“Put two people who hate each other in an elevator for 12 hours. What happens?”
“This is so your fault,” said Clare, irrationally certain that the fact that Colin had stopped the doors from closing in order to catch the elevator had been what caused it to stop mid-way down from their office on the 12th floor.
“Oh, sure. You would say that,” Colin returned. “If you hadn’t been so adamantly trying to close the doors on me, I wouldn’t have had to slam against them to keep them open. And believe me, if I knew it was you in here, I wouldn’t have rushed.” He said this last bit under his breath, but she heard him and chose to ignore him, staring sulkily at the elevator buttons.
“Ugh. What’s taking them so long?” she asked, pushing the call button again to see if she could get someone to tell her when they’d be getting out.
“Look, it’s already 10:00pm. There’s no way they’re going to get someone here until morning. Just sit down, you’re making me nervous.” Colin was already on the floor using his blazer as a pillow propped up against the wall.
“You’ve got to be joking. Do you know how many people stand in this place a day? And how often do you think they wash these floors? There’s no way I’m sitting.”
“Typical,” Colin said to himself. “Suit yourself, princess.”
“Clare, could you just stop pacing? There’s not enough space in here to swing a cat, let alone have you marching up and down like an elephant.”
“Are you calling me fat?!”
“God, my feet are killing me.”
“Here! Just sit on my blazer for Pete’s sake! I don’t want to hear any more about your feet or your heels or your toes or your toenails!”
Clare still looked hesitant.
“Oh, my, God. You’re debating whether my blazer is worse than the floor, aren’t you?”
“No, I’m not!”
“Then sit down!”
“You going to eat all of that?”
“I didn’t realize she-devils ate granola bars.”
Clare didn’t respond, she was too tired to retort.
“Seriously, are you going to eat all of that?”
He chuckled and tossed her half.
They had both been silent for a while, trying to sleep.
“Why do you hate me so much?”
“What?” Colin grumbled, only half awake.
“Why do you hate me?”
“Because you’re an actively mean person that only looks out for herself.” He paused. “Plus, you were mean to me first.”
“I was not.”
“Yeah you were. You stole my first account from me and, the very next day, you brought donuts for everyone and didn’t offer me one!”
“I just thought you didn’t like donuts.”
“What the hell would give you that idea?”
“You used to say that you didn’t like sweet things over and over as you walked around making an awful racket shaking those stupid protein shakes.”
“Oh.” He shrugged. “Well, you still stole my account.”
“Yeah, I know. But we both know I was going to do a better job on it.”
“Yeah,” she smiled. “Whatever.”
There was no response.
Nothing. She kicked him.
“Get over it, princess.”
They slept. The couple of times that Colin woke up in the night he noticed Clare’s head was on his shoulder. He tried shrugging her off a couple of times, but she wouldn’t budge.
“Man, she’s stubborn even in her sleep.”
“Holy shit, what was that?”
“Calm down, princess. Looks like they’re getting us out.”
“Thank God.” She looked over at Colin as she straightened out her hair and her clothes. “You snore, you know.”
“So do you.”
“I do not!”
“Whatever you say.”
They were finally out.
“Man, I need to pee,” said Colin, stretching.
“Whatever. See you back here in a couple of hours?”
“No way. After that night, I’m calling in sick.”
“Really? I’ve never called in sick once.”
“That explains a lot. You should try it. Spending a day in your pyjamas might unwind you a bit.”
“Who says I need unwinding?” she asked, raising her eyebrow coyly.
“Um, what?” She had caught him off guard. “No, I mean…”
“Don’t you have to pee?”
“Right, yeah, bye,” he said, grabbing his bag and rushing away from her.
Clare smiled and started heading home. Maybe she would call in sick today.