You’re in the basement of an old home. Footsteps and empty furniture scrape the floor above you. The wingback chair and the loveseat have already made their way out the door and into the back of a thrift store truck. When the movers return for the coffee table and the hutch, their voices reflect the emptiness inside the room in harsher more hollow tones. Their voices remind you of what you’re about to lose and what you’ve already lost, and the dull pain this produces inside of you forces you to act, but it’s an empty act and it makes you think of the guy you saw last week at the grocery store who stood there checking the freshness of a loaf of bread while staring off into space at something he wished had never happened. You don’t even really know what the dull pain inside of you is. You think you might feel it when you open the fridge and then close it again empty handed, but you can’t be sure. You can never be sure. You can never be sure of anything and it keeps you searching. That’s it! You’re looking for something, but you don’t know what it is because you can’t make sense of it. You can’t remember it, exactly. Yet somehow you know it’s hiding in the far corner of the basement, so you go over there and you get down on your knees and you sweep the floor with your hand and there it is. You pick it up and bring it closer to your face until your eyes send your brain the necessary details, and there in your hand is a key. You rub it with your thumb, removing decades of dust while looking up and to the left, in the direction of a cellar spider that you don’t actually see because you’re not looking at it, you’re looking through it, at the locking diary you got for your fifteenth birthday but never used. You made three unwritten entries in all, and each one was a declaration of how your future would be.
Then you hear a voice.
It’s the voice of the key.
I got lost…Do you know where I’m supposed to go?
You shake your head, because the future never happened.