Personification with chairs
| "I don't want him in my room anymore; he's ruining my life!" Armerella snapped.
"Well, I'm sick of you taking all the decent cushions."
"Now, one at a time, Sofano. Your sister was sharing her concerns. Let's hear her out, and then you'll have your chance."
Sofano rolled his eyes and swiveled to face the wall. Sibling therapy is always tricky especially when the chairs aren't willing to listen to the others point of view.
"Thank you, Mr. Loungerino," Armerella sighs then continues her rant, "last week, Sofano rolled me into the popular chairs at school. I tipped over in front of everyone." Her eyes well up with tears which she appears to be attempting to hold in with sniffles.
"That must have been embarrassing for you," I emphasize with her. Sofano has a tendency to bully and torment his twin sister. It gives him a sense of power from what I have observed from our sessions together. He's jealous of the attention she receives from their parents for the several medical conditions she has suffered since birth.
"It was. Especially, since my arm is still broken. When I fell, I couldn't catch myself, and my plastic cracked further in my arm. I couldn't get up, and Sofano laughed along with everyone."
Internally, I sigh but maintain my professional composure. "Sofano, how about you tell us your side of the story now." Armerella gets a pained look in her eyes as if I've offended her in some way. "Remember what I always say, there's at least three sides to every story. There's the way you see things in your perspective. Your brother sees the story in an entirely different light and then there are the facts of what actually happened which neither of you may be able to see on your own. That's why we share our sides of a story and talk it out, so we can come to a mutual understanding. That way there's no misunderstanding, and you understand where the other person is coming from and how they feel. No assumptions." Sofano rolls his eyes and Armerella presses her lips together then looks out the window. I nod toward Sofano, signaling his turn to speak.
"Yeah, she tripped, but that has nothing to do with me. She's clumsy, and I refuse to take responsibility for her tripping over her own two feet!"
Although I'm quite sure I know the truth, I can't assume either. "Armerella, is there a possibility that you could have tripped or bumped into your brother which made you fall?"
Armerella swallows hard and continues to stare out the window with a hurt expression. "No. There's not. Someone even recorded the entire thing. I can show you."
Sofano's eyes cut into tiny slits as he glares at the side of his sister. "Liar!" he screams.
"Okay, if it's not the truth, do you mind if we watch the video?" I evaluate his body language and facial expressions as I ask. Sofano's stiff as a board and his wooden arms are reddening by the second.
"Whatever." He rolls toward the wall.
I nod to Armerella. She presents her cell phone which she props up on her seat cushion and presses play for the video to begin.
A crowd of assorted chairs are gathered in a hallway lined with rusty blue lockers. Armerella is in front of an opened locker with a stack of papers and textbooks piled onto her seat cushion. Three hourglass wing chairs gather behind her, whispering and blatantly giggling at Armerella. One of the hourglass wing chairs blurts out, "it must be horrendous to be that ugly. I would die without my plush fabric. At least her brother gives great massages. What does she do? Roll around with broken arms?" The three females chuckle, and one even snorts from laughing so hard which only sends the hourglass wing's into further hysteria. Sofano rolls up near the three sophisticated chairs.
"Ah, there's my favorite masseuse!" one of the hourglass wing chairs coos at Sofano, winking at him.
"Hey, Luxury. You look great. Hey Royal, hey Posh," Sofano greeted the trio.
"Ah, you just missed it. We were discussing how incredible your massages are. Lucky for you, it looks like you got all your parents good qualities and your sister got left with nothing." Luxury teases, biting her lip. "I can't believe you two are twins! How embarrassing!"
Sofano grunts and rolls his eyes, "Oh, I know. My sister's such a loser."
Armerella spins herself around and stares at her brother with red, watery eyes.
'What?" Sofano snaps at Armerella. She spins to face the wall, but Sofano rolls towards her yelling, "I asked you a question! You don't know to talk now? No wonder you have no friends!" Sofano corners his sister into the lockers. Armerella rolls past him and tries to roll away, but he slams his chair into her, pushing her into the three hourglass wings. Armerella tips over and crashes to the ground. Her already broken arm, snaps further, loud enough to hear from the video. The sound of her plastic arm snapping is loud enough to hear from the video. Armerella is crying on the door, attempting to stand but struggling. Sofano and a crowd of chairs are laughing. Sofano starts rolling into Armerella over and over again as she screams out in pain.
"Okay, I've had enough. Please turn off the video. Thank you, Armerella." I give Sofano a pointed look, but he's refusing to look me in the eyes. "Sofano, do you have anything to say to your sister?"
"Yeah, why do you always have to make my life a living hell?
I jump in and respond, "can I just say, from the looks of this video, it seems the opposite is happening."
For the first time, I see Sofano's hardened expression melt away, revealing what appears to be a true emotion. His eyes reflect pain which he has never shown before in any of our sessions. "You always try so hard to be different. You do everything in your power to do the opposite of normal. Then I have to deal with it. I get stuck being a weirdo! I have to get made fun of! What's so bad about being normal, Armerella?"
"If you consider Luxury, Posh and Royal normal, then I'll pass. I'd rather be the biggest loser than stuck as them any day!" expresses Armerella. "If you think you have it so bad; what do you think they do to me?"
"But you don't care, Armerella! You don't want anything to do with them, I do. You don't even want friends."
"You think I don't want friends? Of course, I want friends! But I don't want friends who are going to make me feel bad about myself! I want real friends! Plus, they chose not to like me. It's not like I went around school telling other chairs to be mean and stay away from me."
"You don't do it on purpose so that I won't make friends?"
"Of course not, Sofano!"
"No! why would you even think that?"
"That's what Luxury told me."
"Luxury hates me. How would she even know anything about me? I don't even talk to her."
"I know, but she said you told everyone that."
"Sofano, you just said it yourself; I don't talk to anybody!"
"Oh my gosh, you're right... I'm so sorry Armerella! I really believed her."
Warmness fills my wooden body as I observe the twins work out their conflict. The twin chairs rub against each other to hug, and tears fall from their eyes.
"Thank you, Mr. Loungerino," Armerella sniffles.
"Yeah, thank you," adds Sofano.
"No, don't thank me. I didn't do a thing. You two worked it out on your own. See why it helps to express all sides of a story?"
"Yeah," the twins replied in unison.
Word Count: 1,316