TrappeD | My Family Travels

That day on the trip my fellow students and I had seen marvels of architecture in Florence, a festive celebration in Siena, and the vast landscapes of Tuscany. In just one day I had seen many breathtaking sights that would move even the most stoic of men.

It was nice.

That night, though, all I cared about was hanging out with my friends.

“Come on Colin, get in the elevator with us!” they had said. Without thinking I stepped in. It did not bother me that I was in a small hotel outside of Perugia, in an elevator that looked older than the Coliseum. It did not bother me that there were eight people shoved in that elevator. It did not bother me that the elevator ride was taking longer than it should have. I was just excited to be with my friends.

â–º  Finalist 2011 Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

After a minute, I knew something was wrong. “Did we stop moving?” I asked.

Suddenly, the elevator was filled with the most perfect silence I had ever heard.

We looked on the control panel. We tried every button. None worked. The elevator did not budge. We were trapped.

It was then that I realized how packed we were in that elevator. It was then that I realized how hot it was, how thin the air was, how everyone’s bodies seemed to crush mine. It was then that I realized the danger we were in. How long were we going to be trapped in here? How were we going to get out? Would we ever get out?

We yelled with all of our might. Then I yelled even louder.

Eventually our violent prayers were answered. Someone had heard us. Help was on the way. Unfortunately, they might have been too late.

Thud.

What was that?

Thud.

Did anyone feel that?

Thud.

The elevator had begun a hellish descent. It started to fall, just a few inches at a time. Each lasted no more than an instant; each threatened to end everything in an instant. Each filled me with horror the likes I had never experienced before.

Stay calm, Colin, stay calm. Help is on the way. Help is on the way.

You are with friends, Colin. They will help you get through this. Stay calm, Colin. You need to stay calm, for their sake, for your sake.

Stay calm, Colin, stay calm. Help is on the way. Help is on the way.

What felt like two eternities passed before salvation finally showed her shining face. Sweet hope returned to my being as white light poured in from the outside. I scrambled out of the elevator as quickly as I could, gasping for air and reaching for freedom.

I had made it. I had escaped.

Everything could have ended that night, but it did not. Instead I was granted a new life, a new beginning. I was imprisoned, but then I was set free.

I awoke the next day as the sun was climbing above the tall pines, beckoning the morning dew to rise like spirits towards the skies above. The fear, the darkness, and the suffering from the night before had vanished without a trace, as if they had been driven off by the rising of the new day.

It was beautiful.

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