By Mina Talebi, TIWP Student

I once held the key to your heart.
It could give warmth on a snowy day,
When the snowflakes fell.
When the fire crackled and radiated comfort. 
I once held that key.
I once held it in my cold, pale hand.
Because there was no fire.
No warmth.
No you.
But I had learned your game.
Your secrets.
Your ways.

I could tell the world what you had done. 
And that’s why you always come back.
Then you start a fire from the smoldering ember,
Just like the flame in my eyes.
My hand will warm.
The color will return.
But my knuckles will stay white.
Clenched tight.
I won’t let go of the key. 
The key to your heart.
My best friend,
Her girlfriend.
The key to her heart is humor.

My cousin,
His boyfriend.
The key to his heart is kindness.

I am scared that if they realize that the key I’m holding belongs to you,
If they realize what the key is made of,
I am afraid they will shun me.
Because no one ever had a real relationship built on blackmail.
And lies.
And hate.
And abuse.
Except me.
And you.
And I am scared.
I am stuck.
Just like you.

Maybe one day, 
I’ll look down at my closed fist.
Maybe I’ll open it. 
Maybe I’ll look at the key.
I’ll feel the runes engraved in the cold metal.
I’ll feel the sharp tip of the iron.
I’ll run my fingers over the black gold, 
Implanted in the sides.
I wish one last time.
As the moon rises and casts its rays on my shivering figure,
I let it fall from my frigid fingers.
I’ll let it clatter to the cold, stone floor.
I won’t cringe at the sound.
Because I will already be gone. 

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