four

David grabbed his keys and headed for the door. Three weeks since the death of his room mate had been more than enough. He slammed the door behind him and began to rush down the hallway.

Good Morning Daniel!”

Old Mrs Havers stood at the door to her apartment. He smiled and said some pleasantries. They discussed, for a moment, how her cat, Mister Wufflekindersnuggumwiffle, Esquire, had wandered down into the balcony of the couple beneath her, the Patels. He smiled weakly through some slightly racist comments and continued attempting to edge away. Eventually, Mrs Havers had to attend to her cats. David Spencer didn't care about her cats in the least. He didn't care about their meowing. He didn't care about how Mister Wufflekinderwhatsisface had batted Madam Wigglyjigglekinderhuffington on the nose in a playful fit of mischief, like those he was so often prone to having. This was Mrs Havers. These were her cats. She was a stereotype, and she was on the list of people for whom David Spencer only had anything to do with because he was petrified that being mean to her might cause a heart attack.

As she latched her door again, he returned to sprinting. He darted for the stairway, past the elevator that proclaimed itself to be “Out of Order”. It was a sign that had hung since David Spencer's thirtieth birthday party. He had invited a few friends around. They had fun, they laughed, they danced to Martha and the Vandellas, making fun of a movie Richard had made them all watch three weeks previously at a 'movie night' Richard had organised in a fit of boredom. Mrs Havers had walked over to his door, banging on it, shouting for them to keep the noise down. David Spencer had always thought it was poor timing. David had obliged her, naturally. They kept the noise down, and made up for it by drinking. It was the Tequila that lead Emory, aged twenty nine, who worked in accounts and occasionally fixed photocopiers in the same building as David's office, went over to the elevator and pushed all the buttons. It's normally fine for elevators. Most models could handle that. It was a technique beloved by children. The last time it broke was when Mrs Haver's great-grandson, Francis-Matthew, had done the same thing. This particular model – the Transporterator 54X – had issues handling the requests for more than a set number of levels. Apparently, it couldn't handle more than 5 buttons pushed at once. There were only six floors in the building, so he was surprised it hadn't happened by accident before. He secretly suspected that the elevator had been built to travel horizontally also, but he kept those suspicions to himself.

These were not the thoughts rushing through David Spencer's head as he vaulted down the stairs. Instead, he was considering the very nature of life. Life, it seemed to him, was consumed of a number of days of equal length, which had as great a chance as any other of impacting on a life.

This simply wasn't how it worked.

The grand, important days clumped together. Even when alone, they were the big, outstanding points in a life. They weren't like other days. They were fundamentally different because of the tiniest things.

 

Four days earlier, Richard Moss, the man of patterns and habits, had died. He'd died violently. He'd died in David and his' apartment. That was not the big day. For David, that big day, the big moment that changed everything, came after. It was why he was rushing down the stairs.

Like so many, it had started with a phonecall. And now he had a choice. A choice about what he could do. He couldn't make that choice.

Tracy!” He called from the door to his apartment. Tracy Wilding, Thirty One, trotted over. She was dressed in an evening gown and looked like so many bad films had set up this moment. This was David's moment that was nauseatingly compelling.

David.”

Look I...”

I know.”

Tracy...”

David.”

I'm...”

Not all moments are big things. They don't cause a building to come crashing down. They don't start a war. They aren't even smoking.

These are the moments where small things happen. David Spencer's moment came standing with Tracy Wilding outside the door to his apartment building.

I'm leaving town for a bit.”

David?”

I'm sorry.”

David Spencer's Moment was six words, with a two-word chaser. 

The End

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