The Thing She Left
By Colin Baylot
It was the chair. A gray-blue reclining chair, worn down over time; cloth matted down. They found it sitting at the street a couple of blocks over, ready to be picked up and lost forever. But this chair was loved. It provided many warm, cozy nights to someone who simply lost interest. It grew tired and unwanted.
He loved that chair, still loves it. He loves it because she loved it. He remembered how she used to curl up in the chair on Sunday evenings while reading her favorite books. She would fall asleep there. She looked so peaceful, too peaceful to disturb, so he would go to the bedroom and grab some pillows and blankets, and tuck her in on that chair. Then he’d sleep on the sofa right next to her; he wanted to be near her as she slept. So peaceful.
She took everything with her when she left. Everything except the chair. That chair she adored as much as he adored her. Now he hated the chair. Lying, deceitful chair, only meant for disappointment. Even the sight of that chair ripped his insides apart, finishing the job she started.
The day she left, he tried to stop her. He tried to tell her it would be alright, that they could make it through, but that he didn’t understand why she must go. All this he yelled at her over the chair, their chair, which cowered and shriveled at the sudden cold that passed through the room. She shivered when he came near, and he saw tears in her eyes, like ice sliding down her soft cheek in this cold, barren apartment. He was on his knees now, pleading, but for naught; she acted as if she heard nothing. She took one more look around the apartment and stopped her gaze at the chair, staring at it for a moment. She wiped another stinging tear from her eye, turned and left.
Some time passed and the chair became a part of him. As much pain and loathing the chair caused him, he needed the chair. He lived in that chair. He still saw her, though. He watched her from afar. She’d go see her friends or her parents. She’d cry, and then they would cry. He was so lost without her, he didn’t know what was wrong or what to do, but something was missing. Once, he followed her to a grave. She stood there, letting the rain disguise her tears. Suddenly it enveloped her, all of it. It was crippling, mind-numbing pain. All these memories rushed through her, and she realized that was all she had left; the chair was gone, now, along with her former life. After her brief eternity at the grave, she stood and walked away. He was now just a hollow shell of what he used to be, and she left that shell behind as she got into her car and drove away from the cemetery.