by Lisa Molina
She looks up at the tall man in the gray suit with the briefcase in his hand.
“Uh,” Clears throat.“Four?” Pause. “Please?”
The girl looks down from him to the numbers straight in front of her eyes, “Yes sir!”
Her tiny left hand presses four, lighting it up.
Her right hand holds a clear plastic bag full of yellow liquid next to her right leg;
Drip. Drip. Drip. Drip. Down the snake-like tube, surgically inserted into her bladder a few days before.
The elevator starts to rise.
“So,” says the man, “What are you….here for?”
Her left hand quickly reaches behind her to the open hospital gown, her fingers clasping it closed.
“Well, I have a kidney infection, so I have to wear this bag.”
The rising elevator tickles her stomach. She giggles.
“A kidney infection? he asks. “That’s pretty serious. Shouldn’t you be in your room?”
“Well, I decided I would be the elevator girl for a while; You know, like in the movies.”
“How old are you?”
“I’m eight, but I’m very mature for my age. That’s what all my teachers say.”
Ding! The doors slide open.
A young woman with red and white striped scrubs is standing outside the elevator with a rolling cart of half-eaten meals.
Briefcase man explains, as he holds the doors open, “This little girl says she’s here for a kidney infection, and has decided she wants to be the elevator girl.”
“What?!” the volunteer gasps, her hand jumping to her mouth.
After collecting herself, her hands now rubbing her candy cane pants, she says. “Ok, come with me.Tell me your name and let’s……”
“But I want to be the elevator girl like in the movies! I’m really good at it. And I feel fine.”
“Goodbye,” the briefcase man says, nodding his head at candy cane lady. “And thank you,” he says to elevator girl as he exits the elevator and heads down the long endless hall.
“Besides,” elevator girl continues, “my dad is taking a nap in my room and I don’t want to
wake him up. Please?”
Candy cane woman catches the elevator door before it closes, and places her hand behind the little girl’s back. Elevator girl feels her cold hands through the opening of the gown.
“Come on. Let’s go,” says candy cane woman.
They step out of the elevator.
Still holding the sunshine yellow bag in her right hand, the child grabs the handle on the cart with her pale left fingers. “Here. I’ll help you with the cart.”
And the petite patient pushes forward, her backside bare and cold, peeking through the back of tbeb open hospital gown.
And that was the end of my career as the Elevator Girl.
* * *
While not bingeing on her new favorite writer’s works, Lisa Molina can be found writing, workimg with students with special needs, singing, playing the piano, or marveling at nature with her family. She lives in Austin, TX, since earning her BFA at the University of Texas. Her works have been featured in Trouvaille Review, Beyond Words magazine, Indolent Books — Poems in the Afterglow, and the Ekphrastic Review, with poems soon to be featured in Silver Birch Press, Amethyst Review, and Peeking Cat.