This is a true story, I kid you not. I know you’ll think I’m posting it because Halloween is coming up (but I’m not) because it’s weird and eerie and hard to believe—even for me—but it’s not particularly scary. Just hard to believe.
Here’s the backstory. About four years ago I bought a small end table at a garage sale up the street. It’s a sweet little table, as you can see from the photo. More importantly, it served a need: something to put next to the couch. I suppose I should first explain that our decorating scheme is one step further than shabby chic. I’d call it “comfortable and lived in.”
Anyway, I digress. One of the reasons I was drawn to this particular end table was that it has a drawer—well I assumed it had a drawer when I bought it. From the photo, I think you can plainly see why I thought that. But here’s the thing. I couldn’t open it at the yard sale. I bought it anyway, figuring I could pry it open when I got home.
But even when I got home, I couldn’t open it. I tried screwdrivers and metal paint spatulas, figuring it was painted shut, but no luck. I felt fairly certain there was a drawer (and not just a fake drawer front) because I could hear something rattling as I carried the table home and there’s that hole in the front—where a knob should fit. MEH (My Engineer Husband) tried, the dog even tried (okay, Abby didn’t really try, but you get the point). We even tried to pull the drawer open by tying two toothpicks together with dental floss, then pushing them inside the drawer pull opening and pulling on the floss. Wouldn’t budge. Finally, I kind of gave up, deciding it was either a false front or glued shut. Over the years we’ve used the table for a variety of things—picked it up and moved it wherever it’s been needed. Each time, I’d hear the rattle inside and each time I’d try to open to no avail. Instead I was always left wondering: what’s inside?
I’m guessing you can see where this is going. Today MEH and I were tidying up, and as I picked up the small end table to move it to a different spot, I heard the rattle, and I said to MEH (like I have every time I’ve heard it): “I still always wonder what’s inside this thing, don’t y—”
But I never had a chance to finish because just then the drawer slid open. Slid all the way open. Just like that. Smooth as can be. As the drawer opened, one small nail—with traces of wood and white paint—dropped out onto the carpet. MEH and I just stood and stared, first at the table then at each other. I set the table down and finally got a chance to see what was inside the drawer: a second small nail (also with traces of wood and white paint), a screw (assumedly to hold in the drawer pull), a tiny dried green flower, a hat pin, and those two toothpicks tied together with floss.
I was disappointed. I’m not sure what I expected, but I did feel slightly let down. I mean, no old coin, no rusty key, not even a secret love note. Then MEH—the one who usually never says anything like this—asked if I could see any nail holes. Did the nails just get removed? Did someone or something sneak into our house and remove them? Is that why the drawer slid open? I doubt it.
But I guess we’ll never know the real answer. Like I said, it’s not particularly scary, this story. Not supernatural (I don’t think). But it’s weird. Why did the drawer open? I kind of hate not knowing. Maybe it’s one more thing we can chalk up to the ghost of Mr. Able, the man who used to live in our house. (Have you read that post?)
Whatever the reason, I’ll tell you this. I’m not closing that drawer until I get a drawer pull put on. Because I’ve got an old coin, a rusty key, and a love note I want to put inside.
What would you have liked to see in the drawer when it slid open? Have you ever had an unexplained event in your life (with furniture or anything or anyone else)?