The first time he saw them he was happy and proud, for he could see the wonder in their eyes. She looked at him at said “Oh my God, he’s perfect! Just as I had dreamed!” As for the young man, he sat down and sighed “You are right, my darling, and more – he’s sooooo comfortable. He will last us a lifetime. Our lifetime together”.
A special sofa
To be fair, he was really an amazing sofa. Afterwards he understood they had chosen a large, comfortable model and especially bought a bright flowered upholstery fabric in pinks and greens. It was the most expensive piece of furniture in their somewhat modest suburban apartment, where they would soon begin their married life. While all their friends had chosen small, cheap sofas, they had decided to invest in a comfortable, handsome sofa – for life.
He loved it when their friends and family went to visit and praised him. And also the fact that the couple spent so much time sitting on him watching TV or just talking, or lying entwined or even sleeping.
He knew he was special to them and they actually talked so much about how happy they were that they had decided to have such a special sofa.
A new home
After a few years they moved back into the city, fed up with suburban life and the hours spent on commuting every day. He was not happy, though, that he had to spend a few months in a warehouse while the works in their new apartment were being done, but what glory it was to shine in all his magnificence in their new home. He was proud to hear they were now living in a fashionable Lisbon quarter, and he could tell this was very important for them, so he was happy too. He was put in a huge living room in front of a fireplace, and they loved to spend hours on him just looking at the flames and enjoying quiet moments of happiness. There were also exciting moments when their invited their many friends over and put music on and danced around him and opened the door to the balcony and he felt the soft summer breeze caress him.
Those were happy years and most of all when the children came. It felt so good when the parents sat with them on the sofa, cuddling them while watching Disney’s animation pictures such a “The Lion King” and “Pinocchio” and many others. How he loved when the little ones jumped on him while their parents laughed and scolded them “Boys, don’t ruin the sofa, it will have to last many years because we’ll never find a sofa as comfortable as this one!” And he was so grateful for this family, his family, who loved him so much.
The beach house
One day he overheard the couple talking, and he understood they were building a beach house and had decided to move him there. They were saying he was so big he would be much better there, where there would be more space. Although he loved this home and the glimpse of the buildings on the other side of the street and even a scrap of sky and enjoyed the many sounds from the busy street below, he was curious as to his new home, so when one day some men came to fetch him he said to himself he was going to a new adventure. But he was surprised to find he was not going to know his new home straight away; he was going to get a makeover! He was taken to a workshop where he was upholstered with a white checked deep blue fabric. He was a little sorry to discard his old flowered garment but he had to admit that it was a bit faded from so much use and in the end he liked his new look.
He missed the family and finally the day came when he was taken to his new home. He simply loved it! It was a brand new, beautifully two storied house with a garden. And the living room was really spacious, and again he was facing a fireplace; on his right he could see the green lawn through the French windows and in the distance he could hear the faint sound of the sea. He felt contented.
Soon he understood his family was not going to be there every day. They would still be living in the city but they came every weekend and that was good. During the week the house was quiet and he dozed in the dark, but on Friday nights as soon as he heard the sound of the car and the excited voices of the children he came alive again. And then one day they came to stay for a few weeks and he realized it was August, the month of holidays, and he settled into that new routine.
The end of a story
Time went by and the children were growing up. Many things changed and most of all he noticed the couple were not as loving to each other as they used to be. They still sat on him after dinner watching TV but they did not cuddle anymore or lie down together. A strange coldness had come between them and as he watched them around the house he could feel they were angry and sad. They did not fight, they simply dragged along and did more and more things separate, to the point that one day he understood that only the children were keeping them together.
And then one warm August night, after the children had gone to bed, the couple sat down and finally talked about their lives, their lost love and the lifetime they would not have together. They cried, for it was hard to admit their marriage had come to an end, but they knew it was inevitable and they promised they would not be angry at each other, for the sake of their beloved children. They still managed to spend the holidays together and it was as if a huge weight had been lifted off their shoulders – at least with each other, they didn’t have to pretend any more.
The old sofa feels sentimental as he remembers the good old times. After those last holidays the woman stopped going to the beach house; only the man stayed there, but the children would still spend a lot of time with their father. They would sit together on the sofa and he was reassured to see what a good father he continued to be and how the children had easily adapted to their new life. Then things changed again and the man found another love and moved to a bigger house and his mother moved into this one. The sofa knew her well for she had been a constant presence and he loved her, but he missed the man. Fortunately the boys often came to see their grandmother and sat on him while telling her about their many adventures.
Time has gone by so quickly, he thinks. The boys have grown tall and are now young men, the lady has grown old and his colours have again faded. The man and the boys still come to see the lady but most of the time she is the one who goes to visit them in their new home. Long gone are the days of noise and lights, of friends coming for dinner and birthday parties and endless talks during lazy summer nights, of children running around him and adults fighting for a place to sit on him, of delicious smells coming from the kitchen…now the old lady is mostly alone and sometimes he can feel she is sad, also longing for happier days in the past when the family was still together.
But the old sofa refuses to lose hope. He knows the boys love this house and, who knows, maybe one day it will become alive again, and he will again feel the love of a young couple and their happiness and the laughs of children…and he will hear them say he is their favourite sofa in the world and all will be well again.