Photo Courtesy of Susan Spaulding
She came across them at the thrift store, squashed in a box along with moth-eaten scarves, a pair of slacks with holes that could tell many stories, two helplessly dented hats, and some fabric scraps.
She was about to lift a shoe to ask about the price when the proprietor glanced in her direction. “Those are by the box,” he drawled. “Take it or leave it. No picking.”
“How much?” She swished her hand inside the box and shrugged, worrying he’d overcharge her if he detected interest.
Her eyebrows hiked up on their own accord. The shoes alone were worth ten times as much.
“Twenty, final offer,” he misinterpreted her gesture.
She gazed into nearby containers till her thrumming heart settled down and she could pour something less jello-like into her legs.
“I’ll take it.”
She carried the box to the car fully expecting to hear the shopkeeper’s voice calling her back to point out a mistake. No call came.
Finally at home, she rescued the shoes, stuffed them with tissue-paper, and placed them reverently under Great-Great-Grandma’s bridal gown. Family lore was that she’d had big feet and had to wear men’s shoes. Those were a perfect match.