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Rated: E · Book · Opinion · #2314225
A repository for prompted blog/writing interpretations. Honourable Mention winner!
#1064926 added March 5, 2024 at 12:31pm
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PROMPT: A photo of a cluster of multi-coloured locks.
          Janine stopped at the chain-link fence to study the plethora of locks forever suspended next to each other. Huh, plethora. Where did I come up with that strange, specific word? Maybe I noticed it on someone's desk calendar at work. She stood there with her head tilted and staring off into an unseen distance. The traffic noises, the rumbles and the blaring horns, faded away. She did not register the crowds streaming past or the occasional jostle.
          This cluttered fence caught her eye every time she strolled by which usually happened daily. With the FitBit she received as a Christmas gift she had a new mission to get in her thousands of steps each day. Counting how many steps she took had never been a priority, or even a possibility, or a fleeting thought before. Perhaps it would be just another fitness fad, but, hey, it enticed her out and about. Lord knows she needed these breaks from the stuffy office.
         Janine had noticed that most of the locks appeared to be the type she once used on her high school locker and utilized to secure her bicycle to a stand. Smiling, she recalled the combinations. Those locks only existed in her memory, yet, their numbers remained. Why was that?It's not as if I'll ever need this information. I wonder what happened to those locks? They'd be useless without the combinations.
         Without much concentration she remembered the exact codes required to gain entry to her friends' various lockers. Huh, those were the days. They could and did stash their belongings almost anywhere in the school. She rubbed her arms. The textbooks were heavy to lug about. Sometimes, she forgot where she'd hidden her lunch.
         On an impulse Janine reached out to touch one of the locks. This one is a pretty shade of turquoise. The ol' school ones were a dull, boring grey. I wonder why they weren't issued with colours?
         Almost absent-mindedly she stroked the cold metal and hefted its weight. Sturdy. As far as she understood every lock has its own unique numerical combination. What if that's not true? There are only so many possibilities, right? Biting her lip she turned the dial to three distinct numbers, first right, then a full spin to the left before another turn to the right. She gasped as the lock clicked.
         But, this cannot be. It's his numbers. She sighed and a shimmering vision of his face nearing to kiss her floated before her clenched eyes. Just as she'd reacted all those years ago, Janine stood on tiptoe and braced herself for that warm rush when their lips brushed together. She suddenly jerked her head to the side.
         I can still hear the jeering and laughing. Right, someone shoved him hard into the next locker. Him. Jim. He'd shook off her hand and stormed off down the hall. He wouldn't come anywhere near her after that.
         With a tremble, she turned the now opened lock over and squinted at an engraving. Forcing her eyes to focus Janine noted two letters within a heart. Her breath caught and her heart hammered in her chest.Did she see J&J? No, it couldn't be, could it?
         With a wee smile, she reattached the lock to the fence. Glancing at her watch she started moving , swimming upstream against the current of pulsing pedestrians. I haven't thought of Jim for such a long time. I wonder where he is, what he's doing? I should look him up. Everyone has an online presence. He must remember me. After all, we'd once had an entanglement of sorts.
( 609 words )

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