Before coming to college, I never placed any real value in having keys, because for all intents and purposes, I never needed them. My dad drove my mother, brother and me to school and work and back home everyday, so I never needed the house keys. Then I never needed any of the car keys because I only got so far as getting my permit, and that’s about to expire on my 21st birthday in a few weeks. And finally, I didn’t need keys to my grandparents’ house because by the time I left school, it was late enough that they would be home.
After college, though, that all changed. Whenever I go back home, I need to have my grandparents’ house keys because I could get there early and they could be out. This is the case especially during the summer.
If they aren’t in the hospital they are being whisked away by my aunt to upstate New York to help with my two little cousins. So it wasn’t surprising that my dad asked me if I had taken the keys with me to Baltimore, since the only two people that ever really needed them were my little brother and me.
Because I vividly recalled taking them out of my Puerto Rico bag and placing them in the car change holder, I told him it must be somewhere in the house and that was that.
Now, just to make sure you understand how this key situation works, let me explain. We don’t just have one pair of keys for the apartment. There are two sets. One my grandfather keeps and one my grandmother usually keeps. Seeing as how you will always find one with the other, or one of them will be home, my brother, father and I use hers to have access to the place in case of emergencies.
You would think that we could just have multiple copies, but due to some reason, which has been explained in many different ways, we don’t.
So I went about my life and left my dad and brother to figure where those keys went off to. If anything, I knew my brother had the house keys and if he got out of his college classes early then he could just hop on the train, but being chauffeured for a large portion of life really changes a person’s outlook on that long A-Train ride.
Soon after my dad resorted to calling me to ask again, at this point I knew he definitely thought I had them. But I was not having it. In my mind’s eye, I was free of any blame in this case, so I convinced him of my innocence and he let me be.
Fast forward a few days. I found myself walking that long trek back home and figured I’d see what my Lito was doing. Of course he was in Walmart somewhere upstate with my aunt, browsing through puzzles to decide on what masterpiece he was going to piece together next.
And since, like all grandparents, he spoils me, he was also planning what goodies he would bring home for me when I go back to visit. Somehow we got into a conversation about the lost keys, and started cracking jokes about my dad and brother’s lack of finesse in finding them.
As life would have it, by the time I got home and said my goodbyes to him I figured I’d look through some of my bags for good measure. What do I see? The first thing I see in the first bag I look into are those damn keys. You can never truly be sure until you really check since your memory plays games. Learn from me please because I got the good ol’ lengthy “I told you so” speech.