Red Jimmy Choos

By
My evening’s peace and quiet was rudely interrupted by the jarring sound of rocks meeting glass. I looked up from my fashion magazine to see my best friend, Mel, standing on a green bin at my window.

“Can I crash here tonight Amanda, My step-mum’s locked me out again!”

“Sure,” I replied, “but have you heard of the front door?”

“Thought it might be safer to do the Dad detour,” Mel countered.

Mel had a good point. My mum is super easy-going but Dad is a medical specialist who works long hours and could use a good humour transplant.

***

A long brown leg swung over the window sill followed by the rest of Mel. “Sorry about the sand, Amanda, but I’ve been hanging at the beach all day to avoid Sylvia.” Mel cast a glance around my room looking for new interior fashion items. “Nice chandelier,” said Mel, feigning enthusiasm. We both knew she would prefer studying physics to decorating any day.

In fact, there are many things about us that are very different but that hadn’t stopped us being best friends since the day we met at Walter Wiggington’s drama class when we were five years old. I was playing a tree and Mel was a fairy. I was fuming that I didn’t get to wear the sparkly tutu and, when Mel suggested we swap costumes, she instantly became my favourite person. Mel is tall with green eyes, olive skin and long dark hair that always looks shiny. I, on the other hand, am short with blue eyes, blonde hair and fair skin that absolutely refuses to tan. However, Mel has the bad luck to have a stepmother that would make the Wicked Witch of the West look like a girl guide. I know Mel wishes a house would fall on her! Because she and Sylvia fight so regularly, she spends a great deal of time at my house.

Mel flopped down on my bed while I began to get out the spare bedding.

“So, what happened with Sylvia?” I asked as I unfolded sheets and blankets.

“I dunno,” replied Mel. “She dead bolted me out of the house and wouldn’t let me in. I tried to call Dad, but his secretary said he’s been called interstate tonight.”

Classic Sylvia, I thought. The woman is nuttier than a port-a-loo at a peanut festival!
“Have you eaten, Mel?” I asked.

“No, but I’m not very hungry” she politely declined.
I had a quiet word to Mum in the kitchen and in no time at all we were curled up in bed eating homemade pizza. We ate in comfortable silence listening to Katie Perry, as salami and mozzarella dripped down our chins. When there was none left we surveyed the scene and congratulated ourselves that no one would notice the pizza stains as they blended in so well with the roses on the coverlet.

“You’re awesome, Amanda. How on earth did you come up with this at short notice?”

“You know my Mum. She loves cooking for you and Dad was so absorbed in his medical journals that he wouldn’t have noticed if she was feeding the whole neighbourhood pizza!

“This pizza is fantastic! I can’t remember when I last had a home-cooked meal.”

Sometimes the things that Mel says make me really sad for her and I don’t know what to say. So instead I handed her a toothbrush and a towel. Later, a cool summer breeze stole in the window, and we sleepily chatted about the new school term starting Monday. Outside the window a symphony of crickets serenaded us and, just before I fell asleep, I remember hearing the call of a storm bird.

***

We were woken in the morning by Mum bringing us a cup of tea. “Good morning, girls! The coast is clear. Dad’s gone to work and I’ve made pancakes.”
A short while later Mel and I were all sitting around the table scoffing pancakes while Mum buzzed around the kitchen.

“Well, kids, what are you doing today?” Mum asked.

As Mel’s first choice would have been the library, and mine would have been the shops, we went for the middle ground. We are both beach lovers and, more than that, are fanatical about our local marine wonderland, Moreton Bay, and its wild life, so, Mum wasn’t surprised when we announced our intention to spend the day at the beach.

“There is a severe weather warning for coastal areas today” said Mum. “You better go soon before the change comes in.”

***


The sight of the sparkling blue surf and the cool crispness of the sand between my toes blew any early morning cobwebs away. We swam, sun-baked and talked about girly things until the early afternoon. While mopping up the remains of fish and chips I heard a distant rumble. The sun took cover and I breathed that unmistakable smell of raw earth that precedes thunder storms. Drums played an ominous tattoo in the distance and the colour of the ocean darkened as if to reflect its mood.

“I think we’d better go,” I said, shaking the sand out of my towel. “Do you want to come back to my place?” I asked Mel.

“Nah, Dad should be home by now.” She replied.

“Okay, I’ll see you at school on Monday. Make sure you save me a seat.”

