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Her Shoes

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Her shoes were cobalt blue and smeared white. Dark streaks, the exact color of the baseline, covered them in a criss-crossing pattern. Purple ink traced out her favorite Bible verse on each heel. John 18- or was that 19? Or just 8?

The numbers swam, danced, changed shapes and taunted me as I blinked. My vision cleared, then turned soupy again. The court was icy cold under my cheek, dripping with sweat and flushed- from what?

Those shoes. I knew those shoes.

A girl stood over me, lips moving. Her hand reached towards me, bruised bicep and chipped pink nails extended in a friendly gesture. Those blue eyes were earnest. Was she trying to speak?

The face became blurry. The bright blue eyes disappeared.

I knew those shoes. They were like a friend to me- but what was a friend? My own thoughts were swirling, shifting back and forth, sliding out from underneath me.

A hand touched my face, cold as ice. I flinched, and something sharp seared through the space between my eyes and squeezed my head hard.

My knees were tucked into my chest, sweat was making my legs slippery on the wooden court, and there were people all around, so many people, making it even hotter, making my skin burn, so many people surrounding me, and I just wanted them to back up and let me breath and-

Cold ice touched the back of my neck. Cold clarity struck me, starting in the base of my sternum and spreading upward and through my body.

Catie. That was who stood over me.

Her blue eyes drilled into mine, searching for recognition. I gave it to her, and she breathed my name. Had she been saying it before?

I sat up, fast, seeing those blue eyes and wanting to tell her that I was fine, I was okay, it was just a little bump.

As I sat, the world turned to mush. It sagged around the corners. I tossed my head, trying to see why everything was tilting, tilting so far to the left, and why everyone wasn’t sliding that way straight out the gymnasium doors...
I woke up in a white bed. The unfamiliarity returned, but this time, it was expected.

I turned my head.

Those blue eyes.

That blonde hair.

Those shoes.

“Don’t scare me like that again, okay?”

Smile. Nod.

“Okay.”



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