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Her chest of drawers fell apart at seven o’clock on a Thursday morning.

She had opened it as quietly as possible, so as not to disturb her sleeping boyfriend, but as she extracted a clean blouse for the day the drawer had simply collapsed downwards, taking all the lower drawers with it. Then the sides had fallen outwards, leaving her standing in front of a pile of broken wood and underwear.

“Don’t stress about it,” her sleepy boyfriend had said. “Just get off to work, and I’ll have it all sorted before you get home.”

“But-”

He stopped her protests with a kiss. “Just go. It’ll be fine.”

With a grudging sigh, she had done what he said, but she had worried about it all day.

When she got home, he was sitting on the bed waiting for her.

“There you go,” he said, gesturing to a new chest of drawers. It was made out of pine, with metal drawer handles and an elegantly curved top. “I put all your clothes away too, just as they were in the old set. See, skirt drawer, shirt drawer, sock drawer…”

She stared. “Those are not my socks,” she said.

He frowned. “Don’t be daft, of course they’re yours. They’re not gonna be somebody else’s, are they?”

She reached past him and pulled out a pair. “Have you ever seen me in neon yellow and black striped socks? No? These aren’t mine.”

She dropped them in and slammed the drawer.

He opened it again. “But… I put your socks in here, I-”

He stopped speaking, staring at the drawer.

“What?”

He pointed. “They’ve changed. Those stripey socks are gone, these are all blokes’ socks.”

With a frown, she pushed the drawer shut, then opened it again. The socks were now all pastel colours, and decidedly too small for either of them.

“Jeff,” she said quietly, “Where the hell did you get this chest of drawers from?”

© Kari Fay

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