It is evening and many people are waiting for the lift to bring them to their floors. Silent strangers who look everywhere but at one another. Strangers who lead different lives, only linked together for staying in the same block of flats.
The lift arrives and the strangers file into the lift, still silent and visibly tired after a long day away from home. Everybody presses the buttons to their own floors without offering help to anyone else.
The lift starts to move up as silently as its passengers. Suddenly, Matthew points to a lit button, turns to a lady beside him and exclaims “There, eighteen!”
The atmosphere in the lift changes abruptly. Weary eyes turn towards the little boy who cannot even distinguish seventeen from eighteen. Smiles start to break out on tired faces.
Matthew, oblivious of the impact he is making on the adults, carries on to point and tell the lady with a twinkle in his eyes, “twenty two”, this time hitting the jackpot.
Soon, the lift reaches the different floors and people start to make their way out. Before they leave, they wave goodbye to a cheerful little being who has not been scarred by the toils of life, with a genuine smile on their faces. Matthew waves and says his cool goodbyes in return.
Matthew has given these weary souls a few seconds of warmth. That is the magic of a child’s innocence.
The next day on the way to school, Matthew cheerily puts up his hand when the lift door opens. “Hi Lift! Good morning!”, he says to the empty lift.