A cold November day floats flakes of flurries on its cutting breeze. A wide table in a sun-bright room is stacked with papers at its head. We file in, five of us: the closing agent, the officer from the bank, my real estate agent, and the buyer’s agent. My attorney flicks through the pages waiting for him. He feeds them to me one by one, and I sign everywhere he tells me to sign. Checks are handed out. Everyone at the table is present for money, save the bank officer and I, who are dolling it out.
What a weird sensation it is to be the cause of such a transaction. For them it ends today. For me I’ve signed up for a possible thirty years of bondage.
“Well, congratulations,” my real estate agent says. “These are yours.” He opens his hand to me, and a silver key winks in his palm.
I take it, and the white disk attached to the chain displays my address.
The agent and I walk out of the officer together, and the wind snatches at our coats and scarves. He smiles. “Do you have to go back to work then?” he asks.
“Oh, no. I’m done for the day. I think I’m gonna pop over to the house and make sure the heat’s turned on.”
“Good idea,” he says and laughs, clapping my shoulder before turning toward his car.
I get in my car, tingling everywhere with this feeling that is both heavy and light, terrified and excited. I drive across town slowly and park in front of my house, ready to go in alone for the first time. Even the lock box is still on the front door.
I let myself into the emptiness that is now my own.