The Long Ride Up
by Meghan Sullivan
I hoped the escalator ride would never end. When you’re on an escalator, it’s like being in limbo. Up you go, the world falling away, your destination hazy and distant. As long as you stay on it, nothing is expected of you. Maybe that’s why I wanted the escalator to just keep going, to rise endlessly so that I didn’t have to do anything.
As we ascended I looked down at the stair in front of me, its metal lines of destiny glowing like pale moonlight. How could something as mundane as an escalator stair be so otherworldly? I tried to ponder that mystery, but my eyes drifted to Kanji’s heels instead. I watched as he shifted his weight from right to left, the metal creaking underneath his leather boots. Was he uneasy? Was he bored? Did he not want to be there? With me?
What if I did take his hand? But suddenly I could hear his voice, harsh and full of alarm. “The hell are you doing!?” And like that our friendship would end. I loved him too much to risk that. Which is strange. I mean, there is something ironic about losing someone you love just because you make the mistake of saying “I love you.” So I kept my hands to myself and stayed silent, and prayed our journey would never end.