The lift's machinery sounded once more. When he realized that it had passed the fourth floor, he picked up his case and held it by his side. He waited for the doors to open, for the sight of a uniform, a nod of recognition, and then those outstretched hands reaching towards him, and the clasp of fist on wrist. Which would be quite unnecessary, given his eagerness to accompany them, to get them away from the premises, away from his wife and child.
- From The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes