I slipped into you like a pair of winter shoes I couldn’t afford and should never have bought. I tried you on and looked down at my feet and smiled. You were sturdy and comfortable and you made me feel strong and cool. But it was summer then, and I didn’t need a new pair of new winter shoes; I wasn’t sure you’d be worth the cost.
I wasn’t sure if taking you home would be a wonderful investment or a terrible regret. Would I ever wear you? Would I still like you when the weather got colder? Did you match anything I owned? You didn’t. But I let myself forget this and tentatively walked in you around the store.
I tried you on. I imagined my life with you in it. And then I quickly made the purchase, but cautiously threw away the slip.
I slipped into you like a pair of shoes that I thought had been crafted especially for me.
I slipped into you like a pair of shoes that could protect me from the elements and give me strength.
I slipped into you like a pair of shoes I soon couldn’t bear to walk around without.
I slipped into you.
The months passed. You kept my feet dry in the rain; you kept them warm in the cold. My wardrobe was shaped around you now. You became an inseparable part of me. I was that girl with the worn brown shoes. My identity became linked to who I was in relation to you. I didn’t like this.
The weather got warm again.
And I threw you away, I wanted a pair of new shoes.
You see, I’d walked passed another shop and there was a pair in the window that had caught my eye. They were different to you, and I wanted to experience life in a different way. I thought they would help me do this.
You were worn and scuffed in places, but you were also soft and familiar. You matched all my outfits, you made sense in my life. Your brown leather had been molded and stretched into the shape of my feet even when I wasn’t in you. I recognized the effect I’d had on you. I could see it, other people noticed too, it was measurable: you had taken on a different shape. Part of you was my shape.
And I wanted to be molded too. I wanted to take a different shape too. I wanted a pair of new shoes.
I cast you aside; I threw you out. I didn’t think I’d need you again. I was impulsive. It was erratic. I rushed to buy that pair of new shoes. They hurt my feet, but that’s what I thought I wanted. They gave me blisters, but that’s what I thought I needed. They quickly broke, and I chucked them to the back of the cupboard without much consideration or regret.
But now more time has passed. I’m barefoot now. My feet have become calloused in places. I’ve chipped my nails, my feet are dirty, and my skin is raw. My feet are stronger now.
And now I sit here alone, my naked feet resting on a chair.
I’m thinking about you, but you’re gone.
Maybe someone else found you, and it’s her chance to wear you now.
I wonder if she thinks about the scuffed places. I wonder if she wonders how you came to be broken in. I wonder if you’ll take her shape.
I wonder if I tried you on now, would you still fit?