Orange Couch Potatoes Beyond the Panorama June 19, 2020

Orange Couch Potatoes

love stories

Before I could even step foot into the house, I knew I was walking into a long night of drinks, laughs and conversations. It was a Saturday night, most people my age were out in town, dancing in pretty dresses to barbaric music, but I wanted nothing more than the comfort of my bed, and a silly romcom playing on the TV.

Alas, my wishes remained unfulfilled. Fats, Pip and Mo had paraded my house, furnishing the coffee table with chips and beer, and stinking up the orange couch with their cheap perfume. I loved my friends, I really did, but I loved my orange couch more. 

To try and persuade them to have some alone time would be my efforts gone to vain, so I just roll with it, and nibble on some chips. After a long day at work, I could feel the soreness in my back and my feet hurt from having to wear uncomfortable shoes all day. I closed my eyes and smiled a little at the quieted hum of chatter; there was no sound I cherished more than the harmless brawls between Fats and Pip, always resulting in Mo’s fond laugh. 

“Hey! Sit up and have a drink!” Pip yelled at me. Mo began to cheer as Fats spoke, “hey lady, your hair isn’t grey yet”. I heard muffled laughter followed by Pip’s rhetoric, “well, she hasn’t got long!” 

I knew where this conversation would lead. I knew exactly what would happen that night, and I was right. I knew four bottles of beer would get Pip drowsy, and I was correct in estimating that Fats would wrap his arm around her, and balance her head on his shoulder. 

She was laughing, and Mo was narrating a story which he had a thousand times on a thousand similar nights like this. With the golden light of the lamp reflecting on his face, as he swung his arms around with vibrant energy; my orange couch dipped with every bounce of his body, and my eyes lit up at every mispronounced word of his, stuttered out in a drunken stupor. 

“No”, I said. I anticipated what was coming next, and I was too tired to repeat something that every person present in the room knew every detail of. “No way”, I added for emphasis. 

“Come on! Please, please, just this once!” Pip’s voice became high-pitched when she was drunk. I shook my head. I couldn’t do it again. 

I felt a warm embrace on my shoulder, and before turning his way, I knew it was Mo. I was accustomed to the touch of his fat fingers, and I was well aware that he knew. He knew it wouldn’t take much to convince me, and I would do anything if Pip asked. I let out a tired sigh. 

“Tell us the story of how you fell in love with the man of your dreams”, Pip slurred. I reached out for the bowl of chips and found them empty. “I love love stories”, she added. 

“Alright, alright, for the thousandth time, here we go…” I  began. 

Fats inched closer, and Mo bounced up and down again on the couch; I pretended not to see the beer stain on my most valued piece of orange furniture, and started to tell the tale. 

“Once upon a time, in a land far, far away from here, there was a girl.” A few giggles, murmurs and claps. “As you may have guessed, that girl was me, and the land wasn’t that far away. I was on my way to work and I bumped into a sausage man”. The giggles grew into uncontrollable laughter. 

“No really, he was a sausage man! He worked at a restaurant that sold hot dogs, and their idea of marketing was handing out pamphlets to passers-by, and who better to do it than a man wearing a huge sausage costume?” 

“Some people prefer traditional”, Fats added. 

“Anyway, I was annoyed because my clothes were now stained with mustard and ketchup, and I didn’t even have a spare set. I was supposed to go on a blind date set up by my best friends after work, and I couldn’t go covered in condiments. He kept apologizing, so I let him go without causing a scene. That’s how the day began. The day I would meet the man of my dreams, wearing a dress smudged yellow and red”.

“Who would’ve thought the most special day of your life would begin so tragically”, Mo added. 

He was right. “Well, the date went so well! We talked about our families, our interests, work, and we even ended it with a kiss”. I heard Pip squeal. 

I continued, “we had been dating for three months and things were going so well! Then suddenly one day he asked me to meet his parents”. I paused for dramatic effect. “I was terrified, I had never met any boy’s parents before, and they lived so far away!” 

Mo’s eyes grew wide and Pip asked, “then what happened?” 

“Then, well, I met his parents”. I sighed. “But we broke-up after”. 

“What? But why!” Fats screamed, half feigning interest, digging his hands into the onion dip, and half actually invested in the old story.

“His parents were great! It was probably the most memorable day of my life. I remember when we were sat on his couch, sipping tea as I flipped through photo albums from his childhood”. I still get the tingling feeling in my stomach from that day. “But then we fought over something silly that night. We were in his childhood bedroom, the walls were paper thin so I’m sure his parents could hear us”. 

“Long story short, I slept on the couch that night. The next morning, before we drove back home, he lay next to me, and we shared our last kiss. I cried into his shoulder and told him we were done, that I wasn’t ready for commitment”. 

I think I saw Pip wipe away a tear and Fats wipe away an invisible one. “Fats you’re not taking this seriously, but I was devastated! It may have been our last kiss, but it was our most memorable one.”

“I told him this too, as we were snuggled up on the couch. I told him that this was my most favorite place in the whole world; I told him I would even steal the couch if it meant I could have a piece of that moment”. 

“Months passed. I hadn’t spoken to him for so long, but I still missed him. I was starting to regret my decision, maybe I was ready to commit”, I was rambling at this point. 

“You’ll never guess what happened then! My best friends announced they were getting married! To each other! I would have never seen it coming”. I sighed. “But I should have. I should have because I’ve never seen love like theirs- it’s so pure and whole, and that’s when I realized I needed to get him back”. 

“And there he was. At the wedding I mean- looking as beautiful as ever in his fine-cut tux and hair-sprayed curls. He looked as beautiful that day, as the last time I saw him, in pajamas and teary-eyed, as he kissed me goodbye one last time”. 

“Then what happened?” Mo asked. I scoffed, I know he knows what happened. 

“There was a lot happening on that day so we never actually got a chance to talk, but I finally mustered up the courage a few days later”. 

Fats grunted and Pips punched his shoulder. 

“I told him how much I missed him and how sorry I really was”. I smiled. “And then two months later, I walked into my house after a long day at work to find a whacky orange couch sitting right in the center of my living room, the same exact one that I remembered him by, and Mo kneeling down on one knee with a ring in his hand”.

Everyone started screaming and howling, “I can’t believe I got married to the sausage man I went on a blind date with”. Mo laughed and cheered, Fats and Pip too busy feeding each other chips. “And I can’t believe my two best friends who fell in love with each other also fell in love with my orange couch somewhere along the way”. 

Nandini Sethi
Nandini Sethi

Nandini, a student at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University writes short stories and poetry that make you smile, giggle, and cry.

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