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My shoe obsession started when I was 16 and directly coincided with my boy obsession. It all started with my first boyfriend Joshua. He told me that he was no good and had a dark heart and I chose to ignore this... at first. When our relationship started, it was fine. We did typical things teenage couples did like going to the movies and out to the mall. The movies usually consisted of blood and gore or zombies, but I didn’t mind because he had captured my heart and I liked seeing him happy and excited about something for a change... even if that was blood and gore or zombies. Usually, on our outings, we would end up just hanging around the food court, but this day was different. I had been given money and instructed by my mother to buy myself a new pair of shoes because the old sneakers I had were old and trashy.
So some background on Joshua. He viewed himself as the typical bad boy that just couldn’t be understood by anyone. Of course, I kept saying I would change this and I would be the first to understand him because I wanted to be edgy and dark, too. I for some reason thought it was cool to have the vibe of not caring and being dark and depressing. And sure, some people are just naturally like that and I guess you’d say that Joshua was one of those people. He also refused to be called Josh—he said “pet names make you weak and they're disgusting and just wrong. I’m not an item and if you don’t want me to treat you like an item you shouldn’t treat me like one.” That should’ve been my first sign to get the hell out, but whatever, I guess. I mean, Josh is literally just an abbreviation for Joshua, but whatever... back to the story at hand.
At first, Joshua didn’t even want to come, but of course, I made the mistake of dragging him along with me anyway. He was complaining the whole time but I thought we were still having fun and he was just trying to act edgy and cool. After searching for a few hours, we stopped for food. I was complaining about not being able to find anything and how I was upset about that and the fact that he didn’t seem to care. For a while, he just sat in front of me not really paying attention while he turned the volume up on his phone and tapped his fingers along the table. As I started trying to get his attention, the tapping grew faster. It was getting louder and more aggressive, but I pressed on, hurt by the fact he didn’t seem to care.
He suddenly stopped and looked me dead in the eyes and said, “You’re right. I don’t care.” My heart stopped beating,
“What?” I asked.
That’s when he got up from his chair and dug his fingers into the table. He scraped his fingernails along it until it left marks and his fingernails were beginning to pool little pools of blood at the top of each fingertip. I could barely breathe as he took a deep breath and repeated himself.
“I said I. Don’t. Care,” he growled at me.
“You don’t care about the shoes... or me?” I asked fearfully.
All that escaped his lips was a laugh and he responded with, “Neither.”
Then he walked away nonchalantly and left me sitting there all alone. With no way home and my heart broke in two. So I walked into the closest store and began to browse around, trying to find something to get my mind off of this twisted and dark-hearted boy. And I saw them. The all-black Converse. As edgy as he always tried to be and as dark as his heart. And that’s where my shoe obsession started. Along with my streak of dating boys that were bad for me.