Later, I would ask myself if I would have stepped into that elevator knowing that my well ordered, complacent life was about to change forever. Probably not, as years of tedious office work had dulled any penchant for adventure I may have had. I knew right away, as the elevator doors slid shut that something was about to happen. The air in the elevator was charged with expectation. I looked over at the stranger sharing the ride with me. He was tall and lithe, but well- built, solid, a man of action – a man who was reaching his hand out to push the pause button on the control panel!
“What are you…?”
“Sorry to get you involved in this, sweetheart,” he said, “”but we have to get out of here now.”
“What are you talking about?”
“No time to explain,” he said. “You’re either going with me, or in a few minutes, you’ll be dead.” He pulled something out of his bag, attaching it high on the wall of the elevator. He pulled on the coiled rope it held. As I watched, my mouth hanging open in shock, he climbed the rope, pushed out the ceiling panel and disappeared.
He stuck his head back in through the opening, tossing the rope at me.
“You coming, doll, or are you going to take your chances with the bad guys?”
“How do I know you’re not the bad guy?”
“Because I am wasting precious time trying to save your life. Last call, honey, you coming or not?”
Instinctively, I grabbed the hanging rope, my mind screaming, “what the hell are you doing?” as he lifted me through the open panel. As he grabbed my hand, I heard an explosion.
“Damn, this is going to be closer than I expected,” he said. “I hope you can jump.” He turned and jumped off the roof of the cab onto a narrow maintenance ladder attached to the side of the elevator shaft.
“Come on, babe,” he said, “you can do it. I’ll catch you.” He wrapped his legs around the rungs of the ladder and held out his arms.
Another explosion, this one shaking the entire building, was all it took for me to launch myself off the elevator cab and into his arms…