Andrew searched again through his computer bag for his keys, just two simple keys on a ring with no chain. Perhaps he’d just missed them the first four times he’d looked. Perhaps they were nestled there in some forgotten pocket, or they’d slipped inside a folder or book. Perhaps….
Andrew put his computer bag aside, sighed mentally and began the task of retracing his steps. When was the last time he’d seen them? When was the last time he’d used them?
That morning had been such a blur. A work assignment with a short fuse had been sent his way early. He read the email first thing upon awakening and hurried to dress and head to a cafe where the WIFI speeds were better and he could work in solitude, away from his too loud apartment building. Away from the sounds of construction in the apartment upstairs, the street noises from the front windows, the sounds of cooks, waiters and patrons in the restaurant below. Away from his too chatty roommate, who was still asleep when Andrew walked out the door. No, he was certain he hadn’t used his key that morning – he didn’t generally lock the apartment door when his roommate was home.
The night before then. More blur. Happy hour, followed by dinner. Visits to several clubs with a group of friends. Many, many drinks. A taxi ride home. But his roommate had been in the group and, Andrew was sure, had unlocked the door when they arrived home. Well, almost sure.
Losing the key to his apartment wasn’t a big problem for Andrew. His roommate had a key. His girlfriend had a key. His roommate’s boyfriend had a key. The building super had a key. Any of those people could let him back into his apartment. And a few euros were all it would take to replace his own key. Assuming he ever needed to get into his apartment again, which was unlikely.
No, the problem was with the other key. The second key on the ring. A key that couldn’t be replaced. A key with no duplicates. A very important key. It was this key Andrew needed. And he needed it now, or some very significant plans would need to be changed.
This important key was the key to a locker at the train station. A locker that contained a variety of items Andrew had planned to use two hours from now. Items that could be combined to create an instrument of destruction, the use of which would be the first step in the creation of a new political order. Andrew had been honored to be chosen by the collective to initiate this first step. Andrew would now fail. He assumed his failure would result in his termination by the collective, as was deserved. But that wasn’t important to Andrew. What was important was that the new order, carefully planned for many years, would be delayed. Delayed for months, possibly years.
Finally, Andrew gave up. He gave up searching for those two simple keys on a ring with no chain. Those two simple keys that, at this very moment, were lying under the loose fold of a canvas pocket in his computer bag.