Parting with Kevin the couch brought back a flood of memories, writes Emily Jade.
As I turned up at my best friend’s house last month two young women were loading some of her old furniture onto the back of a trailer. My friend of 20 years had discovered Gumtree and nothing in the house was safe.
Stuff that used to sit in the garage, under the house or even in the corners of forgotten rooms has all been snapped, uploaded and then off-loaded to anyone who pays the highest price. I’m surprised her kids haven’t featured in a fire sale on a bad day, such is her passion for getting rid of stuff.
The biggest haul for the two young ladies was an old blue couch. For the sake of this story, let’s call the couch ‘Kevin’.
Fourteen years ago Kevin came into our lives; he was new, flashy and super-duper comfortable. Made of soft fake suede with deep cushions that seemed to embrace you as you sunk into him, Kevin cradled all our dreams. Young, happy and carefree we’d sit for hours rabbiting on about life, love and our hopes.
Kevin was there sharing our inner thoughts and keeping our deepest secrets. Often we would sip wine and talk well into the night – too late or not safe to drive home, Kevin’s big arms would be the pillow I safely rested my head on, his body securely cuddling me to sleep.
It wasn’t just soft and safe conversation we shared with Kevin. He was there for every party we threw. Partying around him, spilling food and wine on him while dancing to the Dixie Chicks. He never minded, nor seemed to show a mark as we lay around for hours while he nursed our sore heads back to health.
He was there for us for the good times as well as the bad. When my first marriage broke down, it was Kevin I turned to (along with my best friend) as I sat comatose or crying, his pillows soaking up my tears as I asked the universe, what’s next?
When our friend and my best friend’s sister-inlaw was taken from us far too early, it was Kevin who comforted us as we grieved and reminisced. And finally when I found love again, it was on Kevin I sat canoodling inappropriately with the new love of my life. As two became three that new baby was breastfed in the safe comfortable arms of her mama, who was embraced by Kevin.
As my baby and those of our friends grew, Kevin was downgraded to the kids couch because only Kevin could withstand the toddler onslaught. So when I saw those young girls taking Kevin away I cried, overwhelmed by the thought of a life without comforting Kevin in it.
I never thought something without a breath could have so much life. My friend on the other hand patted my back and told me to get over it and to look at it like this – Kevin was starting afresh to create new memories for those lovely young girls. In other words he was leaving us for a younger model. Bloody typical.