Where We Sat

Wooden kitchen table with matching 4 chairs.
Table measures 30 x 48 on the top and is 28.75 inches high.

All items are in good condition — table and chairs are sturdy, padding on the chairs is still intact and clean.

In the interest of full disclosure, there are a few scratches on the table itself. You can see them in the overview picture. Nothing that couldn’t be hidden by a table cloth (or ignored to begin with).

I am located near Columbia University.

I refresh my browser again, just in case, but still my empty inbox mocks me. “No new mail!”, it announces, almost joyfully. I clench my jaw and glare at it, willing it to change. I need to get rid of this table. I need to get rid of you.

I lean back in my desk chair, defeated, and lazily spin it towards the center of the room. My eyes land on the table. Our table.

I remember the day we first saw it. We were at Ikea, lost somewhere between the fake living rooms and the propped bedrooms. We had each been looking for something specific – me for a picture frame for my nightstand, you for decorations for the wall of your dorm. I don’t remember if we found what we were looking for that day. In fact, I don’t think we did. I just remember laughing. I remember sitting at a table in one of the dining room sets, doubled over in the padded wooden chairs, tears threatening to escape our eyes just from having too much fun. As we were catching our breath, still sighing from the laughter, you suddenly became serious. You locked eyes with me and said, “Move in with me.” I assumed you were joking, so I uttered a soft chuckle, still not fully recovered from our giggle-fit. Your expression didn’t falter. “I’m serious. I love you.”

“I love you, too, but–”

“So let’s do it. Why not?”

My heart was overflowing, so I couldn’t think of a single reason. I agreed and we laced our fingers together and headed to customer service, putting our new dining room set on layaway.

It took us the entire summer to save up and find the perfect place. It seemed like endless paperwork – opting out of the dorms, credit checks, proof of employment – the process was grueling. But in the end we found a place to call our own, even though at first all we had was a simple wooden table with four matching chairs.

It’s weird to me now, to think back and remember how once this table represented a new beginning, hope, passionate love…Now I look at it and all I see is anger, regret and tears.

At first I thought I could ignore it. Suppress the memories. It was just a table, for God’s sake. But long after I got used to rolling over in bed to feel the cold, empty lack,or only making enough coffee for one, that table served as a reminder. Of everything we had. Of everything we lost.

Today, I finally cracked. I was sitting alone at the table, flanked by empty chairs, staring down at the angry scratches at the table. For what felt like the millionth time this month, I flashed back to that night, the screaming, the broken plates, the tears. I flashed back to the night my world shattered around me.

So I need to get rid of this table. I need to get rid of the memories. I need to get rid of the pain.

I turn back to my computer. I refresh my browser.

Three new emails. Thank God.

I need to get rid of this table. I need to get rid of you.

~ by Valerie Anne on 05/27/2012.

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