Patrick crossed his arms, a jealous glare watching Molly frolic around the lawn, watching her pink dress dance around her feet, watching her long, blonde hair wave like a banner in the wind she created. He was seven, she was four, and she was his sister. His gaze slid down her dress over and over again, making sure he noticed all the beautiful glittering details the vision in pink held. Simultaneously, Molly was singing some stupid song she had learnt in kindergarten.
They were both blonde haired, blue eyed and of the same parents, yet he was not allowed. His father refused. But why? Why couldn’t he wear the same clothes his sister did? Why couldn’t he wear pink, the most magnificent colour in the world? Why did he have to wear navy, army prints and dinosaur t-skirts? Come on, why could girls wear blue, the supposed boy colour then?
It did not add up in his head. Was all this because he was a boy? Because he could go to the toilet standing up? (Which, by the way, was something he thought was awesome and something he hoped Molly envied him for…) Or was it all because his parents were mean? Truth be told, he had not seen any of the other boys in dresses and skirts, but he did feel different from them.
None of the other boys liked pink, his favourite colour. He loved pink. All of the boys loved football. He hated it, (never really could figure out why he should bother with chasing a ball around a grassy field), and alas, he was already weird to the others. Nobody wanted to be his friend. His eyes became watery just by thinking of this.
He stared at his sister again, one single salty drop running down his face, making a single wet track and a single round wet mark on his navy race car t-skirt. He had seen men in skirts. Not pink, the goddess of colours, but red or green, and these men were called Scots. As it seemed to him, they were macho wearing these skirts. This confused him. It made no sense. Did he have to become a man to wear nice clothes?
Molly continued to dance about, however, she had stopped singing, actually, she was spinning now, round and round and round (like a carousel!) and round, and… She fell over, giggling, not really worried about her lovely pink dress getting dirty. The sight upset him, made his inside rage about, his fists clenched tightly against the chains that held up the swing he was sitting on. How dare she?
Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, like a bolt of lightening, their Dad came out. The situation changed momentarily. Molly stopped giggling and looked up at Dad, her eyes big, blue and innocent. Patrick directed his now respectful gaze to Dad. Dad was a man of few words, but those he had, had better be followed! Dad’s grey-blue eyes darted about the garden like steel bullets, before he returned inside. Patrick realized he had been holding his breath, and let it out, relieved.
Dad hadn’t found anything. It would be a while until he came out again. Patrick closed his eyes, and a bright bell rang in his head. A forbidden bell: nasty thoughts… Dad was the reason he couldn’t wear pink. Dad was the reason, Dad was the reason. Mom would have let him, Mom was kind. Mom gave them what they wanted when Dad was away. She even had painted his fingernails once.
Patrick joyfully remembered the sight. They had been so pretty, shockingly pink, shockingly beautiful. They had glittered like diamonds in the sunlight, sparkled in the lovely pink, the prettiest colour. The memory brought a much welcome smile to his face. A warm and genuine one, like you might expect to find on a football fan’s face as the person is talking about the favourite team, or a music fan talking about the favourite band (or any other combination…) The boy was happy.
He watched his sister again, this time, the hatefulness had vanished from his face. It wasn’t her fault she was a girl, as it wasn’t his fault he was a boy. It wasn’t her fault that someone had decided that pink was a colour for girls, and girls only. Nevertheless, a plan was formed in his head, it was a “quiet before the storm” moment, before his head started plotting in the highest gear. In order to get the amazing pink dress, he needed to be a bad boy, an evil boy.
It wouldn’t be anything Molly had deserved, but it would get him what he wanted, what he needed, what he deserved.
His voice was low, and even thought he tried not to, his voice became threatening. Molly’s eyes widened to the point, it almost seemed to Patrick they were going to roll out of her face.. Molly got up, wearily, but hastily, almost tripping in her pink fabric wonder, but she got up.
A hunt, now was it? Patrick eagerly jumped off his swing, and chased after Molly. He, of course, seeing he was a boy of seven and she a girl of four wearing a dress, was the faster of them, and it did not take long until he had caught up with her. He was practically breathing down her neck, and he heard her breath become faster and more panicking. Her blonde hair waved behind her like a very much tangled banner, and, occasionally, she cast a quick glance behind her.
He didn’t mean for it to happen. It never should have happened. He stood, completely in awe, watching her as in one of her glances back she ran right into the brick wall of their house foundation. It wasn’t exactly what he had planned, but it would do. He walked slowly over to Molly’s lifeless body, all crouched down, on his toes. Now it was too late to regret…
He bent down, unbuttoned her dress and started to slide out of his own clothes. But something was wrong. He looked down at the pink dress, and got dressed again as he examined Molly further. The blood coming out of Molly’s head was oddly pink and not that fluid, and Patrick cried out in despair. “Dad! DAD! Come quick! DAAAAAAD!” He stood there, watching her, and he cried, for it was his fault. The dress was ruined. The pink had become maroon.
Dad came quickly as he had done the last time, as if he had been waiting for something to happen. When he saw Molly’s lifeless body, he yelled for Mom to call 911. Then it all happened so fast, in a world of blur. He heard words in the haze, an unfamiliar voice and the words “It’s too late.” And he knew, had known since he had seen Molly on the ground. He saw Dad walking slowly towards him, he remembered seeing the sky and that it all went black.
He was wearing the dress! He world was still blurry, but the dress was clean, pink and glittering again. He spun around and around and around. He was free. Free.
He was woken again, harshly tossed about by his Dad, and, looking into his fathers face, (the world was no longer blurred, Patrick saw every wrinkle of anger), he knew he had to tell the truth...