The Storage Unit Part 2

Continued from The Storage Unit Part 1


The Big Brass Lock is a Combination

“You’re kidding?” from my husband.

“What?” My mom bursts out laughing.  She knew how meticulous I planned this.  Never once did I consider a combination lock.

“What does that mean,” from my daughter?

1/4 of the Keys
1/4 of the Keys

The keys thud to the ground in disgust.  I walk down the hall 10 feet for a cool down and a bit of a think.

Behind me, I hear my mom and husband debating plans.  “Well, let’s call the lady,” my mom throws in the towel.

“No,” I blurt out.  I’m determined to get this open without spending $60 bucks.  I purposely walk up to the lock like a linebacker marching back out to the field.  Lifting it, I tell them, “let me try some numbers first.”

Laughing, mockery, disdain, sarcasm, doubt ensue behind me.  I ignore them.

I try my birthday first.  I try it in a different format with and without the year.  It doesn’t budge and a little crack opens in my heart.  I really would have liked it to have been my birthday.

I try his birthday.  It doesn’t budge.  I try Nikki’s birthday.  It doesn’t budge.

“Mom, when was Stacy’s birthday,” I ask?  Maybe he cared about my dead baby sister.  It doesn’t budge.

I try my Mom’s birthday.  It doesn’t budge.

“Mom, what date did you get married,” I asked her?  I tried their marriage date.  It doesn’t budge.

“When did you get divorced?”

“How should I know?” she replies.  “That was over 30 years ago.”  I may have heard “you idiot” at the end but I’m not sure.

I think furiously.  Time ticks along my spine.

The doubt continues.  “You’re never going to figure it out,” from behind me.

I imagine places to hide the 3 foot bolt cutter, under my shirt and shorts?  Can I walk stiff as a board all that distance?  I picture it falling out and cutting my pinkie toe.  Off.

“This is impossible,” from someone else behind me.

“This is a waste of time,” they all chime in.

I ignore them.  There is no question in my mind, I WILL solve this.  My mind travels down Memory Avenue, freely flowing…his address?  No, he didn’t have any.  He lived in campers at different beaches.  Dogs, cats, his pets?  No numbers come to mind.  What was important to him?  The Navy, do I have his veteran’s number or his military id paperwork with me?  Way back in the car in the bag of important papers.  I hold it in my pocket as a last ditch idea.  His work?  No.  He’s on disability.  His social security number?

I grab my phone ignoring the naysayers annoying stabs at my determination.  They lob off none of it, because I will not fail.  I search for my Father’s contact info., I know I put his social security number in there.  I rotate the lock to the first numbers.  It doesn’t work.

“Okay, you gave it a good try,” they’re really getting impatient now.

I try the last group of numbers of his social security number and give it good tug.  Click!  It magically, against all odds, opens like I just said, “Open friggin sesame.”  I strut in a circle and make a Mr. Universe pose.  Take that, yee naysayers.

“No way!”

“Ha ha!”

“Wow, you did it!”

“Oh my, how did you figure it out?”

I grow 3 inches taller right there, lock in hand.  “Ancient secret,” I proclaim.

I choose to put them out of their misery.  “Okay, it was part of his social security number,” I confess.

“Very clever!”

“Good job!”

“What’s inside?”


To be continued in The Storage Unit Part 3 coming soon.

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