“Okay wait, let me try.”
I clear my throat and try again.
“Lilly, let me try.”
I watch as Lilly, my roommate, struggles fruitlessly with the lock. She and I are on the third floor of some random storage building, trying to retrieve the stuff from our unit so we can haul it back to our dorm and get it set up for Sophomore year. Unfortunately, our key isn’t working. Considering the unprecedented disaster this whole trip has been, our unit’s refusal to unlock is something I should have expected. It took us a half hour just to get inside the building, since neither of us had ever rented a unit before, and Lilly didn’t know we needed a security code.
“I don’t get it.” Lilly mutters, removing the key and reinserting it for the fifth time. She jiggles the lock, turns the key left, then pulls at the door.
“Oh come on.”
She gives the door a frustrated yank. Still nothing.
“Do you think we should call somebody?” I ask, wanting to be helpful. I realize at this point that the best I can do is offer advice and moral support, since Lilly seems uninterested in giving me a shot at unlocking the door.
Lilly, knowing this situation is absurd, laughs in an exasperated kind of way. “I would feel bad calling somebody because we just can’t use their key.”
“But it’s designed so terribly!” I say indignantly.
“Maybe I’ll try the other key,” Lilly pulls out her keychain.
“Oh! Why didn’t you that be—”
“It’s a duplicate key.”
I watch hopefully as Lilly fiddles with the duplicate key. I’m so absorbed that I don’t realize the ceiling lights snapping off one by one. Not until the overhead light turns off with a foreboding *click* do I realize what’s happening.
“Hey!” As I take a step back and look up, the bulb flashes on again with a happy *pop*!
The stupid lights are motion sensitive.
This is a predicament whose solution will require teamwork. So, while Lilly kicks the door to our unit and picks at it with the key, I run up and down the corridor so that the lights stay on. Whenever I jog past Lilly, I call out either an insightful comment like “Maybe this isn’t actually our unit” or an enlightening statement like “I’ll have to use the bathroom soon.”
I pause for a moment, leaning against the unit and watching Lilly struggle with the key. “Would it help to get an employee?” I suggest it like it’s a novel idea, and not something I’ve mentioned a million times already.
“It would help me if you let me concentrate.”
“Well I think it would help everyone if I get an employee.”
Lilly looks at me for a few seconds. “Okay,” she says finally. “I’ll call someone.”
“Nice.” It’s been an exciting adventure at the storage unit, but it’s starting to give me the heebie-jeebies. There aren’t any windows and the dumb lights keep turning off.
Once the employee arrives, she unlocks our storage unit in five seconds flat. Maybe we ought to feel embarrassed, but Lilly and I are too busy laughing about it. Having finally gained access to our stuff, Lilly and I load up a trolley and shut the door to our unit. I don’t remember how to get out of the maze of units and corridors, but thankfully Lilly is better at directions than I am. I realize that if it weren’t for Lilly, I’d have gotten hopelessly lost— assuming I’d have been able to locate our unit in the first place. But I also know that if it weren’t for me, Lilly would still be wrestling with the lock and complaining.
I wait in the parking lot while Lilly goes to check out at the office. A few minutes later, she shuffles over to the car.
“Soo..” she laughs uncomfortably. “We were supposed to have left the door to our unit open.”
“Don’t tell me we have to go back up there and close it.”
“Yep! Haha. Isn’t this an adventure?”
I wish the adventure weren’t happening on a 90 degree day, or when I’d only slept for five hours the night before. But I do have Lilly with me, and that makes all the difference.
In the end, we managed to close the unit door without incident, though we did have to go back one more time to retrieve the lock and key we’d accidentally left behind. Lilly kept the key and I kept the lock. They’re a good reminder that, when life gives you lemons, you can turn them into lemonade faster if two sets of hands are working together.
Team work makes the dream work.
“Two are better than one… If either of them falls down, one can help the other up” –Ecclesiastes 4:9-10