When a little girl reached for the elevator button

It was when I was four or five and attended the local YAMAHA music school with my two childhood best friends. Once every week, we all went to an hour-long group lesson together accompanied by our mothers and younger siblings.

The lesson studio was located at the top floor of the YAMAHA music shop in the city centre. On the ground floor, near the entrance, there was a white fake-marble elevator hall with one elevator with shiny light purple doors. Next to the purple doors, there were two sets of buttons to summon the elevator, one for standing adults and one for children and people on the wheel chairs. Though I was tall for my age, I was still too small to use the higher button, so I always used the accessibility button.

One day, I arrived at the music shop with my mother and brother, one of my friends and her mother and sister. My friend wore a rather fancy pale pink dress that day, and on her hair was a white ribbon.

As we all walked through the entrance door, my eyes were glued on my friend, slightly envying her princess-like outfit. Then, when we came to the elevator hall, another special thing happened. My friend didn’t press the accessibility button, but instead stood on her toe and reached for the higher button.

“You can’t reach that one!” I shouted in my head.

And she couldn’t. Even with her best effort, her hand didn’t quite reach the button. Noticing her attempt, her mother pressed the button on her behalf. Then she smiled and gently placed her hand on my friend’s head.

Later, that scene played in my head over and over. The way my friend stretched her hand to reach for the high button in her fancy pink dress, the way her hair and white ribbon touched her shoulders as she leaned back, and the way her mother placed her hand on my friend’s head.

The next time I went to the YAMAHA music shop with my mother, I tried pressing the high button myself. I checked if my hair touched my shoulders as I did so, and I really stretched hard to press the button. But I couldn’t reach it.

“What are you doing?” My mother’s voice rang next to me. “Just press the button.”

Since I couldn’t press the high button, I pressed the usual accessibility button. My mother apparently didn’t see what I was seeing in my heart since she forgot to give me a special smile or place her hand on my head. And my little dream was over.