Sally worked every day except Wednesday from ten to four at the biggest department store in town and she was never late. Her favorite foods were macaroni and cheese in a box, red vines, and diet coke. She loved the movies, a man with cowboy boots, and freshly ground pepper. Her hair was golden and wavy, her eyes were green and usually sparkled, and her shoes were never the same from one day to the next. You see, other than the ornery cowlick in her hair, Sally really only had one obsession in life. Shoes.
“Why d’ya work in handbags, Sally? I ain't never seen you with a new handbag on your arm in years. You always carry that funny looking one that might as well a been Grannies.”
“For the discounts, Sam. I get forty percent off all accessories and my manager says that includes shoes.”
“No kidding? Shoes?”
“No kidding. Shoes.”
It was a true obsession. She’d had it for years.
Every day after work Sally would stop on her front porch, take off her city shoes and put on her house shoes, never once letting her bare feet touch the ground. When she got into bed at night she would take off her house shoes and slip on her socks, never once letting her bare feet touch the ground. And when she went to take a shower in the morning she would take off her socks and put on her shower shoes, never once letting her bare feet touch the ground. As long as she could remember, not once had Sally ever let her bare feet touch the ground. Nope. Not once.
It was Friday and snowing. Sally shivered as she made her way up the steps to her front porch. She was dreaming of taking her feet out of her high-heeled shoes and putting them into her soft, wool house shoes when she slipped and landed flat on her back, her high heels flying off her feet and landing on a bush covered in snow. Sally stared at her shoes. She stared at her bare feet. She stared back at her shoes. They were too far away. She had no choice. After more years than she could possibly remember, Sally had to let her bare feet touch the ground.
She kept her eyes closed as she let her big toe inch closer to the ground, her body stiff with fear. What if it hurts? What if I get a disease? What if I step on something nasty? But as in life, so in all the best stories—when you least expect it, the unexpected hands you joy. It didn’t hurt. She didn’t get a disease. And she didn’t step on something nasty. In fact, when Sally felt the first touch of snow upon her feet, she lost her breath. Not in fear. But in joy! Sally Ann Franklin could feel!
“Why didn’t anyone tell me what I was missing? Why didn’t anyone stop my stupid fears?”
Because you never listened,
Because you never heard,
Because you never let yourself
feel outside your world....
...to be continued