The Forbidden Trunk
Arushma Singh | 10 Min reads | July 19, 2017

They say all well hidden secrets are unveiled one day, well I am right now looking at the biggest secret of my family - The Forbidden Trunk, as we all cousins used to call it, my grandmother's trunk. This trunk has been sitting in the attic of our family house for years in a corner hiding and covered by prying eyes, with a huge ancient looking lock on it. For years we have been trying to find the key to this lock but to our dismay we had no success in that department until now. I remember the first time we laid our eyes on this trunk, me and my cousin Randy were 5 at that time, he is the closest of all my 12 cousins because we were of the same age and youngest in the family. We all cousins were playing hide and seek, and we had to abide by one main rule: not to go inside the house. But Randy thought it would be funny to hide inside the house when it was his older sister's turn to be the seeker, and what was a better place than the dark attic. So there we were me and 5 year old Randy hiding away in the attic snickering and laughing at his sister's trouble when she could not find us. The little party of my cousins moved forward then away from the attic window to find us in the neighborhood and me and Randy set to the task of going through the things in the attic. Which to our utter bored 5 year old mind was all rubbish containing old cutlery or furniture or even clothes of our grandmother, that's when we found the trunk sitting in all its glory in the corner of the poorly lit attic. We tried opening it by various ways, tried breaking the locks, even tried breaking the goddamned trunk but every attempt was useless. Getting bored eventually of the trunk we ran down as it was nearing dinner time.

After dinner that night when we were all sitting with our grandmother waiting for our stories as was our daily custom we asked our grandmother about the trunk. She smiled looking away as if in deep thought thinking about times so old and said we would know when it's time, but you see our 5 year old mind could not comprehend what she meant when would it be time why she won't tell us and she just smiled at us and shook her head and then continued with the story she was telling us last night. Next day we were proudly showing our finds "the forbidden trunk" to the rest of the team. That was the time when it was named "The Forbidden Trunk" by Rob oldest of us all 11 at that time. From that day, the rest of that summer was spent thinking what could be in the trunk.

Every summer after that summer was spent by us trying to open the trunk more than it was spent playing. Everyone used to come up with different ideas to open the trunk. The year me and Randy were 10, five years after the found of the forbidden trunk, we were in the market just strolling around, when we came across a locksmith and came up with the idea to get all the keys which our grandmother used to carry, copy them, and one of them would be the trunk's key. So the plan was discussed among cousins and it was decided that Randy will steal the keys since it was his idea. So the next day with some deceit Randy was able to steal the keys while grandmother was taking her afternoon nap, although when I now think about it I think she knew what we were up to. But that mission like many other missions failed and it was still locked.

Now over the years my older cousins lost complete interest in the trunk, like the summer when I was 12 and Rob 18, he was more interested in knowing the next door neighbor's granddaughter than unlocking the  trunk , and 17 year old Emily ( Randy's older sister) and Rachel was far more interested in knowing what's fashionable and in style and thinking about what to wear to the next gathering of the town's folk, so we had lost 3 of our soldiers to the mission and now we were down to 9 children looking for the treasures. So our expeditions that year were  all useless as past years until Rob came up to me and Randy to deliver a love letter of sorts to the neighbor who he claimed to be his one true love, which I can now positively say was one fat lie, in return of giving the letter Randy struck a deal with rob that he would  find the key to the trunk, he promised he would try his best and we went on our way merrily, delivering the letter, and Rob set to his task - task of finding the key which was utterly useless, as Rob didn't show the same dedication as me and Randy did while delivering the letter only giving it to whom it was intended for while Rob on the other hand did completely nothing in trying to find the key as he was not interested in the trunk as already told. We kept on bugging our grandmother about the trunk but she won't budge, and grandpa was no help at all saying it was hers.

Over the years we lost the rest of our soldiers as well, by the time we were 14 it was only me and Randy on the mission.

Then when we were around 15 we lost our grandpa to heart attack, the old man lived a long healthy life, lived to see his 80th birthday but unfortunately suffered three heart attacks and lost the game of life. This happened a week before our summer started at the house, our house was never as loomy as it was that summer, I think everyone  lost the will to live, grandmother was so upset she kept on saying I won't last long kids, maybe this is the last you are seeing me. No one was interested in doing anything, Emily and Rachel were not interested in fashion, Rob and other older guys were not interested in girls or parties, our parents were not interested in the town gatherings. I think that was the year when we finally gave up the 10 year old treasure hunt of "The Forbidden Trunk." We never talked about that trunk for years.

We eventually stopped going to the house and grandma moved to the city to live with us as we were nearest to her and all my other aunts and uncles used to visit her at our place, by this time all of our cousins were well settled in life, some were married with kids some were happy with their jobs. Me and Randy were still sticking together working as cops. We were 24, when my grandma was suffering through some life threatening disease which was more of a result of her old age than anything else, when she called me and Randy in her room and gave us the key to "The Forbidden Trunk", saying we have suffered through enough mystery and made us promise that we would open it with the rest of our ten soldiers and not until her funeral. Now as grownups we were not interested in the trunk but her giving us the key with those instructions has us intrigued, we didn't tell the rest about it.

But we didn't wish for her funeral so that we could open the trunk but what we wish for doesn't always happen, a month after her giving us the key, grandma passed away peacefully in her sleep, funeral arrangements were made, everyone came, and then all of us headed over to the house as she wanted to be buried right next to my grandpa. A day after the funeral while all of us were sitting in the living area Randy remembered about the key, and here we are, finally after 19 years of waiting ready to open "the forbidden trunk", I think everyone has a theory about what is inside, some think it's filled with jewels, some think it's filled with age old collectibles and what not.

Finally Randy opened the trunk and lying in the trunk was a note to all of us, with only one sentence 'Never forget about us - Love Grandma and Grandpa.' We all just laughed reading it with tears in our eyes when Rob broke the silence "So, grandpa knew about this all along and never cracked" and we all laughed out loud. Inside the trunk were different packets lying with each of our names on it, going through the contents we all had a smile on our faces, all the packages contained memories of grandma and grandpa with each of us, they kept adding stuff to it up until last year. Lying at the bottom of the under the trunk was another note simply saying "Now make your own memories."


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