Hello, everyone! Thank you, Addison, for allowing me back on the blog 🥰 This month, we’re celebrating Talk in an Elevator Day, so I wrote Love in an Elevator.
Are you one of those people who talks to strangers when out and about? I’m not.
- I avoid being out and about.
- I avoid strangers.
But despite doing my absolute best to avoid talking to strangers, strangers often talk to me. Or that’s a generalisation. Kids and old people often talk to me.
I remember one time some years ago when I was walking through the old parts of Falkenberg, where I lived then. There are cobblestone streets, and not the flat kind, the really cobbly kind 😄 I’m guessing the pavements have been added later on because they’re much flatter, not paved, but small flat stones.
Anyway, some people were milling about, one of them an elderly man coming toward me in an electric wheelchair. I hopped down on the street since the pavements are really narrow, and I figured he needed the space more than I did. When he came closer, he stopped and started talking to me. He said he knew he wanted to talk to me the moment he saw me because I looked at people with kind eyes.
Since that day, I don’t mind all that much when old people talk to me. I’m still not a fan of talking to strangers, and that man might just have said it because he wished to talk to someone, and I smiled at him. But I had no problem spending a few minutes talking to him if it made his day better.
Some days, you just need to be seen no matter how old you are.
That being said, if someone would flirt with me in an elevator, I’d most likely panic. At least if it was a man, a woman would be better, though if she’s a stranger… But picture it. A small, closed-in space that can be stopped between floors with a push of a button. I’d be lecturing myself for not having learned self-defence, for not having told anyone where I was, for having walked into an elevator with a stranger without backup. I should invest in some pepper spray. Only serial killers talk to strangers in elevators.
Unless they’re 80+. Then it’s okay 😆
Luckily, Corey and Hayden don’t have my aversion to elevator talk.
Hayden talks nonstop in the elevator, while Corey doesn’t talk at all. He doesn’t talk, using his voice, anywhere. He has a severe stutter which he was bullied for in school. When he met his best friend, Brielle, he realised he didn’t have to speak. Brielle is deaf and talks through sign language. For Corey it’s a relief, signing gives him freedom. The only problem is when Hayden talks to him in the elevator.
Hayden talks and talks, and while he notices Corey isn’t the chattiest of people, things don’t click until he sees Corey and Brielle together. Then he believes he’s spent several elevator rides flirting with a deaf guy. He’s convinced Corey has understood what he’s said. He smiled and nodded, so he has to have heard him. Right?
Corey Hope’s school years sucked. With a crippling stutter, he was easy prey, and despite being grown up, his bullies still haunt his nightmares. After he left school, he gave up on trying to talk, and communicates solely through sign language and written text. It works great even though he wished he could say something when Hayden flirts with him in the elevator.
Hayden does his best to catch Corey in the elevator as often as he can, and he thinks they might have something, but it all comes crashing down when Corey sees him having lunch with his colleagues. Corey might be drawn to Hayden, but seeing him with his school bullies has old memories washing over him. He won’t let them hurt him ever again, and he’d rather forget about Hayden than risk Hayden hurting him.
How will Hayden convince Corey he’s nothing like his colleagues when Corey refuses to see him?
Hayden was heading out. Tara was having a… it wasn’t an art showing exactly, but local artists were showing off their stuff. Which he guessed made it an art showing, but more market-style than art gallery.
He was amazed by the things she did. They weren’t always his style, but how she came up with the ideas was beyond him. Everything she created shone with bright colors, her to-go cups were her bestselling item, and he understood why. She had an Etsy shop and people could make requests for what they wanted on their cups—a name or a certain color and so on. And she sold pretty well.
Walking into the elevator, he sipped on his coffee. The cup he’d picked for the occasion had a dark blue background and around the entire mug were aliens in strong colors.
He hit the bottom floor button and yawned. Most of all, he’d wanted to stay in, slumped on the sofa in front of the TV, but he’d promised he’d go.
When the doors opened, Hayden exited. He’d almost reached the door when Corey opened it and stepped into the lobby. His eyes were focused on the screen of his phone, and Hayden moved out of his way. He did something with his hand, and Hayden realized he was on a video call, though he couldn’t hear any voices. Maybe he wore an earbud in the ear Hayden couldn’t see.
Once Corey passed him, Hayden turned and walked alongside him toward the elevator.
Corey waved at the person on the screen and pocketed his phone. It wasn’t until he reached the elevator, he noticed Hayden. The look of shock had him grinning. “Hiya.”
Corey gave him a tentative smile back and nodded.
“Any big plans for the afternoon?” Maybe he could ask Corey to come with him.
Corey shrugged and pushed the button by the elevator. It opened right away, not having left since Hayden rode down. Hayden went in with him.
“I’m going to an art exhibit, or exhibit isn’t the right word, but local artist showing off their stuff. Want to come?”
Hayden had never known eyes could grow as wide, then Corey slowly shook his head. The look of suspicion wasn’t what he’d hoped for.
“My friend Tara is showing off her stuff.” He held up his cup. “She painted it.”
Corey stared at him, and self-consciousness clouded in his mind.
“So… not an art fan? Or is it pottery? There will be other things than pottery there, I promise.”
The way Corey studied him had him rubbing his neck.
“You’re not making this easy, you know?”
Corey raised an eyebrow.
“Here I am trying to ask you out, and you’re ignoring me.” He grinned to show he was kidding—mostly kidding. He wanted to spend more time with Corey and strolling around looking at crafts or whatever would’ve been a great unpretentious first date.
Corey narrowed his eyes, and for a second, Hayden had the horrible feeling he was hitting on a straight man. Nothing Corey had said or done indicated he was queer. What if it was all in Hayden’s head?
When the elevator slowed, panic welled up in Hayden. “Are you sure you don’t want to come with me? Not on a date, only for the fun of it.”
The smile made him feel a little better, but Corey shook his head yet again.
“Okay.” He sighed. “It was lovely seeing you, Corey.”
Corey hurried out of the elevator and waved at him. Hayden leaned out to stop the doors from closing and spent a few seconds watching Corey’s ass. Those jeans fit him perfectly.
When Corey turned and caught him staring, he winked and leaned back into the elevator.
About Holly Day
According to Holly Day, no day should go by uncelebrated and all of them deserve a story. If she’ll have the time to write them remains to be seen. She lives in rural Sweden with a husband, four children, more pets than most, and wouldn’t last a day without coffee.
Holly gets up at the crack of dawn most days of the week to write gay romance stories. She believes in equality in fiction and in real life. Diversity matters. Representation matters. Visibility matters. We can change the world one story at the time.