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These Walls Can Talk

By @astrid_hartman

Kitchen Kisses

At the turn on the century, something changed inside of the Jefferson household. My walls, those gossipers, whispered of divorce and despair. The shower curtain told them that she had heard the Mrs. crying while taking a bath. The pillows lamented that every morning their fabric was soaked with her tears. And Mr. Jefferson began spending more and more time downstairs in his study. His lamp whispered to the wallpaper that a few months ago he had begun writing down names in his notebook when, abruptly, he stopped. 

Then, one summer night, we all found out why. 

The evening began like any other. The couple came home from work; Mrs. Jefferson from the newspaper office and Mr. Jefferson from the bank. The Mrs. then began preparing dinner while Mr. Jefferson got out of his suit. The microwave and fridge had a front row seat as to what happened next so I found out second-hand.  

“Will, there is something…” Mrs. Jefferson began, starting a conversation from the kitchen that was supposed to waft into the bedroom. But Mr. Jefferson was already in the kitchen archway, looking at her, his suit still on. 

One look at her husband and the Mrs. just burst into tears, huge hiccuping sobs as she dropped the spoon she was using to stir the soup for dinner. “It’s all my fault, all my fault, Will.” Mr. Jefferson stepped forward, wrapping Mrs. Jefferson in a tight embrace. 

“Please, Grace, it isn’t your fault. This is out of your control.”

“But-but I wanted to have a baby so bad and then t-to find out that I-I can’t—” She broke off into more sobs. 

They sat in silence for a long time, holding each other. The soup, forgotten. 

That is, until it started bubbling over. 

In the stove’s defense, he cannot control the temperature that he is turned to. “Don’t blame me, blame science,” he told me later. He always gets so steamed up about the littlest things, my goodness. 

“The soup!” Mrs. Jefferson squealed, leaping away from her husband as she rushed to turn the fire down. “Ouch!” A drop of soup landed on her hand as the bubbling froth was at last quelled. Mr. Jefferson walked over to her, taking her hand in his as he kissed it gently. 

“Kisses are said to make everything feel better.” He whispered to her. 

“You make me feel better, Will.” She replied just as quietly, kissing his hand in return. 

The kitchen sighed in romantic relief. 

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