I can’t believe they still didn’t clean the handprints off the elevator doors. It’s already Thursday, and I’ve told maintenance since Monday morning to clean up the elevator doors. It’s already bad enough that this place has only one elevator and one fire exit stairwell. I live on the fourteenth floor so I can’t just take the stairs whenever I want to, and it’s pretty disgusting to know that there are handprints on the elevator doors that have been there for four days now. If they don’t clean even just that, what else don’t they clean around here?
I’ve already told my friends about it and they all just think I’m over reacting. “Just let it go, Julia, it’s not gonna hurt you,” they’d say. Or, “Oh come on, Julia! You’re just over reacting, I’m sure it’s not that bad!” I can’t help it. After a long day of working and studying, I just want to go up to my apartment and rest. I don’t want to see dirty handprints all over the elevator doors, and when you’re inside an elevator with mirrors all around you – except for where the door is at of course – you can’t help but look. I don’t want to touch it or wipe it or clean it myself either, it’s not my job and it’s really gross! After working a half-day shift at the office, and studying at night for my master’s degree, I’d love to just come home to my cozy apartment. The last thing I’d want to see is the disgusting handprint that’s all over the elevator doors.
That night, I called the staff, and they told me that they had already cleaned it this morning. “Yes Ms. Parsons! The elevators were scheduled for cleaning at around 10:00pm,” you could tell the girl on the other line had said that with such a proud smile on her face. I felt kind of bad actually to let her know that the “cleaning” they did was very lackluster because the handprints were still there when I went up at around eleven thirty – just an hour and thirty minutes after the “scheduled cleaning.” Either way, they apologized, as I figured they would, and said they would clean have it cleaned again early the next morning. Lo and behold, it was spotless! The elevator doors were squeaky clean, the mirrors on the three other edges were wiped well, and it was like the elevator was brand new. So, before leaving for work that morning, I thanked the front desk and told them that I really appreciated that they were taking extra notice at the cleanliness of the elevator.
Friday was kind of a blur. I don’t remember much, after school. I remember drinking with a couple of friends. I caught up with them after class. I remember taking tequila shots with some of my buddies. I remember dancing, talking, and laughing, really loud. I think I almost drunk dialed my ex-boyfriend? Never mind, yes, there it is on call history. I don’t remember much after taking that vodka shot with Alex. I had the weirdest dream too; at least I think it was a dream, I was on my way up to my room, half-awake, when I saw that the handprints were back on the elevator doors! I think the worst part was that they weren’t just on the doors anymore; there were also some by the walls. It must have been a dream because who would put their handprints all over the interior of an elevator? Why would they even do that?
Friday night was amazing; it’s been awhile since I’ve had a good night out like that. Saturday morning was a different story. My head hurt, and, weirdly, so did my pelvic area. Maybe Friday night wasn’t as amazing as I thought it was. Did Alex and I do anything when he brought me home? I couldn’t really think about it at the moment, my head hurt too much. So I rushed to the nearest drug store, and bought any generic meds I could lay my hands on. On the way down I ran into my neighbors, the Tanner’s just as they were leaving for their daily Saturday lunch out.
While waiting for the elevator on the ground floor, I popped a pill, and started to think about what happened last night. Trying to trace back my steps, I did not want to believe what my memory was telling me. I called my best friend, Nicole, and all she could tell me was that Alex wasn’t even touchy with me when we were out, but he did bring me home. Could he have done something to me? My pelvic area was really hurting and it felt swollen. I couldn’t believe I was really considering that Alex took advantage of me, but it’s really hurting for some reason. The doors to the elevator opened and I walked in. The moment I got in there and the doors closed, I felt a stinging pain on my pelvic area, and as I pressed the fourteenth floor, I suddenly became very aware of my surroundings.
It was real; it wasn’t a dream at all. The handprints were all over the elevator walls and it looked fresh. As if whoever did this, was in this elevator before me. In my furious state, and fighting my hangover, I did not notice that the elevator was not moving. he doors hadn’t even opened. I was starting to feel uneasy, like the walls were closing in on me, like I was starting to loose oxygen. I knew that was crazy, I knew that would never happen, and that it was all just my imagination but I still couldn’t help but think it. I tried pressing the emergency button but nothing happened, just the sound of static from the other side. By that time I was really starting to freak out.
I don’t think it was the alcohol anymore, but the handprints that were all around the elevator were starting to form. The handprints were taking shape and I found myself standing in a corner just screaming my lungs out. This was not happening, I was still asleep, passed out on my bed, with Alex probably on me. This was not happening. I continued screaming; I was in denial of this all – until I felt a hand grab my thigh. I was startled and jumped forward. I continued to press on the emergency button of the elevator. I called for help but no one answered. I looked at the monitor and the elevator was not on the ground floor anymore, it was on my floor already. I looked at the elevator doors, the handprints now actual hands sticking out of the walls and the doors of the elevator, I mustered up courage and tried to open it myself. It was difficult and I could see that the hands did not like what I was doing.
The hands started grabbing me everywhere. They were on my chest, on my face, on my waist, on my legs. They were just grabbing hold of me as I continued to pull the two doors apart. The grip strengthened and it started to hurt a lot, but I couldn’t let that stop me. The hands now had arms and they looked familiar. I started to bite and kick the other what tried grabbing hold of me while my own arms continued to pull apart the elevator doors. The walls were closing in on me, and I was losing air. My vision was starting to blur, and I felt myself getting light headed. I knew that if I gave in now, I would most certainly be dead. So, with one big gulp, I gave this next pull my all. The doors finally gave in, and to my surprise, a rush of red liquid came flowing in, straight at my face. I didn’t care, I didn’t think about what it was, all I thought about was getting myself out of this hellish elevator. I kept pulling and the red liquid kept flowing.
I heard a crack and that was it. The air came back to me; the elevator walls expanded to normal size, and the arms that had a hold on me fell limp. I took a step out of the elevator, and found myself seated inside my room, by the door. My legs gave in and the tears came out. I couldn’t walk anymore; I was too relieved that I had survived such an experience. I was crying and crying. I couldn’t believe that happened to me. I was seated there, crying in disbelief, still covered in the red liquid when I heard a knock on the door. I let out a soft shriek as I cried and then I heard the cop speak, “Ma’am, we’re cops. Please let us in, are you alright? We got a disturbance call from your neighbors about possible domestic violence?” I didn’t know what they were talking about because the Tanners left for lunch. I said aloud that I was okay and asked who told them because the Tanners weren’t home, they had left for lunch just a couple of minutes ago.
I didn’t want to believe what they said but everything became clear after that. “Ma’am, please open the door, it’s four o’clock Saturday morning, the Tanners are here with us outside your room.”
Reserving whatever rights I have over this 🙂
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