The Warrior Word’s new series chronicles a day in the life of a different student each week. This week, 11th grader Adira Kahn, writes about the day she forgot to wear shoes to school.
Monday 7:28 am
It’s Monday morning, the first day back from Passover break. I race out the door, sprinting, heart pounding, panting, determined not to lose the daily race against my older sister and chauffeur, Rena.This is the earliest we’ve ever managed to leave for school and I, disheveled and rushed, am dashing across our front lawn clutching my pink sneakers and state-of-the-art 33.9 ounce water bottle in one hand, my black football drawstring bag and green tea in the other, and my blue jacket hanging over my forearm.
“Come on!” Rena squawks at me. “We need to go to CVS so I can get iced coffee. You’re running in so put your shoes on.” Rena is unfazed by my shoeless, sock-clad feet, which today feature one bright blue sock and the other patterned with watermelons; a pretty common occurrence for me.
I throw all of my things on the floor of the car, drop my tea in the cupholder full of rusty coins, and slide into the passenger seat. As if by reflex, I automatically roll down the window and plug my phone into the auxiliary cord to play the most recent song I’ve discovered. First on today’s playlist is a song called “You Suck” by Abigail Breslin, which is a horrible song, especially for a Monday morning. I highly recommend it.
When we stop at the 41st Street traffic light with CVS in our sights, Rena repeats the instructions, “Put on your shoes, get me the vanilla one.” I reach down to put on my pink sneakers… except my sneakers aren’t there. No, that can’t be right, I think. I search through the mountain of my belongings below my feet. Where are my shoes? I’m positive I was carrying them when I ran out of the house.
“Ummm…” I stammer, unwilling to accept what has happened. “I can’t find my shoes. There is no way I forgot my shoes, right?” Rena quickly catches on only to burst out into laughter and start sending videos to everyone possible about this typical, only-would-happen-to-me crisis. “No, no, no, this is not happening. We need to go back home now!”
“Don’t worry, I’ll go get the coffee,” Rena offers, as if that helps solve the predicament. “I’ll see if they have any shoes for you.” We both pretend to accept that CVS might have any shoes besides the $2 flip flops, which I’m pretty sure aren’t allowed in our school dress code.
Rena gets back to the car empty handed (besides for her glorious coffee), gives me a sympathetic look, and starts driving to school, but then a lightbulb goes off. “Wait! Call Tehila, I think she has an extra pair of shoes in her car!” With my last shred of hope, I press the little phone by the name “Tehila Moore.” As soon as she picks up, I waste no time. “Tehila! By any chance do you have an extra pair of shoes?” I am filled with relief when she responds, “You know, Jack and I share a locker, and his mother’s shoes are in there. I have no clue what they look like because they’re in a bag, but they’re all yours.” I thank her profusely and hang up the phone.
I finally make it to Tehila’s locker after suffering through confused and entertained responses from students and teachers, while Rena films every move of my bizarre barefoot adventure through the halls. I open the locker, take out the bag of my savior shoes and look inside. I am looking at silver sandals. Correction: silver, high heeled sandals. This obviously calls for more videos taken by the extremely helpful documentarian of this awkward episode in The Life of Adira. I hesitantly put them on, knowing that this isn’t actually a viable solution, and look down at the tragic sight of my mismatched socks jammed into the heels. This is not going to work out well for me.
Desperate for a quick fix before the first period bell rings in four minutes, I hurry through the halls, asking everyone I see if they happen to have extra shoes. Much to my dismay and surprise, no one has any spare shoes for me, and I am about to give up and walk to math class in defeat when I see Joshua Shaulson.
“Shuee, gimme your shoes.” I call out. Without hesitation, he kicks off his shoes and hands them to me. Great kid. I quickly slide on the two-sizes-too-big dirty white Adidas sneakers and gracefully speed walk to my locker for my math binder with just minutes until Mrs. Simauchi will close the door on me and make me walk down and back up the four flights of stairs to get a late pass, a happening that I am very familiar with.
“Wait, what am I supposed to wear?” A reasonable question asked by Shaulson. I toss him the heels but for some reason he laughs it off instead of being grateful. “But actually, I need them later. Am I gonna get them back?”
“Oh my god, Shuee, I don’t know” I brush him off as I am walking away, “Can you stop bothering me, I gotta go.”
I am walking down the staircase to my davening room, after having explained the whole story to my math class, when I see Shuee coming my way. Knowing that this interaction would most likely lead to me returning the shoes and resuming my comfortable, yet strange state of walking around in socks, I bolt up the stairs and he takes off after me. My backpack and water bottle are weighing me down. I drop them both and, driven by fear, am running faster than ever before, which is saying a lot since I’m on the cross country team and can run an impressive thirty minute mile. When I am safe in the girls’ bathroom and can finally catch my breath, I am flooded by a wave of guilt, but more importantly I don’t want to hang out in the bathroom for the rest of the day. I walk outside in surrender and hand him his over-sized sneakers.
In davening I am repeating the story to idolizing fans, when the third possible lifesaver of the day perks up. None other than the renowned defensive flag football player and undercover genius, Shani McCarley, says, “I have cleats in my locker and the spikes at the bottom screw off. You can go get them if you want.” (For those of you who don’t understand football language, that means that she has football shoes where the spikes at the bottom come off.) My response was the same as it had been the last two times I thought someone was solving my little problem:
“Oh my gosh, thank you so much!” I run upstairs full of hope for the third time, naively thinking this would actually work out.
As some great writer once said, “all good things must come to an end.” Even with the spikes off, the cleats are inconveniently very slippery and cause me to fall down the stairs not once, not twice, but thrice. I eventually decide to ditch the whole concept of shoes and just be happy with who I am at my core without luxuries like shoes or matching socks.
For the rest of the day I am the happiest I have ever been. I am a bird breaking out of its cage and soaring all over the world, also known as the hallways. It was an unforgettable and liberating experience that helped me take school a little less seriously, because hey, I got away with not wearing shoes for most of the day. If you’re one of the rare ones who hasn’t yet gone to school without their shoes, I strongly advise you try it. Just do what I did and purposely leave your shoes at home and then make up a whole story about how you forgot them.
Tuesday 7:47 am
I walk through the hallways (with my pink sneakers on this time) feeling like a champion. As people look down at my feet, they applaud me and compliment my accomplishment of remembering my shoes today. I gotta say, I’m actually grateful of this experience because it has set the bar for what people are proud of me for so low, that I can pretty much just attend my classes once in awhile, occasionally do homework, and remember what my name is and people act like I’m some genius. Just another day in the life.
By Adira Kahn (11th Grade)