Trapped with Tom

Kathleen's first day at Hamilton Hodell was always going to be an interesting one, but even she could never have imagined it would turn out the way it did. A chance meeting with a familiar face - and a malfunctioning lift - will change her life forever.


5. Cold Hands, Warm Heart

My phone tells me we've been stuck in the elevator for an hour, but it feels like we've been there much longer.

It's cold, and I question why I left without my coat in the first place. Tom reaches into his bag and tosses me a flask.

"Tea" He says "You look like you need it."

"Thanks" I reply, taking a sip. Even then the cold does not leave my body, and I can feel myself shivering.

Even in the dark, Tom notices.

Of course he does.

He removes his jacket in one smooth movement and drapes it over my shoulders. The lining is soft, still warm from the heat of his body. I pass the flask back.

A thought crosses my mind and I realise exactly how much panic had clouded my mind.
"Shouldn't we, you know, call for help?"

"It won't work." He sighs "If there was even the slightest chance of it working then I'm sure we'd have thought about it much earlier. Clearly nobody heard you when you screamed, so even together our voices won't be loud enough, and there's not a single bar of phone signal to be found anywhere in this damn building. Even if we do manage to call for help there's still the rather complicated matter of finding a way to get us out."

"They'll find a way - you're one of the most important people in this building."

"In a sea of other important people - very busy, hard-working important people." He says "And though this may sound patronising, you're important too."

"I'm really not." I say. In my life I have been made to feel unimportant so many times, and I believe it.

"Anyone that tells you that you don't matter is wrong" Tom looks me in the eye "People used to say that to me, sometimes. And its people like you that prove them wrong, if I may say so myself - and for that I'm thankful."

"It's people like you that keep the people like me alive." I reply.

I mean it.

"Do you really think that?" Tom looks down and smiles sadly "I'm sure I could never..."

"Yes. You give us hope - hope that not all people are as bad as we're forced to believe. We see ourselves in the characters you play, and we don't feel so alone. People go to premieres and events because of you, and meet wonderful, wonderful people there - even if they don't get to see you."

I realise that Tom is crying. He is still smiling, but tears run silently down his cheeks.

"Thank you." He says quietly "...Thank you."

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