The Pink Table Story
One day I just remembered a story that was told by a college friend. I don’t know where the story originated and when I checked online, I couldn’t find a version in English and any detail as to how the story came to be. Here’s my version of the Pink Table story.
A couple has already been married for three years but they were not yet blessed with a child. It was still in the 1980s in the Philippines so scientific and medical methods were very limited. They have already gone to a number of churches and made donations to many charity organizations in the hope that they will gain the Lord’s favour but came no child. Before their fourth wedding anniversary, they went to a very old church in a far-off province and prayed. They promised that if they were given a baby, they will love their child unconditionally and give him/her everything he/she asks for.
Nine months later, the woman gave birth to a healthy baby boy the couple named Peter. The parents treated their only child like a prince but he remained unspoiled. At a very young age, he already proved to be intelligent and talented. He started schooling at the age of four and was awarded during the end of the year as best in arts and most active student. Peter’s parents were very happy with their boy’s accomplishments and asked him what he wanted as a reward. Peter said immediately that he wanted a pink table. The parents were confused but they did not ask their child regarding his choice of reward. Anyway, they did promise that they will give Peter everything he wanted.
The following school year, Peter was already in kindergarten and became more motivated in his school work. He used his pink table every day when he made his artworks and did his homework. In the Recognition Day at the end of the school year, he was awarded Top 3 in class and this made his parents very happy. Peter was asked what he wanted as a reward and he said he wanted a pink table. His parents thought that maybe he wanted a new one and discard the old one. But when the child was asked if the old pink table was to be given away, Peter said he will be keeping it.
Peter graduated in kindergarten as Top 2 in class and of course, his parents were very pleased. They wished for a child and intended to accept him whatever he may be and they got one who made them very proud. The parents asked Peter what he wanted as graduation gift and they were not anymore surprised when their child said he wanted a pink table. After receiving his latest gift, Peter has already filled his room with three pink tables.
From grades 1 to 5, Peter was consistently in top 5 of his class and won Quiz Bowls, arts competitions and writing contests. In his last year in grade school, he graduated with the highest honours. And every time his parents asked what he wanted as a reward for his accomplishments, the answer was the same – a pink table.
By the time he graduated from grade school, Peter already had four pink tables in his bedroom, five in the living room, two in the kitchen, three in the garden and six in the garage. Some of the tables were already old and worn but Peter would not part with them. His parents were still curious but they never asked why the pink tables. They just wanted to give their boy what he wished for.
Then came high school and Peter received more awards. When Peter won in competitions, his parents did not ask him anymore what he wanted as reward because they already had so many pink tables in their home. But every end of the school year, when Peter received the highest honours, they asked him what he wanted. They thought that graduating top 1 is so big an accomplishment so they did not deprive their son of his pink table as a once a year gift. As they expected, Peter answered pink table when asked so pink tables he got.
Peter graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Architecture and he got another pink table. He ranked 3rd in the licensure examinations and he got a pink table from his parents. At the age of 25, he wed a very beautiful and equally accomplished woman. His parents thought that at this point, their son would have already moved on from his pink table fetish and ask for a gift that he and his wife will need in their new home. How could he need a new pink table when he intended to move all his old ones in the new house, his parents thought. But when his parents asked what he wanted as wedding gift, the answer was the same – a pink table, and so it was given.
One day, a few days after Peter’s 28th birthday, he got into an accident coming home to his wife and newborn daughter. The road was slippery because it was raining and an incoming car was driven by a drunk driver. The wounded Peter was brought to the hospital and his parents and wife went there immediately after learning about the accident.
It looked like Peter was not going to make it. His wife said her “I love yous”. His parents especially his mom would not stop crying, urging their beloved son to hold on. Then his father asked the question that had been bugging him for the past 24 years. He asked Peter, “Why the pink table, son?”
Peter, having difficulty speaking, said, “I wanted..... pink tables.... (longer pause) I... wanted... pink... tables.... because....”
And Peter stopped speaking and breathing. His parents lost their son. His wife lost his husband. His newborn child lost her daddy. And they will never know why Peter asked for pink tables.