When the boy moved to Dublin with his uncle who'd found work in a Guiness brewery, the chair went with them. By then the boy was too big to sit on the chair at all and used it only for propping his foot to tie his shoes.
The chair was given to a neighbor with a young girl named Sorcha, and eventually found itself in the States, Ohio to be exact, where it sat in a well-used, living room corner. The chair was finally loved, shiny from use, its cross bars cracked but not broken.
The girl laid on her back, the chair's four legs balanced across her thighs and shins. Her brother, Sam, said, "If I sat on that right now, I'd break your bones."
"No, you wouldn't," Sorcha said in her Irish brogue. Undetectable to her and her brother, of course, but as obvious as a crate of apples dropped on your toe if you were American. "Your weight would be spead out. I could take it."
"Okay, then." He came toward her.
"Stop!" she shouted.
Their mother whimpered from her room, lost inside her migraine. Often, she moved around the house with a dish towel draped over her head to keep out the light. On her good days, she worked as a secretary at the city's sanitation department. On her bad days, which were plentiful, she mostly stayed in bed.
Sometimes Sorcha would prop a book against the chair's spindles and read with her chin on her wrists. Sometimes she used the chair as a table on which to balance her cereal and milk as she sat with her growing body hunched over the wooden seat.
"You're weird," Sam said.
But he also knew. He knew the story of the chair. At least as far back as Norway. And he knew how Sorcha thought often of the boy she'd met in Dublin, how she dreamed of him at night, how she loved him and the way he said, in Norwegian, "God love the dogs," when a pack of them had gotten into the trash. Or, "God love the street lights" or "God love the hot cocoa." It was always God love. It was always the Norwegian boy she thought of when she sat in the chair, touched the chair, used the chair to balance her cereal bowl.
It was all she had of him.