Don't Throw Away the Key

It was 10:30 at night, the three of us were sitting in a cafe on the corner of S. College St. and MLK Jr. Blvd. The city was vibrant with flashy billboards and car horns — anything to try and keep us from being present.

Yet, our eyes and ears were fixed on her.

She was hurting. The kind of hurting that you maybe can’t even see until someone asks you about it. Her dilemma? She loves a boy. But not just any boy. She loves a man who might not love her back. And that is where the fear set in.

Her relationship with said boy, pulls at her heart in every single way. An impossible force that she can’t quite shake. A late night phone screen, just hoping that the next notification to pop up will be from him. A drive to his house on a sunday afternoon, with nerves that feel as though they could take over at any second. 

“You have to tell him the truth — you have to tell him how you are feeling” was the advice that came from across the table. Her fear was tattooed across her face — fear of telling someone else what lays hidden in the depths of her heart.

I wore my “brave” Giving Key necklace, because I liked how it looked, not because I needed to cling to the word. I didn’t wear it as a sign of resilience or capability. And so, I unlatched it and placed it in her hand.

Because in that moment, I wanted her to be brave.

Not just brave enough to confess her feelings to a man who may not reciprocate them. I wanted her to be brave enough to own up to those feelings; to walk into a room with confidence and joy in knowing her fears won’t keep her from living anymore.

She put the key around her neck, and I swear it was a moment I will remember for a long time.

Her story and the key reminds me to be bold. Send the text. Pick up the phone. Tell the boy you love him. Whatever you have to do. Just don’t keep those emotions locked up — don’t throw away the key.


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