The Red Door | Teen Ink

The Red Door

November 1, 2014
By MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener


I remember the day he brought it home, that crazy red door he found on the side of the road. It was in perfect condition, shiny red paint and a small stain-glass window. But for some reason it was left on the lawn with a “free” sign attached.

Carl was ecstatic, “Look what I found, Louise! This is a sign from heaven, we're supposed to buy that farmland and build a house.”

I laughed and continued stirring the eggs, “How in the world does that door mean you're supposed to build a house? And what are we going to do with a bright red door?”

“Put it in our new house, it will be front and center. We'll have a white house with black trim and this beautiful red door. Can't you see it, Louise?” Carl grabbed my hand and spun me around. “We'll fill the house with kids and build a barn for a cow and pony. What shall we call our farm?”

“You can call it Redneck Farm and get all our furniture off the street,” I leaned in for a kiss.

“How about just Red Farm? I'm going to get the loan today. You'll see, Louise, we're going to be the happiest people on earth.”

“I already am,” I smiled and turned back to the eggs. Life was an adventure then, everything was uncertain and exciting.

Over the next five years, Carl built a beautiful home. It had five bedrooms and a big kitchen that had a direct view to the front door. The red door. Everyday, Carl would come in through that door after working the land. At first I was the only one to greet him, but more and more came.

First a baby girl grew up and ran to his waiting arms. Then came two boys, begging him to play catch before the sun set. One more girl, she always waited by the window so she could hug him first. And I was always there, waiting for the kids to scatter so I could get my hug.

“How's the door looking today?” He would ask.

“Much better now that you're here.”

By the time our last baby was born, Carl had built a huge red barn to go with the red door, as he always said. “We need something to match the door, otherwise it doesn't really belong.”

We had a cow, a horse, two goats, and a couple chickens. Carl was always optimistic, even when the money was tight. “Don't worry, Louise. Just remember what we started with, only a red door to our name. Whatever happens, we're going to be okay.”

The kids grew up and left, one by one. But Carl was always there, coming through the red door day after day. And then there was that day.

Dinner was getting cold and Carl hadn't been late in years. I paced in the foyer by the front door, wondering if I should go look for him. I went to get my coat, but stopped when I heard knocking. I opened the door, Carl's precious red door, and collapsed.

Four policemen were standing there, and behind them was Carl. But there was no smile this time, no gentle hug or quiet words. Carl's shirt was no longer blue, it matched the door now. One of the officers stepped forward, but I never heard what he said. Carl was dead. I was dead.

I didn't leave the house for weeks after the funeral. Partially because I didn't want to see anyone, but mostly because I couldn't bear the sight of that door. Finally, my sons came home and put on a black door. They left the red door in the red barn, and I wouldn't go in there for years.

A decade passed, and I only occasionally thought about the red door. I tried to think about Carl, but it hurt too much. Over the years, we slowly lost everything Carl had worked for. The animals went first, then the land, and finally the house.

A week before the foreclosure, a huge storm came up and knocked the barn flat. I walked out to assess the damage. Everything was destroyed, except for one thing. A sunbeam shone down on the red door, making a rainbow from the stain-glass window.

I knelt in the grass and sobbed. I could almost hear Carl saying, “Remember what we started with, Louise? Nothing but that red door. If we lose everything, we're going to be okay. Just hang in there.”

“But there is no 'we' anymore!” I shouted to the heavens. “I'm not okay, not without you.” I walked over the debris, staring at the door. Then, I looked up into the sunshine and whispered, “I'm coming, Carl.”

I pulled the gun out of my pocket. I didn't think about my children, or Carl's limp body, or the people that would find me. I thought about Carl's face when he first brought the red door. And I pulled the trigger.


The author's comments:

I didn't mean for this to be a depressing piece, but once I started, the story wrote itself.


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This article has 32 comments.


MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Feb. 19 2015 at 1:06 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

Thank you for the comment, I'll be sure to keep working on it.

