If it’s Friday, it must be time for Red Writing Hood! This week, the lovely Kir chose our prompt. She’s what you’d call a shoe enthusiast (*cough* understatement *cough*) so it was no surprise to me that she asked us to write a story involving them. Concrit is always welcome.
She didn’t have her dream job – in fact, she had no idea how to chase her dreams or even which ones deserved chasing.
She didn’t have a boyfriend. She’d been on a small handful of dates in her 25 years.
She didn’t have a driver’s license or a fabulous apartment or self-confidence.
What she did have were shoes. Over 50 pairs of shoes.
Lined up in two rows along the bedroom wall. The first thing she saw when she entered. The one thing friends were sure to comment on when they stopped by.
There were black peep-toe T-straps with a tapered heel – her favorite pair. Pink pumps with brown trim. Baby blue tweed with a 4-inch heel. Mint green with rhinstones. Sky-high stilettos with long, delicate straps that criss-crossed up her calves – one pair in silver, one in gold.
On and on. In every color of the rainbow but purple. Some were suitable for work, but for the most part they sat unused until Friday and Saturday night. That was their time to shine.
After much deliberation the perfect pair would be chosen. She would carefully teeter down two flights of stairs from her apartment to the throbbing energy of the street below. Sometimes there’d be a whistle or a “Look at those shoes!”. She’d strut past, struggling to affect an air of self-assuredness while praying for an empty cab to appear before she stumbled and broke the spell. And possibly an ankle.
Those shoes were her power. Her something special in a life chock-full of nothing fancy. They transformed her from a plain, quiet, lonely girl to a girl full of life and energy and maybe even a bit of mystery. The girl she wanted to be but had no idea how to conjure for more than one brief evening at a time.
Like Cinderella and her glass slippers.
Over the years, “she” became “me”. And with that change came a shift in attitude, a sense of self-worth and a lessened dependence on those shoes. I still own most of them, only now they live in bins which are stacked somewhere in the attic. Each pair has a story and a special place in my heart. I can’t seem to part with them even though I no longer have an excuse to wear them. When watering one’s garden, gold stilettos with straps going up one’s legs are hardly apropos.
But that’s okay. I no longer need to wear them, either.