(A/N) For those of you who followed this story back in 2013, I don't think it's even possible to apologize for how terrible of an author I've been never updating this story. Over the last week or so I've been trying very hard to rekindle my love for writing, and with one of my amazing friends tough loving me back into the habit, I've decided I'm going to finish what I consider my best work and honestly, my favorite.
In doing so, I want to first go back over the first 10 chapters and do some overhauls and rewrites. It's been a long time since I visited this story, and it could definitely use some love from someone who has gotten better at this writing thing.
If you are just discovering this story now, welcome aboard! We're happy to have you. I promise to update as frequently as I am able. I have a lot of people pushing me to do this (as well as myself) and I do have a promise to see it through to the end. So without further ado...
1. Life Has Many Doors
"Now, I know what you're thinking, why is the canary painted pink and why are there piano keys covering the floor? Just give me a minute and I'll think of a reason." I paused putting my hand over my chin, she looked bewildered. I could tell she wanted to speak, but something was holding her back. So I continued, "Would you believe monsters?" Something on her face told me it was a solid 'No'.
She just continued staring at me. Probably still shocked as to how I got into her home. I had never 'legitimately' met this woman before, that could have scared her a bit, but in my defense, she wasn't supposed to be home for at least another hour or so.
Her eyes shot up and down my figure, she was trying to figure out if she had seen me before. Of course she had, but I was hoping she wouldn't remember. But she knew who I was, she had seen me before. It was only a matter of time before she put the puzzle together.
The silence in the room began to grow to nearly deafening levels. I wanted to break it, knowing she wouldn't. She just stood there, still. A bag groceries adorned her arm. She held an open container of yogurt in one hand, a spoon in the other. I almost felt bad for catching her mid-bite. Then, it hit me, she must still be waiting for my explanation.
"The piano keys I've been collecting for a while now, I have a hunch that they're the only thing that opens the doors, you see." She didn't look like she saw. "On my trip from Minnesota all the way here I've been grabbing any and all that I saw, some from landfills, some from..." I trailed off, "other... places." Her eyes moved from one of the large piles of keys to the other. "One pile I've already tried, the other is TBT, to be tested," I tried to chuckle, you know, lighten the mood.
After another excruciating silence she finally spoke up. "Why piano keys?" she asked. It seemed as though she was politely trying to play along.
"Have you ever heard that riddle? What key opens no locks?" I paused giving her a chance to answer. She didn't take it. "Of course it's piano keys, but the riddle is wrong. Piano keys do open doors, people just don't know the right door," I knelt down and grabbed one from the 'tried' pile, "or the right key." I paused to look it over before throwing it back in the mess of about a thousand black and white keys littering her floor. I was sure the right one was in there. Somewhere. "And, as you might be able to tell, I don't know which one either. BUT! I do know the door. It's right there," I said pointing to the wall. The wall where no such door existed.
I continued staring at her, still pointing, wondering why she wasn't amazed. I glanced over at the wall. "Oh, right! I forgot!" I bent down and picked up my special light. It wasn't plugged in. I walked over and shoved the plug in the socket and pointed the light at the wall, revealing a door that- just a second ago, wasn't there. She spoke again. This time a little more 'scream-y'. To be fair, she wasn't prepared to see the Door. Not like I was the first time I laid eyes on it.
"What the hell is that thing!?" she screamed.
"That, my dear friend, is a Door."
"No shit Sherlock."
"No like, capital D. Like a special door. This is the second one I've found, but I can't seem to open it."
She seemed to be getting her voice back, "Why is it... Where did it... What?!"
"Relax," I said, trying to calm her down. She dropped everything, her spooned clattered on the ground and yogurt spilled all over the hard-wood floor. I walked towards her, cautiously. This seemed to be a very delicate operation. One wrong move or phrase and everything could go to shit. She was still in complete and utter shock at the ghost door now occupying her living room.
The door was massive, it looked as though it belonged in a medieval castle. A giant mass of wooden planks bound together by wrought iron bands. Either side of the door flanked by lit torches. It was quite the sight to behold and definitely out of place in her Philadelphia apartment.
"Okay," she said. Her voice was slightly wavering but it still had that light airy, 'I'm giving you a shot here' feel to it. "Let's start over," she said, feigning a smile. She was trying very hard not to freak out, scream, or bolt over to the phone and dial 911. It was like she could see I wasn't a genuine threat, she wanted to give me a chance, either out of fear or curiosity. I wasn't entirely sure which. I had a cushion, she had questions and I had answers. Well, I had some answers.
"Who are you and why are you in my home?" her voice was sweet but was dripping with poison. The kind of tone you only pick up from working through rude customers in retail. I had to be careful with my answers, the wrong one could send her running. It might be best to play off as the mysterious tale of intrigue. If I can stall long enough for her to open the door, we can have all of our formal pleasantries in another world.
"I'm... a friend."
"Dude, I'm throwing you a bone here! Seriously, who are you?"
I took a deep breath. "My name is Bryan... Bryan Adams."
Her hands clapped to her thighs. She looked like she was beginning to lose her sanity. "Alright. Fine. Bryan, Next question." She cleared her throat and assumed a innocent-looking stance, "WHAT THE HELL IS THAT THING AND HOW DID YOU GET IT IN HERE?!" she screamed. Not loud enough for the neighbors to hear, but loud enough to rattle my eardrums. This girl was amazing.
"Like I said, it's a Door-"
"What kind of Door?"
"It's... I can't explain it. And I didn't put it in here, it's always been here. Probably for centuries."
"Then how come I've never seen it! I've lived here for four years. You're telling me this Door just existed this whole time?"
"Easily. As far as I know, I'm the only one who can see them without the light."
"What makes the light so special?"
"It's a 84 Watt bulb with fly paper covering it." She gave me a weird look. "Don't ask."
"Okay, so let's see, you won't tell me who you are, you broke into my house, painted my canary... a path I definitely don't want to go down, dumped thousands of piano keys on my floor and are telling me one of them opens this magical door."
"That's the gist of it, yeah."
"Okay." She started shaking her head up and down as though she was psyching herself up for her next question, "I think I can go a little further... why?"
"What do you mean 'why'?"
"I mean, why Lord do you always send the crazies to me?"
"I'm not crazy," I responded, "my mother always said I was... eccentric. But either way, I'm obviously not lying. The door is right there."
"Then why don't you open it?"
A simple question really. "I haven't found the right key I suppose..." I said, waving my hand over the giant pile of untested keys. Then an idea hit me. She saw my lightbulb moment and she read my mind. I reached for her hand, she didn't give it to me, but she understood what I was intending. She walked over to the pile of untested keys and rifled through. She had her choice, any key she would choose would probably work. It was her door.
Without a word, she reached down and picked up a random key. It was a black one, one of the more intact ones. This one I could tell was made of pure ivory, it held a good sheen, the light from my makeshift lamp gleaming off of it.
I gestured towards the knob, she gave me an almost affirming nod and reached out for the door. She pushed the key underneath the door's handle and a compartment in the door sank in, accepting the key. A sharp sound was heard. I thought 'G' but I could've been wrong. She reached with her other hand and turned the knob. It was a little bit stubborn, but it opened. A bright light spilled from its threshold and swept over the entire room. Just like that we were ready to ascend into a world of make-believe. And this was just the beginning.