Timmy was fairly normal, he came from a stable and happy family home, he was shy but thats normal when you are growing up, you will find your confidence his father would say, he believed him he just wondered when it would happen, none of the other kids at school seemingly had the same problem. As he grew older his confidence built little by little, but at school he was still the one picked last, not because of anything in particular its just most of the other children forgot he was there. On his 13th birthday he received his first proper monetary gift (more than the usual fiver in a card situation) his current trainers had been worn into submission, he walked everywhere refusing to take the bus because of well people and cycling even in the quiet town he lived in was dangerous, people just didn’t seem to see him until it was too late, at least on the pavement he was out of the way. New sneakers were on the list of things to come out of his birthday money, he didn’t want his family picking them anymore it simply wasn’t worth the embarrassment. Off he walked to town, his parents offered him a lift but he wanted to prove his independence, he didnt need to be chauffeured around like the others he could make his own decisions. Secretly his mother was worried about what kind of sneakers he would come home with, she wasn’t a fan of them as it was, it was merely a cheap way of keeping him in shoes for her she would much rather wore something smarter.
Timmy arrived at the first shoe shop, it was filled from top to bottom with high-fashion sneaks perfect for all the super cool teens out there but nothing spoke to him, the second much the same large garish store plenty of choice but all soulless, he knew the right pair would come along so he went to the nearest shop and bought himself a can of Cola and sat down on the nearest wall. Looking around he spotted a shop much further down the street than he normally went, he finished his drink and ventured towards the door, it seemed to have just appeared out of nowhere, he was sure he would have noticed it before. Curiosity overtook his shyness and he gently opened the door, it was a tiny shop filled with different kinds of shoes, sparkly shoes, flamboyant boots and some that looked like they would turn you into a giant. Venturing him he found himself saying hi to the shop keeper who was sat at his counter, he was wearing a multi-coloured top and something that looked suspiciously like a wizards hat. The shelves were literally filled, “why hello young sir, and how can we help you today?” the shopkeeper stood up and walked towards him, Timmy froze for a second, the man stopped “first time shoe shopping on your own huh?” Timmy nodded “well that’s ok, i’m sure ive got the perfect pair for you, what are you looking for?” Timmy dug deep, he was filling with dread, he had to speak but no words wanted to come out “uhm I need some new sneakers, I got some birthday money” he dug his hands into his pockets and produced his wallet. “well my name is Jon, no need for your wallet lets just look for the minute, do you know what size you are?” Timmy relaxed now he knew his name it was ok, he slipped his wallet back into his pocket, he knew what size he was the last time he had shoes but whether that was true now was another thing, “uhm well I know what size im wearing, not sure if its right anymore though.” Jon smiled, “well that’s fine, what size you got we can always try bigger or smaller” Timmy looked at the bottom of his shoe awkwardly it said 41 “uhm well it says 41, my mum seems to want to buy horrible cheap shoes, they last about 6 months then I kill them with my walking” Jon raised his eyebrows “ah yes the misconception of cheap shoes, when will parents ever learn they just don’t last” Timmy smiled “she says its because I grow so quick she cant afford to.” Jon’s face changed again, he looked thoughtful for a moment, “I think I know just the pair” he walked to the back of the shop and took a pair from the top shelf, Timmy sat down on the stool which was conveniently behind him and started to take off his existing shoes which were looking like they needed a trip to the bin. Jon opened the box and produced one of the shoes, it was a black classic trainer, leather no shiny bits no singing or flashing lights Timmy instantly felt a connection, they would power him through anything and they had laces not velcro. Eager to try them he slipped one on, it felt like a glove, he put the other on and did the laces up, he couldnt believe it, he walked up and down the shop in amazement they felt like walking on air he looked at Jon tears welling up and then looked away immediately to cover himself. Jon smiled “they look good, I can tell you like them” Timmy pulled himself together and wiped the tear that had accidentally escaped “I do thank you so much, how much are they?” then panic set in what if he couldn’t afford them? Sitting back down the smile started disappearing as he waited for the answer Jon simply smiled and said “to you they are £10” Timmy was floored he had £50 and the man only wanted £10? “really? I can have them for £10? are you sure?” Jon smiled again “yes of course, the joy it brings me to see you love them is more than enough payment” Timmy rifled through his wallet and produced a £10 note “Can I wear them home? My old ones are in a bad way” he looked down embarrassed Jon laughed this time “of course you can, ill even throw the old ones away for you” Timmy smiled “thank you, Jon, I dont know what to say, is there something else I can do, they seem much more expensive than £10” Jon shook his head “no you enjoy them, they will look after you as long as you look after them.”
Timmy headed out of the shop practically on stilts with happiness, he was walking on cloud nine. Passing people in the street didnt bother him, he waved at people he recognised across the road, he found the bus stop for home and sat down, then he realised what he was doing, he was actually taking the bus but people, eh people are ok he thought, he only had to speak to the bus driver no one else. The bus arrived and he got on, greeted the driver with a smile and bought his ticket, there were only seats next to people, he sat down next to an older lady who smiled at him, he smiled back and that was that. As he walked from the bus stop home he thought about Jon and the shop, where had they come from? It was almost like a fantasy shop from a book, just appears then disappears again reappearing somewhere else. As he walked through the front door he was still deep in thought, he mother shouted from the kitchen “is that you Timmy” he carried on walking into the kitchen “oh good you are home” his mum looked relieved then she saw the shoes her face changed “those are nice, I hope you had enough money” Timmy smiled “yes I did thanks” his mother persisted “so where did you get them” Timmy knew this had been coming “Its a small shop down the other end of town, I tried the other stores but they werent any, these feel like im walking on air, I even got the bus home,” his mother was speechless he never got the bus home. “That’s great, you seem different Timmy are you ok?” he shrugged “yeah im good, something about these shoes makes everything better, the shop keeper said if I look after them they will look after me.” His mother wasnt sure what that meant but if it made him look after his shoes then that was good enough for her. Timmy went upstairs and dropped his stuff in the corner of his room, as he took his shoes off there was a tiny sparkle of light, there were adventures to be had he was sure of it.
To be continued.
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