Christmas break has just ended my sister drops me off at my pale white school with time to spare but about 30 seconds past 7:59 I step onto the ash grey carpet of my first period classroom. The small class is churning with loud conversation; anticipating the tardy bell. I sit down quickly to untie and retie the completely unwrinkled laces of my new high top vans. From under the cover of my desk, my eyes find Will’s Lower half. Oh no, I think to myself. He’s wearing his too. The bell continues to take it’s time as I sit up in my chair and avoid Will with my eyes. But he notices anyway. He leans forward in his desk with his wide crooked smile.
“Nice shoes Woodburn! You’re such a copycat dude”
The bell finally silences the room, and I just look down at my tightly laced black & white shoes as they constrict with my awkward movements as I try to hide them. I manage to not speak to anyone the rest of the day and I throw the shoes to the back of my closet where they have stayed.
My steps rustle across the bed of leaves on the way to my front door as the dry air glides past me. I head straight to my room to begin my search. The men’s collection of Birkenstocks is devoid of many interesting patterns or styles so I begin combing the women’s section for anything in my size. Very few come in big enough sizes but near the end of the search results, I spot a pair that I instantly knew I’d love. The dense textures of the floral pattern over the material shine with a vibrant but muted tone. I take screenshots to send to my friends with the caption “What do you think”, but as I’m about to press send. I realised I didn’t have to. For the first time, I bought a pair of shoes without asking anyone else for their opinion.
I get to my bright white school with plenty of time to spare and at around 7:45 I step into my first period. I’m greeted by a warm chatter and I plop down beside my friends. My seat by the window is warm and the sunlight falls onto my straight back.
“Those Birkenstocks are mega poppin lit fire fam! Where did you find those?”
“The internet is a beautiful place.”
My shoes cup my soles and wrap up the sides to the straps which rest on the tops of my feet presenting their bright floral colors to the room. I stretched my legs and looked forward to my upcoming class with Will.