by Kyle Levine
"Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're going to get."
I don't know why, but that quote always stuck with me. There was just something about it; some alluring message or theme that could never leave my mind. I didn't know how true that was until that fateful day 10 years ago.
It was January 7, 2003. There was a blizzard outside that ravaged the city of Wellesley like a hungry monster, literally storming through quiet streets and neighborhoods of people huddled in their warm, cozy homes relishing in the day off from work or school. Many people remember that day as the beginning of the greatest storm to hit our small city. I, however, remember it in a different way. January 7th was the day that I found out the truth about my family.
I knew that my family had always been odd. My dad would sneak around everywhere as if he were afraid of everything and everyone. He even had a secret room. Well, it was his office and it wasn't technically a secret, as it was directly across from my bedroom, but I had never once been in there until that day in January. My dad had never allowed it. The worst trouble I ever got in was when I slightly opened the door to his office on a rare day when the door wasn't locked, hoping to catch a glimpse of what was inside.
Anyway, on that day in January, my dad had been out of town for business reasons. Feeling impulsive, and with nothing else to do in the house, I snuck upstairs, pretending I was in one of those Mission Impossible movies that I had loved so much as a child. I tiptoed down the velvet-carpeted hallway, brushing my dark brown hair away from my green eyes as I worked my way to the study. With every step, my heartbeat increased until it was beating like a drum inside my chest. Finally, I went to the door and pushed it open. Surprisingly, it was unlocked. I stopped for a second, finally processing what I was about to do. I guess I never actually believed that I could open the door. This was just a distraction from the weather. I was about to close the door and turn away when I realized that this would be my only chance to see what was inside this door. Besides, I told myself that my dad would never figure it out. What could happen?
I had no idea how wrong I was.