I decided that I would take the chest. I'd always filled it with junk, but perhaps it would find itself more useful in a college dorm. Rummaging through, I knew I would find some old belongings and keepsakes. Letters, cards, CDs, little trinkets, ear buds, a few discarded instrument strings; it was a small treasure trove of items from my past.
There were letters from my family, friends, peers, mentors... and there were some from you. I did not read them. Well, I only read one that caught my eye. I had seen the same exact card in CVS just the other day while shopping for some thank you notes. I read over the words uneasily, as if I were afraid they might jump out at me.
Once finished, I found myself laughing. It was not joyous laughter, or laughter from a fond memory. It was pitiful laughter, the kind you experience while watching an ignorant child fail at the same menial task over and over again. I was laughing at the ignorance, the sheer emptiness of the words I had just read. It was so petty, but at one time it had meant the world. Had I known then what I know now... well, I am a very different person these days, it matters not what I would've thought.
I also found a key. A blue key attached to a hand-woven lanyard. It was woven with green, red and yellow yarn and its simplicity emanated a meaningful aura. As I held it, I felt myself become vulnerable. I thought this key had been lost many moons ago; I'd even checked this very same chest for it numerous times.
This is the key to my heart.
I almost laughed again at the frivolity. Almost. It seemed to be burning a hole in my hand as it sat peacefully in my palm. I closed my hand into a fist and shook my head, willing away old thoughts and desires.
There is no such thing. There never was such a thing. It was a farce.
I breathed and picked up the letters with my free hand. I turned to the trash can beside my desk and placed the items in it gently. I regarded the letters and the key for a moment, then turned back to finish emptying the chest.
Above every emotion I felt at that moment, there was an unusually strong urge to shake my head. I did so for many minutes.