Chapter 5, The Grounds
Why would this room be locked? Running back down the stairs, I grab the cabin keys. Back at the locked door, I look for the key hole realizing that the keys for the cabin are not the proper kind. I need a skeleton key. Frantic, I remember that many times the key to a door like this is hung at the top of the door casing so one does not lose it, only it is not here. And then it dawns on me that it would make more sense if it was hung inside of the room, not outside.
My next course of action is to call the sheriff, Todd. However, by the time I reach my phone I realize we never swapped numbers. With the way things ended yesterday, I probably should not expect to see him anytime soon.
But I am intrigued. How do I ignore this? I must find out what is on the other side of that door. Deflation over comes me. I sludge my way back down the stairs to the kitchen, happy I brought espresso shots on this trip. My next cup of coffee needs a couple of those. Feeling wound up, I begin pacing with freshly poured coffee – and espresso – around the cabin grounds. Fresh air has always done wonders for the mind’s wanderings.
As I explore the grounds, I am lifted up. The beauty represented within all of nature is exquisite. It brings to mind how awesome God is. God is Awesome. Ah…clever. God reminds me, I have forgotten to talk to Him about what has been going on; especially since I arrived here.
The breeze is still light and fresh, the sun still shining in all of its glory, and the birds chirp an amazing melody. All of my senses are awakened to God’s artistry and He has chosen me to be the receptor of such lovely and intimate gifts.
OK. So, I know I have made a few mistakes since arriving. I haven’t trusted in Him wholly, nor have I asked for His assistance with these dreams.
I walk, breathing my surroundings and getting lost within my mind, seeing, hearing, feeling nature around me pressing on my every being, calling to a truth within myself that I have not wanted to fully face. No time like the present. And I mean that.
I lost my way a few years ago. Not proud, but not regretful. Decisions made upon other decisions, small or great, led me down a path that was not a path I wanted for myself. It was a path that was expected of me. I realize now that I was not strong enough to do what I thought was right for me. I do not believe I was necessarily wrong either, though that may be part of my problem.
If you believe your heart is in the right place as you move through life, but it turns out to affect you negatively, are you wrong? Is your heart really in the right place if you continue to hurt yourself in the process? Living for others, I have decided, is definitely not the way for me to live. I know now that I have created hollow foundations for which to build my relationships. I was unable to see that until after those relationships came crumbling down around me. The support was false. The reasons were false. Everything was false. Nothing was real.
Lost in the fog of my swirling thoughts of the past couple of months led me to a place within myself that I have been unsure of. I have always been here; hiding inside, but not knowing how to be that part of me. Even now that I am recognizing and accepting this old and new part of me, I am questioning how to fully embrace it. Though, I know it will take time.
Somehow I have walked back into the house and up the stairs. I am standing before the locked room, hand on knob. Lord, if I am to know what is beyond this door, please reveal the way to me.
At the moment those words are whispered, I realize they escaped my mouth and that it has been a long time since I last prayed. When did I forget God? And that makes me wonder: how much did I really invite Him in in the first place if I made so many wrong choices that led to an empty life?
My head hurts. Where did my coffee go? I feel empty and filled simultaneously. I think I know what that is. I feel empty because I have purged, exposing my mistakes. I am filled because God is with me holding my hand, lifting my spirit.
I walk down the stairs back to the kitchen and trip over my bags from yesterday. I had almost forgotten that I went shopping. Picking them up, I take them to the kitchen counter to peruse my purchases, excited over the painting supplies. My heart feels warmed, eagerness spreads through my limbs.
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“There you are!”
Todd, the sheriff, I would know that voice anywhere. And of course he is behind me.
“Hey,” I turn around to see he is in uniform today. “What brings you by?” I smile. While I am slightly embarrassed about the previous day, I am genuinely happy to see his face…well, all of him really.
“I was on my rounds and thought I’d check in on you.” He adjusts his belt as he approaches me. I picked a spot in the back facing the beautiful pergola set off in a nook of pastels. Lilies, butterfly bushes, tulips, grasses, grape vines…there are more flowers and plants, but I am not sure of their names.
“Ah…” I turn back to my painting. Todd is behind me leaning over to view my work.
“That’s interesting.” He is being polite. It is really perplexing.
My painting is not entirely reflective of the view before me. The pergola is in the center, set back in perspective. Flanking the vignette of the pergola is a set of bookshelves; however one shelf is pushed back as if on hinges, revealing a strip of lavender…Hmm…peculiar.
“I’m not sure what happened,” I mumble, insecurity snaking through my veins. Between yesterday and today, Todd has to be questioning my mental state.
Feeling awkwardness filling the space between us in an effort to suck out all breathable air, I choke out, “Would you like to come in for coffee?”
He grins, big.
“So, what is going on, Ivy?” He is sitting on a bar stool, I am leaning against the counter across from him. “Good question,” is all I am able to say.
I look over at him, mesmerized by his eyes. They remind me of pastel emeralds, if that is a color, with little brown flecks as if his eyes were made of blown glass. That glass blower is a true artist. Held by the depth of understanding residing within, I hear myself speak, though it doesn’t sound like me. I am clearly not in control. I begin to wonder if I have landed myself in another dream, where I am the main character and the bystander.
This juxtaposition of being and watching is beginning to wear me out. I am constantly torn in two. And not just in my dreams. Between the first night at the cabin and yesterday at Overlook Pass, I feel that I am living in two dimensions unable to discern reality, if it even exists.
Todd cuts off my line of thinking, punching the air with, “Wow…”
Why did he say ‘Wow’ like that? What just happened? He looks at me with a myriad of expressions playing for dominance upon his face: Understanding… Disbelief…Excitement…Worry…?
What is going on in his head, and what did I say to elicit this response?
“Well?” This is when I realize he has asked me a question. A question I clearly did not hear. I choked on my coffee, spitting out, “What?”
“Are you going to show me, or do I have to seek it out myself?”
Show him? Show him what? Todd must have seen the confusion on my face, furthering his potential perception of my odd mental state. “The…locked…door…” He says this slowly, so slowly it is painful. I feel bad and ridiculous.
“Right, the door,” I put down my mug, “This way.” It occurs to me that I must have blurted out everything revolving around that locked room. I wonder how much I divulged. Does he know about the dreams? What about the shadows?
Todd is kneeling down before the door, trying to peer through the keyhole. Why did I not do that? He stood up quickly – it brought to mind a cat leaping upon being frightened. Excitement exudes from his entire being, face flushed, eyes dancing. “I think I can get this door unlocked!”
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What is behind the door of the locked room? Will Todd be able to open it?
Think you know? Have any ideas? Share your thoughts!!!