On a recent afternoon, a couple of hours before my first ever trip to Australia, I was wearing a pair of sneakers with a Nike logo embroidered on the heel.
I was heading to Sydney for a weekend of international sports.
The shoes were in the shape of a wing.
They were a little over three-quarters of an inch wide and three-fourths of an inches high.
The brand’s logo, I noticed, was attached to the inside of the upper.
When I saw the logo, the shoe felt too big for my body.
It looked like something out of a sci-fi film.
So, I looked up at the sneakers and tried to guess how big they would be.
They’d be big enough to fit into my jeans pocket.
They might be big, I thought.
But they weren’t big enough.
I had to get a bigger pair.
It was a big deal to me that I was not only not getting a pair with a bigger logo, but I was also not getting the right size shoe.
In the shoe store, a salesman was selling me a pair that was a size too small.
“No,” I replied, trying to sound as calm as possible.
“I need a size two.”
He gave me a size 2.
That was a lot to ask.
I’m 5 feet 6 inches tall and weigh about 150 pounds.
I’ve always wanted a bigger shoe, but now I could get the right shoe with the right logo.
When the salesman gave me the right shoes, he didn’t have to explain them to me.
I knew I wanted a size three, he told me.
The shoe store attendant told me I was getting a size six.
I didn’t need to worry about that, he said.
I asked the guy at the counter if I could take the size 6.
“Of course you can,” he said, handing me a small, white bag.
I looked at the size.
“You don’t want it, right?”
He shook his head.
I took the bag, put the shoes in it and headed out of the store.
I don’t remember much of that trip.
I remember being so anxious to get to Sydney that I didn “do anything else.”
When I got to Sydney, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
I would have been so happy, thinking about the shoes and the shoes’ name on my chest, if the store had not given me a huge bag.
A few weeks later, my dad came home from work and was surprised to see me.
“Why did you take the shoes out of your bag?” he asked.
“Because you can’t afford them.”
I was devastated.
My mother, who was in Australia on a business trip, had already left the country and my brother had returned home.
I went into the bathroom and cried.
My mom had to go into the kitchen to make dinner.
I sat on the kitchen floor, trying not to cry.
I called my mom to tell her I was upset, but she didn’t answer.
The next day, I had dinner with my mom and her brother.
She looked at me with a sad expression.
“Dad,” she said, “you shouldn’t have taken the shoes.
I should have taken them.”
“What if they were so big?”
“We would be broke.”
I felt so sad and so frustrated that my mom had told me so.
I cried for the rest of the day.
I needed to take them, and my mom couldn’t take them with her.
I got the help of my sister, a teacher, who arranged for my brother to come to Australia to take care of me.
When we arrived, my mom told me that my brother was staying with his grandmother.
She said I would go to his grandmother’s house and take care to feed him.
“Don’t worry about it,” she told me, “I’ll help you.”
But when my brother came to my grandmother’s, he refused to go inside.
I begged my mom.
“Please, Mom, let him stay.
I’ll take care,” I told her.
But my mom said no.
“If you don’t like him taking the shoes,” she continued, “then you have to take him to the police.”
My mom was right.
I stayed with my grandmother and took the shoes to the local police station.
When my mother returned to the United States a few days later, I found out that my uncle had been arrested for domestic violence.
In Australia, the police would not let me take the two shoes because I had a large family.
I still haven’t gotten the right pair of shoes.
On a more positive note, I have a nice pair of black leather sandals that I am wearing.
The sandals are not long and the heel is a little too long for me, but they fit my feet and I love them.
I have been working on the shoes for about a month now and I’ve