Lucille Horton stood on the edge of the building. The tips of her small pink shoes stuck over the edge, contrasting with the grey world below her. Grey cars rushed past, their drivers in grey suits, heading to their grey offices. Lucille looked up at the sky, another grey monotonous wash. The day felt like God had turned the saturation down on everything except her shoes. She wondered why she had put these shoes on today, they were so different from her normal grey flats. Her dark grey slacks and coat made the shoes look like a mistake, like she had forgotten what colour they were. They looked weird against the world and against Lucille. She shuffled a little closer to the edge, as far out as she dared to go. Another grey car rushed past far below and Lucille watched it go, her eyes following it but not really taking in what she was seeing. Did everyone else see the world like this, she wondered, as a monochromatic mess?
Something moved in the side of her eye, startling her so that she almost lost her balance. She took half a step back to steady herself automatically but regretted it immediately after. It would have been so much easier that way, to fall by mistake, without having to make a choice. The grey and white seagull that had startled her flapped past, disappointed that his usual spot was taken by by the woman with the bright shoes. Lucille unconsciously put her hands into her pockets, her clammy hand grasping her grey handkerchief. She pulled it and stared at it for a second before dropping it over the edge. It stuck in her palm for a second before fluttering down to her feet and sticking on the ledge beside her. The handkerchief seemed to mock her, laughing at how she wouldn’t jump, how she didn’t have the courage. Lucille swore and kicked at it, knocking it off the ledge. It spiralled down, caught in the dry wind, looking like a lonely sock in a dryer. Lucille could still hear it laughing at her. She wished she had something she could throw, something she could destroy, a way to get her anger out. She dragged the toe of her shoe on the concrete ledge, trailing it over the edge and pulling it back.
It wasn’t going to be today, she thought, and it probably wasn’t going to be tomorrow either. She sat down and pulled off her weird pink shoes, then threw them over the edge. She watched as they fell down into a puddle. The grey water seemed to swallow them up, taking the oddity out of the world forever. As soon as the ripples calmed it was as if they had never been, as if there was no colour in this world at all. Cars constantly swept past, always the same colour, always the same speed. Lucille sighed and turned back, heading across the roof to the stairwell. The seagull flew back to take its usual spot as she opened the door. She saw it land but didn’t care and kept walking down the stairs, her feet oddly quiet with no shoes.
The shoes meanwhile, sat at the bottom of the grey puddle, on the side of the grey road with all the grey cars. The shoes were angry, upset with this persistently repetitive world. They were disgusted by the grey and by the way they had been rejected just for being pink. They were maybe, just a bit, jealous of the grey shoes, even though they were boring and plain and the same as everyone else. Because the grey shoes were on everyone’s feet and the pink shoes were on the side of the road in a puddle.
But then again, they’re just a pair of shoes.