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Old Shoes

written by: Trisha


I am exhausted...
Well, it is because we walked a lot today...
It started in the morning, like any other day.
I figured we were going to school, like everyday. We left the house, as always,
The boy walked across the paddy fields,
Walked over the curb and I expected him to take a right to the school, instead, he took left today.
Left towards an old small place, it used to be a park, but now it was just abandoned remains of an old park.. with barely any grass and all broken benches.. the boy and his friends sometimes come here to play or just hang out... there was a man there, he had a dog and an old torn blanket, not much of anything else... he looked battered and withered due to the cold weather and age, he wore shabby clothes and didn't have any shoes.
The boy stopped to talk to him, there were few other kids in the park, they stared at him probably wondering why is he talking to some homeless wanderer...
Then we walked away, the boy went through the park, to meet his friends on the other side.. they giggled and discussing some sort of plan...
The boy seemed in charge of some plan and he gave instructions to his friends and they all dispersed... we continued on our way, the boy stopped at a store, he went to look around and was searching for something, he didn't pick up his usual stuff games, instead he picked up a blanket and was examining a pair of shoes... the boy picked up the blanket and shoes and went to the store owner, they got in some sort of discussion and finally the boy waved towards me and the store owner smiled and nodded in agreement. The boy paid for the things shook the store owners hand and started walking again...
Next, he went to the grocery shop. Mr. Ardie works here, he is a nice man... always patted me and always had spare biscuit pieces for me, sometimes even a bone... yum!
Mr. Ardie picked up a soda can and was about to reach for the chips packet when the boy stopped him and said he wanted something else. Mr. Ardie and I had the same puzzled expression wondering what happened, the boy asked for some bread, lunch meat, few fruits, and some cheese. How strange!
We were on our way again, we stopped at my old home- the pet store, we never go here, I wondered why we stopped here. The boy picked up a few treats and a new leash and off we went again...
We started walking again, finally, I think towards home, we crossed the store and reached the old park again. The boy's friends were waiting for him there, they all had a strange set of things with them. An overcoat, few clothes, oddly even a toothbrush and paste and soap, I was surprised I didn't know the boy or his friends even knew what they were... they clearly seemed to have lost their minds, well again, that's no news there...
So we start walking again, his friends were following us, I guess they were also coming home, I didn't mind as long as we got home. I was tired and exhausted with the long journey today. But no, we had one more stop, the boy went through the park and went to the old man and stopped. I wasn't sure why were we stopping again...
The boy introduced his friends and they all gave the stuff that they had with them. This was really strange.. why did they do that? The old man seemed really happy and grateful. He told them he was like them once, full of hope and fun and laughter and happiness. Then he was called for duty and the things he saw in the war changed him. He is not the same person anymore. He lost his loved ones, he lost his family, friends, home, everything.
He had everything before the war and after that, he lost everything. Now the only companion he had was his dog.
But he said he is doing okay, people like the boy make him realise and see that there is still hope in the world, there is happiness in the world still.
The boy and his friends reminded him of himself and reminded him to be hopeful.
I am happy my boy stopped to talk with the old man.
I am happy my boy and his friends decided to help the man.
Yes, I am tired, we had a long tiresome day.
But I am happy and will rest for a long time.
You know, my boy told me he is trading me with shop keeper for new shoes.
I think it has something to do with the shoeless old man...



Writing as a hobby, love writing poems and short stories.

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