The Couch

January 14, 2011
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A lump. He had never imagined owning a lumpy couch. What would his mother have said? Leaning back into the damp, beige cushions, he looked up and saw his father’s face bobbing beside the rattling fan. “You’re a failure Albert, a total failure, from your children to your wife to your furniture, low quality and never made to last.” Albert’s dull grey eyes, dotty with burst blood vessels, filled with tears. He lowered his head, and leaning further back in the old polyester, turned to see the photographs in the plastic frames on the mantelpiece. His wife, a bone thin redhead with protruding green eyes, stared expectantly back at him. Those eyes were a constant reminder that he should have done more in life. Portraits of his five children, all long gone to various freak diseases, were lined up beside his wife. Edmund’s forehead was too high, Mitchell’s nose was off centre, Rosaline was so far from the loveliness portrayed by Shakespeare’s similarly named character it wasn’t funny, Rebecca’s eyes were visibly watering and Gertrude was unfortunately but undeniably hideous; hence the name Gertrude, though Albert never dared tell his daughter this of course. He’d told the other daughters though.
Albert’s blonde, crystal eyed, delicately proportioned parents had had a lot of trouble accepting their son’s wayward looking breed, and they had always been pushed to the outer edge of family photos. At first, he had been ashamed. But eventually, each child proved to be a special piece of humanity despite their prominent faults. Overall, his memories of each were sweet.
But the couch-it had no personality to overshadow its lumps, its smell, its inherently cheap texture, and it told him, somehow, in too loud a voice to be ignored, that no successful man ended up spending his evenings on a lumpy couch.

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lilmartz This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 19, 2011 at 10:34 am
This is good! You kept it simple and I like it a lot. Nice job :)
suum1 replied...
Jan. 22, 2011 at 5:13 pm
Thanks! its my first piece of writing for Teen Ink. I didn't get an email when they posted it though? is that normal?
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