Rigid and motionless he sat in the dark, his aristocratic features elegantly displayed in the moonlight with his stiff back upright and proud. Gazing defiantly into the roaring fire he had learnt to accept his solitude. An ancient book with a dusty cover rested on his lap, nestled between his arms. The dainty feet that bore his weight splayed outwards from his sturdy legs that anchored the worn out body to the ground. His padding had come to settle just above his lap and his highly decorated garments camouflaged this gross rebellion of the years. Age takes its toll on everything but he defiantly sat there, regal haughty, as if daring time to challenge his power. Like a statue of a pharaoh he sat there waiting for someone to come. He knew that someone was going to come soon, he could feel it and sense it in the air around him. His pride maintained his wooden expression and an onlooker would be unlikely to notice the anguish beneath. Condemned to loneliness, his once commanding presence had been significantly diminished, although he still conjured up illusions of grandeur. His imposing presence made others uneasy and so they sought comfort elsewhere, leaving him on his own once more. People thought that he was too conceited to be bothered by their trivial needs when deep down he was longing for someone to break the silence. He dreamed of the moment when, once again, he would come into contact with a person. So long had it been since he last felt a beating heart next to him that he had almost forgotten how it felt. For all his polished demeanour he needed a release from the monotony of his seclusion. His once distant behaviour left him isolated and now he was desperate to shake off his aloof image and feel a human touch.

From the other side of the door slow footsteps woke him from his reverie and alerted him to an unfamiliar presence. A key scratched in the lock and he waited expectant and motionless as the door creaked open. She opened the door tentatively at first and then more firmly. Once it was open she stood for a moment framed in the doorway, her long skirts rippling in the gentle draught. Breathlessly he waited. She turned her head to face him and he watched her, scarcely daring to hope. Slowly she entered the room and she seemed to glide over the intricately inlaid floors, her skirts billowing as she came. Ever so slowly she approached, with each footfall seemingly taking an eternity. She gazed directly down at him and lazily extended a long, white arm. Her fingers made as if to caress him but instead travelled to the book that lay on his lap. She picked up the heavy tome by its spine and gently blew the dust from its covers. She opened the book and examined the first few pages before turning away. She gracefully retreated, each step sounding evenly on the cold, marble floor. She made her way across the room towards the door and once there she stopped and turned. She surveyed the scene, taking in every detail. For a fleeting second he was sure that her gaze alighted upon him and that a faint smile crossed her lips. With that she was gone, the door shut and he heard the dreaded sound of a key being turned in the lock. He could just make out the sound of her receding footsteps.

Alone he sat in his resplendent magnificence replaying, with dismay, the scene that had just happened, regret coursing through his elaborate self. Sluggishly and tediously, with nothing ahead to break the endless monotony he forced himself to face the realization that while he may have looked splendid his illustrious and lofty status would never return. He knew he would never again be able to gaze around a room surveying others contemptuously. Something inside him would always ground him if he ever again became the pompous creature he had once been, lording over others, his refined features carefully carved and etched so as not to betray his emotions. His overbearing demeanour had led to this insufferable nightmare of silence and he knew that if he ever managed to lift the curse he would never, could never go back to his old pretentious ways. He had left behind him ostentation and grandiosity and was ready to embrace a new life but he knew that he could only have so many second chances. Deep down he understood that he may never have the opportunity to redeem himself for few are keen to concern themselves with the dilemma faced by an antique chair.