It was just her luck, Jess thought, that of all the people she could get stuck in an elevator with, she had to get stuck with the one person she hated more than anyone else in the world, her neighbour, Ella. She wasn’t sure exactly when their hatred of each other started, but she did know that these days they could barely stand the sight of each other. Which was rather unfortunate when they both lived on the same floor in the same apartment block.
The same apartment block, with the rather temperamental elevator. In fact, most days Jess would take the stairs, because it had a nasty habit of getting stuck with people in it. But she’d had a long day at college followed by the late shift at a local diner the day before and had been out to buy some groceries when she had woken up to find out she was out of milk and snacks. She was fully intending to go straight back to bed to get a few more hours of sleep when she got back to her apartment and she really couldn’t be bothered to walk up all five flights of stairs.
However, now she was stuck in the elevator, with her neighbour who had squeezed in just as the door was closing. Bed had never seemed so far away. At least she had her phone and some snacks. There were silver linings everywhere right? For now, after a brief discussion (argument?) over who should contact the apartment manager to tell them they were stuck in the lift, they were sat in opposite corners on their phones.
It didn’t take long, however, for Jess’s constant refreshing of her timeline for her phone’s battery to die down to dangerously low levels, and given that she needed to save some charge for if the apartment manager rang her back, she decided to put it away. But now she was faced with the fact that she had nothing to do, and it looked like Ella was in the same situation.
She filled a bit of time rifling through her grocery bags to find some cereal bars, and after finding the box and eating two, she slid one across the floor to Ella.
“What’s this?” Ella asked, clearly slightly confused.
“It’s a cereal bar,” Jess explained, like she was talking to a five-year-old, “If I’m going to be stuck with you in here for whoever knows how long I’d rather you didn’t starve to death, or worse, get hangry on me.”
“Thanks,” Ella smiled. A strange sight, Jess thought. She couldn’t recall ever seeing her actually smile before. After taking a tentative bite of the cereal bar offered to her, and deciding it didn’t actually taste that bad, Ella started digging in with a bit more gusto.
The cereal bar acted as a bit of a peace offering, and they ended up making small talk between sharing the snacks and drinks in Jess’s grocery bags. It was only after they’d been there several hours and all the soda they’d been drinking needed somewhere to go, that they had a bit of an issue.
“Erm… Jess?” Ella started tentatively, “Do you reckon we’ll be out of here soon, it’s just I kind of really need to pee.”
Jess tried not to laugh, she really did, but she couldn’t help the little giggle that escaped. Ella glared at her until she managed to get herself back under control.
“Sorry,” Jess apologised, once she was sure there’d be no more giggles, “I’m not sure when we’ll get out, but if you get desperate a few of the soda bottles are empty.”
Ella pulled a bit of a face at the suggestion but seemed almost resigned to her fate. A few hours later and there were two bottles that had been filled back up, both girls having gotten desperate enough to use them.
Twelve hours after they’d originally been trapped in the elevator they both managed to get out, and by this time they were on a lot better speaking terms with each other. There’s some things that you go through and you end up at least respecting the person you’re with. It turns out it’s kind of hard to hate someone when you’ve peed in front of them, Jess realised.