He had no idea what he had walked into.

To be fair, there was no way he could have.  To him it was just an
elevator, a means of getting from the lobby to the newborn in less time
than it would take to scale the outside of the building. And he WOULD
have scaled the outside of the building if you had told him It was the
only way up.

Of  course it wasn’t the only way up and so he had jumped onto the first
available car and infected us with his joyous optimism.  He smiled his
crooked, sleepless smile and nodded his head to the obnoxious tune that he
obviously had playing inside it, oblivious to who his fellow “riders”
were or where they were headed. 

The couple across from me shook their
heads in frustrated disgust.  To have endured the trip here knowing what
lay at it’s conclusion; to have made the trek in mostly silence; wary of
saying the thing that would open the flood gates and make it all real
was bad enough; to have to spend the last seconds before the finish line
with this douche bag was almost too much to bear.

“Can you believe this weather?” he didn’t talk as much as he chirped. I
nodded politely aware in my consciousness that it wasn’t his fault, but
yearning in my id to choke his ass out.  “It’s very warm.”

” Yeah thank God for the air conditioning right?” I hadn’t really had
much to thank God for as of late and the thought of busting out a Josiah
for some dry cold scentless refrigeration struck me as offensive.

Again; I was
aware that this was not my right mind so I nodded politely again and looked to
the lights that tracked our progress upward.  14. Two to go.

“Everyone here is so nice. It’s amazing. It’s like the best group of
people I have ever met. I feel like they’re part of my family you

Thankfully the car stopped on 16 breaking his confessional and for a moment I thought he would
grab the elevator doors with his bare hands and force them to open
faster so that he could get where he was going that much sooner. “It was
real nice meeting you” he chirped as he hopped out of the car and
disappeared down the maternity ward hallway. The doors closed and the
car lurched upward again.

” We didn’t actually meet.” as the words left my mouth, the couple across from me laughed in agreement. ” Just amazing.”

“Circle of life right?”

“Yeah I guess so. But still – fuck him.”

We all laughed again but it was short lived.  The elevator stopped on 21. Oncology. The doors opened but no one moved toward them.

No one leaned forward to will them to move faster. We all just stood our
ground and held on to the last moment we had that hope could share.

When we finally did step out of elevator, Death had already arrived.

He must have taken the stairs.