If The Shoe Fits

2LWA Flash Lit Challenge #1, October 2021

Suite Seventeen Twenty-Seven was displayed in an elegant calligraphic font on the door of the most lavish suite in the hotel. Appointed with rich fabrics, the expertly crafted furniture was welcoming after a long journey. The suite opened onto an expansive balcony offering breathtaking views of the the city and the bay, the perfect place to take in an autumn evening. The pièce de resistance, however, was the enormous bedroom with the imposing Alaskan King bed that was draped in luxury bedding woven from Italian organic flax yarns, and covered in silk pillows in a palette of soft orchid and lavender and smoky grey. There was enough room on this bed for a playful party or a stay-in-bed-all-weekend staycation for one. Either way, it was magnificent and she liked entertaining both options.

While this was the first time she had been inside this suite, it was not her first time in or around the hotel. She had passed it often on her trek to see her doctors as her medical transition progressed. Sometimes she walked by slowly, taking in the beauty of the architecture, and the colorful hydrangeas and bedecked doormen posted at the front entrance. Other times she passed by in a taxi and hoped they would be stuck in traffic so she could get a glimpse of the roof garden. From time to time, if she had an afternoon appointment with her surgeon, she would stop in at the lounge afterward for a cup of tea, long since having eschewed alcohol in favor of her sanity. It was the bartender who had told her about the luxury suite and all its grandeur on the seventeenth floor. She knew that someday she would see it.

Now here she stood. The hard work behind her and nothing to do but celebrate. She had booked the suite to commemorate the journey and to look forward to what was to come. As she stood there, she closed her eyes and could still see that 14 year old boy in the middle of the country, nervous but sure, coming out to his parents that he was transgender. Hoping they would love him and help him navigate his way.  She smiled at how brave he’d been.  She remembered the pictures on the courthouse steps when she changed her name, her parents by her side. And her first pair of high heeled shoes. Now, in this moment, as she was going out to celebrate with friends and family she slipped on the designer shoes she had bought months ago for this very occasion — black peep toe stilettos.  Was there any other shoe that could capture the moment as well? She thought not. Sitting back on the massive bed she took a moment to admire them. They were the punctuation at the end of the long journey to becoming a woman. Comfortable yet elegant, which is exactly how she finally felt in her body. She was ready. 

Photo credit Bronwyn Emery

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