English, Prose, Short Story

The Quiet Observer.

The black metal chair was fitting surprisingly well in the white room, a strongly expressed form of minimalism. There was an old golden-framed photo hanging behind it, and next to it, a portray of the apartment’s owners. Both smiling, hand in hand, eyes focused on the camera. It was painted by a street artist in their summer trip to Barcelona two years ago.

Truth is nobody sat on that chair. It was a gift from a very dear friend of hers, so she could’t throw it away. And once again, it fit the setting. The black wood pendulum clock, however, was his. He had found it in an antique shop on his way back from work one day. That was one of the few things he owned, living in the world of her creation.

He walked through the door, gently as an angel, his shade moving on the wall. Suddenly, tension spread all over the room, small atoms of it interacting with each other. Much like a game.

The sound of their voices started echoing, swiftly creeping from the kitchen, reaching every book on the shelf, all covered in dust, placed in an alphabetical order. Music was still playing, as a needed background. Ella Fitzgerald’s jazzy voice was filling the room with love so tenderly, it was aiming towards for the moon, and the sky, now filled with million stars.

He wanted to kiss her. ‘No’, that’s all she said. The sink was working, she was probably washing the dishes. The dishes from the dinner they never ate as he was gone for the whole night.

He wasn’t drunk. He wished he was.

One of them threw a plate on the ground. Its pieces shattered, making a mess in the kitchen. No longer silence endured. They took their turns screaming for what it seemed like ages.

The chair sat there, in the living room, motionless and filled with sorrow. It was the quiet observer of the house, the witness of every day’s pain.

Soon enough, he stormed back through the room, and shut the front door behind him. He had a purpose now. He had to get drunk up to the point of forgetting the night. He hit his wife again. He beat her like a thief deserving some kind of punishment. But she wasn’t one, nor she was to be blamed for something.

Her only fault was that she was in love with a man that lacked the goodness in his heart and the sense in his mind. He loved her, yes, he just could’t help it. And, yes, he needed help other than the comfort offered by the bottle. She just shut her eyes, her heart both suffering and happy to have him.

And there it stood, in the living room, the chair, the quiet observer, in the middle of the small apartment on 23 McQueen Street. A beautiful neighbourhood, one might say, not knowing its ugliest secrets.


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