Fiction Literature

Jerry and his New Shoes

Heel-toe, heel-toe, thought Jerry as he walked down the sidewalk. His new shoes felt like cinder blocks tied to his feet. They were were shiny and black and rather handsome looking, but it wasn’t until Jerry had gotten home from buying them that he saw the soles were extremely thick–nearly three inches. Good lord, thought Jerry, I’m over six feet tall now with these shoes. He was sure that the people around him were smirking at his overcompensating footwear.

When he arrived at his bus stop, he began to discreetly examine the thickness of everyone’s soles.

“Excuse me,” someone said. Jerry jerked his head up to see a pretty woman wrapped up in a large brown scarf. He had seen her at the bus stop often, but had never spoken to her. Jerry tried to hide how startle he was, and broke out in a sweat.

“Do you know if the 7 has come yet?” she said.

“I hope not. That’s the one I’m waiting for,” said Jerry. She laughed and gave Jerry a large toothy smile.

As Jerry got onto the bus, he heard the bus driver say to him, “Good morning, sir.” And as he walked down the aisle he could have sworn that people were giving him respectful little nods and smiles.

Sitting at his desk, Jerry began to think about all the little interactions that had occurred that day so far. The woman at the bus stop, the driver, the bus people, a coworker who complimented his tie, his boss who said “‘morning” to him for the first time that he could remember. They’re all being tricked, thought Jerry. I’m a fraud, a fake, a phony. He shifted his feet around uncomfortably in his large, black shoes.

Jerry decided to leave the office building on his lunch break to avoid any more unwarranted attention. As soon as he had left the building, he heard a familiar voice call his name. Jerry turned around. “Kyle! How’s it going?” said Jerry. He immediately assumed perfect posture, allowing his new height to take full effect.

“It’s good, good. It’s been a long time!” said Kyle.

They chatted a while, and parted ways. It had been a good reunion for Jerry. The look that Kyle had given him made Jerry feel like he had come a long ways since high school.

When he returned to work, Jerry had completely forgotten the awkwardness of his shoes, and instead began to enjoy his new edge. While standing at the water cooler, Jerry noticed the bright red, frizzy hair of Susan pop up from behind a cubicle wall. This is it, thought Jerry as Susan started to make her way to the water cooler. It happens today! Jerry straightened his back and puffed out his chest. But when Susan arrived to the water cooler, he deflated and averted his eyes. Something was wrong–she was just as intimidating as ever before. He then looked down at her feet and saw she was wearing five-inch high heels.