isn’t limited to sandals and pumps. The new, handsome salesman is a tantalizing addition for an
older, single woman, and she’s bound and determined to catch his eye. Is he divorced, married,
gay? Carolyn wants something besides a pair of shoes, but who’s the woman he’s escorting
from the back room, and why does he have his arm so snugly around her waist?
Carolyn held an expensive walking shoe in her hand under the guise of inspecting it, but the gaze from the corner of her eye remained fixed on the handsome, mature salesman arranging a
display across the room. The heat of his occasional glance served as a magnet, pulling her attention to him. She couldn’t ignore him if she tried. He definitely was new—not the kind of hunk a gal forgot.
She shopped this specialty store whenever she needed new shoes, even though the prices
were outside her restrictive budget. One couldn’t put a tag on comfort, yet a pang of guilt
stabbed at her as she thought of all the other things she needed: new tires, Freon for her car air
conditioning, even a new bra. Something had drawn her here today, but this was the first time
she’d run across something much more interesting than footwear. Even at sixty-four and long
past being a giddy schoolgirl, she hadn’t forgotten the feelings of an emotional roller coaster.
Countless years had passed since she’d been on a date, and the urge to flirt gnawed at her,
but she’d forgotten how. Back in the day, she would have had no qualms initiating a
conversation and exchanging numbers, but her youth had sailed away, leaving her nothing but
insecurities from a failed marriage and the string of bum relationships that followed. Early
retirement, forced by a situation with an intolerable boss, and the onslaught of legal matters,
denied benefits, and health issues had taken a toll on her sanity. Maybe she was crazier than she
thought to believe anyone would find her in the least bit interesting.
She released a loud sigh and carried the single shoe back to a seat, waiting for service. How
could she get so excited over someone she didn’t even know? She stared into her lap and prayed
for composure from the flush creeping up her neck. Maybe she should’ve shopped for a bra
“May I help you?” The timbre of his voice matched the broadness of his shoulders and made
her jump. His tall silhouette blocked the light filtering through the front window, and her dipped
chin seemed frozen in place.
She forced her head up. “Y-es, I-I…” The words she sought lodged behind a lump in her
This short contemporary story and my others can be purchased through Muse It Up Publishing in various download formats and at a discounted price.