Amazing Kids! Magazine

Pink and Blue

By Ally Scheeser

 

I looked around the bus. A musty smell lingered, causing me to wrinkle my nose in disgust. I could see footprints in the dust that had fallen to the floor.

Paint peeled off the seats, trying to escape before the sun bleached it white. The ads on the wall hadn’t been replaced in years, causing them to sustain damage that couldn’t be repaired. One ad had the face of the model in the picture burned off by a cigarette while another ad had so much graffiti that it couldn’t even be read.

A sharp turn caused a beer bottle to roll out from under the seats and crack against the seat. I turned to the people, hoping to see kind, friendly faces smiling. All I saw in front of me were hostile expressions, so not much luck there. I turned to the side to see if the people sitting next to me were any better.

Utter confusion took hold of my brain as I stared at them. To my left sat a girl my age in a pink dress, complete with makeup and a tiara. To my right was a boy dressed as a pirate, a hook for a hand with a plastic sword in it. Next to him was his dad, in a blue Cars shirt, pretending to be hurt after his son whacked him with his sword. I whipped my head around to the girl, and she stared at me weirdly.

Behind her, her mom wore a pink low-cut shirt with all the Disney princesses on the front. She was applying more bright pink lipstick to her Barbie doll face.

I glanced at the boy and remembered all those Pirates of the Caribbean toy commercials with boys fighting like the pirates fought in the movies. On TV the actors would smile and play with their friends, adding sound effects to the guns and sword. The tiara girl reminded me of the girls in the Barbie commercials, doing the doll’s hair and clothes and shying away from having even one shark in the water of the Barbie Cruise ship. The girls would smile and giggle, being careful with the dolls as if they were frailer than their grandmas.

I looked down at my own clothes. I was wearing a blinding pink shirt with a picture of Disney’s Cinderella on it. The sleeves were ruffled, causing them to be itchy and uncomfortable. I had on jeans that had been fixed with flower and butterfly patches. I remember Nana asking me which patch I liked the most. I choose the butterfly that didn’t have sparkles or pink, and she just sighed and stitched my jeans back together.

She sounded almost disappointed, like she expected me to act just like my sisters who tried to sing with the highest voices and wanted everything to be pink. Looking at my feet, I saw sparkly pink sneakers that lit up purple when I walked. At night they were like a disco ball, and I would watch them shine on the floor looking almost like fireflies. I felt my hair and remembered the bow my mom had put in my hair this morning and how she wanted me to wear a purple bracelet but I flat-out refused.

The confusion in my brain morphed to a panic and a fear. People thought I was supposed to be pink. I was supposed to be like the girl to my left, wearing makeup and dresses and loving pink. I hated pink. I hated dresses. And most of all, I hated playing how I was supposed to with Barbies. My sisters would yell at me whenever I had them get in a fight or any sort of violence. But that was so much more fun than dressing them up and talking in a super girly voice.

I didn’t want to be like the girl next to me. I wanted to be like the boy sitting next to me. I loved the idea of pirates. I always helped my dad in the workshop, building everything you can imagine. Whenever we got hand-me-downs, I’d pick the guy clothes that had been accidentally thrown into the mix. I liked the Cars movie much more than I liked Sleeping Beauty. My favorite color was dark blue. And I would much rather fight like a pirate than like a princess.

A claustrophobic feeling took hold of me. People thought I ought to be pink. I pressed my back against my chair and gripped the seat with sweaty palms. I knew not to freak out in public; my parents would get mad at me. I simply sat with eyes shut tight and a heartbeat faster than a racecar.

In that moment of feeling suffocated, I decided.

In an utter panic, I made a choice that would change my life forever. I decided I would never be pink in a pink and blue world. I’d be every color of the rainbow.

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