I had a really good group of friends in high school. We were fairly even numbered when it came to the boy-girl ratio. We spent every lunch hour together, usually hanging out in the cafeteria and playing cards. Apparently playing cards was frowned upon in our school because it was thought to be a precursor to gambling. Regardless, my friends and I thought we were so cool because we were rebelling against the system.
In our group, there was a girl named Jessica. She was the one that every guy wanted to be with. She knew it too. I had a crush on her the day I met her as a freshman, but I was just lucky enough to be considered her friend.
On this day, something special happened that made my heart absolutely flutter with joy. We were doing our usual, playing cards and chatting when Jessica hit an unbelievable patch of bad luck. She could not win a single game!
The rule in our group was that anyone who lost would have to shuffle the cards. By her fifth shuffle, Jessica had had enough. She tried to flirt her way out of losing her next hand against my good friend, Ken. Ken, who had a girlfriend at the time, was immune to Jessica’s charm and won. Upset, Jessica kicked him from under the table.
Jessica was a very fashionable girl, which is why many guys like her and probably why a lot of girls were jealous of her. She had on a pair of leather ankle boots that stretched to put on and take off intstead of traditional zipper like the picture below. She wore skinny dark wash denim and a nice fashionable tshirt on top. It also just so happens that when she kicked Ken it was the heel of her boot that got him in the knee.
Ken was not amused by this and warned Jessica that if she ever did that again he would take her boot off. Jessica made a face as if to say Ken was immature, but didn’t think much of the comment.
The next round started and it was down to Ken and Jessica again. I knew this was my chance to stir the pot up a little.
“Don’t win Ken,” I said, trying to be chivalrous, but I had my own motivations.
“Why? Is Jessica going to kick me again? She wouldn’t dare!”
“Have you seen her boots? Those things will kill you.”
“I know,” Ken said as he massaged his knee, “but she will lose it if she tries it again.”
“I will just have to kick you harder then,” Jessica teased.
“I warned you,” Ken replied.
“Try me,” Jessica said and stuck her tongue out.
As the round progressed, it became apparent that Jessica was going to lose again. See most guys would have let Jessica win. I know I would. But Ken was competitive and I stirred the pot just enough to get him going.
“Don’t even think about it,” Ken warned Jessica as he was planning his final cards.
“Whatever,” Jessica said.
With that, Ken finished the game and Jessica had lost again.
Ken was also fairly athletic so as soon as he played the cards he slid his chair back. And almost on cue, Jessica’s booted foot came shooting up for the kick but she came up empty. She really wanted to give Ken a solid kick as her foot came up to the point that her toes grazed the bottom of the cafeteria table.
Ken’s hands lunged for the boot and now Jessica’s right foot was trapped.
“Let go,” Jessica said impatiently.
“I warned you,” Ken replied slowly as he was trying to figure out how to get the boot off.
“Don’t be so childish,” Jessica said in a calm and matter of fact voice.
Ken gave the boot a tug but it didn’t budge though Jessica almost fell off her chair. By now a few of the other guys who were watching had joined in on Kens side and started to tug on her boot.
Jessica had slid off her chair now and was on the floor as the guys all grabbed hold of her booted foot to help Ken out.
“You guys!” Jessica said sternly, “stop it!”
Girls would typically stick together but I think the girls in our group wanted to stick it to Jessica for once and joined in the fun. They grabbed her arms and pulled her back. Jessica was now beginning to panic as she knew she was in a losing battle. Her normally stern demeanor changed as she pleaded for everyone to let her go.
They wouldn’t. No one would. Jessica was now being stretched from her arms to her right leg as the guys furiously tugged at her foot
“Fine!” Jessica finally yelled “you can have my damn boot, but stop pulling! You guys are damaging them!”
Ken was about to let go, but I made sure.
“Promise?” I asked Jessica.
“Yes!” She yelled.
Suddenly, she was free as everyone simultaneously released her. Her right boot was still firmly on her foot.
