CREDOS:Magic shoes — I

My best blouse was a find at a yard sale, slightly faded but still pretty. Anne suggested that we go shopping, and we took the bus to the JCPenney store. She took me to the shoe department, and we found a beautiful pair of leather shoes on sale. She told me to try them on, but I thought it was just for fun as neither of us had ever owned anything that expensive before.

Sometimes we did go shopping and tried on things just to see what they looked and felt like, but we never could afford to buy. It was like playing dress-up. But this time was different. Anne handed me the boxed shoes and said, “Here, I’ll buy these for you.”

“But . . .” was all I could say. “You deserve them,” she replied. “This interview is important. I want to see you get that scholarship.” I was speechless as I knew this was a lot of money for

her, and she would probably have to eat nothing but ramen noodles for at least a month.

I went to the interview and crossed my legs so that my beautiful new shoes shone with pride. I won the scholarship and became an engineer. Although they were nice leather everyday shoes, I didn’t wear them much because they were so special.

I hope Anne didn’t think I did not like them or something. Now, after twenty years have passed, I still have that pair of shoes with me, and I just wear them on those little occasions when I need to feel special. It’s kind of like having magic ruby slippers when you’re homesick. —