The White Shoes

That year the burden on Billie's mother was heavier than usual because she had to provide a second high school uniform for one of her seven children. Never enough money, no matter the urgency, Billie is ordered to 'make do with the white shoes for now' until the required black shoes can be bought.

Billie likes the white shoes, they have the unusual quality of actually being comfortable to wear owing to the wide soft rubber soles and the slight wedge heel. Her left foot , since it was badly injured at seven years old, has always been a problem wearing ordinary shoes.

It must have been quite a sight for the principal, Miss Rule, who addressed the school assembly from the stage every morning, to see a single pair of white shoes among the seven hundred black ones. It prompted her to announce over the microphone, using a flat orthoritive tone,

"The girl in the white shoes, please take yourself home and get your black ones." The words accompanied by an audible sucking in of breath throughout the assembly hall.