The Wrong Shoes, a short story by Lee. Date added: 2007-07-07. Times viewed: 1243.
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- Intro: When Life is hard and your not happy, sometimes it takes a wake up call to get you into gear and change
- It started not that long ago in a two bedroom flat in south London. The sun was blazing and shining through the large dusty living room windows, brightening the normally dull and lifeless room. The morning routines had just begun, with the hard hitting news on breakfast tv in full swing, parents getting their children ready for school and adults rushing around trying not to be late for their trains to work.
It wasn't a day any different to any other it seemed. The monotonous same old routines with about as much excitement as watching paint dry.She woke up to the sound of the radio alarm going off. Slowly emerging from the comfort of her egyptian silk sheets she glanced at the time on the clock. 6.30 flashed in blazing red.
Getting out of bed today seemed to be even more of a chore than normal. Her head felt fuzzy, her legs ached and her stomach churned. Maybe it was the chinese takeaway she had eaten last night. She didn't take it seriously, no time for that, she had to get to work.
The shower was a welcome relief. With the warm water caressing every part of her body she imagined herself standing under a waterfall in a tropical rain forest, with the sun blazing down and the company of only the birds in the sky.
With that fantasy over she prized herself out of the shower and got ready for work. Already running late she began to get stressed. She had lost her right 2inch black high heeled shoe.She hadn't worn these shoes in months, but felt the need to wear them today. She frantically searched, looking in the cupboard, in the wardrobe, even in the shower. Finally she checked under the bed. There it was, camouflaged behind the dark wooden box that must have been there for months. It had so much dust on it the colour was almost grey.
She pulled out the box so she could reach the shoe. While adding the finishing touches to her outfit she stopped and looked at the box on the floor. Wondering, just for a second where it came from, she didn't recognise it. No time for that, she had to get to work.
Running through the flat gathering her bag, coat and a quick glass of orange juice on the way, she was finally ready to go. Where were her keys. Swearing out loud to no one but herself she racked her brain for the last place she had left them. Of course they weren't on the key rack that her friend had put up a month ago so she wouldn't lose them. That would make too much sense.
Ah yes. She remembered, they were under the coffee table. They had fallen off last night when she sat down to eat her chinese and put the plate on the table knocking them to the floor. There they stayed unnoticed, until now. Ready to go and ready for another shower with all the running around, she left for work.
The usual London bustle faced her as she hurried down the street toward the station. The same mother with her three wheel push chair and dressed in her tracksuit ran past her on the other side of the road, the old couple out walking their overweight elderly Yorkshire terrier hobbled past her arguing with each other as usual and the metro newspaper vendor thrust the paper into her hand as she approached the train station.
Rummaging in her bag she unearthed her oyster card and entered the station through the barriers passing the same old station guard with his round belly, moustache and grey hair sticking out of the sides of his hat.
Finally on the platform she unfolded the paper that was neatly tucked under her arm and began to read. The war was still going on Iraq, Blair was still resigning and house prices were still ridiculously high. She looked to her right as the sound of the train approaching whistled through her ears.As the train got closer the people on the overcrowded platform pushed forward. Tucking her paper back under her arm she prepared to board the train. She usually stood her ground very well keeping her spot at the front, standing in just the right place for the trains doors to stop in front of her. Today was going to be different.
The train roared closer and the crowd pushed harder. As the train pulled into the station she was pushed further forward, and as she was her ankle buckled and her right heel snapped leaving her tumbling backwards into the crowd behind her, the unfriendly crowd threw out tuts, comments and more pushing which pushed her forward again, but this time she was so far forward she was dangerously close to the edge of the platform, way passed the 'mind the gap' just about recognisable painted on the ground. There was a scream, a screech and then everything went black.
He had bought them for her as a 'congratulations for getting the job' present. Her first pair of black 2inch high heeled work shoes. She felt like a proper grown up for the first time in well, ever. She felt like she was on the top of the world looking down, with everything she wanted in the palm of her hand.
The first week at work was great. Even the waking up at 6.30 and the overcrowded train platforms didn't bother her. This was her first proper job, the sleepless nights at university trying to complete her 5000 word dissertation on "What is art?" paid off. She was finally proving so many cynics wrong that you can study for what seems like your whole life and get a job in the same subject. She was now running her own art gallery in the centre of London and was loving it.
She arranged endless exhibitions, and liaised with endless art dealers and enthusiasts. Coming home at ridiculously late hours and waking up at ridiculously early hours. She had what seemed to be the perfect life.
After 2 years things seemed to become "normal". She went to work in the same place, dealt with the same people, passed the same people on the street and slept with the same boyfriend whom she realised didn't actually care that much for her. He was around less and less and she called him less and less.
One day she was clearing out her wardrobe and came across a black box. She took it down off of the shelf and sat on her bed with the egyptian silk sheets. She remembered that the box used to have a lock on it . It had been broken a long time ago. Opening it the memories flooded back. This was her memories box. Full to the brim with photos of her and her boyfriend during the' honeymoon period' and best friends past and present. She chuckled and smiled to herself reminiscing about the situations taking place in the photos.
Placing the box under the bed she got back to clearing out her wardrobe.
The next day was pretty much the same as the previous day and the one before that. She grunted at the alarm, fantasied in the shower and rushed around her house trying not to be late for her train to work. As she put on her favourite 2inch black high heeled shoes and started rushing out of the door, she tripped on the rug in the hallway and her right ankle buckled breaking the heel of her shoe.
Great! Rushing into the kitchen she searched through her junk draw, throwing aside takeaway menus, match boxes, tea light candles and aha! prit stick. Not super glue but it would have to do. A quick DIY job and she was out of the door meaning to stop at the heelers to get the shoe fixed properly.
Months passed and she was still in the same routine growing more and more depressed with boredom. She wondered if this was it, was the rest of her life going to be like this watching the old couple walk their dog and the mother jog with her push chair, have the free paper thrust into her hand?She had realised a long time ago that she only got into the job she was in because it was safe. Really she wanted to be an artist, have people buying her paintings, but no, there wasn't enough money in it. Not secure enough. The only difference in her life that she could think of was that she had bought a new pair of shoes. Small heeled and much more sensible.
She could hear muffled voices and a faint beeping sound. She couldn't feel her body, she had a weird aching feeling in her head. The voices seemed to get louder. Slowly she opened her eyes. Everything was a little blurry and she couldn't make out who the voices belonged to. There was a bright light above the figures which didn't help.
Slowly she began to focus and the voices became clearer. She wasn't sure but she was sure she heard something about an accident, she was in it. She was lucky, she had been in a coma for 3 months and everything was touch and go. And she wasn't sure but, yes a baby. She was pregnant!
She coughed and the figures rushed to her lifting her slightly and adjusting pillows. A glass of cold water was held to her lips and she began to drink. Her throat was so dry and she could hardly open her mouth. She slowly began to feel better and was sitting up in bed. She was in a hospital ward surrounded by beds and an array of sick people. A doctor had been to see her and explained everything. The train had knocked her in the head and she had hit the floor and was lucky she was still alive. The baby? Things were touch and go for awhile but the baby was fine.
Relief overwhelmed her and she began to cry hysterically. The tears just kept on coming. She looked down at her round rather large belly and stopped instantly. She ran her hands around the mound fixated with what was inside. Then the mound moved. The baby had kicked.
No more monotony, no more same routine, everything had changed. She had been given a second chance at life, and had also been given the responsibility of another life. No more wearing the wrong shoes.
She is every woman, or man out there who is in the same old routine, whether its a job or relationship. Don't feel you can't change your life, don't be afraid of change, don't wear the wrong shoes.
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