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The Door to Everything

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At the end of the hallway, next to the entry to my parents’ bedroom, is a door. It is white with three panels and a doorknob that used to be gold but is now a dark brown. It looks how any door would look, simple and unassuming. Walking by, a person wouldn’t give it a second glance. But they should.

If you look closely at this door, sticking your nose into the corner where the door meets the doorway, you will see that the small crevice where the door would usually open, the one where a sliver of light always manages to sneak through, is missing. It has been painted over. This is a door that does not open; trust me, I have tried. I once pulled so hard on the doorknob that it came off in my hands. My parents call this door, “The Door to Nothing.” But to me, it was the door to everything.

I used to sit in front of this door for hours at a time. I would crouch down, rest my chin on my knees, and look up at this magnificent wonder. I could occupy myself all day just thinking about what could be behind that door. I knew it led to a different world. A world with knights riding their majestic horses and princesses fighting beside them, with dragons guarding their treasure, smoke emanating from their nostrils. There are fairies with delicate wings, wizards creating butterflies from the tips of their wands. People live in underwater castles and ride on hover boards; plants glow in the dark. Everything was different, better, more exciting. Sitting in front of that door, nothing was impossible. Everything that I wanted was just a couple inches away, just behind the door.

As I started to get older, the door stopped being a portal and became just a door. I passed by it when going into my parents’ room, but I no longer gave it any thought. I stopped sitting in front of it and stopped thinking about the world that I had created behind it. It was just a door in my house that could not be opened.

A couple months ago, I was standing outside of my parents’ bedroom waiting for my mom to come out so that we could leave for dinner, when I found myself once again staring at the door. I traced my finger around the painted-over crease and wondered why exactly this door was here. I had never asked my parents about it, the door was just something that I accepted. When my mom came out of her room, I asked her once and for all, what was really behind the door? She explained to me that her room used to be two rooms and that the door was once the entrance to the second room. If the door were to be opened, she said, it would lead into her walk-in closet.

I couldn’t quite believe it. It just seemed too simple. Right then I went into her closet and turned to the left to stand right behind where I knew the door would be. When I pushed aside all of the hangers containing my mother’s shirts and dresses and kicked away all of her shoes, I saw it. There was the missing crevice, the small sliver of space that formed the shape of a door. I stood in disbelief. I was finally standing on the other side of the door and all it lead to was a pile of old shoes and mothball smelling clothes.
I guess somewhere inside I still wanted to believe that this door was magical. The fact that it could never be opened made it so anything could be on the other side. But now I knew; I had solved the mystery that used to take up all of my thoughts.
I really wish I hadn’t.




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