She arrived at the store that morning a little earlier than her typical arrival time. She had grown very regimented on her arrivals and departures. Coming from corporate America where clocking in and clocking out was a very loose condition. Today was different though, today this space was special. This space was her dream, her baby, her purpose. Amazing how a space could be her partner in life. But that it was, her partner in existence.
As she inserted her key and turned the locked, she looked down at this movement with a revived freshness. She thought, it had been 20 years of turning this lock, never stopping to think what an achievement that action lamented. This was her space that was opened by her key. Her key that she had worked long hours, countless nights, and had shed many tears to own. Every day before today, she hated that lock. It would stick like the devil in the winter time. She remembers one winter when she had to pour her hot cup of coffee into the keyhole to loosen the lock. Or at least that's what she thought it would do. Well, let's just say it did not, and the action resulted in a large brown stain on the sidewalk.
She laughed at the lessons this place had taught her. She bent down and touched the stain.
It was cold again, and as always, the lock was not ready to begin the day. Maybe in a sense, the lock was a metaphor for the resistance she had received when this Southern girl migrated to the Northeast for love. She thought after 20 years, this cold, this lock, would just give in and welcome her as he had.
Finally, the lock turned.