"We're Here..."

December 11, 2007
By
“We’re here,” the driver said, “It’s going to be,” he waited while the box tallied up the total, “20.42.” I paid and stepped out of the taxicab. I slammed the door shut, maybe a little harder than I meant to, but I was glad to be home after being away for three months and all I wanted to do was curl up in my bed and go to sleep. “Thank you so much.” I called through the open window. He nodded and sped off into the darkness.
I squinted as I walked into the brightly lit lobby of my apartment building. I waved to the lady at the desk and walked toward the elevator. I called the elevator which I saw was on the 10th floor and I waited. I watched the light flash to the number 9 and it seemed to linger on it a little too long. After a moment it moved again down and a little while later arrived on the first floor. I walked in and breathed in its familiarity. I hit the number 9 and waited for the doors to close. The elevator sped up to my floor.
I started to put my hand on the door when I realized that I had to find my keys. I searched through the tote hanging on the crook of my arm. I found them and shoved them in the lock. It wouldn’t turn. I took them out and tried to open the door. Surprisingly, the door opened. I walked into the darkness and felt the wall on my left for the light switch. I found the bump and clicked it on. Instantly light flooded the large room.

I cocked my head to the side. Something didn’t seem right. I stared at the beige colored wall opposite me and tired to think what was so different about the room. I walked over to the couch and fluffed up the pillows a bit. They were looking a bit dead. I looked up and saw my favorite painting hanging on the wall.
It was an unusual piece that I had bought a few years ago on my last trip to Paris. It consisted of my favorite colors, shimmering gold, a metallic sage green, and an electric blue. But what was most shocking about the piece was the streak of glistening silver right through the middle of the painting.
The colorful canvas seemed out of place now. It seemed too contemporary for the traditional style room. I stared at it, daring it to tell me its secrets. It stared back. I picked it up off of the wall and placed it on the leather couch behind me. I turned back and looked at the safe knowing what was inside. I started turning the combination lock to the right and stopped when I got to 7. I turned it left until 24 then right again and it stopped at 0. I opened the door slowly. It squeaked and I cringed at the sound penetrating the silence of the room.

I looked inside. All that was there was a layer of broken glass covering the bottom and nothing else.





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