It is the grand opening, our big night, and I am telling the same story for perhaps the tenth time. Something I am inclined to do, the telling of rich stories that is, and in all honesty I’m not sure how many times I’ve shared this story over the course of the last two months, but let me paint the picture for you once more …

We received this desk from Ireland the week of Labor Day and I have been convinced ever since I first laid eyes on it that this cabinet possesses secret compartments. The cabinet maker was too precise in his craftsmanship to do anything without a purpose. Therefore, my story inevitably begins with me saying, “There is buried treasure in this here writing desk; I am convinced of it, gold or something. I just can’t find it.”

As I begin to unfold the story, I show the many reasons that I believe this to be true. In front of us lies a desk with many hidden compartments which we have been able to reveal. Some are in plain sight – the pop-out letter holders, the trim piece that actually opens to reveal much narrower compartments, the multitude of drawers – everything made purposefully and perfectly.

However, there are two anomalies, two details that just don’t reconcile. The four drawers on the left are all the same size. Yet, three of the four recede further than the other, not far (about a half inch) but enough that it does not make sense. Of the four drawers on the right, the top two are approximately one inch and a half shorter than the bottom two even though they finish flush to the front of the cabinet.

Every opportunity that I could, I revisited this desk. Perplexed and convinced, I found myself intrigued by the possibilities. I shared my beliefs with everyone – my sons, my friends and pretty much anyone who would listen (something else I am inclined to do). I showed everyone why I believed it and I always finished the story with “there is gold hidden in this here writing desk.”

Now I need to make a confession here. I never actually believed that there was buried treasure in the secretary’s desk. I believed there were compartments but the thought that they may contain something never truly crossed my mind.

So, here I am telling the story for the tenth time, with the same punch lines and pauses, at the grand opening. Enthralled by my story, as most people are, Josephine and Laura are intently following along. I am passionately explaining my theories on secret compartments, adding my thoughts on buried treasure because it makes the story that much better. Suddenly, Josephine reaches into one of the openings where we have removed a drawer on the right. She starts to pull her hand back out and the drawer support starts coming with it. This is all happening in slow motion at this stage and my jaw is rubbing off the floor, my mind racing and my only thought is that someone must be messing with me. Can this really be happening? It comes back slowly and we start to see a compartment on the drawer support.

The support and compartment come all the way out and there is a bit of cloth inside. I can feel my heart beating inside of my throat, my hands are sweaty and I am stunned. I remove the cloth and can instantly feel the weight of something inside. A crowd has now begun to gather, everyone sensing our excitement. Some know all of what has transpired, others intrigued by the pure and total amazement on our faces. It feels as though the entire event unfolded over the course of several hours and in slow motion. Slowly I unfold the cloth. Inside, a beautiful bracelet with a locket reveals itself. The bracelet feels heavy, like it is real gold. Its inscription so tiny, we are not able to read it and its simplicity is its real beauty. Still the bracelet remains locked, holding dear its own secrets.

Flabbergasted, stunned, amazed, thrilled and contemplating how the story only gets better we are left with a new set of mysteries. Who owned this beautiful locket? Did her lover secretly give her this gift? Or, was it proudly worn to signify a beautiful lifelong passion? How was it lost to the desk? Did it signify the joys of true love found or the pain of a lost forbidden relationship?

It is possible, if we are able to open the locket, that the beautiful bracelet will tell us its secrets. It is also possible that its secrets will remain just that . beautiful secrets that shall remain untold and stories that we can only suppose to know.

I am going to continue to tell my story of how there is gold in that there desk, I am sure of it. I am going to continue to show people why I believe so. To this story I will add our story of the beautiful locket that we found on the right side of the desk and how we have yet been able to unlock the secrets held in the left side of the desk.

I do, however, continue to wonder if we will ever figure out the secret of the left side of the desk. And if we do, will it have the key to all the locket’s secrets?