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Feb. 19 2015 at 1:05 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

Thank you! I love Anne of Green Gables and am honored to be likened to it. Sorry I killed her on you. :(

Beila BRONZE said...
on Feb. 19 2015 at 8:28 am
Beila BRONZE, Palo Alto, California
3 articles 0 photos 519 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." -Mark Twain

Wow. Interesting. I loved the slow progression, and the way you described Carl's death as his shirt matching the door really completed that "full circle" effect. Funny thing: your story reminded me of the way I felt when I read Matthew Cuthbert's death in Anne of Green Gables. I felt like Marilla's whole life was sucked away with him. You definitely drew me in and made me connect with Louise. It was a shock and very sad to lose her at the end.

on Feb. 19 2015 at 6:01 am
Allen. PLATINUM, Palo Alto, California
32 articles 9 photos 525 comments

Favorite Quote:
[i]No matter how much people try to put you down or make you think other things about yourself, the only person you can trust about who you really are is you[/i] -Crusher-P

I think that there were a few grammatical errors and possibly some plot bits that could have been better, but all in all, I know this was very well written and perhaps simply not my cup of tea.

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Jan. 28 2015 at 9:12 am
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

Thanks you!

on Jan. 28 2015 at 6:32 am
Chrissiana1320 BRONZE, Hypoluxo, Florida
3 articles 0 photos 48 comments

Favorite Quote:
"It isn't what you can do with your strength, but how you chose to use."


















-By me, I think.

I love it. Keep it up!

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Jan. 27 2015 at 10:25 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

Thank you so much! That means a lot to me. :)

on Jan. 26 2015 at 7:47 pm
Jtatsu PLATINUM, East Brunswick, New Jersey
26 articles 0 photos 77 comments
This. Was. Amazing!!!You have awesome writing talent, and I have no complaints.

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Jan. 23 2015 at 12:11 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

Thank you, I will definitely take those criticisms into consideration.

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Jan. 23 2015 at 12:10 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

Thank you so much!!!

on Jan. 22 2015 at 8:58 pm
SpidersAcrossStars PLATINUM, Hayward, California
38 articles 0 photos 160 comments

Favorite Quote:
For you, a thousand times over.

3.8/5 woah. was not expecting that. I liked the subtle ambiguity that you brought the story. it left some stuff up to the reader. i might have been slightly more descriptive in some areas and the ending felt a little rushed. but overall i liked it :))

on Jan. 22 2015 at 12:21 pm
MysticMusic ELITE, Waterloo, Other
116 articles 0 photos 120 comments

Favorite Quote:
“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” -Mae West
"It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things." - Leonardo Da Vinci

Amazing, realistic, and really touching. Beautiful and melancholy tragedy. I loved it.

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Dec. 28 2014 at 10:37 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

I'm glad you like it!

on Dec. 27 2014 at 4:43 pm
Ariel_Fluffyy SILVER, Los Angeles, California
7 articles 0 photos 54 comments

Favorite Quote:
"You May Encounter Many Defeats But You Must Not Be Defeated" By- Dr. Maya Angelou

i love this piece

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Dec. 22 2014 at 3:24 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

The door symbolizes their love, especially Carl's love for Louise.

Gagax SILVER said...
on Dec. 22 2014 at 6:40 am
Gagax SILVER, Sugarland, Texas
5 articles 1 photo 46 comments
Really good! What does the door symbolize?

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Dec. 11 2014 at 9:18 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

Thank you! It's people like you that keep me writing. Whenever I get depressed and feel like it's not good enough, I just look back at comments like yours. Thanks so much for the encouragement!

on Dec. 11 2014 at 6:23 pm
Olivia-Atlet ELITE, Dardenne Prairie, Missouri
324 articles 10 photos 1166 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To these the past hath its phantoms,
More real than solid earth;
And to these death does not mean decay,
But only another birth"
- Isabella Banks

Wow... That was something I really felt, right in here *puts to heart full of fangirlness* This was amazing, and it really portrays the way things can pan out after a tragic death. You did really well describing the red door, and how trhe sotry kind of surrounds it. I wasn't expeciting the ending, but it was really great. PLEASE Keep writing, you are simply a prodigy, my friend :)

MalaikaJ GOLD said...
on Dec. 11 2014 at 2:20 pm
MalaikaJ GOLD, Cloquet, Minnesota
19 articles 2 photos 127 comments

Favorite Quote:
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. - James Michener

Thank you so much! I love it when my stories decide their own fate, it makes it more exciting.

on Dec. 10 2014 at 9:52 am
WritinGirl PLATINUM, DeKalb, Illinois
20 articles 0 photos 78 comments

Favorite Quote:
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ~Maya Angelou

That was so sad yet beautiful! I especially loved how you had the times passing by just highlighting things like children, then how they left, etc. You are a great writer, and isn't it funny how these things have a mind of their own? Several times I have started something, intending for it to go one way, and by the end it's completely different. Anyways, great job--keep it up!


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