Deep breath….. It’s just a cupboard.
She walked past every section but stopped to pick up on of those little pencils and lists. She took two steps forward only to take take two steps back.
“I think I’m going to need two of these, ” she thought, grabbing another pencil, “and another one of these,” grabbing another number list.
She walked, hunched, past families picking browsing through potential bedrooms, potential bathrooms and kitchens, potentials ……
Seeing a man draw his partner closer to him while they stared at a baby’s crib reminded somehow her to straighten her back and broaden her shoulders.
She walked in and out of bedrooms. Fingers grazed surfaced like silk and absorbing their feel like sponge. Then she touched something. The wood was smoothened but with a minimal layer of wax.
Opening her eyes fully for the first time she saw a moderately sized four-door wardrobe. A reddish hue tinged its surface.
The doors opened to comfortably spaced clothing racks and shelves. It was tall but not tall enough to make it unreachable. It was wide but not wide enough to cramp the space in her room.
Item number jotted down, her little legs took quick strides with wide eyes and wide shoulders.
The narrow pathway soon expanded leading her to the warehouse-like room filled with neatly stored furnitue.
She loved this place. The enormity of the space spread out the distances between people. There was so much air to breathe, and that smell of cardboard boxes, which calmed her senses.
A1380 …… A1380
Startled she took a 360 degree turn and saw no one around.
She swore she had heard a man’s voice come from somewhere near by. No not just somewhere, from right in front of her. She peered closer into the shelf.
“People always get surprised when their furniture talks to them, relax. I’ve been waiting for you . I’m the last one of the batch left here on the shelf, let’s go!”
There was no one. Just 1380 printed boldly on a large, lone cardboard box. Everything else was at least a few feet away.
The box is talking to me? I’ve gone insane. I have been single for way too long. I need to eat.
He interrupted her thoughts. His voice was warm and soft. It very well could have been a woman’s voice if it didn’t have a underlying baritone note.
“I’m sorry, I’ve just been waiting for quite some time, frankly I don’t think I was ready to be taken away until now. I didn’t mean to startle you. The trolleys are at the end of the next isle. Grab one, come get me and we can sort the rest out once we’re out of here.”
“Oh… Yes… Oh…kay….”
Wobbly legs worked their way through the isles. She processed nothing, just grabbed the huge box in which her dismantled (talking?) cupboard sat in, and went to the counter.
Into the back seat he went. She sat infront and gripped the steering wheel.
“I’m Lionel by the way.”
Ok it’s real. She turned her head around.
“M.. M..Mel… Melissa. That’s my name. You talk. Is it the box talking or the cupboard?”
He laughed. “Cardboard boxes can’t talk, silly!”
“Well up until today, as far as I knew,neither could cupboards.”
It took her two days to put him together. She’d come back from work, turn the kettle on and the house would smell of coffee. He said he never acquired a taste and never understood people’s love for it. But in here, on her, he liked it.
For the last time she put her screwdriver down, swung the doors back and forth to make sure they worked smoothly and fell back on her bed.
“I feel good. It feels good to be in one, big, useful piece.”
” You look good.”
” So come on! Get your clothes out of those boxes. You have a cupboard now!”
” They can wait. I’m going to sit back and enjoy my craftsmenship.”
They laughed together. He liked this. He was home.