I’m on the subway on the way to my first room escape and I’m the only newbie on a handcrafted team. This is my new boyfriend’s team, composed of smart, creative, experienced Room Escapees. I’ve been excited for a room escape since the first day I met him, since the first hour I met him, actually. But now, all of sudden, I’m feeling less excited and more pressured. This team is his best friends, including his ex; these are his chosen few. As I head over to meet the team, I don’t really care if we escape the room successfully. I care that I contribute.
From the moment we enter the room, it is overwhelming. A lot of people are doing a lot of things simultaneously and I am bumbling. I am touching things, turning them over, picking them up… and I don’t have a fucking clue why. I am trying to interact with my teammates, ask them questions, better yet, answer their questions…but what does everything mean? What does anything mean? We need to find the key to the door, right? Why does everyone else seem like they have this shit under control?
But some time after about 10 minutes, but before about 50 minutes, I forget that this is his handcrafted team and I forget about proving myself. More than anything, I want our team to win. And I get a grip on what is going on around me.
So as the clock counts down, almost to the end of our hour, and we’re struggling to solve the final puzzle, I realize, amid the chaos of shouted ideas and reaching hands, what means what. I grab a safe-type box thing, enter a code, and hand someone a key to exit the room.
I never doubted that I had a place among the chosen in my boyfriend’s life, but now I have a role on his room escape team. And I care more than anything, that the team escapes successfully.