I walked into the lobby and looked at the buzzer plate on the wall. My eyes scanned through the apartment numbers listed by each button on the wall. The first thing that struck me odd was that every apartment had 3 digits (not 4). But before I could even think any further a guy came up from the inside of the lobby and opened the door for me. I wasn’t sure if he was my client. Not like I get photos in advance.
I said ‘hi’ to him to see if he’s the one waiting for me. He nodded in approval. He was about 28 years old (or so) and extremely tall! At roughly 6’7 he towered over me by more than a foot. Giant but at least he wasn’t fat. I would say he was pretty fit (bonus) ;)
He had a strange expression on his face. As if he was really sad or regretting something.
“The elevator isn’t working. We have to take the stairs.” He said to me.
He held open the heavy door leading to the stairwell. I entered and started walking upstairs.
“No, it’s downstairs.” He motioned his head in the direction of the stairs going down. I couldn’t help but feel uncomfortable so I thought I should continue talking to him.
“How are you doing? Did you have a good day?” I asked the guy.
He was walking behind me on the stairs leading down, “No I had a shitty day. Actually, I need to tell you something.”
I stopped and turned around to look at him, looking at my surroundings while I moved around. I noticed I was cornered at the bottom of the stairwell. To make matters worse, the only way out was a door to my right which conveniently led to the underground parking lot. My eyes fixated on my only way out, past the man blocking the stairs up to the lobby. I kept myself composed and waited for what would happen next.
“I was fired today.”
“Oh I’m sorry. That must really be a drag.” I responded.
“And I don’t have the fee for you.” He said looking at me.
“Oh…” I said. Thinking, what am I going to do now? My driver won’t even be able to find me because the apartment I gave is non-existent. And I’m in the stairwell! I started to panic but kept a calm appearance on the outside.
“I want to take you into the garage.” He said to me.
“What about your apartment?” I asked him with hope of postponing any action.
We stood there in silence for what seemed like an eternity but of course it was probably a minute or less. He kept on staring at me quietly. And I kept on looking at his hands. I slipped my hand into my coat pocket and felt for my flip phone. I flipped it open in the pocket and had my finger ready to speed dial my driver’s number. If all else failed, I hoped that my driver would put two and two together, and come to rescue me. For some reason I thought if only I knew what his next move would be, I’d be able to get away.
Then he broke the silence by finally not answering my last question, “Well…I guess. I guess I should walk you back up to the lobby.”
I was partly relieved. “Yes, that would be nice.” I said back to him.
He moved away slowly to let me pass him on the landing. I started to walk up the stairs back to the lobby. I didn’t really care to say goodbye to him. I reached my hand over to open the glass door of the lobby leading to the next set of exit doors.
“Wait!” he said nudging the door closed with his leg, “I’m very sorry. And here is $20 for a cab back home.”
I took the bill and walked outside. Leaving him standing at the glass doors. He was watching me leave.
I ran up to my car, opened the door and slipped in.
“That was fast!” My driver looked surprised. “What’s wrong? What happened?”
I guess my driver noticed the look on my face and how I was fumbling with the keys to start my car and get out of there as fast as I could.
“I don’t know! But I think he asked me to come to a building where he doesn’t even live. I think he wanted to take me to the basement, garage, or whatever. But for some reason let me go.” I said in a panic.
“What?!” My driver’s eyes widened.