I’m not going to bother you with all the details of how exactly it happened, but at 6 years of age I was inadvertently betrothed to a large, black sofa. At the time, of course, I had no idea what that meant. From time to time, my father would show me a photo of the furniture item in question and say “Your old man never backs down on a deal, even a raw one.”
You might think this would be a tragic situation, but honestly, it’s the best thing that could ever have happened to me. I’m not what you’d call a socially gifted individual. Eye contact makes me nervous, and I sometimes have trouble reading people’s faces. So what better wife than one without eyes or a face?
There was a girl, once. A real one. Her name was Emily, and she was an actual human with a face, and eyes, and all the other things you might expect a female person to have. She didn’t mind my awkwardness. She claimed, even, to have somehow found it endearing. Truth be told, I was quite fond of her, too. Somehow, her eyes were always honest and clear, and her face as readable as a favorite book. When she smiled, I smiled. When she held my hand, I felt as if my loneliness and fear and Otherness would dissipate away like vapor.
But then Father found out about her.
I’m not sure what he told Emily that night, when he told me to go stand out on the porch so he could “Have a Word”. I stood in the humid night air and swatted mosquitoes off my neck, watching the two of them through the window. I couldn’t see Father’s face, but I could see Emily’s. I could see the way confusion twisted her brow, and how tears started to brim. She left without a word, and I never saw her again.
So, when the day comes when I’m of age, I’ll wed the sofa without complaint.
Sure, she’ll never be able to provide me with children. The last of my family’s bloodline flows within my veins, and will dry up when I do. But I never really liked kids anyway. What I do like is long, decadent naps on well-worn, supple leather cushions. I like comfort and certainty.
But mostly, I like solitude.
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