A Pink Room

A Pink Room

A Story by Randa

A young girl thinking about her father who is hospitalized due to a fire.


I am standing in the midst of flashing lights and rain. I hear no sirens, just lights. I feel numb. I’m not quite sure if it’s from the chill of the rain or from the events that lead to this moment. It was just last week when my dad was helping me paint my bedroom blue. It was the first time my room was not pink. After we painted the room, Dad commented there was something not quite right. He paced the room being daddy’s little girl (though I was fifteen); I followed. I looked up and down the walls, at the base boards, the ceiling. I thought we did a good job painting, but I knew dad used to be a painter (an artist and house painter).

                Finally, I say, “Dad, I don’t see a thing wrong with this room.”

                He smiles at me and walks out of the room. Puzzled, I wonder what the heck. He just walked out without explaining what’s wrong with my new room. I fold my arms and scowl trying to figure it out. I look up and down the walls again. I must be missing something. What? I hear someone clear their throat. Dad has his head poked halfway through the doorway.

                “Still can’t figure it out huh?” Dad says smiling. His eyes twinkle like a child’s on Christmas day. “I think I know what’s missing.” He walks in and pulls a quart of paint out from behind his back. “I think we should use this in here.” He hands me a clean paintbrush and opens the paint with a flat head screwdriver. I can see the color of the paint when he opens it—pink. “I didn’t feel right not having pink in here. I don’t think you are either. My little girl has always had a pink room.” He said as he winked at me.

                I was speechless (something that rarely happens). I just stood there for a few moments trying to figure out how he knew I was upset about my decision to have a blue room. I threw such a fit about making sure the paint was blue that I knew I couldn’t tell Dad I had changed my mind and wanted a soft shade of pink. Besides, an all pink room was for little girls--something I am not. I am a teenager. I am almost an adult and I should act like one. Grown-ups don’t have pink bedrooms.

                Dad looked up at me when he finished mixing the paint. “Are you going to finish the room?”

                “Yeah, I just need to figure out where I want to put the pink.”

                “Well, I would love to help you but I am on call at six. Let me know if you need anything. I’ll check on you after I shower to see what you decide,” He used his left arm to hoist himself up and winked. “Make sure you get the fan up here. The air isn’t circulating anymore since the breeze stopped.” He left the room. A few minutes later when I decided to paint the base boards pink, I heard the shower running.

                I’m not sure how much time had passed when my dad came upstairs with the fan and to check up on me. I was painting the corner baseboards by the closet when he came in.

Dad stood in the doorway chuckling. “I didn’t think you would paint the baseboards.”

I thought I was going to have to paint the boards white again. My heart was slowly sinking at the thought of painting them white also if those are white where do I put the pink? “Do I have to paint them white?”

                Dad let out a huge laugh, “Of course not. This is your room. You can paint it purple with pink polka dots if you want. If that’s where you want pink. . . . then that’s where it will be. Where did you start painting?”

“Over by the door, and I worked my way around to here,” pointing to where I am sitting.

“Okay. I am going to plug this in the window above you facing out so it will suction the air out. It will also push a breeze into the other windows. I want you to plug it in, so I don’t get paint on my uniform. K?”

“Alrighty, dad.”

Dad came and checked up on me periodically that evening. I finished painting at ten o’clock at night. Shortly after I cleaned everything up, Dad came home again to check on my progress.

“Looks pretty good, kiddo. Did you get everything washed out and soaking?”

I nodded, “Yelp, but I threw the black paintbrush away because when I cleaned it out the bristles were falling out.”

“Ok, we will get your stuff moved in the mornin’.” My dad’s belt started beeping. “Those are our tones, gotta go.” Dad started dashing out the door. He called behind him, “Don’t stay up too late.” He was gone.

                That was only seven days ago. Now as I am surrounded by fire engines, police officers, fire fighters and other EMS personnel, I think my Dad was completely insane. Why in the hell would a grown man voluntarily run into a burning building? He has—I sigh as a single tear inches its way down my face. He HAS three children and a wife. Why would he do that?

                A little boy walked up to me wrapped in bandages. “Excuse me, is he your daddy?” pointing to the picture of my dad sitting on an easel in front of the fire department bay doors.

                I can only nod. I clear my throat, “How did you get hurt sweetie?”

He looked at his bandages for a few moments. “Fire,” he said as if he were still in that moment.               

“The fire last week?”

He nods, “Yeah.” He looks out towards the street for a few minutes.

“How old are you ten?”

“Nine, next week.” Another long pause. “Well, I wanted to come say ‘Thanks’.”

“Thanks? For what?”

“Your dad was the one who save me and my baby sister, Natalie,” pointing to a mother holding a baby girl about 3 or 4 months old. “I hope your daddy will be okay. Mommy says the angels will take of him because he took care of everyone else. She also says the angels are watching my daddy too.  Our daddys were together right? Do you believe in angels?”

“Yeah, my dad was trying to help your daddy get out of the house.” I was having problems keeping myself from crying. I didn’t want anyone to see me cry. Just breathe. I really hate this kid’s dad. If it wasn’t for him, Dad would’ve made it out of the house before the roof collapsed. Stupid kid’s dad. Why did Dad wait so long? Now, YOU know why he waited. H e was determined to save that dad. I look beside me, the kid is still there. He is staring at dad’s officer portrait. I look at all the bandages this kid has. His right arm up to halfway up his biceps are wrapped, he has gauze on his neck and looks like down his chest too. He had a few burns on his other arm but those are dark pink and red. This kid is alive because of my dad. I join him in staring at the picture until one of my dad’s crew members comes over.

“Hey, why don’t you come in here and get dry. The last thing you need is to get sick,” Renea said as she was leading me into the fire department. “You should change your clothes. I’ll go get you some clothes. Have a seat in the lounge and I’ll be right back.” Renea disappeared through the swinging door. She comes back a few minutes later with some clothes.

“Your mom just called, your dad woke up. He is asking for you and your brothers. Grandma still have them?”

I stare at her a few seconds before nodding. “Well, go get changed and we will find out if grandma wants to take you guys or if she is okay with you guys coming with us,” Renea said with her voice cracking. I didn’t realize it until later that Renea gave me my dad’s clothes. 

© 2009 Randa

Author's Note

This is an older piece. I know it needs more scene background. Input would be greatly appreciated.

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Added on August 5, 2009



Ansonia, OH

I am a student at Indiana University East. I am currently studying English with a minor in Creative Writing. I enjoy writing but there are moments where my writing scares me, because it is the only pl.. more..

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