Arch Support Lesson










I sat down on the edge of my bed, grimacing as I slid my shoes off. My feet – red, warm and clinging to my socks like they were attached – ached at the pressure and movement. I quickly lifted them off the ground, hovering the soles above my thin carpet.

‘You should have sprung for the shoes with arch supports,’ my mum said from the doorway, eyebrow raised in silent judgement above the pile of laundry she was carrying.

‘I thought I had,’ I grumbled back at her, collapsing onto my bed with a sigh. ‘I think that guy in the shoe store lied to me.’

‘He told you to get the other one too,’ she said.

‘But then he used the words cool and popular to describe that pair,’ I said, pointing vaguely in the direction where I’d kicked off my shoes. ‘He knew what he was doing, Mum,’ I whispered. ‘He knew exactly what he was doing.’

She rolled her eyes and stepped into my room properly, dumping the armful of folded clothes on my desk chair. ‘Do we need to take you to see any podiatrists? Cheltenham – near me or your Dad should be fine.’

I sighed deeply. Another advantage of having divorced parents: geographic flexibility.

‘No,’ I said. ‘I’ll be fine. I’ll have a bath or something, I don’t know.’

‘You should probably be doing that anyway, son,’ she said.

‘Har, har,’ I laughed, sarcastically. ‘I don’t know why you’re being so… unsupportive.’

‘I don’t know,’ she said, frown deepening in a moment of seemingly genuine self-reflection. ‘I think because I like when you learn lessons in tactile ways that I know you’ll carry with you.’

‘That’s mean,’ I frowned.

‘That’s life, son,’ she said, smiling not unkindly. ‘Now take those socks off before you lose all the circulation to your feet. Don’t put them in the wash, either – you’ve got a perfectly good bin, right there.’

She walked out, immediately turning to the left so she could barge into my sister’s room and set her straight about something.

I sighed again.