The Pink Shoes

The weather was extremely cold and snowy. The street was covered by ice and snow. Everyone was in a hurry to go home as soon as possible.

"Buy a handkerchief for yourself please," said a small boy, his hands were red.

"Help! Help me for God's sake. My children are hungry waiting at home." An old kneed man was shouting and crying, but no one heeded him. Everyone was busy with their own work. There was the sound of music in the shops, and the smell of roasted meat filled the air.

A small girl rushed to the bakery and said: "Please give me a loaf of bread." Her fingers were insensible, her shoes were wet.

"Hey! You girl, come and stay in the line." "It's my turn don’t you see?" shouted a tall man.

She went to the line. After fifteen minutes she bought a loaf of bread and walked away… while walking in the street, she saw something in a shoe shop. Yes, she saw a pair of nice, pink shoes. She looked at them for a while. They seemed to be so expensive, she thought; consequently, she continued her way. She was walking and her feet got really cold.

"Look at her dress, her shoes!" said a small boy to his friends.

"Her father doesn’t buy her even a pair of shoes," said another one.

"Let's go, boys! She is a beggar," said the other one.

She cried, but said nothing. They laughed and ran away…

"Did you buy the bread, Maryam?" asked a young, slim woman.

"Yes, Mom, I did."

After having dinner, Maryam said: "Mom! My shoes are too old. They can't be repaired again."

With a low, sad voice her mother answered: "Okay, my lovely daughter, tomorrow I will get my salary and buy you a pair of new shoes."

Maryam asked, "Mom! Did my father love me?"

Her mother answered: "Of course he did, my dear."

"Then why did he leave us alone?" Maryam asked.

Her mother was astonished and didn’t have an answer to this question. "He had to leave us, and it wasn’t in his hands to stay with us," her mother answered, tears were flowing on her cheeks.

"Then why didn’t he take us to heaven, Mom?" Maryam was asking herself, but there was no answer for her question.

The next day, her mother went to a big, modern apartment. She started washing the clothes and cleaning rooms till noon. She was so tired, but happy that she would get her salary today so she could buy a pair of new shoes for her small daughter; suddenly, a fat old woman entered the room and said: "Where is my golden ring? I put it on the table, and it isn’t there."

Maryam's mother was distressed, and said: "I swear I haven’t seen it."

"Don’t lie! I know you have stolen it," shouted the fat woman.

"No, no I swear on my small daughter that I haven’t stolen it." Maryam's mother cried.

The fat woman shouted at her again, “Get out of my house; otherwise, I will take you to the police station."

Maryam's mother begged her, "Please! Give me my salary. I need it; I must buy a pair of shoes for my daughter, and she is waiting."

While the fat woman pushed her out of the house, the fat woman's daughter, who was a short girl, came in and said: "Mother, you are a great actor! You kept your ring and accused her for stealing it." She laughed aloud.

The fat woman answered, "It was two months that I didn’t pay her salary, so I played such a drama to pay nothing to her." Then they started laughing together…

It was so cold when Maryam's mother arrived home. There was a hole in the ceiling, and the drops of water were falling down into a dish. They didn’t even have a stove at home. Maryam saw her mother was so tired and depressed. Tonight they didn’t even have a piece of bread to eat. Maryam guessed that her mother didn’t receive her salary again. Maryam went out of the home. There was a thunderstorm in the sky. She looked at the sky and shouted: "Stop! Stop all these! Why should we deserve such a life? What is our sin in this world?" Her tears were washed with the drops of rain.

Her mother heard while Maryam was crying. She rushed, hugged her and said: "Please calm down, my dear!"

Maryam answered: "No, Mom, I can't. Yesterday children laughed for the patches in my dress and their taunt was the same as a sword injuring my heart. There weren’t any children except me in the street who had neither a pair of shoes nor a hat in this cold winter. Our neighbors use the power of electricity with modern heating equipment at home, while we aren’t even able to buy wood for the kitchen and that candle doesn’t have much more light. Our neighbors eat meat and chicken, but we don’t have even a piece of bread to eat. I have always wished and cried to have a pair of shoes,  why don't my tears and wishes have any effects? Why mom…?" and tears didn’t let her continue, both mother and daughter cried together; suddenly, there was a lightening in sky…

"Everything will be alright, my dear. Let's go home," said Maryam's mother. That night Maryam couldn’t sleep, and as she closed her eyes Maryam dreamt that she went high, so high in a sky where she could see only white and blue clouds. She sat on a piece of blue cloud. The small white birds were flying in a circle around the clouds. A small colorful butterfly sat on her shoulder.

Suddenly, an angel appeared among the clouds and sky. There was something in her hands which was shining in the sun. The kind angel said: "This is a gift for you, Maryam." She gave her a shiny pink box.

Maryam asked: "A gift for me!" That angel smiled, shook her head and disappeared…

In the morning when Maryam opened her eyes, she knew that it was just a dream. The sun was shining through the window. There was neither rain nor thunderstorm; suddenly, someone knocked the door. Maryam went and opened it, but there was no one behind it. A pink box was left behind the door. She looked everywhere, but couldn’t find anyone. That box was exactly the same as that shiny pink box which she dreamt last night. Maryam brought that pink box home and showed her mother; as they opened it Maryam was surprised. She couldn’t believe it…

Her eyes were inside the box and what was in it. Those pink shoes that she saw in the shoe shop were inside the pink box. "Mom! Mom! Look at these shoes!"

"I, I… dreamt last night… the beautiful angel, that kind angel gave me this box and…" She couldn’t talk… She was happy, and there were tears of happiness in her eyes, too.

Maryam's mother thanked God. Maryam put on the shoes. They completely fitted her. She went into the yard and was happily playing while her mother was sitting behind the window. She was staring at something. Who knows what she was looking at. Perhaps, she thought about her daughter…? Her future…? Maybe she was thinking what to do? Or what will happen? It is possible that she was thinking how to provide a piece of bread to eat today. Again there was a smile on her face. Yes, she knew that there is someone who would always help them. She knew that God is always with them. This feeling made her be strong and fight against the difficulties of life that time she stood up…