Illustration by Shenuka Corea

The Yellow Boat of the City of Vilnius

When I think of Vilnius, I remember Our Yellow Sofa. When I think of Vilnius, I also remember Him.

Mar 24, 2018

When I think of Vilnius, I remember Our Yellow Sofa.
Most of the time memories relentlessly sneak up from behind, slowly crawl up my cold feet until they reach my brain, and then, suddenly, strike with a force equivalent to Gordon Ramsay’s angry rage in Hell’s Kitchen. Flashbacks of the remarkable times spent on my yellow velvet sofa have always caught me off guard, and then I am forced to pick myself up from my new vomit-colored (or as He would say, moss green) sofa and shut the blinds of my new enormous window to utter emptiness, refusing to provide windowsill pigeons with a free crying performance.
When I think of Vilnius, I also remember Him.
Well, technically, first I remember Our Yellow Sofa, our corner café, the iced lattes and the hot chocolates, the vintage light bulbs, the fluffy orange cushions, the never-ending Pulp Fiction soundtrack, the rain... I also remember the times when it was simply just My Yellow Sofa and I could still extend my legs across its full length and any he or she that got the privilege of entering my sacred space stayed just long enough to warm the left seat. The cushions had a delicate pattern of orange blossoms that even on chilly October nights reminded me of sweet Lithuanian summertime. I had always thought that the flowers matched red shades of His hair really well. Maybe that was why I let Him join me in sipping hot chocolate and iced lattes and watching life happen outside the glass aquarium that was our lovely corner café. Maybe that was why I let him stay onboard my little yellow boat a little longer.
The last time I saw Him at the corner café, the sofa was occupied by some other lovebirds. As I was staring at His firm, muscular back, my eyes despairingly searched for a ring-shaped birthmark behind the collar of His navy polo. I pondered the likelihood of fateful encounters in my dull and systematic reality of life. From the end of the queue, I watched His chapped peach lips form a smile as He greeted the barista, nervously playing with His luscious auburn curls. Then, His long fingers reached into the back pocket of His tweed pants to fetch a steel blue grainy leather wallet.
“It’s a new wallet,” I thought to myself.
I wished He would turn around and notice me. Instead, He grabbed His cup of hot chocolate, slammed the door and disappeared into the dusk.
The evening felt gray and empty. So did the sofa.
On the day before I left for Abu Dhabi, I passed by our corner café and was left shaken by what I saw. There are no lattes anymore, and the hot chocolate is long gone. There are no vintage light bulbs, no orange patterned cushions, and the outside street noise is now the only background music. There is nothing left, only rain. He is gone and so is Our Yellow Sofa... A new cozy café? Someone’s home? A trashy abandoned alley? A waste dump? I still wonder what Our Sofa’s new home is. For a long time, it served Us as Our little yellow boat, Our little city, Our home. I hope Our Yellow Sofa found a new her and him, I hope that they became Her and Him and that It became Their Yellow Sofa of temporary sunshine, hope and happiness. I hope It finds a home, wherever It traveled, and never turns into an old squeaky vomit-colored sofa. Or the color of green moss, as He would say.
Vasare Kripaite is a contributing writer. Email her at
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