The Old Door | Short Story
The Old Door
Tom had recently purchased an old building in the quaint downtown of his city. Tom purchased an older building with dreams of restoring it to it's original glory. Shortly after Tom got the keys, he went down to this building with a sketch pad and the enthusiasm of a kid in a sandbox. To Tom this building was a blank slate. The building desired to be known for more than just being an eyesore.
Tom went through each room carefully sketching it out and drawing plans for what would one day be restored and even honored as a landmark. He designed a space for a coffee shop, a barber shop, and a couple lofts on the second floor. He admired the old flooring, the wooden beams, and the exterior brick walls. He got to the front of the building and decided to go outside and sketch the facade he had imagined would restore the glory to this old building.
When he tried the front door, it didn't budge. He pulled the door as hard as he could and still it didn't give. He checked the lock and it unlocked with ease. He looked at the top and bottom for other locks and found nothing. He continued to try to pull the door open, and gave up after twenty minutes of trying. He went out the back door and returned to the front of the building.
He tried to push the door open from the outside and still the door didn't give. He looked from top to bottom for what was keeping the door from opening. Finally, frustrated and tired he gave up and sat across the street sketching out the new facade he was going to restore. However, he was determined one thing was not going to be restored, the damn door that had refused to open. He planned for new glass doors with the name of the building etched in the glass. That night Tom returned home dreaming up plans and sketching out his ideas.
The next day Tom went to the local architect, with the notepad of sketches. The architect loved the plans and began to draft them. Tom finally had everything lined up and was able to let the contractors get to work. A few weeks into the work, Tom visited the old building surprised that the new facade was done, but the old door was still guarding the building. A little frustrated that the contractor had not replaced the door yet, he went in the back door fuming, ready to let the contractor have it for leaving the old door on the front of the building.
The contractor was surprised to see Tom come in the back, he immediately questioned, "Why Tom, why didn't you come in through the front? We finished it yesterday and it is outstanding!"
Tom shot back, "Why did you leave up that damn door? That door is so old and worn that it won't even open. I explicitly said to have it removed and replaced with new glass doors."
The contractor was confused and offered to go to the front with Tom. As they walked, Tom belittled the contractors work. The contractor went straight to the door and pushed it open. He told Tom that the door was never stuck and that it's beauty captured the essence of the building and since the contract wanted the broken door removed, the contractor figured it was another door.
Tom was struck bewildered, because for over 30 minutes he had tried to open the old door to no avail. The contractor and Tom went out front to talk about the facade. When Tom looked back at the closing door he noticed a little metal sign right beside the handle that stated "Pull".
In his frustrated state, he failed to see the simple instruction that would have eased his struggle. He tried so hard to push the door that he had not noticed how easy and plainly the door could have opened. Instead of noticing the beauty of the door, he decided it would be easier to just rip it out and replace it. Instead of reading the pull sign, Tom let his frustration and anger blind him to what was so obvious.
Written by Andrew McElroy