The drawer stuck. It was either from being overstuffed with junk, or the Georgia humidity warped the wood. Either way, Reagan unleashed a week’s worth of frustration on the poor handle trying to force it open.
Alerted to her struggle by a string of random swear words, Kevin came into the kitchen just in time to see the drawer win. The handle, pulled out with stripped wood screws still attached, flew by his head when Reagan flung the offending hardware across the room.
“Hey! Why don’t you take a break.” Kevin picked up the handle and approached his wife with caution.
Reagan stood with her hands on her hips, eyes closed, and inhaling deeply.
“Harrison is going to owe me big for this,” Reagan cursed her brother as she stomped out of the room.
“Just add this to your list,” Kevin called after her.
After surveying what else needed to be done in the packing upheaval that was Reagan’s grandfather’s house, Kevin went to work on the stubborn drawer, the last one to sort through.
Working his hand into the wedged drawer, Kevin found the culprit and pulled out a fistful of old paper. The drawer then opened with ease.
He dumped the contents on the kitchen table, then called to Reagan to come back to decided what to throw away.
“What is all that?” She asked seeing all the wads of paper.
Smoothing out the crumpled sheets, Kevin tried to make out the faded printing.
“It looks like store receipts,” he said. “This one appears to be a ticket for photo developing.”
“It’s from the old Kodak store,” Reagan said, holding the paper close to her face to read it. “It’s for a couple rolls of film to be developed.”
“You mean that abandoned building on Argonne Avenue?”
“Yeah, that one.” Reagan rummaged through the pile of junk. “Ah ha!”
“What’s that?” Kevin chased after his wife as she ran through the house.
Reagan pulled out an old suitcase from the stack she made of things to keep. Fitting a small, tarnished brass key into the lock, she turned it until she heard a satisfying “click.”
Out spilled a treasure of yellowed photos. Images of Reagan’s grandfather as a baby, of him and his siblings, and of his parents, overflowed from the case.
“This is what gramps was talking about the last time we visited him,” Reagan held up the photos. “All his childhood stories are locked away from his memories. Maybe these will help him find them again.”