This story was originally written in response to a writing prompt at Hair Brained Press. The prompt was “Buy the sofa, then for a couple years you’re satisfied that no matter what goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled.”

It’s four in the afternoon and Carl and I are standing in the middle of Macy’s Furniture Gallery looking at a sofa.

I frown.

It’s a tufted leather three-seater. Looks like it came off the set of Mad Men. The salesman, a young guy with slicked back hair and too much cologne says the color is “Cognac Tan.” Looks like something you’d find in the toilet after a bad night of drinking, I say. But he coughs and assures us the leather will scuff and develop a “beautiful vintage patina” with use.

“Let me think it over,” I say.

The salesman flashes us a smile and scuttles away. Carl sits down and throws his arm along the back.

“It’s damn comfortable,” he says.

“I hate the color.”

“You heard what the man said. ‘Vintage patina.’”

“What the fuck is ‘patina’?”

“Means it’ll look old. This is a classic, man. Buy the sofa.”

I sit down next to Carl and he slaps my shoulder. He’s right. It’s pretty damn comfortable.

“I don’t know if a sofa is high on my list,” I say. “I don’t even have a bed.”

I shit you not. I’ve been sleeping on a mattress topper folded in half in the corner of an empty bedroom. I don’t even have a table or chair to eat at. Jennifer took everything. I’m gone one weekend on business and when I come back the apartment is empty. No bed. No sofa. No table and chairs. No ridiculously large ultra high definition television from Costco. No Jennifer. Nothing.

“So sleep on the sofa,” Carl says. “Eat on it. Pick up that chick at Damien’s you keep eyeballing and fuck her brains out on it.”

Jennifer would’ve needed help cleaning out the apartment. I wonder who he is. They’re probably screwing each other like animals on my bed right now. I loved that bed. It was a Saatva Classic. Best sleep I ever had. In the morning I’d wake up, completely rested, roll over and just watch her sleeping.

I keep wondering what happened. Where I went wrong. We had a good life together, didn’t we? We never fought. The sex was good. She did her thing and I did mine. We were comfortable.

We loved each other, right? We weren’t so insecure we needed to say the words. It was just a given. Like I said, we were comfortable. Secure. Grounded.

Maybe too comfortable. Was that why she left? Needed someone exciting and new? Needed an adventure? Maybe she just needed to get it out of her system and she’d be back.

No. If she needed a fling she wouldn’t have taken everything. She was trying to tell me something.

Maybe I should have told her I loved her. Maybe it wasn’t a given.

“Think of it this way,” Carl says. “No matter what else goes wrong, at least you’ve got your sofa issue handled.”

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