It started with the green shoes. They were covered in a sort of supple material, possibly velvet or velour. I have always detested that word, velour. It sounds sour and carries an air of pretention.
It started with the green shoes. They were pointed with four inch stiletto heels. A bit excessive if you ask me. We were at a house party for Christ’s sake.
It started with the green shoes. All she did was blab incessantly about them: where she bought them, how much they cost, it was a never ending volume of information on the hideous commodity.
It started with the green shoes. She was far too heavy to be wearing stilettos to begin with, her fat legs, twirling at the ankles, resembling sausages stuffed into two small casings. Yet, on top of that plump thigh, your hand rested. Your attraction to her always baffled me. I often caught myself examining my face and figure in the mirror and comparing myself to her, an unflattering vision floating through my brain.
It started with the green shoes. I found myself mesmerized by them in the same vein that you watch a car accident occur: the sight is horrendous, and yet there is something so intriguing about it that you cannot bear to tear your eyes away. When my eyes did waver, they were always meeting your eyes. Your eyes that were always trained on me, an impossible shade of gray and blue. Yet your hand continued to rest on her plump thigh.
It started with the green shoes. Halfway through the night she discarded them. The party was in full swing, our bodies moving and melding to an old Blues record. The sound was faded and distant, the grooves in the record having eroded with the years. Yet, at the same time, the music was full, so rich it was as though you could reach out and pluck it from the air. You swayed next to me, our hands brushing occasionally, a feather’s touch.
It started with the green shoes. Both she, and them, had disappeared, gone to dance the night away in another part of the house. Now your hand was on my thigh, tracing slow circles with your fingertips. I mutter a witty line in your ear and you laugh, a low, shallow noise, barely audible, and you bury your face in my chest. I can feel your curly hair tickling my chin, your warm breath on my collarbone, the smile that spreads across your cheeks, perhaps because I have not pushed you away. Perhaps because I liked the feeling of your heartbeat next to mine.
It ended with the green shoes. Both she, and them, laying in your bed as the crowd slowly diminished. Though a curtain hung in your bedroom doorway I could still make you out, your arms encircling her thick waist, the green shoes deposited at the foot of the bed. Those green shoes. Those green shoes. Green like the envy that boiled intensely in my chest, causing me to bite my lips and clench my fists tight, my nails leaving half-moon imprints on my palms. But perhaps it was another sort of green, a green like innocence, an innocence that led me to lap up your words and touches as if it were all true.
The next morning I snuck into your bedroom on my hands and knees and stole those green shoes away, gave them one last, menacing look, and tossed them out of the second story window into a bushy rhododendron. She was not to blame, I knew that. But I could not help the animosity towards her, towards what she possessed that I apparently did not. Yet I also felt a stab of guilt as I left the house, for she would find out soon enough. ‘Pity’ I thought, ‘When she does, she will not even have her green shoes to comfort her’.