Middle Feet (Week 1, Day 3)
Little feet take many steps and barely leave a mark. Big feet, no matter how few steps they take, are sure to tell you where they’ve been. My feet? They fall somewhere in the middle.
I was a precocious child, or so they tell me. I walked and talked early and often. I burned through toys and puzzles, getting bored quickly which led to mischief. By the time I was seven I understood that I was different from other kids and not necessarily in a way that enamored me to the adults. By the time I was in middle school I’d stopped caring.
Carefree twelve year olds are, in a word, dangerous. It’s only the clarity of hindsight that allows me to say that from here. At the time? Well, again, I was dangerous.
My lack of care protected me from the normal prepubescent and pubescent angst. I drifted through those years blissfully unaware of the impact I was having on those around me and oblivious to the struggles of my peers. Maybe things would be different now if I’d been more affected back then, and maybe the now was destined to be no matter what.
Feet, in particular my feet, have a tendency to follow paths. My feet walked me right into adulthood without need or want of much in the way of connection. I took care of myself and only myself. I didn’t ask anyone for anything at anytime for anyreason.
I’m sure you will understand, then, why I didn’t jump into action when I found Gransene sitting on my doorstep.
I could have invited them in, or asked if something was wrong. Hell, I could have called the police and let them deal with Gransene. If I’d cared, there were plenty of options available to me. But I didn’t care. When I opened the door and found them sitting there I did what any logical, precocious, disconnected being would do. I closed the front door and left through the back instead.
Yes, I took the briefest of moments to determine that nothing was immediately wrong. There was no blood, for example. No cries of pain or fear. I suppose if there had been I would have made a different choice. Probably. Instead, I closed the door restoring the barrier between them and me and went about my day.
Gransene wasn’t my responsibility. I wasn’t attached to them anymore than I was attached to anyone. They had appeared in my life a few months before they appeared on my doorstep and with just as much notice. I had walked into a shoe store in search of a pair of bright yellow shoes. The style didn’t matter, just the color and fit. I’m sure you have similar urges from time to time, and on that day my focus was on finding a pair of shoes in a bright enough yellow – nothing more, nothing less. I’d satisfied similar urges at this particular store and walked in reasonably certain I’d be able to complete my task quickly.
This is part of the 2022 500-Word Short Story project. Comment with “Tell me more” if you’d like to vote for this to move to the next round.