Henry Joseph Winters walked into the elevator, surprised to find a girl of...questionable quality already inside. She glanced at him with green eyes rimmed heavily in black liner and lashes caked in mascara. A smirk tugged at her lips as she scanned his figure. he straightened up, turning to face the closing doors of the elevator, consciously smoothing down the expensive suit he was wearing today.

After a few moments, he realised the girl was still staring at him, and getting mightily irrtated, attempted to ignore her. It proved to be a problem a few minutes later when she turned to face him, sticking out a hand. He eyed it distastefully. Black nail polish. Black and white coloured bands running up her arms. A few lines of what looked like song lyrics scrawled over her skin in blue biro.

"You're meant to shake it," she said, in what he was surprised to find a relatively normal voice that sounded amused. "Y'know? Shake it, exchange names and Nice To Meet You's." Still he stared at her, glancing at her apparel. Black jeans with a tear in the knee, a white singlet worn over a black and white striped long-sleeved top, and green sandals that revealed toe-nails painted pink. He kept his gaze on them a moment longer, wondering why her feet did not seem to add up.

Glancing back up at her, he realised why. Black. She was wearing all black. And then, her feet were coloured. Green and pink. Odd.

"I thought I was using black a little too much," she admitted, as if listening in on his thoughts. She wiggld her toes, smiling down at them and them up at him. "My favourite colour is green."

"Then why in Gods-name are you wearing so much black?" he demanded, looking at her again with obvious confusion and disgust. She shrugged.

"I like wearing black. Not too many other colours go well with my skin-type and I find black is a...creative colour." She grinned, revealing perfectly straight, white teeth. He suspected they were the work of a skilled, expensive orthodontist, but, looking at her clothes again, wondered...

"Creative colour?" He snorted derisively. "If you're a murderer or thief, maybe."

She looked at him slowly, lowering her eyelids, smiling slowly. "How do you know I'm not?"

He forced a laugh, suddenly feeling nervous. Perhaps it was from the way the girl's green eyes were twinkling that made him think of a snake. Or maybe the feeling was just gas from that Italian meal he had eaten the night before? He hoped it was gas...

"You?" he said. "Murderer? How old are you, fifteen?"

"Seventeen," she corrected quickly, giving him another white smile that contrasted with her dark clothes. "And it's never too late to start killing people. It's just a matter of skill."

Unconsciously, he shuffled a few inches away from her. "A matter of skill?" he repeated, glancing at the numbers above the elevator doors. Floor 5. Floor 6. They were moving upwards at an incredibly slow pace and he wished he wasn't going to the last floor. Perhaps he could get off soon, wait for this lift to move off and then wait for another..

"Yes. A matter of skill. Much like how you think it is a skill to dress yourself so dashingly each moring. Gucci suit, leather shoes and brief case, three hundred dollar tie." She motioned to his neck and he glanced down at the navy and silver tie around his neck. "Dear, sorry to break it to you, but normal people don't spend that much on clothing. Especially something that only goes around your neck and has no real purpose."

He bristled at the endearment. This girl was almost half his age and here she was speaking to him as if she actually knew what she was talking of. Some of his anger must of shown on his face because the girl chuckled.

"Don't worry about it, HJ," she said, and his neck snapped so fast to the side, he had to place a hand to it to stop the ache.

"What did you just call me?" he demanded, heart thumping erratically. If she just said what he thought she said... STALKER!

"I called you HJ. As in, HJ Winters." She smiled broadly, revealing those brilliant white teeth once more. Henry's stomach twisted uncomfortably. "And you live at 36 Marrington Way, Westside." She looked at him slowly, raising a single black eyebrow. "And what I'm wondering, is if you live at Westside, in a quaint suburban street, why would you be coming to Southside at the middle of the night to an expensive hotel?"

Henry felt fear and nervousness and above all confusion consume his mind. How had this girl known his name? And his address? And what was she implying with that statement?

"Stress less, HJ," she said. "I won't tell anyone. But I must say, if you're gonna have an affair, at least do it someplace where you haven't been before." At his intensified confusion, she elaborated. "I seen you here last month. In the same suit. In the same tie. Even carrying the same briefcase that says: If found, please return to HJ Winters. 36 Marrington Way, Westside."

She grinned.

Henry wanted to scream.

"I am most definately not having an affair!" He looked again at the flashing numbers above the door. Floor 17.

"Oh yeah," the girl snorted. "Marrington Way is the upperclass suburban street for single-kid rich folks, with Porche's, swimming pools and closets full of three hundred dollar neck ties."

"And how would you know that?" he said, disgruntled and feeling an increasing need to escape. Floor 19.

"I live there," she replied casually. "You live two houses down."

Henry gaped at her. She could not be serious.

"And about that affair, Susan is a great woman. So is your son, Theodore. Cute kid, that one." She looked at him again, smirking. "Life is not something to be messed with, HJ. You have a perfect wife and child. A perfect house. A perfect job and a perfect thousand dollar suit." She paused. "But you, HJ, are not perfect. You try to be. Wearing those clothes, buying ties for yourself instead of something nice for your wife and child. You drive an expensive car to give the impression of being an expensive person. Life's not something to be bought, dear. It's something to be browsed."

Hengry gaped at her. He opened his mouth to speak but couldn't find his voice.

"Like I said, HJ.It's just a matter of skill." The light for Floor 25 lit up and the doors opened, revealing a hallway dotted with other teens and with a steady beat of music. The girl looked at him, green eyes glowing beneath a black fringe and from between lids smeared with darkness. "You're a good man, HJ. But you could be better." She stuck out her hand and in a state of delirium, Henry took it. She shook it, smirking. She patted his side. "Thanks for chatting, dear, even if you suspected me to be a murderer or thief. Black is creative, HJ, because no one ever knows who you are beneath it. Have a good night. Say hi to Susan for me."

She started walking through the doors and Henry released a shaky breath. It hitched, however, when the girl stopped and turned back around, putting a hand between the closing doors. "My name's Lucinda, by the way." She grinned again, moving a hand to mock salute, and the doors closed, leaving Henry alone.

He sunk back against the wall, heart still thumping but his pulse slowling returning to normal. He glanced at the numbers above the door, moving closer to the top of the hotel. The girl's words moved through his head and he swore as he lunged forward and pushed the emergency stop button, followed by the Ground Floor. Thanks for chatting, dear, even if you suspected me to be a murderer or thief.

Henry swore again. Stupid girl. Stupid black. He glanced down and swore again. Stupid tie.

It was when the elevator doors opened at the bottom and Henry stepped out that he realised he was missing his wallet.

This has been in my head for a few months. It didn't come out as it imagined. initially, Lucinda was just a random girl in the elevator who hadn't seen henry before. But i thought it would be funny if she knew him.

just a random thing one-shot. hope you enjoyed it as much as i did writing it.