Once, a long time ago, someone had given me a key. It was a dull, old thing, with the once-shiny golden coat rusted and chipped away and scratches littering the metal like scars. It was just like any other key, except for perhaps the fact that it was old and had the word “DEFIANT” spelled across the top in all caps. Aside from that, there really isn’t anything special about this key. I can’t even use it to open anything, since the groves on the side have been sanded down to the point where it would be useless even if I found the proper lock.
The person that had given this to me was a girl from my high school, a quiet yet eccentric girl that always kept to herself. She was the living embodiment of the words “mystery” and “creepy”, and she had only ever talked to me once. It had been the day she had given me this key, randomly sauntering up to me, pushing the cool metal into the palm of my hand, whispering “You hold the key” under her breath, and then casually walking away as if she hadn’t just walked up to a relative stranger and handed over a random possession of hers.
Perhaps it had been hers. Perhaps it hadn’t. Whatever it is, I’ll never know, for the day right after she had given me the key, she had died in a house fire, a fiery inferno that turned the horizon ashy black and had the sirens wailing and the people screaming.
For the longest time, I had been confused as to why she had given me this key, this broken, useless, dull key whose only defining feature was the worth “DEFIANT”. In fact, I had forgotten all about it, leaving it in a dusty corner of my desk drawer, never to be seen again until four years later, after I had graduated college and was mentally lamenting the sheer repetitiveness that was everyday life.
It was then that I had found the key, just as old and dull as ever, and turned it over in my hand that I remembered the words she had said to me that day. “You hold the key.” I had mulled over the meaning of that short, simple phrase for so long, so, so long. And then, one day, I was hit with an epiphany. Realization had dawned on me like the sun on east horizon.
I did hold the key. Not to some door, not to some safe, but to my own life. This useless key wasn’t meant to open anything but my mind, for it was merely a symbol. I was the only one that held the key to my life, to my future, to my being. I was the only one that could truly, truly decide what my future would be, what I would do, how I lived each and every day and night. There was no need for me to be dragged down by this monotone life, not when I could be defiant, not when I had the power to cut myself free and live life however I wanted.
And I did. I gave in to my impulses and lived life to the fullest by no one’s agenda but my own. The black and white life I had once lived became dyed with color, and I suppose I really should thank this girl, this girl from highschool that I had never really known. For if not for her, I would never have been able to become who I am now. What I am now.
A serial killer.
Committing arson is now one of my favorite ways to set up interesting situations, it seems. Oh well.
Link to image found here.