Mitch picked at the worn hole on the side of his generic Walmart tennis shoes. He’d had them for six months now, but as they were the only pair of shoes he owned, and they were cheap quality, they were quickly falling apart. And now when he felt nervous he would pick relentlessly at the hole, in hopes that they’d wear down even faster. He hated these shoes. They were a symbol of his inadequacies, his inability to fit in with the other kids, a blaring siren of all the things he couldn’t have. What he wanted, more than anything else, was a pair of Nike Kids 6.0 Mogan 2 Jrs. in the dark grey/wolf grey/high yellow combination. They were the best skater shoes ever.
If Mitch had those shoes, he knew he could finally do a half-pipe without wiping out, he just knew it. His feet would breathe as one with his board, his body would follow, and he’d no doubt impress Suzy Campion with his wicked skills. He’d been after the half-pipe for months now, even waking up in the wee hours of the morning to sneak off to the park and practice before the other kids were even awake. In the dark hours of 5 am he was cloaked in shadows and anonymity as he practiced, over and over. His body was constantly bruised and tender, and he often had scrapes on his arms and legs, but he wasn’t about to give up.
During school, it was torture to spend long hours listening to teachers droning on and on about irrelevant subjects, when he should’ve been out practicing. He didn’t care about math or about science. These things didn’t matter. What mattered was the board. So Mitch didn’t feel too bad one day when he found his legs propelling him across school grounds in the middle of the day instead of to his history class. He hopped the bus and rode across town to the mall, and no one said a word to him about why he wasn’t in school. Even when his heart was screaming the further he rode, he didn’t turn around. Thoughts of consequences whispered in his mind, “What if you get caught?” which he obstinately ignored.
At the Roseland Mall Mitch jumped off the bus and headed through the doors, slightly giddy as he jumped and tried to touch the tops of the doors with his fingers. Drat. Missed. One of these days he’d be tall enough to hit every time. Riding on the escalator, he observed the weak crowds of mid-day Wednesday – the mothers pushing whiny toddlers about and the elderly couples mindlessly walking in circles like old racehorses on a walker. On the second floor, Mitch headed down the familiar hallway until he saw the welcoming, beaming blue and white sign. Finish Line. He didn’t see any of the rows of athletic shoes that beckoned. He had tunnel vision. He only had eyes for the Nikes – their soft black and grey and yellow tones pulling him, calling him in. Mitch picked one up, rotated it with admiration, and breathed in the sharp scent of new rubber. He had to have them. He was already breaking the law by ditching school. What would happen? What would happen if he put them on and just walked?
“Can I help you?” spoke a deep voice poking through Mitch’s reverie from over his left shoulder. Mitch put down the Nike with great reluctance, and slowly turned around to stare up at the tallest man he had ever seen.
This week's Red Dress Club prompt -One of my favorite parts of summer is THE SHOES. So for your prompt this week I'd like you to write about your character (or yourself) and a pair of his or her shoes.
Those shoes can be real or symbolic, they can hurt or be super comfy but I want to see what they say about the life of the person wearing them. It's a chance to use all those descriptive words I love reading.