The cushion

The cushion had been in the living room for longer than anyone could remember. If you were to ask anyone who had lived in the house in recent years where the cushion had come from, or how it came to be here, nobody would be able to give you an accurate answer. But it was unlikely that the question would ever be asked. Nobody considered the cushion important enough to warrant a conversation.

Other cushions came with a story. One was a present, one came from the Range, another had been created by Caroline’s Mum using silk paints. But this cushion had nothing.
Occasionally it visited the washing machine, at Christmas it was hidden inside the cushion cover of a surfing Santa. Other than that, it simply existed from day to day, week to week, year to year.

Until one day in September, when it was plucked off the sofa and tossed onto the back seat of the Renault Clio.

“What just happened?” asked the other cushions. No cushion had ever left the house before. And if a cushion was going to be picked for something special, surely one of the more beautiful cushions would be chosen. The cushions assumed the worst. They suspected they would not see their old companion again.

The next day the adventure began. The cushion remained on the back seat. The radio was played, songs were sung, Caroline regularly revisited the same road several times and circled roundabouts more than once in her quest to try and find the correct route. But the purpose of the cushion remained unclear.

Days passed. Weeks passed. The more beaches that were visited, the sandier the car became. The cushion concluded that Caroline must be on a mission to pick up enough sand to create her own beach back in Georgeham. But if there was a mission that the cushion was supposed to be completing, it was impossible to work out what it was.

And then finally, it happened. The day began like any other, with Caroline sending the Renault Clio off in the wrong direction several times before eventually arriving at the beach she was looking for. The cushion remained in the car next to the ever-growing collection of recycling and the stack of books which were going to require some serious de-sanding before they were returned to the library. But in the evening, instead of driving back to the latest guest house, Caroline sent the Renault Clio climbing up high to what seemed like the edge of the world, and then took the cushion out of the car.

“This is it,” thought the cushion as they neared the edge of the cliff. “She’s going to hurl me off of the edge!” But Caroline merely wanted the cushion to pose for a photo, to compare the turquoiseness of the cushion with the turquoiseness of the sea.

Next Caroline and the cushion joined a queue and descended many stone steps and suddenly the cushion understood. They had come to the world famous Minack Theatre to see a production of “Pride and Prejudice (sort of!)” a comedy version of the Jane Austen novel.

“How marvellous” thought the cushion. “She does love me. No other cushion has ever been taken to such a prestigious event. I must be her absolute favourite cush…” but the rest of the cushion’s thoughts were squashed as Caroline placed it down on the seat and sat on top of it.

The show was brilliant. It was starting its UK tour after a successful run in the West End. The audience laughed and clapped, and had a wonderful time. But the cushion missed everything. Squashed between Caroline’s bottom and the hard stone seat, it missed all the jokes, all the songs and all the action. It wasn’t until the very end when Caroline leapt to her feet to join in the standing ovation, that the cushion even got a proper glimpse of the stage, but by this point the cushion was too suffocated to care.

That night the cushion sat sadly in the car, gradually regaining its shape and hoping there were going to be no more trips to the Minack Theatre. Sitting on the backseat being neglected was far preferable.

That was the end of the cushion’s story. The rest of the trip was unremarkable. The cushion remained on the back seat and Caroline cartwheeled on her beaches. When it was time for the adventure to end, Caroline and the contents of her sandy car made their way back to Georgeham. The cushion was tossed back onto the sofa with no sentiment, no suggestion that it had been an important part of Caroline’s Cornish Road Trip, even if only for one night.

“Oh,” said the other cushions. “You’re back. Did you have a nice time?”

The cushion hesitated. How to strike the right balance? Admitting the truth, that the cushion had spent 22 days travelling 128 miles just to be sat on would make the cushion a laughingstock. Pretending to have been an integral part of a glamorous exciting road trip would make the other cushions jealous. Either way the cushion could be ostracized for years.

“Yes,” said the cushion. “It was okay.”

The cushions seemed satisfied with this answer. And life carried on. The cushion remained on the sofa. The books were returned to the library. The sand was vacuumed out of the car, only to be replaced very quickly by different sand from Devon beaches. Caroline and the Renault Clio continued to take the wrong turning every time they went somewhere new.

And nobody spoke of the cushion ever again.

8 thoughts on “The cushion

  1. Thank you Caroline for another enchanting tale from Cazmania. Life is never dull when stories eke even out of inanimate unassuming objects. X

  2. that’s left me feeling all out of shape, poor cushion (three goes at getting two letters in the right order- what is it with me and the word for the soft thing that you sit on…)

  3. Poor little guy! I’m trying to think of any future possible excursions or trips which could require the services of the/a cushion. Apparently there is a waterslide in a field at Downend!? (But maybe the cushion would not enjoy this either, hmm)

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