A Cushion Too Far

“Frank!”
I’m not talking to her. I am staying right here in my office, until she gets rid of one. Mm. This leather chair is comfy. A place to sit. It’s not like I have anywhere else to do that.
“Frank, you’re being ridiculous.”
Scatter cushions. What are scatter cushions? What is the point of scatter cushions? I hate them. I despise them. They take up the entire sofa! Or perhaps I’m missing something in my old age. Please do explain to this old fuddy-duddy what a sofa is used for? Because apparently it isn’t to sit on anymore. Not with all the scatter cushions in the way. Maggie came home today with four more of these oddly shaped bags stuffed with wool…or was it goose feather? Each one had a different pattern. They didn’t even match. Our sofa already has two cushions. And she’s just thrown money at another four. That makes six. She’s shoving me off the sofa to make way for cushions! This is what our marriage has come to.
“Frank Wiggal, come out of there. We are having a discussion.”
Her voice carries all the way from the kitchen through to the lounge and pierces straight through my office door, which is made of solid wood. How? Well, she’s Maggie, that’s how.
“Frank!”
“I am not discussing scatter cushions!”
“Frank, this is absurd.” Her voice draws nearer. She’s probably in the lounge, admiring the throne for her polyester-filled monarchy.
“Yes, they are absurd,” I retort.
“They help my back,” her voice turns small and desperate.
“They get in the way of mine.”
“But Frank…” She pushes open the door, her beautiful blue eyes wide and uncompromising. The sunlight from the window washes over her honey hair, and those laughter lines break down my defence.
“Okay.” I sigh. “Maggie, you can have your scatter cushions.”
“Oh, Frank, thank you.” She races over and drops a kiss on my cheek. “I knew you’d come round.”

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The Break

The bank holiday was finally here.
Tap, tap, tap, went my fingers on the steering wheel.
Sigh, tut, sigh, went my wife, staring at the unmoving cars.
Groan, groan, groan went my eldest daughter in the back.
The sun dazzled, it glared with its unyielding rays. My son smiled at me as I glanced in the rear view mirror. His cheeks were rosy from the heat and his blond hair was messed up from napping. His bright blue eyes reminded me of the sea we were soon going to be splashing in.
The radio station came on. My wife was fiddling with the dial. Been an accident…blocked up… find an alternative route…
There was a snapping argument in the car on my right.
A woman slammed a door further down.
A horn blasted.
“Why is everyone so angry?” my son asked.
“Why d’you think, dumbo?” my daughter replied.
I closed my eyes, tired of the unrelenting sun, wishing we hadn’t planned to go away for the weekend, when our own car door opened and closed.
“What’s he doing?” My wife twisted around to see our son breakdancing on the sizzling tarmac in between cars. “Jimmy!” she called. “Get back in the car now!”
I stared at him, amused, in awe really. There was my son, someone who was getting bullied at school for taking dance lessons, catching a sour moment and spinning it into something sweet. He was leaning on his palm, twirling around his body, grinning. My daughter laughed, got out of the car, and played some hip hop music from her iPad. Jimmy moved in such a fluid way that I was envious of his freedom, his bold spirit. My daughter clapped watching her brother.
My wife sighed in defeat and kissed me on the cheek. “They’re not arguing anymore,” she said, pointing to the people in the car next to us. And sure enough they were laughing and nodding along with the traffic jam entertainment.