The Time-Out Chair

Writing Challenge: May 22, 2017

The big brown armchair sat against the French doors that led to the sunroom, facing the front door across the large Livingroom.  The chocolate brown chair was made of a soft-imitation velvet, a perfect fabric to trace patterns on and erase them again. My sister and I called it the “time-out chair” because when we were in trouble that’s where we were put. In this chair we would trace our patterns, watch family mill about the house, and watch CSI on the old wood-paneled TV to the left. Though not by any means “bad children”, we spent a lot of our childhood in that chair; enough to have created a bizarre attachment. We were sorely disappointed when the Time-Out chair was left behind in Texas when my grandparents moved to Utah. The move happened shortly after hurricane Ike, and the new inhabitants, having lost everything, asked if my grandparents would be kind enough to leave any furniture they wouldn’t need behind. Knowing that they had a long drive across plains and over mountains, my grandparents were happy to oblige.

“You left the Time-Out chair?!” We exclaimed when the unloaded truck didn’t present the old armchair.

“You called it the ‘Time-Out chair’?” They laughed.

It wasn’t a family heirloom, it wasn’t valuable, and had no real reason to justify being dragged across the country, but to us it was a real sign that the old red-brick house in Tomball, with the blackberry bushes along the fences of the backyard and prickly pear cacti in the front, was gone.

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