Locked Out

I came home from running the other day and my key wouldn’t work in the building door.

Everyone’s gone through that first moment when the key doesn’t turn. You jiggle it, pull it out, confirm that it is–yes–the right key, and try it again.

Jiggle jiggle jiggle.

You push harder. Maybe shoulder the door just in case you’ve developed superhuman powers that will muscle open the door for you and you can just cirmumvent the whole issue of needing a key at all.

Unsuccessful.

Jiggle jiggle jig–

“Do you need help?”

Surprised–oblivious to my surroundings as always–I turned around to find a dude in jeans and jacket standing at one of the high tables in front of the pub on the ground floor of my building. He’d just lit a cigarette, and was quite tall, and had a half-smile on his lips, his manner ostensibly all ready to be helpful. His teeth were slightly crooked, but in an adorable way. Cute, but too young for me (probably).

But, yes, I needed help. So I nodded and stepped back. “Yes, please. Can you try it?”

He immediately sets his cigarette on the table, smoke pluming up from its tip and into the frosty night sky, and he saunters over. Primed to be chivalrous, he takes my key and tries it.

Jiggle jiggle jiggle.

Unsuccessful.

Since he is still back at Step One of troubleshooting the ‘Key Not Working’ issue, he asks: “You sure this is the right key?”

Me: “Yes. It worked on the way out.” But to be obliging, I study the key and, nope, it hasn’t changed shape.

“Could they have changed the locks?” he asks.

“In the last hour while I was running? Theoretically, everything is possible.”

Jiggle jiggle jiggle.

He examines the key. “It’s bent.”

“It’s not that bent.”

“I think it’s because it’s bent that it’s not working.”

“It’s not because it’s bent.” I’m sure that key has been bent for years. It could certainly NOT have bent itself in my hand while I was running, because, hello, if no superhuman shoulder appeared to shoulder open the locked door, then certainly no superhuman fingers sprouted while I was running that would bend my very metallic key.

He helpfully tries to straighten my bent key on the doorframe. He laughs nervously. “I hope I don’t break it.”

Me (side-eyeing his key-unbending attempts): “Let me ask in the pub. They have keys to the building for sure.”

He approaches the door again. Jiggle jiggle jiggle.

More unsuccess.

He hands me the keys and I enter the pub restaurant. I wait for the bartender to serve some jovial beer drinkers their poison of choice, and then I apologize and ask if he has keys to the building. Yes, he does.

Could he please try his key, I ask, because mine isn’t working for some reason. Sure he can.

So he comes back out with me and cute smoking guy gestures to another dude standing at the building door. “It’s not just your key. This guy can’t get in, either.”

Neighbor guy moves aside and bar guy has his go at the door.

Jiggle jiggle jiggle.

“It’s not working.”

Me thinking: It’s not my bent key then. Three keys aren’t working. [Maybe they’ve all bent themselves in a key conspiracy in the past hour]

Bar guy: “I’ll go open it from inside and–hey! It opened!”

For, yes, lo and behold! The building door is now open, and no one knows how it happened.

Bar guy: “You just have to jiggle it a bit…”

Um. Has my jiggling up till now been subpar?

And so. I thanked the cute smoking guy with his crooked teeth and I went inside the building, thinking, Was that my Hallmark Christmas moment? Did I just flout the meet-cute?

* * *

So there you go! Welcome to a random slice of my life (as it’s been a while since I’ve written a life post). This just happened a few days ago.

In other news, they’ve been doing work in our building. They replaced the windows in our flats and were supposed to finish in two days, but THREE WEEKS LATER, they are still coming in and out and doing like 20mins of work each day (presuming they show up at all).

One morning, one of the workers knocked on my flat door and woke me up at 7:30.

That’s too early for me to make a face (my therapist instructed me years ago to ALWAYS ensure I’m making an expression because ‘Sonya’s Resting Face is F*cking Terrifying’ (TM)). However, at 7:30, he got my stone-asleep Resting Face, and dude literally widened his eyes and STEPPED BACK.

I smiled with my dry, cracked lips and rasped, “Come in.”

He was looking all like “hell the f*ck no, lady” until I moved back several feet, preferably into the other room. Then he ventured in, brave man.

Another dude was smarter and didn’t come until the afternoon, when my face-making was at its peak. Zulejka even came out of hiding when he was safely high on the ladder and doing plastering, and she meowed at him. He looked down, surprised, and exclaimed, “I have a cat exactly like that at home!” Then he joked, “Maybe this is my cat.”

Cue me being too dumb to come up with a comeback.

But my most exciting news is that I have a new plan! My dark romance Pretend for Me sold NOT A SINGLE COPY (mwhahahahahaha! –> that’s yours truly cackling crazily in the background), and so I unpublished it and decided to rewrite it as an orc romance.

Orc romance for the win! Or dark romantic fantasy. I’m making the main character a human princess, her secret rebel beloved is a silver elf, and her captor (who cages her) is the orc, and it’s all such delicious and terrible fun lol.

AND SO! We come to an end of Sonya Procrastination. It is time for vegan cake and diving into dark romantic orc fantasy. If you missed the news, I got into a fairytale villain anthology! Find my reviews of the stories in it here. Or enter a giveaway for it here.

And if you want to support me, feel free to join the newsletter I haven’t been writing (but intend to), join the patreon I’ve been seriously neglecting (but want to resume), or check out my books I don’t want anyone to buy (for realz cuz it’s my old writing and I’m like nooo, don’t read it…).

Be kind this week, y’all!

Owner of two cats and huge dreams and author of any kind of love story so long as wild stuff is going on...

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Sonya Lano

Sonya Lano

Owner of two cats and huge dreams and author of any kind of love story so long as wild stuff is going on...

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