Monday, July 30, 2012
D+T=Y(ou), Part 5: The Key
He handed her the key in the hot sweltering parking lot. The exchange was so unceremonious, but what did she expect? Balloons and hula dancers? That would be a ridiculous amount of overkill considering how little they had spent for such a big thing. But perhaps she expected something? She thought as her t-shirt clung to her back and the sun scorched the part in her hair.
Her husband looked at her as she fingered the keys between her thumb and forefinger. What had they done? They both knew this was meant to be a significant moment, but what now?
Their first house. It was an impulse buy in another city, but that is how they often operated - on impulse. As they walked to their car over the boiling blacktop they both wondered silently when the buyers' remorse would set in. As they drove to Saint Anthony Place she wondered how she would ever find her way there on her own. As they turned the key in the door they both wondered if they would be able to get ride of the lingering cat smell before their mothers came to visit.
As they used the bright orange key to shimmy the door open, they surveyed the place they had picked out with absolutely no consultation from their families or friends. They saw dusty dull wood floors and paint colors that made them cringe. They saw sparse patches of yellowing grass in the backyard and a dying Maple in the front. They saw lots of projects, and sweat, and tears. They saw work and arguments, and money no one had. But neither of them said a thing.
What is most important to this story is what they DIDN'T see.
At that moment they didn't see the relationship they would form with the hardwood floors that they would lovingly strip and refinish. They didn't see that their mangled backyard would soon fill with lush green grass, flowering trees, a garden, sandbox, and patio full of friends. They couldn't have known the sound of tiny padded pajama feet coming from across the hall into their bed at night, or how much they would appreciate the airplanes overhead and the sound of the local races in the distant summer nights. She had no idea that the picture window in the front would become such an integral part of her morning as two little boys religiously waved her off. They didn't see that there was so much love inside of them, just waiting for this house. They didn't see that this love affair started the minute they turned the key in the jammed side door.
Years later when they would lock the door for the last time, they would leave the same way the entered. Holding hands, operating on impulse and attempting to appear stoic, while wondering what they had done.