Rounding the corner, all I could think about was getting home to a glass of wine and a very hot shower. It had been such a long day and I was tired of dealing with other people’s issues. I was reaching for my phone to check the time, when my foot landed on something hard and my ankle rolled out. Down I went in an ungraceful collapse, my phone skittering away and my hands going out to break my fall. As I wearily gathered up my phone and my bag (and my dignity), I looked around to see what I’d stepped on. It was only a rough stone, but it was what was laying half-hidden under the stone that would change my life forever.
It was a small envelope, dirty and damp, one corner held down by the stone. It was the gold handwritten address that drew my attention. The writing was smudged and dirty, but still elegant and precise. As I held the envelope, I felt that it had some weight to it. The gold writing glinted in the light as I turned the envelope, brushing away the dirt as best I could. There was an address on the front, but no name, no postcode, no stamp. I knew that the address was somewhere nearby. I checked my phone and contemplated just leaving, but decided that my wine could wait, it wasn’t going anywhere.
As I tapped the letter against my other hand, absently thinking, I felt something inside move. Turning the letter over, I noticed that it wasn’t sealed. As I opened the envelope, I felt a quiet rush go through my body, wondering what I might find. It was a strange feeling and it filled me with anticipation. Inside was a key, between two pieces of heavy paper. Both papers were blank, none of that gold handwritten adornment, just blank, creamy paper. I turned the key between my fingers – it was very small and heavy brass, with an inscription which read “for my heart…”. Ok, I was definitely intrigued. It was decided, I needed to see what this was all about.
It wasn’t long until I arrived at the neat little row house. I leaned against the gate for a few seconds, rotating my swelling ankle a little and wincing slightly as I thought about the heels I had to wear to an event the following day. The front door of the house was a deep and pleasant cobalt blue and as I approached it, it suddenly opened and a very good-looking man in jeans and a white t-shirt appeared, looking hurried. He seemed as startled to see me as I was to see him, and we just stood there, staring at each other for a few seconds. He was lovely – jet black hair, dark blue eyes, some stubble on the strong jawline. I could imagine how that stubble would feel against my skin.
With a sharp intake of breath, I realised headily that I was staring, and I looked down nervously, suddenly remembering the key! Finding my voice, I told him “Hi, I found this key”. He looked at my me, clearly confused. “I’m such an idiot” I thought. “Sorry, I was on my way home when I found this envelope. It’s addressed to this house and there’s this little key inside.” I held up the key. His gaze moved from my eyes to the key and back again and as he studied my face, that feeling of anticipation filled me again. I realised I was staring again and I started to feel ridiculous. “Rebecca”, he whispered, looking back at the key. It wasn’t a question. Just… “Rebecca”.
I was trying to figure out what to say when he started walking quickly towards me. I suddenly realised I was at a stranger’s house, darkness had fallen and the street had emptied. “What was I thinking?”, I thought to myself. I took a few steps back and he stopped, within arms reach of me. “I’m sorry, can I see the key?” I realised that I had closed my hand around the key and was holding it against my chest. I looked at him and his eyes were pleading. I handed the key to him and as his trembling hands took it from me, he sank to his knees. “Rebecca”.
That’s how I met my husband.
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For The Daily Post’s writing prompt : Everything Changes. I wrote this almost a year ago I think and was wondering when to post it. This seemed to fit.