You wake up with a key gripped tightly in your hand. How did you get this key? What does it lock or unlock?
I squinted as Matt opened the curtains and the sun glared through the window.
‘Come on Sleepy-Head, it’s time to get up. I don’t want to hit too much traffic.’
He jerked the duvet off me and I pulled my knees closer to my body. I didn’t open my eyes as he left the room. My hand is under the pillow, still gripping the keys I had put there last night. I don’t think he heard me get up. He was snoring away as usual while I crept downstairs and took them from the bowl in the hall. Part of me wanted to kick him when I got back into bed. It was so easy for him to sleep soundly. He was getting exactly what he wanted. Despite all of my arguments, all of my frustration, we were moving. We were leaving our nice little house on Maple Avenue with the Cherry Blossom tree in the garden that we would build a tree house for our kids, and moving to the city, where there were no bloody trees at all. We were leaving the life that we had built for ourselves here. The friends we had made. The grocers where they bought their vegetables and sometimes got a free punnet of grapes because they reminded the greengrocer of his son and daughter-in-law. The cafe where we went for breakfast on a Sunday because they did the best pancakes we’ve ever had. We were leaving it all behind.
I gripped the keys tighter as I heard Matt come back up the stairs. I knew it was childish. Hiding the car keys wasn’t going to make a difference to whether we moved or not, But it was the last thing I could think to do. He hadn’t listened to anything I had to say about the move. His mind was made up before he had even told me. Maybe, just maybe, if we couldn’t leave right away then he would finally listen to me. If he could just understand my point of view.
I heard him come back into the bedroom. I opened my eyes and saw him kneeling in front of the bed, smiling his mischievous grin that I loved so much.
‘Babe, we have to go.’
He reached under the pillow and took the keys from my fingers. I didn’t bother trying to hold onto them. He kissed my forehead and left the bedroom again.