Today I pass by the shop and the shoes are not there. The clear, perspex plinth with the black velvet background stands empty. My heart plummets, like I've had some shocking news of the sudden death of a loved one.
I notice my own reflection in the window, wild green eyes and frizzy brown hair. Behind my reflection, a girl, blonde-bobbed, petite, well-dressed. A flash of red catches my eye. I turn to see she is wearing the shoes. Something acrid and green rises in my throat.
Everyday after work I'd walk past the shop and see them. Shiny apple red. A wedge the width of a generous slice of cake. Not too high but enough lift to make me taller, my legs longer.
The price tag said £200. I could never afford them. But it was enough to look at them and imagine.
I follow a few steps behind the girl, wondering who she is. She looks just like the girl I dream of being. She ducks into an alley off Charing Cross Road. The echo of her heels click clack on the cobblestones.
I step closer, then pounce on her, knocking her to the ground. She lies there winded, looking up at me with eyes blue and wide and scared. She barely has breath to scream as I grab her shiny blonde head, slamming it hard against the brown stone. A thud. A crunch. A smudge of red.
I drag her into a doorway and grab the shoes from her cooling feet. I rip off my boots and slip on the shoes.
I straighten up, fluff my hair, and step out of the doorway. The click clack rings in my ears as, turning back onto Charing Cross Road, I catch a flash of my shiny red shoes in a shop window.
published 9 February 2011