An hour ago I stepped out of the passenger side of my powder purple Explorer. The sun nearly blinded me as I glided down the walkway and up the front steps of your apartment building. I reached out to push the call button but paused, remembering the old keys nestled somewhere in the depths of my purse. I felt around the bottom of the bag for a few seconds and finally exhumed the small ring clasping two silver keys. Something made me wait before opening the door. In my hesitation to unlock it my eyes glossed over the grooves in the keys and in that instant, my mind took me back to the day you gave them to me.
I woke up around 8:30 that morning. I had an itch on my ankle and when I reached to scratch it I realized my wrists were tied to the bedpost. My bonds were purple satin ribbon. The were intertwined in dozens of intricate knots and attached to my left wrist was a 3×5 cards on which was scribbled in purple crayon, “Stay in bed.” Smiling to myself I just lay there, becoming slightly annoyed that I couldn’t reach any of the remotes strewn across the room.
Maybe ten minutes later, you made your appearance carrying a tray. Breakfast in bed – 2 chocolate chip pancakes, 2 soft-boiled eggs, 3 slices of crisp bacon, a bowl of peeled Clementines, and a steaming pot of blackberry sage tea – my favorite. You silently placed the tray on my lap and leaned in to kiss me as you released my bonds. I picked up the knife and fork ready to dig in, but as I positioned them to cut I hit something hard and solid. Wondering whether or not I should taste this food, I dug through the pancakes. Seconds later I was holding two small silver keys and a key ring. I held them up and looked at you, questions etched across my face. Taking my hand you whispered, “Keys to my apartment. I want you to have them.”
Snapping back to reality, I took a deep breath, shoved the key into the lock, jiggled a bit, and turned it to open the door. I began the trek to your 7th floor apartment.
On the 5th floor I stopped as the butterflies began their obnoxious fluttering. Maybe I was nervous. We hadn’t spoken for two weeks until you called yesterday – I’d assumed seeking reconciliation. Maybe it was anger. The fight began when you accused me of being unfaithful. Lost somewhere between butterflies, anxiety, and anger I bumped into Mrs. Nesmith on the sixth floor staircase.We exchanged neighborly smiles and an uncomfortable hug as she questioned why she hadn’t seen me in awhile.I awkwardly shrugged as we parted ways – she went down as I continued my climb.
On the 7th floor I took a right, two lefts, then walked straight down the long velvet-covered corridor to apartment 7G’s black oak door. Again, I retrieved the key ring and went to open the door but stopped short, wondering if my open invitation was still in effect. My apprehension was appeased when you opened the door.
“I wasn’t sure you’d come.”
“Neither was I.”
Standing there staring at you made me realize how much I missed you. And you just stared right back at me. It was a bit unsettling, though, because your face was so hard to read. We were usually near-psychic around each other, but today was different. You were different.
“You gonna invite me in?”
“Oh yeah, yeah. Sorry. Come on in.”