Then I lost my keys

It was 80 days after the incident. I found myself in front of my backdoor, the contents of my purse spilled across the cool concrete as I frantically searched the two pockets of my small purse for my house keys. I kept looking into those empty pockets, as if the keys would appear out of thin air and let me inside.

In that moment, many things flashed through my mind, but none of them a solution to my current situation. I was alone, in the dark (thanks to the motion-sensored light that never comes on for me), exhausted both physically and emotionally, and in terrible need of some rest.

The last three months have felt as though my insides were being scooped out and constantly tied into tiny knots. I hated looking at my phone, just incase a text comes in informing me that something else happened, but I cannot escape looking at my phone, as it’s also been the bearer  of good news – of swift and miraculous healing. The smell of the hospital and rehab center are imprinted in my mind; I smell those smells all the time. The question “Why?” is constantly in my head, followed closely by “Where were you?”.

I’m a single woman in her 30s who is constantly asked the question “When are you getting married? Why are you single? Do you like being alone?” (as though singleness is a curse) forcing a kind of aloneness on me, yet, I’ve never felt the impact of loneliness as much as I did at that particular moment. I thought of the random outburst of tears that sneaks up on me, breaking through the dam that I’ve been trying to build around them, seeping out without a care of where I’m standing and with whom I’m speaking.

As the search for my keys continued, I thought about the total number of times I’ve ever lost them – 0 – my mind drawing a blank when I try to recall what I did that day and how I could have dropped them when they are usually tucked away in the inside pockets of my bag. And so I gave up. They were lost. But a larger part of me was more concerned with the fact that it took so long, and something so little, to make me see how overwhelmed I really was. There were so many things broken beyond my repair, so I loosened the tight grip I was holding and allowed all the emotions to flow. Over these things, I have no control.

I want to pause and take a moment to say thank you, to the people who kept asking me how I was, and who kept reminding me of the community that I have. As for the keys, 6 days later I found them in a sad bin of lost keys.

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