by Gene Murphy
It was a Wednesday morning in December and I was making my way home from a gym session, twisting my feet on the slick concrete path to test the grip of my trainers, when the Fiat Punto with only one headlight hit the little schoolboy who had stepped out from behind a parked car, sending him spinning through the dark above like a toy windmill caught in a gale.
As the world closed its eyes and covered its ears, I felt something hit my leg. I initially couldn’t see anything in front of me on the path, but with the aid of my phone flashlight I discovered the object lying near a wall. It was one of the boy’s shoes.
I picked it up and held it in the length of my open hand. The bowed laces were pulled so tight I figured an adult must have knotted them. Its inside was still warm, too, though at the time I wasn’t sure why I had put my hand in. Maybe I couldn’t believe its tiny size, its delicateness.
The strange thing about the shoe was its grip. So smooth was its sole that the boy must have run a thousand marathons during his short time on this earth. Studying the sole, I thought what a silly thing it was for his parents to send their little boy out alone on such a slippery morning with zero grip on his shoes. It seemed like an irresponsible thing to do considering the dangers. He could have slipped on black ice and injured an elbow, after all. Yes, I thought they were very irresponsible parents indeed. But then again, I suppose they were waiting for the January sales.