Kissing her boyfriend goodbye, Carol shut the door and locked it, turning to examine the cleaning left to be done in the early morning light. The couch cushions were in disarray, the magazines kicked off the coffee table, and there were two half-empty wine glasses standing, blessedly untouched, on the floor. Then her gaze fell on the chair. The over-sized, chocolate-brown, worn old chair that had gone through so much with her. It sat there, looking at her sullenly.
“I know, I know, we used you. Your stuffing will be less comfortable, and you wanted to stay soft for another six years.”
The chair looked at her, accentuating its perfectly soft yet firm cushioning. It reminded Carol of the many hours she had spent reading, wrapped in its arms.
“Look, can we not do this? You don’t have to make a big deal every time. It’s not like I don’t love you. I just like to share how comfortable you are, let others know how special you make me feel.”
The chair’s silence was deafening, and Carol became defensive.
“Look, it’s not as if I tossed you out on the curb, or tried to see how many people could fit on you! Remember when Rob tried that while I was getting drinks for everyone? Do you remember how upset I was? I nearly threw him out, and it still puts the occasional strain on our friendship. I look out for you, I want the best for you. But I need you to be happy for me too.”
The chair grudgingly acknowledged her needs, but remained sullen.
Carol took a seat on the couch and put her hand on the chair’s arm. “Look, can we please just get a cup of tea and forget about it?”
The chair’s fury astounded Carol, and left her feeling frightened. She jerked her hand back as though she had just discovered a frayed wire.
“Hey, that’s my boyfriend! And he was happy with what I was doing. And for the record, I haven’t had anyone else over like that in several months. It’s not like I’m bringing people home every other night. You really don’t have to be so mean about it, you inanimate bitch.”
The chair agreed, and appeared contrite. She extended the olive branch to Carol, who took a breath and calmed herself.
“You’re right of course. Look, I know he’s kind of goofy, but can you please try to accept him? Or at least not dump him off like last night? I nearly cracked my skull on the coffee table. And yes, I know that’s my fault for positioning, but really, you could accept us both, and we’d all be happy.”
The chair considered this, then offered a compromise.
“Okay, I’ll try to make sure we’re gentle with you, and you do the same for us. And it won’t happen often, I promise. We’ll use the couch or the bedroom most of the time, how’s that?”
The chair agreed, and Carol moved over, curling up in its arms and falling into a gentle nap.