<300 words. Prompts: face, chair, red... Resilience
|To face the red chair, that red chair.
It sat in the corner where it had always sat. Stiff, unrepenting, paint chipping, sneering.
He didn't dare approach it.
It knew his tears, his welts, the angry voices that had sent him there.
"What about the chair?"
"I could put it out at the curb."
His tone of voice did not waver. The chair had never defended him. It had never comforted him. It could stay.
"Make sure every box is labeled."
The demolition team would tear down the old house Tuesday.
"Not soon enough, he muttered.
"What's that Dad?"
"Did you check the top shelves of the closets and the crawl-space?"
As a child he knew both well. Mice, roaches, spiders? Nothing that would hide him bothered him.
The day they came to take him away was the best day of his life. Others complained about foster care, not him. Sure, some were grouchy and a bit stingy and one was more than a tad crazy. But none of them had forced him into a corner, refusing his sobs to leave even as he couldn't hold it any longer and peed.
That chair. That red chair remembered.
He'd faced every new place as a challenge, a new escape from nightmares. He'd done okay. He'd become a master plumber. Closets and crawlspaces welcomed him.
He was glad the old place was being reduced to rubble.
"Remember to check under the sinks."
His wife never questioned why he refused to raise his voice to his sons or when they misbehaved how he'd hug them to "squeeze out all that shit." They laughed about it now.
"Almost ready to go?"
His sons were done loading the truck. He turned his wet face towards them.