jagged metal key

a short story

The door clicked shut behind him. He took a deep breath as he ran his thumb over the cold, sharp edges of the key. He knew the gravity of what he was doing; he understood the significance of this decision. It weighed on him near the point of paralysis, even now, with his mind made up. He paused, leaning against the doorframe, and let his mind run through it all one last time.

They’d met on a Sunday; she talked animatedly amongst of group of friends. He stood on the outskirts of all the conversation, picking at the edges of his now empty paper coffee cup, wondering what he was doing there. The occasional friendly stranger interrupted his thoughts to welcome him to the church and get to know him. Classic church behavior he’d thought, and though he hated small talk, he’d openly shared with each of them some version of his life not quite the truth.

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