the end of the story

black handled key on key hole
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on

Front door keys balanced on a window ledge

As all the boxes rumble from the cul de sac

Where all those memories formed within

A set of walls no older than the flares

That hung inside the wardrobe, eaten by the moths.

But when the door clicked shut, for the final time,

The clothes and books and ornaments all packed

And only slender shafts of dusty light

Occupied the heavy space that once was bright

Strung with little bursts of laughter like

The bunting in the garden when we held our parties

Underneath the pin prick stars that sauntered down,

Extinguished with the rising of the Sunday sun,

Tugged away by the moving van, that sputtered

To a place I think I’ll never know or love.

I don’t know about anyone else but I still can’t watch the final episode of Friends without crying. That moment where all six of them are together and they all put their keys on the kitchen work top before they leave the apartment for the last time.

There is something about the memories that we create inside a set of walls, and how leaving that space feels like we are leaving a little piece of ourselves behind.

The sale of my parents’ house was finalised yesterday. They left their keys on the side in the kitchen and we will never set foot inside that building again. I didn’t go while it was being cleared out, but I can only imagine how sad it was to see it without the furniture; without it’s clothes.

I feel very contemplative today. I hate my mother for what she has done but there is nothing that I can say or do so I just have to let her go and hope that she doesn’t live to regret the choices she has made.

I hope that you never have to put the keys down on a place that you have loved. It hurts, but this is the stuff that our lives are built on. This is another story that I will learn to tell with a smile. One day.

Much Love

Rachel xx

6 thoughts on “the end of the story

  1. Margot Kinberg

    I know exactly what you mean. In fact, your timing is almost psychic. My family and I have just bought a new place, and we are leaving our current one in a couple of weeks. Lots of memories and the sense of us living here. I wonder if the next people who live here will pick up that vibe…

  2. clcouch123

    Leaving the house I (mostly) grew up in is still sad to contemplate. This wasn’t my choice and still isn’t. I remember all the reading there and playing board games and having special dinners in the dining room. That place has been gone from my life for many years, and I miss it.

    To say the least, your poem is evocative. I’m sorry, too, for your loss of a house and all good things therein.

  3. rebecca s revels

    When my mother bought my uncle’s part of my grandparent’s house and was preparing to move next door into that house, I couldn’t bear the thought of strangers living in this house so I talked my husband into buying it from mom and dad. We could have had a fancier place, but not a more loving one.

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