Headboard by Paul Behrens

The walls are supposed to have ears, but it’s the beds who hold the stories.

The wooden bed that came with the old house he purchased was no exception, the signs were everywhere:

The crack in the repaired pillar from the soldier’s kick, when the bullet was extracted. A smooth, worn bed post from leather restraints. The dent in the headboard from a head hitting it with the force of the punch. The scratches behind from the pain of sickness, and those in front from the ecstasy of lovemaking. Dried placenta in the varnished-over cracks of the footboard. The kink in the straightened metal frame from children’s joyous jumping.

It was the headboard, overseeing it all, which had the most to say. About mattresses replaced over the years, carrying away the blood from menstruation and self-inflicted wounds. Tears of sadness and joy. It told of howling laughter and life-altering, late-night discussions.

Standing at the door of the bedroom, his unknown talent reared. He experienced all of these stories. They were loud and bright and unavoidable.

The bed had to go. He would never be able to live with all that cacophony.

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