There is often a certain amount of pain involved in wearing new shoes – especially high heels. It’s not necessarily a given that the higher the heel, the greater the pain, but as rules go, it seemed like a good one to our heroine at the particular moment in time in which we are about to join her.
“Fuck”, exclaimed Serenity, as she scrabbled around furiously in her bathroom cabinet trying to locate a plaster for her wounded heel. Her name had been a massive case of wishful thinking on the part of her parents, for serene was probably the least likely term that would ever be used to describe her, and she certainly wasn’t serene now.
Serenity was a bundle of energy, from the wild afro of her hair, through each sinew and curve of her voluptuous body, down to her fingertips, which permanently seemed to be tapping out the internal rhythms of her life. Even in her sleep she thrashed furiously, a seemingly permanent ball of pent-up nervous energy.
“Late. Late. Late…Fuck…. Ah, gotcha.”
With that, she slapped a plaster on her heel, grabbed her bag and keys and headed out of the door to meet her girlfriends for drinks.
Her friends were, naturally, all waiting for her when she arrived, hobbling slightly and breathless. “I know, I know” she waved vaguely and headed straight for the bar.
She was so out of breath and focused on getting her drinks that she hardly noticed the guy next to her at the bar waiting to be served. “Dave! Four tequila slammers please” she shouted at the barman, leaning forward to reward him with a glimpse of her ample cleavage.
She also didn’t hear her bar neighbour mutter a hearfelt “BITCH” under his breath, or feel his eyes bore into her back. What she did feel was her feet twitch slightly, something that she vaguely put down to their newness.
She paid Dave and carefully carried the slammers back to the table where her three friends were sitting.
“Fuck, I need this. Cheers ladies”.
Serenity knocked back her slammer and smiled ruefully. “Bugger. Should have ordered a few more, shouldn’t I?” Helen, seated to her right smiled “Just ask Dave to bring a few over. You know he’d do anything for you, right? Just flash your knickers at him or something. Assuming you are wearing any, of course?”
“You know my thoughts on underwear”, answered Serenity. “Only worth bothering with in the bedroom and to be taken off for special occasions”. She grinned at her friend and smoothed down her skirt. “So, are we going dancing tonight, or what?”
Two tequila slammers later and Serenity and her friends headed down the road to “T’s”, where the first name terms they were on with the door staff enabled them to jump the growing queue.
“Fucking bitch” growled the man from the bar as the girls sailed past him again, completely oblivious to his presence once more.
Inside, the noise, music and lighting exhilirated Serenity. She never felt more alive that when the beats filled her up from the inside and she could really let herself go on the dancefloor. This time, however, her feet were bothering her.
“I’ve got to sit down for a bit, my feet are killing me”, she yelled at her friend Ruby. “You carry on, don’t worry about me”.
Weaving her way to the edge of the dancefloor, she spied an empty barstool and dropped down onto it. “Thank fuck.”
She gingerly surveyed the plaster on her heel, before reaching down to try and remove the offending shoe. It took only a split second before she realised that the shoe refused to budge. Wincing, she pulled harder. Still no luck. The shoe seemed wedded to her foot. No amount of pulling wanted to move it.
She could feel the happy alcoholic haze she had been floating into up until now dissipating and being replaced by a strange cold fear. Even the music and lights seemed duller, fading in proportion to the strange panic rising through her entire body. Serenity gasped as her throat constricted and her body grew limp.
A voice seemed to come from the cloudy depths from her mind. A male voice, deep, soothing, yet also with an unmistakeable sinister undertone.
“Do you know pain, Serenity? Have you ever really experienced it? Do you know what it’s like to feel that pain with every step you take? You never have, have you? You don’t know what it’s like to feel like you have razor blades slicing at your heart with every breath you take. You’ve never given a fuck for all the hearts you’ve tossed aside without thinking. All those one night stands. All those faceless men. Think about them, Serenity. Do you even remember them? Do you remember me? From now on you’ll remember me every waking moment. Your precious heels will remind you of me and the pain you caused me until you understand.”
The voice faded and the nightclub slowly came back into focus, the lights and music now mimicking the pounding rhythm of Serenity’s beating heart.
“Ren? You ok Ren? You look like you’ve seen a ghost”
Blinking, Serenity realised the voice talking to her had changed, and was that of her friend Helen.
“Oh my God, Ren, what’s happened to your feet? Is that blood?”
It took all Serenity’s effort to focus on her friend and stammer her excuses. “Sorry, Helen, I don’t feel well, I need to go home. Don’t worry about me, I’ll get a cab.”
With that, she rushed out of the nightclub and into the fresh night air, gulping furiously in an effort to bring life back into her lungs. Smiling half-heartedly at the doorman, she said “Tony, call me a cab would you, please?”
Once in the cab, Serenity struggled to hold back the tears as the throbbing in her feet was all she could focus on. Once back in her apartment, she swallowed a couple of painkillers, stripped off her clothes and collapsed in a heap on the bed, shoes still stubbornly attached to her feet.
It took a while for the pain relief to kick in, but finally, she slipped into a deep sleep.
TO BE CONTINUED.