It was raining the day he came along. And he walked with Eliana, his hand firmly in hers. She giggled stupidly and tumbled in every direction as he led her in through the glass doors and up to the desk. The old man gave Eliana the same smile she had received as a child, filled with pity.
“We want to buy a room!” he announced with his voice too loud and too rough. That proclamation was followed by a bellowing laugh that seemed to rip off all the remaining wallpaper. The arrangements were made, though it was clear how much the old man detested the idea of giving a room to these two young fools. But Eliana insisted he was an amazing man and her father would love him. Of course, the only interaction I had ever seen between her and her father were the times when he chased her out of the apartment, telling her to get a life and grow up. This would be followed by a retort of hers, the slamming of my gates, and a fresh ocean of tears soaking into my boards until we reached the bottom.
The man reached my arrow before Eliana could, and his touch was not remotely as gentle as hers had been. He then demanded to be taken to floor three with the air of the most important man in the world. And as we reached the floor he got off, taking Eliana with him.
Oh, the days that followed were misery for me. On some mornings Eliana would come out alone and ride to floor five, where she would return to her apartment for a few minutes. Usually she returned with cash, and even with my love for Eliana I could not pretend like her father had given her the money. Indeed, several times after those visits he would storm down the hall and ask for a ride to floor three.
Even from across the hall I could hear the screams, the shattering glass. And I was always forced to wait until one of the three came out, her father, him, or Eliana. Usually it was Eliana’s father to exit first, with pure rage radiating off his intoxicated body. The screams would continue until Eliana would come seeking security within my walls, often with a new bruise or scratch.
And as this all happened around me, I had no choice but to watch. To obediently take Eliana down to the lobby as she wrapped herself in his arms. No longer did I receive the attention, and each of her kisses went to him. The disgust of this pair was too much for me. I could not stand to see his hands in her hair, on her back; those same hands that hit her, that made her cry, made her bleed. How I wished there was something I could do, but I was no more than an elevator, another room for them to corrupt with their lust and their stupidity.