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The Keys

             It was a mid March day, not unlike any other spring day, except a dear friend would be taken from me. That day still rings in my mind like it was yesterday. A friendly get together at my home, would turn into a life-changing event. .
             The smell of freshly cut grass was in the air. In the distance I can the hear birds singing their songs. The dark green leaves on the big oak tree beside my house are almost fully formed. The day was warm; the sun had been shining in its glory all day. I can feel its effects from my light pink sunburn on my shoulders. After spending most of the day at Champoeg Park playing Frisbee golf, a few more cold beers and a barbeque would end this day. My sister in law , her fiancé John, and their friend are among the guests for the evening. .
             Outside I can hear the chatter of my friends, and then the roar of hysterical laughing. Someone must have told that stupid joke again. I'm standing in my kitchen over the bright yellow Formica counter peeling the skin off of the chicken legs, gazing out the window at my laughing, drinking guests. The smell of the sizzling barbeque managed to meander under my nose; this must mean it's ready for food. I opened the sliding screen door and handed the heaping pile of chicken and steaks to my husband. He smiles at me and says, "Think you made enough?- I smile back and say, " Yeah I'm hungry."" .
             The fussing of my adorable 4-month-old niece distracts me. I swoop her up in my arms; her diaper is soaked to the skin. While I am changing her, I over hear John .
             announce that he is headed to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes, and he wants a volunteer to go with him. Heather pipes up "I'll go. We can take my car."" I make my way to the screen door holding his young daughter. Peering through the screen I watch him stagger away. "Hurry up, the foods almost ready!- I shout. John gives me a wave of his arm, and blows his daughter a kiss.

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