The next 10 seconds that followed the blackout were the quietest Debby could remember experiencing. For 10 full seconds no one moved. They all knew what had just happened. They were all terrified of what had just happened.
They just didn’t want to believe that what just happened had really just happened.
It took all of 10 seconds for them to repent of their unbelief.
Gloria’s phone fell (again) with a loud THUD!
Adah jumped, Paul gave an almost comical squeak and Mr. Lawal shouted “Ewoo”. Goke frantically reached out for the telephone installed in the lift and hit Gloria in the chest in the process; he was promptly rewarded with a slap, which moved him to crash into Mr. Lawal who shouted another “Ewoo” for good measure as he fell to the ground. He tried to break his fall by grabbing the nearest person. Unfortunately, Adah didn’t have the stamina and in trying to get her balance, dug the heels of her shoe into Paul’s, who shouted and pushed her, losing his balance in the process. His fall took Gloria (who was still fuming) and everyone else down with him.
Everyone except Debby, who had positioned herself at a corner of the lift. Mute.
As the others untangled themselves and got back on their feet, she pulled her phone from her bag. There wasn’t network… not surprising; they were in a lift after all.
By this time, Goke had located the telephone and had started dialing the emergency number with the help of the light from his phone. He waited for a while and then it struck him.
THERE WAS NO TONE
He quietly traced the wires and realized that it was cut. Probably during the “great fall”
“Isn’t anyone picking? Why are you just looking at the phone?” Adah asked, back on her feet now.
“The wire is cut. I think it happened when we fell”
“We don die!” Mr. Lawal declared.
Paul eyed him wryly and then checked the time on his phone! Oh no!!!
Gloria was about saying something when Debby spoke up
“Guys just calm down. The generator should come on within the minute, so pull it together till that happens.”
They all fell silent.
For the next ten minutes, they tried to distract themselves with their mobile phones. Goke played his music and Paul kept looking at his network bar, praying for a miracle. Sweat had started to form on their foreheads and Gloria tired to fan herself in vain.
“Hmm. E don pass that one minute madam. I hope say this lipt no go fall oh. Because e get one home video wey I watch, na the same thing happen to them only say…”
“Please just shut up and keep your story to yourself!” Gloria spat at him.
There was silence for a few seconds.
“LIPT or lift?” Goke asked no one in particular, laughing to himself.
To his surprise, Debby joined him in laughing. And then, a weird silence followed.
“So you’re laughing?” Adah asked softly.
Goke turned to face them. Oh, oh… Adah had lost it. Was she talking to Debby?
“Aren’t you the cause of the whole thing?”
Gloria shushed her to be quiet.
“Leave me alone. It’s true and she knows it. I could have left here a long time ago, but her wahala is just too much. And I’m supposed to be at home now, it’s my late dad’s remembrance today and I totally forgot thanks to her!”
“It’s my wedding anniversary.” Everyone turned to face Paul. “My wife is waiting for me at some classy restaurant that I’m paying through my nose to eat at. And here I am also… thanks to Debby.”
“Wow, you guys too. It’s my mum’s birthday today… I’m not blaming madam oh! My hand no dey there!”
“Why do you enjoy making our lives at work miserable? Why?”
Just then the lights came on and Debby’s face was a mixture of shock and incredulity.
Before anyone could say anything more, the lift started ascending. They were still trying to get their balance when it stopped, then dropped with speed (amidst their screams), stopped and once again, the lights went off!
They all turned to face Debby like she had purposely caused this to happen.
Oh my God… Debby thought to herself.