It’s a key.
Put ten of them in a drawer together, and I wouldn’t be able to pick this one out from the others.
It’s a key. To a house.
It’s a key. To so much more.
It’s a key to where Grandma and Papa would take the kids for the morning when Mom and Dad drove all night to get there.
It’s a key to Ding-Dong’s from Grandma whenever we weren’t looking.
It’s key to that voice- that if you didn’t know the man, you wouldn’t know if he was angry or happy- that voice that would ask his granddaughter, “HEY. How’s your boyfriend?” (She was 5.)
It’s a key to a library, the envy of many small countries.
It’s a key to the perfectly organized tool bench.
It’s a key to a 500-piece puzzle in progress.
It’s a key to superstition. Don’t leave through a different door than you entered.
And now it’s a key I don’t need.
It’s all cleaned out. It’s empty.
But it doesn’t matter.
Because all those things that this key used to unlock are no longer in that house. They’re with me.
Every memory. The voice. The puzzles. The candy. The laugh.
They’re all with me.
And I don’t need a key to get to them.