Chance Meetings

By Calla Smith

We met in the elevator for the first time. He fidgeted first with the zipper of his coat, trying to close it before his long, delicate fingers came to rest in his pockets. Quickly, though, he occupied himself with snapping and unsnapping the metal buttons over and over. His hair was unkempt, as though he was coming in from a storm, but he was just going out into one.

He shifted back and forth on his feet until the elevator had stuttered to a halt far more suddenly than usual, and he fell into me, almost pushing me to the ground. He dusted invisible dirt off of my arms in rapid gestures, apologizing over and over, and it was then that I first saw his light blue eyes behind his too-big glasses. They were calm, in sharp contrast with his jerking, agitated movements, and I knew he would be another of the great accidents in my life.

I assured him I was fine and joked that I knew where he lived if I had been seriously injured.

But it wasn’t really a joke. The next day I planned my trip in the elevator on my way to work again, and he was there, picking at the skin of his hands, and he smiled faintly when he saw me.

After that, it was only a matter of time until I introduced myself and learned his name, Adrian. And eventually, he found me on Instagram and asked me for a date. Seeing as he lived in the same building, we quickly became inseparable. I felt he was finally someone I could spend the rest of my life with. He was my world.

But one day, he just walked out the door and told me he “needed to go.” And I never saw him again.  

The security guards at my building told me he had moved. It was as though he simply disappeared in a puff of one of his cigarettes. I spent hours turning his equivocal last words over in my mind. Had something happened that had taken him away from me? A family emergency? An accident? Surely, if something had been wrong with us, he would have told me, and we would have talked about it. We could have solved it. He would still be here with me.

Instead, I found myself walking inconsistently from one room to the next in my small apartment, remembering how he had stood in that spot and how the light had fallen on his hair. He had given me that book on the bookshelf. We had gone together to the museum where we bought the print hanging on that wall, and I could still feel his arm around me and the tickle of his beard on my cheek.

Now I was biting my fingernails and hoping impatiently from one foot to the next while waiting for the elevator. I no longer fully brushed my hair before leaving in the morning, and I hid beneath large coats and scarves no matter the weather.

I thought I would go on like that forever until one day, I was rushing into the elevator and collided with a tall, dark-haired stranger who helped me to my feet and looked deep into my eyes. And I knew then that it was only a matter of time before this chance meeting became something more.

                                                                      *   *   *

Calla Smith grew up in a rural community on the Western Slop of Colorado, where she quickly discovered her love of reading, writing, and language. After completing a foreign exchange program in Argentina in high school, she went on several trips throughout South America before settling in Buenos Aires in 2009. There she worked as an ESL teacher while studying translation. She now enjoys city life in her adopted country and continues to explore her passion of writing.


  1. Hi Calla, we too are writing our 2 year journey on a Triumph motorcycle: Europe and Africa.Stay in touch with me!!!


Leave a Reply