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All too black, all too well.


I swung open the door, glad to finally leave the workplace for the day – and saw him by the elevator.

“Oh, you again.”

Argh. Did I just sound like I am already getting tired of seeing him around?

“Yeah,” he chuckled.

Waiting for the elevator is almost always an awkward affair, if there is only one other person besides yourself. So we attempted some small talk.

“Will you be coming in for the weekend?”

“Nah,” he showed me a bag containing his work papers. “I’ll be working on these from the hotel though. How about you?”

In return, I waved some of my files at him. “Same here.” We both sighed.


The elevator came at last, bearing a colleague who was on her way back to the workplace; I thought she had a funny look on her face at the sight of us together. We bidded a quick goodbye to her as the doors closed.

The silence in the elevator became a little deafening as it began its slow descent –


It then stopped at the next floor to admit more passengers.

He waved at me and proceeded to exit the elevator.

Eh…? Uh oh.

He was not at the right floor.

Ack – should I or should I not tell him? He is probably going to wish that the ground would swallow him up – but if I do not tell him now, he might just kill me later for not warning him.

“Not there yet…!” I blurted. Or shouted. I cannot be sure. It was a very weird moment.

“Oh.” He meekly did a 180-degree turn, and stepped right back into the elevator after the two new passengers.

Damn it. Now he is going to think that I have a limited vocabulary. Can I not have made myself clearer by saying something like “You’re at the wrong floor” instead of “Not there yet”? I mean, not ‘where’ yet? Ugggh! Stupid, stupid me.

“So uhm…,” I tried to sound casual, as though nothing had happened earlier. “Which hotel are you staying at?” Truth be told, it felt like a dragon had just juggled five orange balls and did a merry jig in front of me – and still I pretended not to have noticed.

“The one in Putrajaya.”

Hmm, he must be afraid of me – that must be why he simply cannot wait to leave the elevator. Well done, Strizzt.

“You were at the other hotel in KL the last time you were here, right?”

Oh, bah! Anyone could have made that mistake… could they not? Lord knows I, too, have almost – almost! got off at the wrong floor a couple of times… have I not?

“Yeah, but that was only for two days.”


He flashed another smile at me. For some reason or other, it looked pained. Or apologetic. I know not which.


Details of this entry.Saturday, January 13, 2007, filed under Personal.
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