It happened on that Saturday afternoon in December, after one of those arguments about something silly that became unnecessarily dramatic. I did it. Fine. I’m the culprit. I admit it. In an attempt to continue this stupid fight with Heiko, I had reached the door and somehow managed to break my set of the house key, leaving one half inside the bloody door! Inside the keyhole! Inside!!
I knew it could lead to no good- it was almost evening and a Saturday. No one would be working anymore to come fix it and the next day, a holiday, a Sunday. That’s it, I thought, we could not leave the house till that half of the key got out lest we get stuck outside!
But it worked. The other key worked, just enough to shut and open the door, but not lock it. But no one can open it without the key, so why lock it at all (I reasoned optimistically even though the other part inside my brain vehemently shook its head). So it was ok…ish. (Heiko and I were still fighting.)
On Monday morning, we rushed to work, as Mondays demand- door, still same injured status. We both had Monday-sort of work days But it was one of those December days, so Heiko had a Christmas party to go to that evening, and so got back home early from work to drop Sophie off (he takes her to office almost everyday) and then left for the celebrations and the mulled wine.
I got back after he had left, finding myself unable to open the door. The key would go inside but not move. That was it. It had caved. Sophie was on the other side, excited to hear that I’d arrived but maybe confused about why I wasn’t coming in.
It was a little bit of Karma’s doing, I thought. Here I was, irritated with the husband, full of pride and ego, now stuck outside the house, unable to get in- and the only person I could ask for help was the one I was fighting with. And so, I did. I called him. He rushed back home and called someone to fix the keyhole. It took a couple of hours and a quick bite outside, but it all worked out.
I have known this for some time now- the arguments and fights are fleeting, the love is permanent. It’s true for my mother, my friends, and that day (for the 675334th time), it was true for Heiko.
I believe in keepsakes. I have the key for the first room I stayed in away from home- that ugly brown door in the Manipal hostel. And now, I have this broken key- to remind me that no matter how bad an argument or fight gets, there is a way out and things are not always as horrible as they seem. Well, at least in retrospect.