Chapter 2

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It's crowded in here. I'm too squished up too see what's in the box, but I can tell it's a whole mixture of stuff. I wonder where the owner is taking me, since she just rudely took me out of my home. What gives? I frown and try to squirm out of this tight space.

The box jostles a bit, like it knows what I was about to do. But now I can see what's around me. There's a lawn, but it's covered with a tarp and random objects. Then I realize I'm outside.

Before I can process this, I'm placed on an open spot on the tarp. Some of the other things in the box are placed next to me, but then the owner and her box move on to another section.

So here I am, alone and outside. The idea of outside makes me nostalgic, maybe because I spent most of my life outside before the closet. I long for it now, the closet, the darkness, anything familiar. I'm gazing around hopelessly when something catches my eye.

I see a shoe. It looks worn down and lost. Its once brilliant blue and dazzling pink colors are fading. Although the white at the bottom and the toe may have been sparkling at one time, it seems more gray and brown than anything now. The Velcro straps are open and hanging off the side. The brand name Twinkle Toes is almost unreadable, the sparkly gems on the toe are half gone and it is covered in dust. But then I realize the shoe is inside a dark metal circle. I'm looking in a mirror.

The shoe is me.

I can hardly believe it. How I've changed since I was first bought. It's almost depressing how awful and sad I look. I scoot away so I don't have to look at what I've become, but alone I can only move very slowly. Shoes who move on their own often can't be found by their owner, so I try to keep all independent movement to a minimum. Or tried, before I was put in the closet. There was no reason to move in there, it all felt and looked the same. Suddenly, my thoughts are interrupted by some voices. It is the owner with a box and two unrecognizable owners.

"You see, we're moving away soon and we wanted to see if anyone wanted this stuff we never use anymore. Are you looking for anything in particular or..." the box owner trails off.

"I'll think we'll just browse around," says another owner, who's age is similar to the owner with the box, "Penny here really likes-"

"That's me!" This owner is very young, four or five years old at most.

"-old things. Now what did I say about interrupting?"

"Sorry Mommy."

"Well, if you need any help, you know where to find me!" says the owner with the box and walks away.

The younger owner, Penny I believe her name is, immediately begins running around. She cries out in pure joy before stumbling and landing next to me. At first I go unnoticed, but then her eyes fixate in me, wide as saucers. Penny starts shrieking and screaming. "Mommy!!" she yells, jumping up and down.

The other owner is there in a flash. "Are you hurt? What's wrong?" she says anxiously.

"It's a shoe, Mommy! I want the shoe!" Penny grabs me and shakes me violently in front of the other owner's face. This owner snatches me out of her hand(I can see where Penny learned to grab) and scolds her.

"Penny! That is so rude! Where are your manners? If you want something, you say the magic word, don't shake it in front of my face."

"Sorry, Mommy. Now can I please have this shoe? Please? PLEASE?"

"What is it with you and shoes? Just the other day you picked one up off the street. I still can't believe you didn't get cut from all the glass around it. Besides, we don't know whether it fits or how much it is. And I don't see the other shoe."

The box owner hurries over to see what they're looking at. "Oh," she says as her eyes fall on me.

"So this is a pretty used Twinkle Toes shoe. Price-wise, I'd say maybe a dollar because unfortunately, we only have the one. But other than that, it's a good shoe. It was actually my daughter's favorite when she was about your daughter's age." says the box owner.

"I don't know, Penny, we don't even know if it fits or-"

"I'll try it on! It'll fit!" exclaims Penny and takes off her current shoes.

"Oh!" cries the other owner. "Umm... is it okay if she..."

"Of course! Go ahead!" says the box owner.

The other owner hands me to Penny. As she attempts to put me on her foot, I get a glimpse at her shoes. They're Stride Rite, less than a year old. They ignore me and whisper to each other. Can't blame them, I only talked to my pair, too, but she-

My thoughts are interrupted by a squeal of delight. "It fits! It fits! Just like I knew it would!"

"Just hold on honey, let me check-"

But Penny begins to run.

Wow! I forgot what it was like, to run. The thrill, the exhilaration, just wow!

Penny is slowing down and so am I. I don't know what it was, but running with her made me forget I was a shoe and she was an owner. We were one.

She giggles. But the other owner leans over to check my size. "Perfect fit!" she exclaims.

"That's crazy! Like it was meant to be!" says box owner.

"I know right? But Penny, you realize you won't be able to wear an exact copy with it. You'll have to wear two different shoes."

"Yay!" Penny screams, "So I can have it?"

"I suppose so."

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!"

The other owner extracts a green piece of paper from her bag. "Here's a dollar to you," she says, handing it over to the box owner.

"Thanks! Have fun with your shoe!" says the box owner.

"I will!" says Penny, who picks me up and runs to the car.

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