Here I am, lying on the sofa that brought us together. My eyes rolling in shock, at your choice of clothing for a very warm Wednesday morning. You don’t notice that I have finished the latest best seller I recently purchased, and I am now busy watching you. The things that used to excite me about you, seem to be putting me off now. Like how you can never ever get your tie to look right even while standing in front of a mirror. Unlike before, I don’t feel any urge to help you with it. The only urge I feel strongly is to shut the door behind you, and have the rest of the day in riddance of you. You plant a strange kiss on my fore head,
“Have a nice day,” you say.
We both know that things are not right, yet we have chosen to dance to this tune of foolishness that love makes, more dancing for me, as I am at the centre of this dance floor, swinging from one pole of your infidelity to another of your lies. Even your caressing has become repulsive, yet nothing better than the wacky music I am getting from this senseless disco jockey called love. You string me along graciously, and your lies are sincere compared to the charming smile on your face. Behind those innocent eyes of yours, I have come to believe that even beauty can be deceptive.
“You too, darling,” I respond, and almost choke on my saliva, because unlike you, I am a terrible liar.
When I close the door, which you just walked out of, my knees are trembling. I fall to the ground and my two hands cover my tear stained face. Mentally, I am marking the walls of my heart, wondering where the strength would come from for me to leave you. We don’t talk about it, because it’s the last empty seat on the bus but I know you too are also waiting for me to leave. I know this, because you don’t bother with your old excuses anymore, neither do you take the stress of apologizing. I miss the clever truths you used to omit. Your hurting me is no longer a mistake but has now become a choice. Anyhow, I keep thinking of our green sofa. What will become of it now?
I remember the day we first met, how handsome, and how much in a hurry you had been in. You’d walked into the sofa parlor I worked at, and out of all the beautiful sofas in the room, you wanted the green one. He is only joking, I told myself, because not only was the sofa ancient, it was also ugly. When you insisted on it, I told you it wasn’t for sale. You ignored me, saying more to yourself than to me, that sofas sitting in a room where sofas were sold, were definitely for sale. Of course I couldn’t tell you that the sofa was mine, or at least it would soon be. I had seen it on my very first day and I wanted it. I was working extra shifts to pay for it and casually driving customers away from it. How could I? You knew exactly what you wanted but so did I. Still, I needed to know that you were buying the couch because you loved it and not because I was standing next to it. Why can’t it be both? You answered with a question to a statement that was not meant for your ears. And that’s when you began. Look at it you said…gorgeous….. The buttons on the chairs are stronger than the tail end of bourbon and the stitching are so impeccable like the mind of an old nun. You described the sofa so accurately that I almost offered you a job; my job. Three coffees and one restaurant later, the sofa was ours. Yes! Ours! Yours, and mine. Not hers! Or theirs!
We talked about this! We promised to only sit on each other’s lap. We agreed to stare only into each other’s eyes. Who would have imagined that you’d be the one to look away? And yet you accuse me of a sin that you constantly commit. How long has it been now? How long ago since you held my hand? Two days or three, four or five…months? A baby, or six? I guess none of that matters anymore. After all this time, the only thing that is left is me, you and this old battered sofa, made for two, comfortable for one.
Finally, I get up from the floor to get some water. Who knew thoughts could be so exhausting? Nonetheless, I remember that you didn’t go to work today. You couldn’t. You are simply going to crash on another woman’s couch down the street. You were always so careful. How could you fail to realize the imprints of your nightly kisses on my forehead every time you return from work often scent like scented cherry. I guess it’s because you are currently the president of a multinational yoga studio, so lying is a job requirement; a new one it seems. As I lay down on the soft sofa to sleep, I hear a sound; that awful sound that I have dreaded for long, a squeak on the right foot of our spare bed. It’s a shame that this extremely comfy and chilly couch can no longer drain all my worries in silence and soak my memories and dreams in exchange for peace.
I quickly get a knife from the counter and slowly tear open the sofa from beneath to quench the noise just like you did my heart. Oh! Perhaps it’s the missing pen from my book. Oh wait! It’s simply a mischief of mice! With a phone call or two at a reasonably safe distance outside the house, I immediately order another same couch with your debit card that’s holding my money. Just for a second, while I waited for the exterminators, I thought about leaving you again but I cannot, at least not yet. A couple more calls later, I was gone. I left in the passenger seat of the truck that brought my couch. I guess it’s true what my mum used to tell me, “Kendra, a bird backed into a corner will eventually try to fly”.
With the wind in my wings, I ask the driver to stop down the street so I can give you this letter in person. As I approach her door, the two shadows in the living room quietly became one. You’ll be happy to know that I sold my old love-seat to your new lover at a 100% discount. The life I just described could be hers for free. I leave you a pesticide for your problems and papers for your pen.
Your former darling,
A story by Martins & Gibret Ifedi