I moved the lamp to the ground and swept the dust off the old trunk with the palm of my hand, and then wiped it off on the jeans I’ve been wearing for three weeks straight. With a deep breath, I opened the lid, and the smell of my old soap and ancient paper spilled out around me.

Many years ago, I locked my secrets up in here and then promptly looked away, hiding them between old report cards and baby books. It might seem like overkill, but how many people still have every card you received at your First Communion? The note your ex gave you on the day he fell to one knee to beg you to never let go of his hand? The letter that your ex-girlfriend made everyone sign to make sure you knew that locked psych ward doors can’t keep out the affection of those who love you? The thank you note your last boyfriend left you, right before he left you for someone else?

Right. Overkill. Where’s the trash can?

But then I found a secret I hadn’t meant to keep locked away all this time. I’d forgotten how long I’ve been writing.

The little notes inherent to most birthday cards all say “Keep writing. Don’t stop writing. You have so much talent with your writing. You have so much to say. I love what you have to say.”

I used to be a quiet girl. I wrote more down than I ever said out loud. And I’ll be honest, I miss her.

She went through so much to get here.

I’d forgotten that there are people in the world who knew me well.
Who knew what I needed to hear. Who always made sure to say it.

I want to be sad that they aren’t here anymore. That whatever I have become is no longer something they need. But if they were meant to be anything more than secrets, I would have heard them pounding on this lid long ago.

Instead there’s been nothing but silence, and a place to put my lamp.
So much prose lately! I have no idea what’s going on. Also, 25 year old soap – not a good smell.


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