The New Shoes

January 18, 2008
By Taylor Spotswood, North, VA

Scott was once again sitting at his desk with his laptop making a few final touches on his case file before turning in for the night, when he suddenly heard a door creak. His heart began to race and his pulse began to quicken until he saw the little curly haired head of his seven year old niece, Bissell. He still was not used to being responsible for another human being besides himself. So far he wasn’t too good at taking care of either. Bissell had been living with Scott for the past four days, ever since her parent’s accident and the shocking news that Scott was Bissell’s legal guardian. Bissell and Scott had always gotten along when her parents were around and Scott only had to see her when it was convenient for him, but being a 27 year old workaholic and a new dad to an extremely hyperactive seven year old would definitely take some adjusting to say the least.
Bissell entered his room and hopped into her Uncle Scott’s bed requesting a bedtime story. Scott looked at her, then back at his laptop trying to choose between the two. Finally, he settled down on the bed next to his new responsibility trying to make up a satisfying work of fiction full of princesses and dragons in hopes of lulling the little girl to sleep. After ten minutes or so Bissell was out cold and Scott finally had a chance to admire how much she resembled his sister, Rebecca. They had the same chocolaty eyes that filled your body with warmth after looking into them, the same long, curly dark hair that was so smooth and luxurious you couldn’t help but touch it, the same perfect nose that stuck out a little at the end but was so adorable. This little child, as much as he loved her, was not his. She belonged to Rebecca and her husband, Mac. Scott shuddered at the thought of the young, loving couple whose voices and laughs Scott would never again hear.
Rebecca and Mac’s deaths were so sudden and out of the blue that there was no way one could have ever seen it coming. Of course most car accidents do tend to be that way. At least Scoot could comfort himself that his sister and brother-in-law did not suffer for long.
After Scott carried Bissell to her room and tucked her in, he returned to his laptop but was surprised to find that for the first time in his life, he could not concentrate on work. Tomorrow is Saturday and Scott and Bissell have plans to go back to school shoes shopping together. For a woman, especially a mother, taking a girl shopping for shoes is not that big of a deal, but when it comes to most men, it can be kind of overwhelming.
The following day Bissell awoke extremely early waking Scott up in the process. He slept walked through getting ready and fixing Bissell her bowl of Lucky Charms. Scott never being the morning person type, found it extremely difficult being around this hyperactive little girl so early in the day. Two hours later the two headed to the car, for Bissell was so excited that she changed her outfit twelve times in attempts to look perfect.
Shoes have always just been shoes to Scott. He never really cared if they were matching or clean. Therefore when he arrived at the children’s shoe department in Macy’s, Scott was appalled at the sheer abundance of shoes available. Bissell’s face lit up as she grabbed Scott’s hand and dragged him through the aisle.
“I want umm… I want umm… this one and this one and the purple stars and the princess ones.” After several minutes Scott’s hands were full of possible choices. When Scott was asked what size of shoes to get by the sales clerk, he blanked. This was something Scott had never thought to find out before. He felt embarrassed and as he replied with an “I’m not sure,” Scott could feel a light flush creep up his neck. After tracking down a foot scale and measuring Bissell’s feet which turned out to be a children’s size six, Scott trying desperately to remember that tidbit of information, the kindly woman helping them out went to the back to retrieve the proper sizing.
Once the correct sizes for all nine different shoes Bissell had picked out were sitting before them did Scott really begin to understand what shoes can mean to a girl. Bissell squealed and dove into the boxes, pulling out shoes right and left. Unfortunately for Scott’s sake, Bissell only rejected one of the pairs of shoes and the remaining were ones she absolutely loved. Scott and Bissell remained in the store for another 53 excruciating minutes trying to narrow down the options to one pair. In the end Scott finally gave up and bought not only the pink Cinderella tennis shoes but also the black patent leather Velcro Mary Jane’s.
Once Scott was outside he took a deep breath glad that the whole shoe monstrosity was finally completed, at least for now. Only then did Scott see what a huge responsibility this little, adorable girl would be to him and he realized that his life would change forever. Amazingly, Scott was not upset by that fact. He realized this would be a difficult journey for the both of them, but one they would take together. As Scott and Bissell got into the car and headed towards McDonald’s for Bissell’s Happy Meal, Scott realized that this was the way life was meant to be.

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