When Papa came home on leave he bought a pair of shoes so heavenly they gave me goosebumps just looking at them. Mama refused to touch them. ‘I ain’t got no need for dancing shoes til you’re back home for good.’
She said I could wear them to the village dance. Excitement popped and fizzled in my belly. They were a good size too big but I stuffed the toes with tissue to pad them out, along with my bra. ‘You’d better hope nobody lights a cigarette near you girl, you’ll go up in flames.’
Jimmy didn’t smoke but he damn sure lit a fire in my heart.
We danced as though our lives depended on it. Twirling round faster and faster. We danced to create memories to remember. We danced to forget.
Jimmy walked me home. When we kissed, heat rose through me so fast I was sure my head would explode. I let him touch me in places Mama said were for husbands only. He promised he would be mine.
We packed the shoes away, Mama and I, declaring we would wear them when our men returned at the end of the war.
I never saw those shoes again.
Written for Sunday Photo Fiction, a 200 word story inspired by a photo prompt.