The Muscular Man

Whenever I take a lift I remember him—a muscular figure, tanned skin and a generous smile. The short moment that I spent with him leaps back into my mind again and again. It was about three years ago. I took a lift from the top floor of the library. There was a large crowd of people squeezed into the lift. Catching my eyes instantly, I saw a tanned, muscular man who was wearing sunglasses. His strength and coolness shocked straight into my heart. When we were about half-way down, there was a huge breaking sound. Then the lift moved downward drastically in darkness. Everyone screamed including me. Among the noises of crying, screaming and even some foul language, I heard a deep and generous voice asking everyone to calm down, Afterwards, the person with this particular voice switched on the alarm and told everyone to wait for rescue. After fifteen minutes had passed, the light went on. Lift repairers came to open the doors. However the lift was stuck between floors. Again I heard the soothing voice saying that we were safe. Surprisingly, when I turned my head toward the voice, I found that the voice belonged to the muscular man who had frightened me. He took off his sunglasses and then helped to people to jump off the lift. When he held my hand, I could feel his coolness, protectiveness and generosity.

- by an ESL student, pre 1995