I’m doing this. I’m about to walk through HQ Reception and into the lift with the boy next door and two strangers. I’m relying on four other strangers to hold off security and wire up an old elevator to then let me attack Head. Head! What am I doing?
Evel holds my hand. He does that a lot, and smiling.
“Good luck,” he whispers in my ear. I turn my head to look up at him, and just as I do that, he leans down and kisses me. He tastes of Cola and mint and his lips are rough. He smiles, I smile back, and I see Chrisie grimacing. Kye has a poker face on.
The kiss knocks me a little. Does that mean Evel likes me? Does that mean I like Evel? Does that mean we’re dating? No. We’re not dating. But does Evel really like me? He’s really good looking, and nice, and not as stalker-ish as I thought.
“Ready?” asks Chrisie and I nod. I’m doing this for no reason but to prove to myself, I’m capable of something else, not just having red-hair. Not just having a mini crush on Evel. To do something, something amazing, something that could change everything. It’s a huge risk, but I want to prove to myself. I. Can. Do. It.
Chrisie, Kye, Evel and I casually stroll into the building. We try to look nice, chatting casually, but people stare at our hair. It makes me un-easy, but I stick with the plan. We approach the elevator, press the button and wait.
“Excuse me,” says the lady at the reception desk but we ignore her. The elevator doors ping open, revealing empty space. We bundle in and press Floor 5. The button lights up orange, like the lit hope and want burning inside me. Pushing me on. Making me strong. Making me stronger.
The door closes and music plays, soft and gentle. You can feel the nerves, the anxious electricity rattling in the air. It pushes down on my skin, on my shoulders, on my head, on my heart. I hope, and hope, and hope this goes well. I keep hoping until we reach Floor 5. My hopes are interrupted by the sound of the doors opening, and the loud noises of the people.
Desks are scattered everywhere, big, curving, white desks with plush cushion seats. Everything is pale, cream, white, light greys, light pinks, light purples. We stroll down the main section, chatting casually. We don’t want people to see us, look at us and see what we’re doing.
Butterflies appear in my stomach as we wait, bashing on my walls as if they want to bring them down. I feel like I’m going to fall down, collapse into an emotional pile of anxiety and hope. Of worry and confidence. Of nervousness and want.
In what seems like forever, the elevator doors ping open. A couple of people walk out, muttering and murmuring. What about? We file in. The button of Floor 6 is lit like the others, in a sort of yellowish glow. We turn the glow orange and the doors close. Thankfully, no one else gets on.
Unlike the journey before, which was five floors long, this is only one. I keep hoping, which is interrupted again by the sound of the elevator opening.
Everything is dark, submerged in blackness. I can’t make out a thing, and Evel and I take a step out of the elevator. Kye and Chrisie stay back. The elevator sounds again and they plunge back down. I can hear the old chains work as the lower them back to normality. To run free back home.
I feel Evel’s hand, warm and sweaty, clutch mine and the wetness of a kiss on my cheek. Neither of us move, just stand holding hands, breathing heavily.
Then, out of nowhere, two blood shot eyes appear floating in the dark.