Her Bright Pink Shoes by Valerie Parente
He kept his hood on and hands lodged in the cotton confines of his pockets while maintaining a catatonic stare on the young woman’s feet. Her bright pink shoes were glaringly vibrant against the damp asphalt of the parking lot.
Sick and tired of his optical deviation away from her emotive eyes and onto her pointed toes, the impassioned girl crouched to the pavement and forced herself into his vision. “You,” his good friend affirmed, and the boy didn’t look away, “You are constantly shuffling between pain and fear. When you’re depressed, you don’t care about yourself at all. And when you’re anxious, you care so damn much about your own well-being that you worry yourself sick.”
“Why are you telling me this?” he retaliated through clenched teeth, hoping the aggression in his tone would hide his true desperation for an answer.
“Because!” having captured his full attention she leaped up and stood tall at five feet, “At some point you are going to realize that there is more to you than pain and fear,” she declared, “And you know what? That’s going to confuse the crap outta you. Because you’re not gonna know what to do with yourself.”
And in a fraction of a second, her bright pink shoes scurried away and she was gone.
And he… he didn’t know what to do with himself.
– Valerie Parente (6-22-16)