Twenty-three-year-old me has a room full of over one hundred pairs of shoes but if you were to ask me, none of them come close to being as special as my old cherry red shoes. I remember being about five years old and being allowed to spend the day with my godparents who were known for spoiling me rotten. They had a daughter whose name was Stephanie, or as monolingual- Spanish speaking me would say “Estefani.” She was a bit older than me, a lot taller. She towered over me which was and still isn’t surprising, most people do. Stephanie and I spent most our time together playing at my house, but since we were at her house this time, it meant we could play dress-up. We walked into her closet which housed clothes way too big on me and rows of shoes way too big for me as well, but one pair caught my eye as nothing had ever done so before. These shoes were bright cherry red, so shiny; they had a small heel and a big red bow on top. Stephanie had already grown out of these shoes and her mother offered me to take them with me. The shoes were too big for me at five years old but I was hopeful that one day they would fit my small feet. I can promise you that I prayed for this change in my body. “Dear God, please let me have bigger feet,” I’d say at night in Spanish. And each morning I’d wake up and try them on, but no major changes. You see, at the time, getting to wear heeled shoes for me meant that I’d now be older, feel older, and be treated as such and this was exciting, I was now six and that had to mean something.
A few months later, however, we packed up our things and got on a plane from the Dominican Republic to the US and the cherry red shoes were not allowed to come on the journey with me.