The whole gang stared at Jessica, wondering what her next move would be. Would she follow through with her promise, or was she trying to get her way again?
To our surprise, she patted herself off and settled back into her chair. Everyone was still staring at her. Jessica then lifted her right leg up and rolled her jean leg up slightly. This is how I learned how stretch leather ankle boots worked because the forceful pulling didn’t get them off her feet. She placed her index finger into her boot and stretched the material while her other hand pulled at the heel. Like that, her foot was released and an empty right boot was in her hand.
“Here,” Jessica said quietly as she held her right boot in front of her for Ken to grab, “happy?”
Ken smiled and put the boot on the far corner of the tables where the other guys were sitting, as a proud trophy of his victory. The guys teased Jessica by pretending that her empty boot smelled. They passed it around between each other, taking their turn at making fun of Jessica, before putting it back on the table. I had already done what I set out to do, so I didn’t partake in the additional teasing.
As for Jessica, she had her left foot firmly planted in her black ankle boot. On her right foot was a white ankle sock that she now rested on her remaining booted foot.
The bell rang and Jessica thought her punishment was over. Sadly, she didn’t know how the immature mind of high school guys worked. The boys had disappeared and so had her right boot.
“Ken?” Jessica yelled out weakly.
“You’ll get it back after school,” Ken said as he walked away lifting his arm in the air, and in his hand was his trophy, Jessica’s boot.
“Great,” Jessica muttered to herself as she stood up in one boot and her white socked foot on her tiptoe.
“A little help?”Jessica asked as she motioned toward me. This was my motivation behind the entire plan.
I walked back over to her and she put her arm on me as she limped through the cafeteria, trying to keep her sock as clean as she possibly could.
“My sock is going to get so dirty,” Jessica muttered annoyingly to me as she lifted up her right foot to examine the damage. Her toes were already outlined in grey from just the short walk through the cafeteria. She sighed as she hung on to me tightly while we maneuvered through the sea of people in the hallways. At that moment though, I felt like it was just the two of us alone in the world. I was in heaven.
We got to her locker to grab her books and I walked her to class as she stepped gingerly through the hallways. I asked how her foot was and she lifted her socked foot up to show me that the bottom was dirty. Her toes and the ball of her foot was now a dark grey and the heel was a slightly lighter grey from less contact on the filthy high school floors.
“Will you come pick me up after class?” Jessica asked.
I imagined what Jessica must have felt, sitting in a class with one boot and one dirty sock on. I left my class early, before it ended to find Ken.
“Do me a favour,” I said to Ken, “give me Jessica’s boot.”
“I’m going to give it back to her.”
Ken read between the lines as he had seen us leaving together. He relinquished his trophy to me.
“I would have given it back in a week,” Ken said, “make her walk home like that.”
“I know. You can get her next time.”
I walked to Jessica’s class with her boot in hand, ready to play Prince Charming. As class ended, all of the students filed out, including Jessica’s friends.
Jessica sat in the back and smiled when she saw me. She walked without tiptoeing toward me.
“I didn’t think you would come,” Jessica whispered.
I reassured her that I would never let her down and presented her missing boot.
“Thanks,” she said, “my sock is so dirty, I don’t know if I should put it back on.”
I wish I held my tongue but I assured her that she should protect her foot. I should have told her not to. There’s just something sexy about seeing her in this situation. Something about her hanging on to me as she walked and how annoyed she was with getting her sock dirty. There was just something sexy about seeing the impurity that was metaphorically represented by her dirty sock. I was hers.
She grabbed her boot, but before she put it back on, she looked at her sock again. I caught a glimpse of the darkened sole. She slipped her boot back on and power walked out of the class. Her confidence was back.
“You know,” Jessica said to me as I walked her to her locker, “I was certain I wasn’t going to get my boot back at all, but when I took it off, I knew you would find a way to get it back to me.”
“Next time, can you get it back to me before my sock gets all dirty?”