The Room

October 17, 2011
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I have walked through this room many times before; I’ve seen the four beige walls and the oak hardwood floors for what seems like most of my life. Now, the bed is empty, the TV is off, and the lights have no more purpose to shine. I sat down on the cold chair next to the bed with crisp, white sheets. This chair is not unfamiliar with me; I have sat here many times before-watching the game on TV, listening to my dad tell stories about the “old days”, and eating some ice cream that I stole from the kitchen when I had a sweet tooth. There are countless memories that this one chair holds.

As I stare at the walls, I notice how much character this one room has. Photos, posters, and maps cover the walls, each having their own story, their own purpose. I decide to do something that I never got the chance to do before- I go onto the bed. I laid there and looked around, looking at memories that do not belong to me. I cannot help but to compare this room to my own. I also have posters and photos hung all around my room, just like my dad taught to me do. He always said “Capture every moment, have it for you to remember the times of your past, leave it for others to remember you, to know what the world was like through someone else’s eyes.” The bookcase that was near the TV isn’t there anymore because it is in my room now. That bookcase is filled to the brim with books ranging from classics to mysteries, fairytales to horror, and children’s books to dictionaries. “Reading is the most important thing a teacher could possibly teach you.” My dad would say “It’s the way we learn, the way we deal with problems, and the way we can gain enjoyment. Reading can show you someone else’s imagination while giving you wisdom to help you in your own life.” He valued books more than gold because books bring knowledge and without knowledge, humans would have never known how precious gold really is.

I never realized before how confined this bed is or how uncomfortable one would be lying in it all day. Just seeing the same things over and over again everyday all day, I don’t know if I could do that. Strength and patience is what you need the most when lying in a bed that much. I guess that’s why my dad liked to talk so much, because talking could bring up something new and different, talking wasn’t a beige wall or a TV with a baseball game on, talking could change in a second and was done by many different people. It was an escape; it was a way of getting out of this bed, opening the door, and going outside to smell the fresh air.

This bed felt strange to me now, like I wasn’t supposed to lying on it. I hopped off it and started to look at the walls. There were pictures of tanks, Gettysburg, giant castles, beautiful architecture, people smiling and laughing, colorful flowers, rivers and streams, African wildlife, and many more things. For the first time, I realized that a lot of what I thought was pictures were actually postcards. He used to say “Pictures are memories on paper” but I guess he would consider these postcards dreams on paper. I can guess that these postcards are places that he dreamed of going to but never got the chance.

My dad always told me “Follow your dreams and let nothing stop you. Make your goal in life something that makes you the happiest, even if hardships stop you along the way.” I never realized this but I don’t think he could live by the words he always repeated to me. My dad left me a legacy of following my dreams, reaching for the stars, and achieving the impossible, but his room taught me of a different one. The room teaches of a man who had dreams, hopes, and desires that could not be fulfilled; he passed down his knowledge like a book, he told stories that captured a memory and gave that memory to someone else like a picture, and he put his dreams on the walls for him to see every day. His life became a trap, and the only way to get out was to share it with other people.

After this realization, I couldn’t contain myself anymore. My mind went wild and my feet couldn’t hold my body up anymore. I fell onto the ground and sat on my legs, putting my elbows on my knees, my hands holding my head up as I started balling. My dad was trapped, wishing for a life he couldn’t have. He sat and watched the world go by as if it forgot about him. Did he expect me to pursue the dreams he couldn’t? Did he want someone else to live the life he couldn’t have? I got up on my knees and starting ripping the postcards and pictures from the wall, careful not to tear them. I stood up and frantically started ripping down more, as in nothing else in the world mattered. Tears were streaming down my eyes; pictures were being thrown everywhere, memories on the floor. I managed to get all of them off the wall, and I started to put them in messy piles when the door quietly squeaked opened and meek footsteps were walking into the room.
“Kyle, we have to go now” my mom said. I turned around with some postcards of the pyramids and a waterfall in my hands; she took a step back as she saw how bewildered I looked.
“I don’t want to go anymore. I can’t do it!” I retorted back at her.
“Honey, it’s for your father. You need to.” I saw water starting to form in her eyes. I didn’t like making her sad.
“They’re going to throw all of this stuff away. We need to keep it. We have to! Please!” I yelled back at her.
“We can come pick it up once we leave the church.” I dropped what was in my hands and got up and hugged my mom. Tears started rolling down her face and I knew then that it was time to go. I led her to the door, and together we walked away from the beige walls and the oak floors.





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