I arrived home that afternoon after a very busy day at work. I walked up to my front door to unlock it, but I looked down and saw a shoe box that was sitting in the doorway right in front of me. I bent over and picked up the box. I was very curious to see what was inside. I looked all over the box to make sure that there was nothing out of the ordinary. There was no wording on the outside, and the box top was neither taped nor glued on. I lifted off the top and looked inside, and I saw one black velvet women’s flat shoe. I became more curious to what this was about. I reached in and felt the dark red velvet with my fingers. I took the shoe out of the box to have a closer look. I saw that the inside of the shoe had white, fluffy fur. I then noticed a piece of paper that was folded many times hidden beneath the shoe. I took the piece of paper out of the box and unfolded it, and it turned out to be a full sheet of paper with a message that said, “Meet me at the Waterpark.”
I was puzzled at first, but I assumed that the person wanted to see me and that it was a woman. I went to my car and drove to a place in Crystal City called the Waterpark, a park with a fountain that was a very wide waterfall with twenty spouting waterfalls on each side. I always enjoyed coming here because it was one of my favorite places around. It was normally a very quiet place to eat lunch, walk around, or to just sit and relax looking at the fountain. There were usually very few people around which would make finding this woman very easy.
I parked my car in the first parking spot I could find. I got out of the car and made my way to the Waterpark bringing the shoe with me. When I arrived at the Waterpark, I was overwhelmed. I saw a crowd of people, most of which were women. At this point, I was confused. I said to myself, “There are so many people here today, and most of them are women. All I need to do is look for a woman who is missing one shoe.”
I walked around and looked at every woman that was there. A few of them were with their husbands or boyfriends. There were many who were there with other women. Just a small few were there all by themselves. I figured that those who were there with their men and those who were there with other women could not be the one I was looking for. I decided to look at the few who were there all alone.
I walked over to one woman. I looked at her feet and saw that she was wearing both shoes. I figured that she was not the one that I was looking for. I looked at another woman who was all alone, and it was the same thing. I looked at every woman who was there by herself, and they all had both shoes on. I looked over and saw a woman who had her feet in the water. I walked closer to her, but then I stopped just a few yards from her. I looked at the shoe. I then looked at her feet in the water. I kept my distance from her, but I was curious to see if she was the one whose foot was going to fit into this shoe. I kept looking at her for a little while until I saw her take her feet out of the water. She stood up, and I saw a pair of sneakers next to her. She bent over, grabbed her sneakers and walked away. I watched as everyone was leaving and headed out on their way. In a short while, I was the only one left. I had the whole park to myself.
It was late in the evening. I was all alone, and I was still at the Waterpark holding this shoe. I had spent the past couple of hours sitting on a bench gazing at the fountain as the lights reflected off the falling water. I did not see anybody, but I never looked for anyone as the fountain was too beautiful to look away. As I continued to stare at the fountain, I heard a woman’s voice say, “Excuse me.”
I turned my head and saw a woman standing next to me. She asked me, “Can you tell me how to get to U.S. 1 North?”
I pointed and said to her, “Just go over there to 15th Street and turn left. You will see signs to U.S. 1 as soon as you make the turn.”
“Thank you,” said the woman.
I was about to turn away, but I noticed how beautiful she was. She had beautiful long, golden hair. She wore a dark blue sweatshirt and gray jeans with a hole in the right knee. I looked at her feet and saw that she wore nothing on her right foot. On her left foot was a black velvet shoe. I took out the shoe that I was holding. I looked at the shoe, and I looked at the shoe on her left foot. I showed her the shoe and said, “This must be yours.”
She looked at the shoe. She then looked down at her bare foot. She looked at me and said, “It is my shoe. Where did you find it?”
I said to her, “It was in a shoe box on my doorstep.”
She asked me, “Would you be kind enough to put the shoe on my foot?”
I knelt down and put the shoe on the ground. She took her right foot and slipped it into the shoe. I sat back down on the bench and said, “I am happy to meet you. I hope that you are able to find your way around.”
“I don’t have a car,” she replied. “Can you take me?”
At this time, I pictured myself as Humphrey Bogart and thought to myself, “This is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”