I, along with some other people (let’s call them A, B and C) had to go to an apartment just now to discuss some interior design workstuff. We drove at night, and since it was a newly completed apartment, there was no one living in the whole apartment project yet.
It was quite scary, especially in the carpark, but we had each other.
We went in the lift, and pressed the button to go to our floor. Suddenly, it got stuck halfway up.
We didn’t really realise we were stuck as we were busy chatting. Suddenly B noticed that it’s been such a long time that we’ve been on the same floor but the doors weren’t opening.
As there was no signal in the lift, we couldn’t communicate with the outside world to ask for help. Quickly, I pressed the alarm button and a security guard came on speaker, “Yes?“, he asked, bored.
“We’re stuck in the lift. Help!”
He went “Hahhh?!!” and mumbled some Tamil words to himself. We explained our situation only to be cut off by him, who was now mumbling some Tamil words to his other guard friend.
“Eyy,” we begged for attention. “Cepatlah panggil orang. Sangat panasla!” [Hurry call someone. It’s very hot in here!]
He, also panicking, didn’t really know what to do. I guess something like this hasn’t happened before. We suggested he call the lift company Otis, which had a 24-hour service and had displayed their phone number in the lift. We had to read out the phone number to him through the speaker.
While he was doing his job, I surveyed the tiny lift. There were 4 of us in the lift, and I made mental calculations on how fast oxygen will run out. Volume of air times the volume of people divided by the speed of oxygen consumption minus the time – oh my god we’re going to rot in here, I thought.
Imagine being surrounded by only four walls in a very very very tiny greyish space.
A, B and myself were calm.
C, however was doing a mini marathon in the lift, squatting down, standing up, squatting down again, sighing in exasperation, shouting for help in desperation. C, my dear readers, is claustrophobic and gets panic attacks easily.
“Just sit quietly. Don’t worry, we’ll be fine.” we told C.
“How la like this? I cannot breathe! We’re going to be stuck in here till morning!!”
We let A do all the talking through the speaker. A few minutes have gone by and still nothing.
By now, A was getting pissed off and was scolding the security guy. “You better take this seriously! Things like this shouldn’t happen. I’ve got VIP with me in this lift [not me, of course], and if anything happens, this whole project will be in trouble! One of us cannot breathe already, if you don’t do something quick, can die in here! Can have a murder case, you know.”
I felt faint.
Dying?! Who said anything about dying?!
My face went pale. Fear was definitely playing with my mind because I suddenly felt that I couldn’t breathe properly.
I looked at C and she was nearly fainting, already thinking about death. I was scared too (mostly because I wasn’t confident with the security guy), but I thought we all had to be strong for C.
In my heart I was shaking thinking about how many sins I have committed in my life and how I’m not ready to die! But my exterior was all relaxed.
I could even tell C, “Don’t worry, this happens all the time,” and then thinking to myself “You big fat liar. This soooo does not happen all the time.”
I added to C, “The guard is coming, don’t worry,” and then back to myself “There you go, lying again to poor C. We’re all going to die in here, you idiot!”
Suddenly, B pointed out that we were moving downwards.
11, 10, 9, 8,….., 1, G.
Ground floor!! The door opens and an innocent-looking security guard was standing there. Turned out all he did was press the button to call the lift and our lift came down.
I almost hugged him. I felt so happy breathing normal outside air again and I wanted to thank God that we were all alright.
Then I looked at C. She was already kissing the ground, face still pale. Poor C will probably never enter a lift again.
This whole experience is suddenly making me hungry. I got home and gobbled up some Gardenia Butterscotch bread. I know, carbs, bad, evil, fat. But life is too damn precious to deny myself some yummy food right now. Maybe tomorrow.