My Shoes (The Conclusion)
A Short Story
The next day, Clyde woke to an unimaginable reality. He found himself in an alley, in a makeshift cardboard structure, and wearing old dirty clothing. As he was trying to figure out if he was dreaming, he glanced at his feet, which displayed a brand new pair of white sneakers. He rose to his feet and looked around, there were other structures similar to the one he was just in, but they were so far away from his. He began to walk in the direction of the said structures, hoping to find out how he arrived at his present location when the night before, he had fallen asleep in his comfortable bed, located in his magnificent mansion.
“Hello, is anyone else up?”
There was no answer.
“Hello! Is anyone else up!”
Still, there was no answer. Clyde decided to exit the alley to see where he was. As soon as he was gone, everyone in the other cardboard structures came out. They all began to talk amongst each other and the topic of discussion was the man that had just left, and nothing nice was being said.
Clyde discovered the alley was next to his favorite restaurant, and this discovery brought a smile to his face. He felt that at least he could use the restroom and make a phone call.
“Good morning, Mike,” Clyde said to the well-dressed doorman of the restaurant.
The man in question looked at Clyde with unfamiliar eyes, “How is it that you know my name, Sir?”
“It’s me Mike, Clyde.”
“Sorry, Sir. I know of only one Clyde Morgan, and you’re most definitely not him.”
“I most certainly am him. Look at my face, it’s me.”
“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to move along.”
“But, Mike, it’s — ”
“Sir, move along, or I’ll be forced to notify the authorities.”
Clyde started to continue to plead his case but thought better of it. He decided to go home, so he attempted to hail a taxi. But due to his appearance, his attempt was to no avail.
Three hours later Clyde arrived at his mansion, tired, thirsty, and hungry. After having knocked on the door, he sat down on the edge of the stoop. The door opened.
“How may I help you, Sir?” A well-dressed man said, and his tone wasn’t pleasant.
A huge smile appeared on Clyde’s face after hearing the man in question's voice. “Steven, it’s me, Clyde.”
“Clyde who, sir?”
Clyde stood up and faced his manservant, “Clyde Morgan, your boss.”
“Sir, I don’t know — ”
“I got this, Steven,” a voice said from behind the manservant.
“Are you sure, Mister Morgan?”
“Yes, I’m sure, Steven.”
“Alright, Sir,” Steven moved out of the way and the owner of the voice took his place.
“You!” Clyde said.
The man placed a finger to his lips and then stepped out of the mansion, “Let’s take a walk, Sir.”
The manservant watched as the two men walked in the direction of the rear of the mansion.
“How did you — ” Clyde’s words were cut short.
“I know you’re beyond confused, so, let me explain to you what happened, and, how you can make it unhappen. It’s due to the shoes. Don’t ask me how because truthfully, I don’t know. But what I do know is that until you have changed your heart, the shoes, as well as your condition, will be your burden to bear.”
“What do you mean, change my heart?”
“You have resentment in your heart for your family having left you in the orphanage.”
“What do you know of it?”
“All the shoes allowed me to know, as well as about the rest of your life. See, the shoes sought you out. They specifically look for the person who could be of most assistance to others but due to anger or hurt, they choose not to. I was once you, not as wealthy, but just as stubborn, and, due to a broken heart. I’d given up on love, so, I cared nothing about anyone, including myself. I began to squander my fortune on booze, women, and gambling. And then one day, a man bumped into me and asked if I had any spare change. He appeared to be homeless. I played him like I usually played anyone else, I ignored him. The next morning instead of waking up in the cozy bed of my hotel room, I woke up in a park, in shabby clothes, wearing brand new white sneakers, and amid homeless people. The man who bumped into me sought me out and explained to me, what I’m now explaining to you.”
“This is ridiculous. I don’t know how this happened, but I can say it’s not because of these shoes.”
“I beg to differ. The shoes are now a part of you and until you’ve changed your heart, it’ll remain as such.”
“Nonsense,” Clyde attempted to take one of the shoes off, but it was like trying to detach his foot from his ankle. “Hey, it’s as if these shoes are glued on my feet.”
“As I said, they’re a part of you until you’ve changed your heart. And be mindful of this, you can’t fool the shoes. As they are a part of your feet, they are also a part of your heart. Once your heart has genuinely changed, they will lead you to the next owner, and the process will begin again.”
“So, let’s say all you’re saying is true. What am I suppose to do for money, food, and shelter?”
“Well, I’m going to give you fifteen hundred dollars a month, and, until your condition has changed. I suggest that you use some of the said money to look out for others, and not just because it’ll help you get closer to getting out of the shoes, but because it’s the right thing to do. Remember, you can’t fool the shoes. So, give genuinely.”
“I have to be dreaming. How could this actually be happening?”
“I can assure you you’re not dreaming, this is as real as you and I standing here talking about it is. I’m thinking you walked here from the alley next to your favorite restaurant.”
“You thought right.”
“I’m also thinking you’re hungry and could probably go for something cold to drink.”
“Well, let’s go up to the mansion and see that your two problems are solved. My name is Kevin by the way, Kevin Kennedy, but from this day forward, I’ll be known as Clyde Morgan.”
“And I guess I’ll be known as Kevin Kennedy, huh?”
“You guessed right.”
“So, once my heart has truly changed, then what?”
“Well, though your life has changed, you still possess your wisdom, it’s just not going to be a factor until your heart has changed. Once the shoes have determined your heart has actually changed, you can begin to rebuild your fortune. And the great thing about it, you’ll have a tremendous head start, so, you’ll be back to normal in no time, well, financially that is to say.”
“So, what are your plans, Kevin, I mean Clyde?”
“Well, I have plans of use my newfound wealth and influence to make life better for a multitude, Kevin.”
“Sounds like great fun,” Clyde said sarcastically, “I’m still looking to wake up at any given moment.”
“Well, Kevin Kennedy, you’re as woke as you’re ever going to be. Now, let’s go get you fed, and, your first fifteen hundred dollars.” The two men began to walk back towards the front of the mansion.
The moral of the story is this: At any given moment we can find ourselves amongst those who have far less than any human should. So, we should be thankful for what we have and give portions of what we have, to those who have not or who don’t have enough. When we’re blessed, we’re obligated to be a blessing.
Thank you for donating minutes of your precious time to acknowledging my offering. May all we deserve and desire flow abundantly into our lives like a river does into a sea.