She squeezed through the doorway, stepping over the half-filled “KITCH-CROCK” and around “KITCH-UNDRSNK” which was in danger of spilling-over. She opened the fridge and stared at its contents. She could start to pack those cheeses but she was a bit peckish. And it was, after-all, silly to pack a half-bottle of wine. She certainly wasn’t going to throw it away.
Bottle under-arm, bottle-opener gripped between her lips, various fruits, cheeses and part-wrapped chilled-edibles balanced in her hands, she slid “KITCH-FRDG” aside with a foot, cleared a corner of the kitchen table with an elbow and emptied one of the chairs of its folded, as-yet-unused boxes with the other. And she sat down in it. And she sighed.
She sighed because she had no wine-glass. She had no wine-glass because the glasses were all packed – she’d wrapped the last of them in newspaper at around 3am on Thursday night and boxed them the following morning. Those two boxes were in the hallway by the front door, “KITCH-GLASS1” written on the first one with a flat-edged chisel-tipped marker pen which she was convinced would appear to the world as if she’d been practising calligraphy on her labelling when in fact she’d misplaced the nice new bullet-pointed one she’d bought on Monday and was simply making-do. Above those words, in larger letters but squeezed into the space because it was an afterthought, “FRAGILE”. The labelling on “KITCH-GLASS2” was much tidier and its “FRAGILE” much less cramped. On top of those were three other boxes labelled similarly, “LVNG-1”, “LVNG-2”, “LVNG-BOOKS”. With hindsight, perhaps the fragile glasses shouldn’t have been on the bottom.
The cork foofed loudly as it was liberated from the bottle for the second time in as many days, and after retrieving from the recycling the broken-handled blue coffee mug that he’d left behind, she poured the cold wine and checked the integrity of the mug. There were fewer cracks in there than there had been between us, she thought.
This was going to be a good move. Not every one was, of course, but she’d always had an inkling when they would be, even if she hadn’t quite foreseen the way, and this one felt right.
She broke the cheese off in chunks – “KITCH-CTLRY” was out of reach – and picked at the fruit with dusty hands. She was tired, hungry and running on adrenaline, which should have made it all – especially the wine – taste better. She was tired of eleven years-worth of dust in her hair, but mostly she was just tired of all the boxes.
This piece inspired by an Elephant Words image originally posted at http://elephantwords.co.uk/2014/07/20/boxes/.