I sat in the empty hotel room. It was unpleasantly cold. I shifted my body trying to get comfortable. The room had one window, but it was covered by a blue polyester curtain. The curtain was glued to the glass square. If only I could lift the curtain. I would be able to see outside.

My flight was leaving in an hour and the kids weren’t ready.

Only none of this is real. 

The only thing that was real was the feeling that there was a problem that I couldn’t solve. There was no way to see past the barrier that had been self-imposed. I closed my eyes and felt the cool synthetic air penetrate my pores. My feet tingled. The air was electric.

Breathing in and out. This moment is not real, but it feels so real. I began to shake. It was unbearably cold.

It’s not real, it’s not real, it’s not real. 

My whole body shook with fear until…

I opened my eyes.

Green grass and a bright yellow light greeted me. I couldn’t help but smile. There was a wooden box with a shiny golden lock attached to it. A key lay in the dirt next to the box.

I want to open it. I want to see inside. There are answers inside. 

My hands trembled as I picked up the rusty key and unlocked the golden lock. Upon opening, the lock exploded into an infinite number of glittery pieces. The box lay there waiting for me.

Open it. 

I approached the wooden box with hope.

My fingers swept around the box.

I am afraid. 

Fear curled around my entire body like a damp blanket. I shook it off and held onto the box tightly with my hands.

Do it.

Without thinking I forced the box open with both hands. The warm golden light hit my face. At once I knew the answer. I was at peace. I grabbed the rusty key in my hand and threw it as far as I could. My arm hurt, but I couldn’t feel the pain.

I lay down in the grass and let the light wash over me.

I remembered now.

I finally let it go.