The Pink House #snapshotescapism
Updated: May 10
TAKE A RANDOM PHOTO AND MAKE UP A SHORT STORY.
THE PINK HOUSE
A FICTIONAL CREATION
BY CHAMBRAY BLUE
Brandon would be returning from Iraq in a week. This tour took him away from Dolly for a year, way too long. She couldn't wait to throw her arms around him and welcome him back. Her only problem was what to do with Gerrard.
Dolly had no intentions of getting mixed up with another relationship and every intent to wait for Brandon. But a year was a long time to wait.
Two months after Brandon had deployed, a friend of a friend insisted Dolly hook up with her cousin Gerrard. "He has a ton of money," she said. That sweetened the pot nicely. It felt right. And besides, she and Brandon had no ties. Just because she said she'd wait doesn't mean she could not change her mind. She hadn't gotten a letter from Brandon for four months after he had left.
"I'll meet you at our spot," Brandon wrote a month ago when he shared the good news that he'd be home. Dolly knew where. On the beach of Lake Michigan, where they'd said their goodbyes a year ago and etched with a knife on a bench, Brandon + Dolly = Forever. Dolly cried that day as Brandon held her, promising his safe return, Chicago peeking from the far waters with a wink.
The first week was the hardest. Dolly missed pizza and wine on a blanket in the sand every Saturday night with her love. Her phone didn't blow up with messages from him like before, and she watched movies alone. When she began dating Gerrard, that helped her loneliness.
Her plan was in place. She would give Gerrard the boot tonight during dinner.
"I have a surprise for you," Gerrard said, taking her hand in his. The candlelight flickered at the tiny table set with a red and white checkered tablecloth in the Italian restaurant where they ate spaghetti and meatballs. He handed her a key.
"A car?" Dolly teased.
"Better than that."
"A home on the Riviera," She giggled.
"Do you remember the pink Pepto Bismol House on Lake Michigan that you love so much?"
Dolly's eyes widened. "Yes!"
"It's yours. Well, ours after we get married but yours for now." Gerrard sat straight and proud in his chair.
"The House of Tomorrow brought over on a barge that was a part of the World's Fair?" Dolly screamed.
"Shhh... calm down now," Gerrard said. "People are looking."
"I, I don't know what to say."
One thing was for sure, and that was that there was no way she could turn down this offer. She smiled, "Thank you so much!"
One week later, Brandon waited, laid stretched out on a blanket in the sand for Dolly. Chilled wine, a dozen roses, and a pizza box laid beside him. He had already found their names on the bench, weathered but still visible. He glanced at his watch and noted Dolly to be ten minutes late. Funny, she knew the time and place. Angry waves seemed to speak, and though the sun showed off brilliantly still in the evening sky, Brandon felt an empty sick feeling in the pit of his stomach. He drank the wine and ate pizza alone.
Dolly felt like a queen or a princess living in the pink house. The morning sun saturated her existence as she lay on the expansive front deck, soaking it in and listening to the roaring of the waves. It was a dream come true until Gerrard entered into financial hardship, and he had to sell the pink house.
Brandon had met Sarah three weeks after returning from a year tour in Iraq. They met in church and instantly hit it off.
"I love that pink house," Sarah said as they drove past that beautiful spring day. Brandon smiled, "It's a beaut," he said.
Brandon and Sarah sat on a blanket, sharing pizza and drinking a glass of wine while looking out at the calm waters separating them from the city of Chicago.
"I got something for you," he smiled.
Sarah brushed her blonde tresses from her face as the warm breeze tossed them to and fro. She opened the box to find a key.
"A new car?" She teased.
"Guess again," says Brandon.
"A Time-Share in Hawaii?"
"How about The Pink House?" Brandon smiled, and they embraced one another.
Another happy ending...