Elevator Music – by MELISSA LIBBEY

It happened in the elevator.

He dropped my bags on my floor. The sweet whistle of an unknown song played above us. It flowed out of the speakers at such a low volume that I almost didn’t notice it. But the slow melody got stuck in my head.

He dropped my bags beside my feet and looked into my eyes. The aqua blue mixed with gray created one of the most beautiful colors I have ever seen.

His eyes were enough to make me want to stay.

That day I packed my bags.

I did it while he was at work. I flew through the bedroom with purpose and shoved anything I could find into my two duffel bags. He walked through the door before I could finish. The look of disbelief on his face was enough to break my heart, but I wouldn’t let it.

He asked me to move in with him three months ago. I said yes, but I moved my stuff in little by little. I kept expecting him to change his mind.

He never did.

I found myself lying awake each night wondering if I had made a mistake. Tossing and turning to find that he was sleeping through the night while I lied awake wondering if he truly loved me.

Every time I asked him he would just say, “Of course I do.” He would laugh it off and kiss me on my forehead. But I never felt like that was enough. He had a way of laughing everything off. It used to make me smile but sometimes I wanted him to feel what I felt. I wanted him to yell and scream like I did. But he always just smiled instead. So I stared at the ceiling fan every night while I listened to him sleep. I did that every night until I couldn’t take it anymore.

“Where are you going?” he asked.

“I’m sorry, I can’t stay here anymore.”

“Why?”

When he asked me why, the sadness in his eyes said it all. I didn’t know what to say. At night I planned the words in my head. I recited them over and over while I finally drifted off to sleep. But now, I couldn’t remember them as he stood in front of me, defeated.

        “I don’t think I was ready for this. I’m sorry to have wasted your time.”

He walked over to me and put his arms around me as I placed my head on his chest.

        “Please don’t go.”

        “I have to. I feel like I’ll suffocate here.”

He picked up my bags and walked to the door.

        “At least let me walk you down to your car.”

I thought it was a nice gesture.

I was in love with him.

I wanted him to fight for me.

I couldn’t live up to the woman he wanted me to be. That pressure weighed down on me every day. I was ready to let it all go, to feel free.

That’s when we entered the elevator. He pushed the button and I pressed myself up against the back wall and closed my eyes. I took a deep breath and opened them to see him looking at me.

He dropped my bags. He put his arms on either side of me up against the wall. His face was inches from mine.

        “Stay.”

        “I can’t.”

        “But I love you.”

I looked into those amazing blue eyes and I could see that he meant it. He took my head in his hands and kissed me deeply. The elevator had reached the main floor. The doors chimed and then opened.

I walked over to the door and turned to look back at him. I reached over and hit the button for our floor and I stared in to his eyes while the door closed behind us and the elevator brought us home.

***

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Melissa Libbey is a recent graduate with her MA in English and Writing Studies. She is also the first intern (turned Senior Editor) for Sick Lit Magazine (she’s currently on sabbatical). When she isn’t writing or reading, she can be found drinking wine while petting her dog. She has also been published on Thought Catalog, Kean Xchange and her twitter: @Miss_Libbey16

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