Day 22: You wake up with a key gripped tightly in your hand. How did you get this key? What does it lock or unlock?
Day 4: I went on an early morning jog, thinking it’d be cooler (temperature wise, not about status). I was wrong. I felt like I was going to keel over on the side of the
road from a heart attack. Not pleasant, my friends, but my legs and buns are killing me! Is that too much info . . . ?
My right hand was clenched in a bloody fist, my long fingernails dug into my skin making tiny bloody divots. A rustic gold key laid flat in my palm. I’d never seen it before in my entire life. It was old, and I didn’t know what it could that I owned. But what really boggled my mind was its importance. After all, why would I be clutching on to it, squeezing the life and days out of the old key, if it didn’t mean something to me?
Quickly, that morning, I tried jamming it into every keyhole I could find: A door knob, my old diary, a drawer, and nothing twisted, clicked, or turned to open or lock. The key was still a mystery, a mystery I wanted to solve, so I put the key on a chain and wore it around my neck. I couldn’t lose it. It was something.
That day I met up for lunch with a good friend. We met at work and he’d always expressed feelings for me, telling me and others that he was “waiting for me,” when prompted about women or a potential relationship. It never really bothered me, but I always wondered what it’d be like to be with Bobby. We crack jokes and have a good time, and we’re always the drunkest ones at the bar after hours, but we’re too similar. Those days are over however; Bobby had just gotten fired.
It was nice to see him in a setting other than just the restaurant. We arrived in normal clothes. My hair was down for once, and he had a pack of cigarettes sitting out on the table. It was refreshing to be comfortable and joking instead of stuffy in our server’s uniform.
Naturally, we talked about work and all of the drama and gossip that little dining room holds. We talked about our future work plans and places we’d rather be. We joked about the coworkers we didn’t necessarily like. We laughed, a lot, like old times when we’d close shop together.
“You know, I’m still waiting for you Grace,” he finally said.
I just nodded, feeling slightly awkward. I didn’t know what to say.
“What’s that around your neck?” he asked, breaking the awkward tension.
“A key I found,” I said, examining it’s age and antique beauty, “I don’t know what it opens, but I feel some sort of connection to it.”
“Can I see it?”
Suddenly I got protective and clutched the key tightly again. “No,” I whispered, and Bobby shot me a quizzical look.
“Okay then . . .”
“it was nice getting lunch with you,” I said, shuffling through my purse for money. “Here’s my share, I’ve got to go.”
Abruptly I left, finallh discovering what the key opened and whom it belonged to. I needed to meet him quickly, before he started his shift at the hotel. He’s the love of my life, and he deserves to hold the key to my heart.