He took the right at the circle and landed in the same old parking lot, second from the left, the one right before a flight of stairs that lead to the office block- ‘Keystone’.
He parked his car smoothly fitting it into the allotted space and got out once again noticing the empty parking lots beside his, and once again not surprised but simply impressed that he still managed to be the first in. He pulled out his car keys which was the only key connected to a keychain that seemed to read – ‘We love you daddy’ across it. He then pulled out another set of keys from his pocket which read – ‘At work’. This key chain had a bunch of keys dangling from it.
As he tried shuffling with the work keys he somehow managed to drop the car keys on the ground and with a ring of his phone, he barely noticed the noise of it dropping to the floor, right at the centre of the enormous stair way leading to his work space. He hurried up the stairs and answered the office call almost as he stepped through the revolving doors and into the large office reception, whereas the keys stay still on the ground before the stairs waiting for the owner to come pick it up.
Time flew by as many business men and women swamped into the office, so busy with their lives that they hardly noticed the key still lay on the pavement. Soon a lady in a smart suit walked in from the right, her hair tied up, her cheeks untouched, and her hand held the day’s newspaper crushed between her fingers. She clearly didn’t have a good time the day before. But none of that seemed to bother her, what did though were the keys on the floor as she stepped closer to it. She picked it up and noticed the keychain and blinked, shook her head pushing her thoughts of a family away and decided to hand over the keys to the lost and found stall inside the office premises. She pushed the keys into her already stuffed purse and headed towards the revolving doors with just a single intention in mind.
As she passed through the doors she greeted David, their receptionist with a smile and before she could mention the keys, she was tapped on the shoulder by someone she’d simply call a work friend.
‘Rondy! How is the discussion on the new course of action going?’ And simply like that she seemed to float away from the reception desk and the keys remained in her purse. She and her work friend, Rondy took the lift up to level 4. As they stepped out they were greeted with birthday wishes and streamers. And suddenly Jennifer wondered if it really was her birthday already? She welcomed greetings as they sang to her and pushed her to cut a cake that read – ‘Happy birthday dear bride to be Jennifer’. She stared at the cakes readings, pushed back her tears, looked up, broke into a smile and blew out the candles.
The rest of the morning flew by with varies conference calls and mails to catch up on. Jennifer never had a chance to look back on the day before or even think of it. Her secretary Jessy walked in with a bundle of files in her hands. She tapped on the door, forcing Jennifer to look up as Jessy dumped the files on her table and smiled.
‘Birthdays never turn out the way you expect them too’ she said. ‘came in to let you know that your sis looks forward to meeting you tonight and also you have three new messages from Clark’ as she said the name Jessy’s eyes sparkled but seeing no reaction on her bosses face she started to walk out. She paused as she reached the door to hear Jennifer say softly – ‘I don’t exactly want to talk about it’.
When Jessy had finally stepped out, Jenifer pulled back her head and leaned back on her chair and turned it to face the window behind. And suddenly just like that her head seemed to bring back memories of the past few days. Did she make a mistake? Was that her only chance for a family? She came back to her senses as the door was swung open by a taller man dressed in a suit that hung on his shoulders. She turned around and gave out a smile, ‘Johnny, how is Becca?’
‘She’s fine, today is about you though and I was wondering if you’d like to join me for lunch today? As I plan to go to a favourite.’
‘Sheb manor!’ she said as she smiled and nodded,’ sure why not’.
Jennifer grabbed her purse with the keys, from the table and joined Johnny as they stepped out the office. They walked to the restaurant two blocks away. Not a minute later, Jennifer received a phone call about a meeting which required her immediate attention. In hurry to leave and stuff her phone back in the pouch the keys fell down to the floor. She apologised to Johnny and rushed out. Johnny remained seated to enjoy the rest of his meal. And once he was done, he looked around and found the keys lying on the floor. He picked it up to see the words – ‘we love you daddy’ written along its keychain. And for him that brought back memories of when he had Becca so dear by his side. He wandered whether he had made the right choice for her, by sending her away to boarding where he thought she’d feel a lot better than be alone with him. Little did he know that all that little girl really wanted was her daddy. When the waiter arrives with the bill, he hands the keys over to him.
‘Someone’s probably searching for those’ he said.
The waiter nodded and led him to the door.
A restaurant set up was the most amusing one especially for a waiter who meets a 100 different people a day. The waiter heads back to the locker room and adjusts his tie in the mirror. He shuffled the keys in his hand and stared at the words they read out. He shut his eyes for a minute, Was he ready to be a father himself? He puts the keys down at the table completely forgetting to hand it over to the receptionist and returns back to his work, while the keys remain on the table of the locker room. The end of shift brought in waiters ready for the rest of the evening and lead the way out for the ones who’ve worked all day.
‘George and I were thinking of catching a movie’ one said to the other.
‘Yeah well I’ve got plans with the family, you know. See you DD.’
DD waited as his friend left and then turned to face the mirror and that’s when he spots the keys on the table. He takes a long look at the keychain, lost on his thoughts on His father or even the rest of his family. What would they be doing at the moment? There was never that close relation between them that lead to the exchange of gifts such as a key chain which displayed their love to the other and for some reason the thought troubled him. Did he regret that he never actually had that?
‘DD! Are we still up for the movie?’ His friend George said, shattering his thoughts.
‘Sure. Yeah I’m ready.’ DD said as absent mind idly picked up the keys and put them in his pocket.
They left the restaurant and crossed the street to the theatre two blocks further away from the office. As they walked into the theatre, DD pulled out his wallet from his pocket and the keys fell out to the floor before the theatre. He never seemed to notice it nor did any of the others who passed that way. The theatre welcomed a many people through that evening but none stopped to see the key chain on the ground.
But then there was one who didn’t belong to the theatre, one that did not belong to that entertainment who noticed the shiny piece of metal on the ground and ran to pick it up. She bent down to pick the keys, and read out to herself the words tagged to that keychain. Tears slowly filled her eyes and she tried to hide it with the scarf around her neck but there was none to see her do so. Her eyes continued to swell as she recollected that once upon a time, yes she did hand of these such keys to her father. And now suddenly all memories of her passed father and brother fill her again.
So full of emotion she began to look around for a shoulder but found none that were available for her. She pushed back her head and wiped her tears away. She had to be the stronger of the two! She slowly strides away from the theatre with the key still in her hand, runs across the street to an older lady who seemed to be finding it hard to stand up straight from the bench she was seated on.
‘Where were you my, dear? Almost thought I’d lost you’ Said the older lady.
‘Oh nothing, Mother I was just looking around. Let me help you.’ She said and then helped her mother up on her feet and then the two of them hand in hand walked away. As she passed in front of the Keystone, the keys dropped to the floor, falling right at the centre below the staircase.
The keys remained on the pavement as the sky grew darker and darker. People rushed out of the office looking forward to spend whatever was left of the day with their families. The vehicles along the parking slot slowly emptied except for the car in the second slot.
And then came a man through those revolving doors, busy in a conversation over the phone. As he stepped out he paused a minute and looked at the parking slots to find his car the last to leave, he smirked. Now it definitely was a successful day. He finished with his call and slowly trailed down the stairs. He stopped before his car and shuffled in his pocket for the keys but did not find any. He looked around to see if he had dropped them and found them perfectly lined right below the staircase. He smiled and picked them up, didn’t take time to look at the key chain but instead unlocked the car and simply drove slowly away, he had no where to get to.