Weekly Writing Challenge – Walk a Mile in Someone Else’s Shoes
This week, we’re asking you to consider things from a different point of view — to walk a mile in someone’s shoes. Leave your moccasins and bunny slippers at the door, and tell us a tale from a fully-immersed perspective that is not your own.
She lies diagonally across the narrow bed so that her feet, in sensible court shoes and pantihose, can hang off the edge. She picks a book off the stack on her bedside table and carefully opens it at the first page. She progresses several pages into the book before she’s interrupted by a nurse with a tea-tray. She closes the book and places it on the bedside table.
The smell of the room is familiar and pervasive. It is the smell of mothballs, disinfectant, medication and the Steradent she puts her dentures in at night. Everything about her has this smell – her milky-white hair, her clothes, her books.
She finishes her tea and picks up a different book from the stack on the bedside table. She carefully opens it at the first page and starts to read. This book has a name written in the front that is not hers. She does not recognise it. Many of the books on her table have strange names in them. She does not know this.
She pushes her half-moon glasses higher up her nose. Behind them, her eyes are a clear, bright blue, the colour of the sky after an early-morning rain shower. Light pours through the window behind her head and glints off the picture-frames that line the wall. Faces, many of whom share her eye-colour, stare down at her, laughing, frozen in time.
She stands in front of the door in the gloomy corridor. Her daughter stands behind her. Already she can catch a whiff of it – that familiar smell that will forever remind her of this.
She knocks on the door. “Mother?”
She opens the door. Light blue eyes look up and stare into her brown ones, but the face remains frozen. No recognition comes. The room is so light and bright, but suddenly the gloomy corridor outside seems preferable to this. They remain staring at each other until her daughter steps through the door behind her.
The old woman’s gaze shifts to the newcomer and finally the familiar face lights up, the wrinkles shifting into new positions as she smiles and cries out, “My black-eyed girl!”
P.S. I have black eyes.