I’m in an online writers group that is most supportive and helpful. This week one of the subjects is Elevator, and so here I go with a brief, true story:
“Phillip, just stay on the elevator sweetie. Don’t step off.
It will come back down and I’ll be right here waiting for you.”
Listening to the squeaky voice of my five-year-old screaming,
“Mommy…Mommy! Help me Mommy!” My heart broke. Impatiently I waited for
the elevator to return with my child inside. What if someone takes him, I
thought. God, what if I never see my child again.
The morning was filled with stress. Arriving early at the
Medical University of South Carolina, Phillip complained. He was hungry. He
wanted Mickey Mouse. He wanted to go back home to watch cartoons and ride his
bike. He could not understand why he couldn’t eat breakfast before going to the
“Sweetie, you can’t have anything by mouth before the test.
As soon as the tests are done, we’ll get you the best meal in Charleston,” I
“I only want my Cheerios. I have them every morning, Mommy.
I’m hungry!” He stomped his foot. This was to be a morning to remember,
Just how had I let his hand slip from mine while stepping
into the elevator? The lady standing behind me had rushed ahead of us breaking
our hands apart.
“I’m late,” she said, as if she was apologizing. When she
stepped in front of me, her movement had broken my son and I clutching our
hands and when the doors started to close with my hand outstretched into the
elevator, with a quick impulse I pulled it back just as the doors closed with
my precious son inside. Alone. Without his mother. A small five-year-old
trapped inside an elevator with strangers. What if the elevator breaks? What
if he isn’t inside when it returns to this floor? What if he is kidnapped like
the Walsh kid?
Tears slipped down my face. Earlier in the week I’d heard
about the Walsh kidnapping and I couldn’t understand it. Now, my eyes were open
wide, with a new understanding of how quickly something can happen. Right in
the blink of an eye a child can disappear.
“Please God, let my son be OK.”
I heard the ringing of the elevator bell. When the door
opened I prayed another silent prayer anticipating what I would do If my son
was not inside. The doors opened. I saw a small blonde boy wearing a blue
Charleston T-shirt and khaki pants. “Phillip,” I screamed rushing inside, not
caring about who was around. I scooped him into my arms. “Mommy. It’s Ok. You
said to stay on the elevator.”
He grabbed my hand and I squeezed his tightly. “Let’s not get
lost again,” I said. “We have to get your breakfast and we have to go home to
Phillip tilted his head in my direction, casting that dimpled
grin at me. “I knew you’d be here Mommy and I knew I’d be OK.”
Two hours later, we rushed home to find Mickey Mouse. The
diagnosis had gone well, as expected. I was thankful the horrible, dreary
morning of gloom had broken into a beautiful sunshiny day with my precious son.