The New Shoe
My new shoe squeaks on the wet pavement, sending shocks of pain up my leg as I trudge towards the house. The stiff canvas that envelops my feet and grates on my skin forces my mouth to curve into a grimace. A weak drizzle wets my hair and leaves a film of water resting on my cheek.
I had to get new shoes. The old ones had become soft, comfortable. Slipping them on, one would hardly notice the stains, the ripping seams. But the new shoe was pristine, newer, better, yet to bear drops of spilled paints or be discoloured by puddles of water. The change was a good one, I remind myself as my foot smarts.
I make my way to the entrance of the house, fishing for my set of keys in the deep crevices of my new bag. Eventually my hand touches cold metal, a keychain carried over from one set of keys to the next, familiar in my hand.
I fumble at the door, attempting to unlock it. Once the fickle lock gives, I can push open the door and peek into the room. Boxes still rest on the sparse furniture, leaving a large wooden table groaning under cluttered cardboard. The spacious room leads to stairs, which in turn lead to other, emptier rooms, then to more stairs, then to more rooms, even emptier than the last. A veritable maze of emptiness.
This room holds the most furniture, the majority of the boxes, and the few odd items not packed away. Most of the other rooms each contain a handful of unopened boxes, which seem to be swallowed up by the austere walls that hold them.
Some rooms are completely empty, pockets of air surrounded by concrete walls, brightened by strategically placed windows. I wonder sometimes, if the light regrets being trapped in an empty room by a perpetually closed door. If the light regrets shining through the glass panes, onto the tiled floors, and around the white-walled space. If it feels lonely after its journey from the sun, its initial enthusiasm dulled by the crawl of time
The two dogs run up, jolting me out of my musings, asking with their grins and floppy ears how my day has been. They nudge my hands and wag their long, whiplike tails, ecstatic to see me again. I greet them, rubbing each of their velvety ears, before carefully pushing my way past them, towards the stairs. Past the large, L-shaped couch, with its cushions still taut and free of wear. I dodge the three large crates resting just beyond the couch. Two of them are piled with plush beds, ideal for sleeping canines. The other sits unoccupied in the corner, without a bed to cushion the cold, hard floor. Like the many rooms of the new house, this one stays empty, looking smaller, despite having more empty space within.
I hurry up the stairs as fast as my stiff shoes and heavy bag will allow.
The house is silent, save for the clacking of the dog’s claws and the squeaking of my shoes. The floors, yet to be scratched by the claws of careless hounds, struggle to grip my smooth, unworn soles. I wince at every squeaky step as I climb the stairs. A long day of dashing from new class to new class has aggravated my already sore heel.
Upon reaching the top of the flight of stairs, I peel off my shoes, wincing as I notice a red stain on the white cotton of my socks. Removing them, I reach for a bandage. I cover my raw heel and slip back on my socks, ignoring the blister. Out of sight, out of mind. Soon enough my feet will adjust to these shoes, I remind myself.
But not yet, I think as I climb up a second flight to my room.
A mattress lies on the floor and a desk rests in the corner. Like the other rooms in this house, cardboard boxes provide the sole decoration. The blank white walls loom like an infinite void, projecting a deafening silence across the lonely space. I sigh, turn on some music, and notice a grin spread across my face as I open my sketchbook.
As my head bobs up and down to the music, my hand remains steady, scratching a beautiful nonsense onto the once-blank page. Lines form planes, and planes form figures. Soon enough, an entire spread has been filled with the smudges of my pencil. And as I reach for the markers, doling out color to the woefully monochromatic page, I hardly notice the stinging under my sock subside.
Envoyé: 09:43 Tue, 14 March 2023 by : Lindsey C age : 15