“We don’t even have a dog anymore, so come off it!”
“…AND shake stranger’s hands… You have no idea what it’s like being shoved up against someone that you’ve never met before. It’s terribly awkward.”
“Oh, will you pipe down? Honestly, when I was with the Professor, his leather driving gloves never bickered the way you two do,” said the cable-knit sweater, with a pompous air.
“He wishes he were a leather driving glove,” mumbled the right-hand knitted glove under her breath.
Before the left glove could retort, the beanie interjected. She was crocheted by hand with love – as she loved to remind everyone – and it made her annoyingly optimistic.
“Shhhh, everyone! I hear footsteps! I think today’s the day!”
“We don’t even know if it’s daytime…” you say, half-heartedly. You knew she wasn’t wrong – it certainly felt like it was time to be retrieved. Although, being a scarf, your sense of time wasn’t known for its accuracy.
Your mind begins to wander, and you think back to the beginning of summer. The slow existential dread that began to set in as the nights grew warmer and the days grew longer finally culminated in packing day. Indeed, it feels like ages since she folded you neatly and tucked you into a box along with her other Autumn attire. Even though you know you don’t have to suffer through stifling heat thanks to her temperature-controlled storage unit, you can’t help but feel that familiar, dull heartache set in. You miss the crisp breeze fluttering your neatly knotted fringe and the smell of rain being absorbed into every one of your fibers.
Now, sitting here in the dark, listening to your companions bicker day in and day out is starting to wear you down. You long to be tossed on with a raincoat on a rushed Monday morning, and then carefully arranged over a cocktail dress on a Friday night. To feel wanted, useful, and most importantly – loved.
Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games out there. You still have nightmares of when she left you at her ex-boyfriend’s place for three long months. Jammed between a bed and a wall next to a sleazy tube sock was not your idea of a season well-spent. And then there was the time you were abandoned on the back of a chair at a Denny’s in the middle of winter. Honestly, there was a moment where you wished the nice waitress would take you home. She, at least, seemed to value her things.
But then you thought back further to when you first met her. Could there have been a love so pure? No, you thought. Surely, the way she stroked you absent-mindedly as she sat on the train, and refused to take you off even as small beads of sweat began to form on her décolletage meant it was real love after all.
But, as the puffer jacket told you one Spring day, if you love someone, you must let them go. Or rather, let them pack you away until they need you again. It was hard to accept at first, but one day, after being tossed onto the bed next to a pair of panties, you realized you had pretty easy.
“One day, she’ll just throw me in the garbage when she’s done with me,” said the undergarment sadly, already showing some small holes on her lace trim.
“I don’t even get to be donated. To start over,” she added after a moment’s pause.
It was a sobering moment for you. Being donated, however, wasn’t high on your list of goals either. You thought back to the infinity scarf who thought he was just going for a ride in a tote bag and never came back. Like the elephant print in the room, you never spoke of him again.
Suddenly, your daydream is cut short by the sound of the rolling door sliding open and the gap in the top of the box creating a bright strip of light.
“The beanie was right,” you think, suddenly aglow with the hopefulness of the start of a new season, “Autumn has begun.”