This is going to be hard. This is already hard as it is.
We walked all around that day, never really set on going anywhere. But we just liked that thought of it, walking. It somehow dampened the need to talk about anything at all; it somehow froze time just before we went into the small awkward moments that we had to say something to each other every five minutes or so, just to make sure that we were still indeed walking beside each other. Our arms would brush by each others’ occasionally, and that just made it a little more than weird. Plus, walking around would have given the both of us a different kind of distraction while trying to steer clear of all topics aside from ourselves and where we came from.
Oh, I didn’t know that this film was already showing. Look, those shoes look wicked. It’s been a while since I got a new pair. I’ve always been fond of shoes. I wonder when they’ll have that pair on sale. This is one book I’ve been looking for all over. I want to get it but not now. I’ve been spending way too much on stuff that I don’t really get to use or read. And I’ll probably be able to download an e-book version of it online for free anyway.
Every little distraction that we saw just defined a little more about what we wanted to say but was afraid to; they just lead to answers that we were more than not ready to ask. Everything around us that we saw kinda revealed a little more about ourselves than what we cared to share. And so we walked on.
We wandered around aimlessly until we got to this huge furniture store. Should we check it out?, I said. I was more than willing to risk looking like a freak enjoying these kinds of things, just dreaming of stuff that I can do with my own house, only if I really had one, only if I had anything to call my own of anything.
She agreed so we breezed in. The huge space was filled with, well, furniture, ranging from the obscenely priced, to the severely practical. She said she had always kind some sort of voyeuristic quality in shops like this, unlike what you’d notice in some other stores for some other things. The way they set these up is as if it’s actually somebody’s home, like you’re stepping into someone’s kitchen or unused bathroom, but a bathroom nonetheless. The only difference was there were no walls to speak of, no actual rooms, but just areas defined by the color palettes and area rugs (I guess that was what they were really for anyway).
We admired the dining tables down to the molding details and the weird color choices. This will be a hard sell since it will be difficult to match that monster with anything else in a working dining room. Very analytical, I thought. That will be a hard sell because it’s just too fucking expensive, I said. I bet with the right tools and a good carpenter, we could get a piece like that for half the price. True story.
She laughed a bit, for some odd reason, and I smiled. I said “we” and she didn’t notice. I didn’t really notice it back then when it happened but on hindsight we were actually laughing about two totally different things altogether.
I had always liked the color red so in an instant I was drawn to this red couch across the dining area. It looked comfy and it was not too big, though I thought that the material on the surface looked kinda a bit hard to clean. She saw my eyes light up as I walked up to it, and pretended to race me to it, and sat down. Try it, she said, so I sat beside her on that decently sized red couch. It was comfy alright, and it went well with the dark wood side tables and this arching floor lamp that ended with a silver dome that vaguely lit the vintage chest that served as a coffee table. I leaned in on the chair as she watched me melt into it.
This feels good right? I know. We should definitely get this. Well, I said, looking at the price tag, I guess we’ll have to sell of one of our kids first. And one of my broken kidneys maybe for the lamp.
She laughed, and leaned into the chair as well as she did. For few moments we sat there and watched other people pass by. We owned the chair for a few minutes and didn’t care.It was a comforting thought that if we actually lived in the place we wouldn’t have mind all the people who were walking around checking out our odd choices for furnishings in our gigantic warehouse home. It was like watching a really huge TV, really, in realistic 3D.
She got a bit bored after a few minutes of people-watching and getting watched by people, so we stood up and left that decently sized, comfy red couch. We stepped out of the living area and explored a few posh faucets for the bathroom as well as this huge framed mirror that somehow stood across a bathroom installation. There was a bathtub across the big mirror, and she was more than eager to step right in.
Come on, I think it’s big enough or two, she said, and in a few seconds I second thought hesitating the offer but then obliged. I have never been asked to join anyone in a tub before, and even if it’s just in a furniture store for fun, I don’t think I’ll pass on that chance. I never thought I’d say it out loud but I think half of the decision was made when it was her who did the asking in the first place.
So there we stood in the middle of the tub, in the middle of the bathroom fixtures area, in the middle of the massive furniture warehouse, in the middle of the mall. I looked at her and she was smiling at me. What?, I asked. See? It wasn’t that bad?, she said. And then her gaze led my eyes to look at us from across the huge framed mirror. Looking at the sight of the both of us standing in the middle of the tub, with all the other people looking at us from the reflection made me feel so naked and exposed, as if we were instantly bared in front of the crowd looking for their next toilet. This kid who walked by smiled and pointed at us from the mirror.
I blushed in an instant. She laughed and reached for my hand. Sorry, honey. We just couldn’t afford it.
We stepped out of the tub and casually walked out of the store, hands still locked. And we walked on.