Friends of mine will already know this story, but it’s a good ‘un, so I thought I’d share.
So, I’m catching my regular bus home from work. It’s about 5.30pm, so it’s pretty busy, and it’s been a nice day so there is a larger than usual assortment of undesirable people on board. Think topless dudes who’ve been drinking all day and squawky girls who think you want to know the ins and outs of the argument they’re having with their boyfriend, the way they’re screeching at him down the phone. This girl, though, was different.
She looked about 16 or 17. Pretty, dressed nicely. Just a normal teenage girl, minding her own business, trying not to breathe in that lovely aroma of stale beer seeping from the pores of the oaf next to her. Eventually that aroma appeared to get too much for her as she moved to the seat at the front, the one right behind the driver, though I barely noticed any of this, because, well I had hairy, booze-drenched oafs of my own to worry about thanks!
The interesting part came when I got up to get off. My stop is by some traffic lights so I was stood there for a few minutes, and I noticed she was staring at my feet. Now, this is not unusual. I have a shoe collection I’m proud of, and hey, I spend a hell of a lot of time staring at other girls feet. Like, probably more time than I actually should. Once, I almost walked into the sale rail in Selfridges because I was busy checking out the pair of blue suede ankle boots some lucky lady was trying on! There was nothing odd about what she said either:
SG – “Oh! I just love your shoes!”
Me – (thinking, well, yeah, of course you do. They’re pretty awesome!) “Why thank you!”
SG – “Where are they from?”
Me – “Carvela,”
SG – “Can you get them here?” (Here, by the way, was Kings Heath High Street, a small suburb in Birmingham)
Me – (All snotty and patronising) “No, sorry,” (you know, in that really insincere way that says ‘I’m not sorry at all’. What a stuck up cow I was being that day!) “You can get them online though. Or in town?”
SG – (All disappointed, which I get actually, because come to think of it, it would be pretty great if there was a Kurt Geiger store on Kings Heath High Street) “Oh. No, that won’t work. I need them now. I have no shoes you see.”
So I look down, and sure enough, this girl is barefooted. Completely, 100% barefooted, on the number 50 bus on a Tuesday rush our.
Me – (Thinking ‘Say whaaaaaaat??’) “Oh! So you don’t. Um. OK, bye!”
And then I exited the bus. Really fast. And walked most of the way home looking over my shoulder, because I was suddenly convinced she was going to mug me for my Carvela Lotty Pumps! To this day I have no idea whether it was a concious decision not to wear shoes that day, or if she’s mislaid them somehow (though, seriously, someone is going to have to fill me in on how you lose your shoes, because I’m struggling to think of any scenarios where that is likely!) but that is the kind of person who catches my bus peeps, complete and utter fruitloops!