• Vol. 08
  • Chapter 12
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Why I Kept Losing My Keys

I didn't hang them on the wire by the door. You explained that if I got into the habit, they'd always be there when I needed them. You were right. You were always right.

I left them in my pocket, thinking I'd be going out again soon, but you persuaded me to stay in and watch a film with you, so I cancelled on my friend. You got bored of the film, peeled off my jeans and flung them, keys in the pocket, into the corner of the living room. I found them the next morning, ten minutes after I was supposed to leave for work.

I threw them on the table and by morning, they were gone. I checked every pocket, every bag, inside the sofa, under the bed. I was about to call my manager when you dangled them from a finger. "Looking for these?"

I didn't want to be a part of your system. I put my keys in my handbag. You woke me at midnight, raging that I'd better find them now because you wouldn't have me running around searching in the morning. It stressed you out.

I swear I put them on the wire. But when I needed them to drive to my mother's, they weren't there.

I left them at work. It had been a long day; of the fifteen accounts I'd passed to collections, five had screamed obscenities down the phone. My manager told me to toughen up. "You're on your final warning."


Why I Kept Losing My Keys

By the time I realised and trekked back across the car park, the building was locked. I waited in the rain for the bus and stood on the doorstep ringing the bell for ten minutes before you let me in. You almost didn't. It would teach me a lesson to sleep outside. I begged and you relented. "You're on your final warning."

My key snapped in the lock. It could happen to anyone. But of course it was my fault. I'd been clumsy and stupid, as usual.

My mother wouldn't give them back. "You can't let him treat you like this." She made up my bed in my old room, where I cried myself to sleep.

I posted my key back to you. I was afraid to see you in person. You left a voicemail, calling me a coward. Mum said I was brave. I slipped the key she had cut for me onto my key ring. It took months of losing it to see she was right.