good as we live quite close and all that. They probably know each other!”
Me, “Right, yes…”
Woman, “Yeah so I pop in every second day or so and help him with the shopping you know and all that. He is turning 89 so not twenty anymore” she laughed with a peculiar high pitch.
Woman, “Them are nice apartments here aren’t they, your dad must love it here, are you still living here in?”
Me, “No, we are actually living in Australia, I moved there in 198……”
Woman, “Australia, oh lord how great is that!, Ria’s husband is from Australia, wow isn’t that something?”
Woman, “I still live here haven’t moved, took over the family business got married, kids, got divorced done it all” she laughed in the same distinct high pitch.
Me, ” I see….”
Woman, “He is from, Gerry is his name. They live in , he is doing something with computers I think. I have two more girls 28 and 24. Ria is the eldest”
Me, “Ah right…”
Woman, “You must find that it has changed a lot around here, it has grown bigger they keep building more and more houses and new suburbs keep popping up all the time. It takes much longer to get anywhere these days. Although I have got one of those electric bicycles and they are great but to get anywhere by car is not what it used to be”
There was this laugh again which it seemed she had mastered quite good as she could speak here words clearly and produce this endemic laugh at the same time.
Woman, “And you probably don’t miss the weather here. It has been really miserable, nothing but rain, wind and grey skies, yuk!”
It seemed we had been in the elevator for hours which in reality had only been 30 seconds or so, but she certainly made it seem that long by the amount of chit chat she had.
A duo tone bell sounded indicating the elevator had reached a certain level and a computer voice notifying what number floor we had reached and that the elevator door would be opening next.
Woman, “Oh that’s me isn’t it? Yes the seventh, well it was a real surprise to have bumped into you and great to see you. It’s a small world after all isn’t it?”
Me, “Like wise, have a merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!”
Woman, “Oh gosh yes, I suppose they do have Christmas over there in Australia do they?” She had mastered this laugh so well that you did not even noticed it after a few times. This time it sounded somewhat forced as while she uttered her words she had to bent down slightly to pick up her shopping bags
Me, “They do indeed.. let me help w…….”
Woman, “And another year gone by, gosh I can’t keep up anymore it seems to go faster each year. It only seems like yesterday that I did put up the tree. I was hoping for a white one like we had last year although we had real heavy snow last year and that was a first since a long long time, but it makes it more special I think. Do you have white Christmases there in Australia?”
Me, “No where we are it’s is pretty much summer all year round…”
A buzzer started to sound annoyingly warning passengers to make up their mind about exiting or entering.
Woman, “Well that’s nice having Christmas in summer that would be nice for a change. Oops! better go now… well bye bye to you both and who knows we might bump into each other again before you head back to Australia..byyyeeeee”
The elevator doors were almost shut as she stuttered out her goodbye just managing to pull away her shopping bags from the closing doors so that they wouldn’t get caught between them. A sudden silence came upon us as the elevator move up one floor.
“Who was she?” my wife asked me.
I looked at my wife and paused for a moment.
” You know what, I have no idea!”
Posted by skookella on June 1, 2013