In the bottom drawer

by jexmas on February 19, 2014

She is afraid to open the bottom drawer. “It’s a Pandora’s Box in there,” she says to herself and she is correct. It is the drawer where she throws everything she wants to avoid: parking tickets, letters from her demented mother accusing her of crimes she has never committed, contentious notes from the noisy neighbors who object vengefully to her calls to the police to come and tell them to “quieten the hell down.”

There are photos of lost lovers and friends, pink slips from all the jobs she had and from which, “through no fault of my own,” she was let go.

At one point, she thought she would take up drawing and her attempts at drawing ended up on small pieces of paper banished to the bottom drawer because she could not allow herself to see any creativity in her own efforts. She would allow herself only to draw on small pieces of paper because she thought it was a waste to use anything bigger until she felt she could master a line. She never did.

But today, she has to open the drawer. Years ago, in an impulsive state of mind, she had thought it was the safest place to hide the one carat engagement ring she had found behind the nightclub early one morning on the way to one of the dismal jobs she had and hated. She put it in her pocket and, when she got home, put in the drawer, irrationally afraid someone would know she had it. She kept it all those years, hoping some man would sweep her off her feet and she could give it to him, telling him it was her grandmother’s, and he would get down on one knee and propose. It never happened. And now, she has to sell it because she needs the money.

She kneels in front of the bottom drawer, crying softly. She puts a hand on each of the smooth wooden handles and pulls it open.

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