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Tiaras and Trucks

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Her Red Shoes

You or your character find a forgotten letter or card from someone important in your life--whether good or bad. What does it say? How does it affect you or your character? What is done with it?

This is the most current part of Greta's story.  If you want to read about what has happened before this, please click on the "Greta's Story" tab on my menu bar.

If she would have just worn the pink dress and strappy sandals, she thought later, none of this would have happened.   

Ever indecisive, she had thought she had settled on one of her favorite dresses, pale pink, a little above her knees, sweetly ruffled.  Looking in the mirror, self-critical to a fault, she questioned the ruffles.  Maybe they were too sweet, better suited to her monthly dinner with the girls than for a first, well, whatever this was. 

Shedding the dress amongst the other discarded options littering her floor, her eye landed on her favorite jeans, snug but not tight on her increasingly toned legs, the perfect shade of indigo. 

Forcing a decision, she tugged on the jeans, pulled a deceptively simple, silky black tank over her head and strode into the second bedroom to find the shoes that had tugged at her memory when she spied her reflection in the full-length mirror. 

Greta sank to the floor in front of the large closet, pulling out a box shoved to the back, spilling with items she hadn’t needed in so very long, monogrammed note cards with a monogram she would never again use, her yoga DVDs that didn’t clear her head like her runs, and shoes she hadn’t worn in ages. 

Her searching fingers found the shoes within moments, the pointed stiletto heal balanced by a towering platform, the supple leather a shade she had once called wine but could now admit was actually red.  She gently placed them on the carpet next to her as another object snagged her consciousness.   

Gently, she lifted the card from the box and pulled the well-creased letter from the envelope with her index finger and thumb, her expression rapidly moving from disgust to regret and back again. 

Slightly shaking hands smoothed the paper over her thighs, her unfocused eyes uselessly scanning the words crammed together in a torrent of emotion. 

The words had once been tattooed onto her heart, until a callous formed over the scar, but even a callous couldn’t erase the memories forever stored in her brain. 

…forever and longer… 

…whatever the future may hold… 

…a love impossible to deny… 

…able to withstand any hardship… 

Promises written in blood and tears and hope, tenderly sealed to be read the morning of their wedding.  

Once, she had read them with tears in her eyes. 

Once, she had carried those promises into the depths of despair, grasping at them to keep her afloat. 

They hadn’t. 

Red shoes forgotten next to her, Greta gingerly replaced the paper into the envelope with the meaningless card, the creases opened and closed so many times that the letter almost folded itself. 

She braced herself for the familiar sting of her tears, the shaking shoulders that always accompanied her sobs. 

But something else was shaking her shoulders. 


Belly laughs, causing her shoulders to heave, a different sort of tear smearing mascara onto her fingers as she gently wiped under her eyes. 

Her reaction was so unexpected that she forgot to drop the card when she heard a buzz from the other room, and she answered the door with the card in one hand and the shoes in her other. 

“Did you get some fun mail?” his voice asked, glancing at the envelope, confusion creeping into his voice when he spotted the worn edges. 

“No.  This is garbage,” she answered with a smile, tossing the card towards her kitchen and pulling on her favorite shoes.   

Drew smiled back and gently steadied her as she balanced on one leg, grabbed her purse, and firmly closed the door behind her.

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  • At July 1, 2011 at 10:03 AM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    Oh I love this!! I was so glad she said it was garbage, and that there was laughter instead of sobs!! Triumph :)

  • At July 1, 2011 at 10:12 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    It's PERFECTION.....I mean seriously, I loved every word of this. I saw her and that letter, saw the RED SHOES!!!!!
    Ang, This story is going to be such an AWESOME BOOK, but I get the first copy right??? xo

  • At July 1, 2011 at 11:01 AM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Ooh I can't believe she threw it away! Upwards and onwards stillettos here we come!

    The laughter shaking her shoulders was perfection. I love all of the symbols of turning points in this one. 

    Nothing says change like "deceptively simple, silky black tank." Or red heels. 


  • At July 1, 2011 at 12:49 PM , Anonymous Carrie said...

    If she can laugh, she is definitely moving on and healing. I love that she tossed it. A fitting end to a piece of her past she needs to leave in the past :)

  • At July 1, 2011 at 8:23 PM , Anonymous Ilana said...

    I love this. The ending is so perfect. I haven't read the other pieces of this story but I think this definitely stands on its own. It reminds me of my mother when she first started dating after she got divorced. Such a hard path t walk down after so many years. But exciting too. Well done.

  • At July 2, 2011 at 12:25 AM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

    Oooh... a date, stilettos, and she threw away the letter! I'm giving Greta high-fives and a standing ovation all at the same time!

  • At July 3, 2011 at 12:45 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It's definitely a corner-turning moment for her!  Obviously, I jumped ahead a little in the story, but it's what fit with the prompt :)

  • At July 3, 2011 at 12:46 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you, and I appreciate that you think it stands alone.  I imagine it must be a tough road to go down but a personally rewarding one to move on in that way.

  • At July 3, 2011 at 12:47 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes, I think she is finally moving past what has happened to her and figuring out that there is definitely happiness in the future.

  • At July 3, 2011 at 12:48 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I think I'm living vicariously through Greta's wardrobe.  A deceptively simple black tank and red heels would be lovely to slip on, but they'd look crazy silly at the park!

  • At July 3, 2011 at 12:49 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Of course, of course :)  Shoes!  They mean so much, don't they?

  • At July 3, 2011 at 12:49 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes!  Tossing it really helps close the door on the past :)


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