Author – Cam
My friend asked me to hang out this afternoon after we bought our new shoes. I said yes, of course, and he suggested we go for a walk along some of the waterside parks. People there are very far apart usually so it is easy to socially distance.
Because of his earlier jokes about stealing my shoe more often because he thinks I look good in one, I decided to wear my new shoes. We’ve been friends for a long time and I really doubted he would steal one of my brand new shoes the very day I got them. Old worn shoes, maybe, but probably not new. I was very excited, though, it felt so good wearing two shoes and I loved the look of my new Vans.
He got out of his car wearing his new Nike SB’s and looking very happy in them. We walked around the water and down some of the emptier piers, chatting, mostly about our new shoes.
“It’s nice to have a matching pair again,” he said.
“I’m just happy to have something on my right foot other than a sock,” I admitted with a bit of a fake glare at him.
He laughed. “I’m sorry about that, I won’t do it again. Thanks for being a good sport about it.”
“I know you said I look good in one, but please don’t make me do that again just yet,” I half-fake pleaded. It really wasn’t that big of a deal, just a bit embarrassing.
He chuckled. “If I PROMISE not to throw it, can I see one of your new ones?” he asked.
He seemed genuine, but I didn’t quite trust him all the way yet. “Only if I can see one of yours,” I bargained.
“Deal,” he said, shaking my hand excitedly.
I bent down to untie my left shoe and he did the same. He always double-knots now, since his loose DC flew off, so I finished first and slid my foot out of my shoe. He stopped unlacing his for a moment to stand up and take a look at mine.
“I love these, I would’ve gotten a pair for myself if I’d had the money,” he said, admiring it. “Here, check out my SB! They’re a lot like yours except—”
What happened next was like slow motion. My friend was so excited for me to see his new shoes. He set my shoe down on the railing we were standing next to, but he wasn’t paying attention and immediately bent down again to finish unlacing. I watched in horror as I realized my shoe wasn’t centered on the wooden railing, and my heart sank as my new shoe balanced on the edge for a few seconds before giving way and falling at least 15 feet into the water below.
My friend must not have heard it because he casually slid off his SB and handed it to me. I decided to get him back, so I slid his shoe onto my now shoeless foot and said, “Let’s trade for a bit; I know you like to mix-match.”
He nodded excitedly, “Sure!” He reached to grab mine off the railing and then immediately frowned. I saw the panic on his face. “What—?” I just shrugged and he looked down, seeing it floating on the water far below us. He was almost in tears. “I didn’t…”
I shrugged. “It’s not a big deal. I have my other pair still, and I’ll just borrow yours until we get back to the car,” I said mischievously.
His eyes got wide, but he nodded nervously.
“Don’t be embarrassed,” I said. “Besides, you look better in one shoe,” I teased. It was the phrase he’d told me earlier when he jokingly threated to steal my shoe more often.
He blushed beet red, but he didn’t argue. We finished our walk and he never asked for his shoe back. Sometimes he would tip toe a bit, but usually he just kept walking like normal, only trying to hide it when other people passed by us, tucking his shoeless foot behind his leg.
Finally we reached our cars and I slid off his shoe, wiggling my toes in the breeze. The cool air felt good on my warm socked foot, but he was clearly eager to put his cold socked foot back into the safe protection of its shoe.
“I’m sorry I lost your shoe,” he said sincerely. “I really didn’t mean to.”
“It’s okay,” I told him honestly. “Accidents happen.”
“I promise next time next time you lose a shoe it will be intentional,” he teased with a devious smile.
“What does that mean…?” I asked nervously.
“You’ll see,” he said laughing.
I’m not sure if he was just joking or not. I’m bummed I lost one of my new Vans, but they were on sale anyway and I still have my trusty SBs, and so does my friend. It’s a relief we’re both back to two shoes for now, although his plotting makes me nervous that it won’t stay that way for long…