Color the Stripes Gone

Now that my three grown children have made use of their wings, I wondered if I could afford to replace some of my older furniture. “I could certainly use a new couch.” I thought.

“Oooh, That’s pretty.” I remarked to myself as I gawked at the different white sections through the maze of the department store displays, “I really like that.” “May I show you anything in particular?” quipped the sales clerk. Speechless, I pointed toward the sectional, then led the way. He followed obediently as though I had him leashed. Delivery would take place in three days.

Guilt riddled my body every time I thought of parting with my old couch. It had served my family for the past eleven years; above and beyond the call of most furniture. If it could talk, what would it say? “I nearly drowned several times from spilled sodas; nearly strangled on kernels of popcorn and could have suffocated more times than not from the oil in all the potato chips scrunched in my welts.”I once held my arms as straight as Cupid’s arrow; once held my back as sturdy and staunch as a soldier”.

“Once I had legs that would have put Betty Grable to shame. I never kicked back, cried out, or ran for cover when the pets clawed, chewed, or hiked a leg. I never faltered when bed pillows were thrust upon me, with bodies thrashing around, as if in a plane during a turbulent storm, sometimes stretching my seams as taunt as a birth canal. I was as vulnerable and helpless as the throat of a new-born yak is to a hungry lioness, as I received your punches, jumps and lunges. I gave comfort as I cradled my over-sized pillows around family members even when I was punched in the middle and yanked on my corners being as defenseless as if in the ring with Mohammed Ali.”

The brown, gold, and green stripes had been so pleasing to the eye at the time of purchase. All the pieces welcomed each and every house guest, made them feel at home as it seemed to snuggle a warm ‘hello’ as its soft body embraced them.

I wondered what secrets it would hold back? Would it dare tell me the real story of the one afternoon I arrived home early from work and caught my youngest daughter with her male friend in an interlude? I felt sure that I had just saved her…her…my sanity!  That couch had served as a cross between Mr. Rogers and Madonna.

The delivery truck seemed to overflow my driveway as a river does its bank during heavy rains.

With the proper attire, the two delivery men could easily have posed as an entire chain lg white couch  gang. “What the HECK?  Are these the right ones?” I questioned eyeing the mammoth new pieces. “If this address is 444 Main Street, then it’s yours, Ma’me.”  “Does it look like what you paid for?” growled the man. All I could do was nod.

The used pieces had to be taken from the house first. They were placed along the edge of the lawn near the street to wait for permanent disposal, although I had failed to make the final arrangements for that service. I would later. The new pieces would go in the same places as the old furniture except the new pieces were gargantious!

heart couch

I looked around. Pride loomed within. This was the first large purchase I had made by myself since my husband and I divorced and the children had left the nest. I felt successful!

Guilt clutched my heart once again as I caught a glimpse of the old furniture. They had been there for nearly three hours; lined along the road, as if waiting for an execution.

chair foot stool






An idea struck me. The sign read:

STRONG BOTTOM, STURDY BACK, NEEDS TLC, FREE TO GOOD HOME. Within forty-five minutes I had bid farewell to the final piece.

Author: C.G.Rose                                                                                                        668 Words




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