At the beginning she seemed to have all the same misgivings as me really, what do you say to a stranger? She was a lot younger than me and she told me early on that it wasn’t her first time, but she did admit to being a bit nervous. I was new to this, and to be honest I had some serious nerves going on.
The room was tiny, not enough space to swing a cat, though the walls of mirrors made it look bigger. There were five more of these little rooms, side by side, I pondered whether others also housed uncomfortable people trying to negotiate their sojourn, or maybe they were the types who found their rhythm straight away and made the most of it.
Even with the dim lights our reflections bounced back and forth turning the whole room into a giant kaleidoscope with the various pieces of us enmeshed as repetitive abstract objects, every movement was mimicked dozens of times. I wondered why they had lots of mirrors? I mean it’s OK for some, but I’m not the finest specimen of humanity by any stretch, and I don’t need to be constantly reminded of the fact. She seemed undaunted by it, amused even, a perquisite of youth maybe. I tried in vain to look somewhere else.
Looking somewhere else… yes… that was what got me there in the first place. I haven’t really been happy where I am for a while. Twenty years is a long time to be ‘ploughing the same field’ if you know what I mean, and they say a ‘change is as good as a holiday’. I guess we’d all feel nervous about a first holiday in twenty years. Hopefully, within an hour I’d know if It’s the change I wanted.
Incongruously, in view of our age difference, we became immersed in each other’s company, the earth moved, the sudden jolt and brightening light gave both of us a start. The power was back on and the elevator was moving again. There was still time to make it to my job interview.
© Matthew Penfold 2009
Written for Twisted Tales #46
Word count = 350