In October of 200something I sprained my ankle bad enough that I could barely walk on it for a few weeks, let alone wear high heels. I love wearing high heels so this cramped my style. That New Year's I was finally ready, and I bought an adorable low-ish heeled, uncharacteristically girly pink with black adornment pair of heels and built an outfit around those. They remain some of my favorite pair of shoes I have ever owned.
Fast forward a couple of years and a couple of long distance moves. I was dating and had fell hard for somebody that was about to relocate, we'll call him T. We had a brief but intense courtship that was great in some ways for both of us; in the years that followed, up til almost present day, neither of us were really able to let go when we should have. (For me, the first second and third time he lied to me about having/getting back together with a girlfriend were the big should-have-let-the-hell-go moments, but I guess I've always liked a lesson to be really pounded into me.)
In the months that we were together we rarely spent a night, or moment for that matter, apart if we could avoid it. Naturally, there were some objects that got mixed up, which isn't normally a problem because as you clean or sort or whatever you say "Hey dollface, you left your blabla here, I'll bring it over later," then you do and life moves on. However, as this individual was about to be relocated as a member of the armed forces, there was a super swat packing crew that boxed and moved every last item not clearly labeled and separated.
T and I were trying to be realists and didn't have plans on being a couple, or even necessarily seeing each other after we both left town, other than a brief stopover on my way westward across the country. So it was with much annoyance and a little sadness that I realized later in the afternoon after all the boxes had been moved out of T's house that my girly pink sprain-recovery-celebratory heels had been packed and relocated to T's next government chosen location.
In the years since we met and swept each other off our respective and proverbial feet, we have stopped talking only to start again, for one reason, excuse, overdue apology or another every few months. He has been the "What If?" for me, and I always held out just a little hope that we'd find a way to work something out. He is a nice guy and I think for the most part has meant well, but the failure to disclose when he was with his girlfriend became a regular theme that, admittedly, I should have learned a lesson from earlier.
T was moving again a few months ago, from the house he had lived in (and deployed from a few times) since we parted ways. (AKA the house that held my shoes.) Since we were in the midst of another talking streak, and this overdue apology had really been a doozy, it occured to me that this would be the time to get my shoes back. I knew he'd send them to me when they were uncovered because he was in the process of trying to prove that he was the one for me, to show me he had made a mistake in letting me go, and to prove I could trust him so we could really build something. (I've paraphrased a little here, but most of those are not my words.)
One of the last times I talked to him, as I was deep in realizing that I needed to cut him off again, he made the sad report to me that nowhere in the house had my shoes been found. Shoes gone. Forever.
I talked to him maybe once or twice after that, and I don't exactly know why or how to describe it, but I realized distinctly that this was the last time. I held him up on a pedestal for more than two years and over and over I was disappointed, yet at least a small part of me had held on, had clung to the awesomeness of the time we had spent together as an example of what should be.
I don't want to over simplify things, but I realized something striking after the last time I hung up the phone with him...
After I found out the shoes were not to be found, it was shockingly easy to let him go.