We said our goodbyes and I reached home just as the storm hit. The drum rolls were drowned out by the full orchestral movement of the storm. The sky had become a black cloak that swirled dangerously, hurling random objects that got in its way. A spectacular light show accompanied the performance. The storm was a siren daring an audience to risk all to watch the show.

At home we swung into our storm action. As we were tying down the outdoor furniture, Dad appeared. He had just received a text from the city council warning us that we were at risk of flooding. Dad went to get sand bags and Mum and I continued our work, nervously. At dusk, the noisy musicians of the sky went home, leaving a curtain of rain behind, heavy as velvet. How it rained! Over the weekend record rain fell on the Gold Coast cutting off roads and flooding many homes. We were fortunate that Dad’s sandbagging had saved us.




***

On Monday morning the alarm reminded me that the school holidays were finished. The rain had eased a little and I arrived at St Brigid’s early and not too damp. Mel had saved me a desk and I slid in next to her.

“How are things with Sylvia?” I asked.

“Surprisingly good. She and Dad sought refuge from the storm at the Palazzo Versace and she bought red Jimmy Choo stilettos. She’s been in a good mood ever since and is going shopping for a matching outfit today.”

“Lucky Sylvia. Meanwhile we’re stuck doing albebra,” I groaned.

Mel laughed. “Well, it suits me. I’d rather be doing algebra than shopping any day!”

The day flew by and I invited Mel home after school. She was torn between my place and the library until I casually mentioned that Monday is Mum’s baking day. As I opened the front door the sweet smell of cookies filled our nostrils.

Minutes later, we were enjoying warm cookies and hot chocolate.
“How was school today?” asked Mum.

“All right,” I replied. “How was your day?”

“Just lots of mopping up,” she said uncomplainingly. “But really, we are so very fortunate! So many people were left homeless.”
Just then the phone rang. It was Dad. “Bet he’s going to work late again,” I whinged to Mel.
Mum hung up and turned to us with a look of bewilderment on her face.

“That was your father. He has to work late. The Laguna Canals Shopping Centre car park has collapsed. Turn on the news!”

I grabbed the television remote and immediately the screen lit up with graphic footage of the disaster scene. The shopping centre car park was reduced to rubble. People that had minutes before been drinking, cappuccinos were in shock, injured or worse. There were people screaming and the place was crawling with emergency crews. The image of a body on a stretcher came onto the screen and Mel gave a small cry. My eyes were drawn, in fascinated horror, to the red Jimmy Choos peeping out from under the stretcher sheet.





Join the Discussion

This article has 9 comments. Post your own now!

Ambyy said...
Nov. 29, 2010 at 10:06 am

THAT story had me hanging on to every word.

you're a really good writer.

The Jimmy Choos were unexpected, though it could be more dramatic- of course that's my personal opinion... It doesn't really count. But that's just what I thought. Maybe i'm wrong. Nevertheless.

I loved the story!

x

 
MuSiC809 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 27, 2010 at 3:27 pm

REALLLi goooooD!

i love it.,would you like to read my stories..? just a suggestion., :) but i really love the story!!!

 
Jean said...
Nov. 26, 2010 at 1:30 am
Great story - don't you love serendipity!  All wicked step-mothers should meet Sylivia's fate.
 
Juppy40 said...
Nov. 25, 2010 at 9:17 pm
Great story. I loved it  - especially the ending! I didn't want it to finish!!
 
amaranth178 said...
Nov. 25, 2010 at 1:06 pm

This really is a good story. I liked your character, Mel.

Anyway, I'd have to say my favorite part was that of the girls at the beach.

Your phrasing was particularly nice with the storm (i.e. noisy musicians of the sky), but I wondered about "curtain of rain behind, heavy as velvet". It gives off a very interesting vibe and I can see the connection...but at the same time, I don't. Either way, interesting phrasing! :)

The ending was definitely a twist I did not see coming.... (more »)

 
Lizette said...
Nov. 25, 2010 at 8:33 am
awesome way to end it...sad, but it caught me way off guard!  loved it!
 
DIVOted2MuSiC said...
Nov. 23, 2010 at 8:22 pm

wow! that was seriously cool!

 

 
court1992 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Nov. 23, 2010 at 3:27 pm
That was epic! I loved it :)
 
Georgina said...
Nov. 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm
This is such a good story, I love the ending!
 
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