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Day Eight: Emily Debenham

The Shoe App

Catherine liked setting up her laptop in the café because the internet was free and she had hacked the video camera feed outside. From that she had created an app that would ping anytime a man over six feet entered the store.

Graced with her father’s lanky genes, she had hit 5’10 in the tenth grade and stayed there. Worse, she had an addiction to three inch heels, courtesy of her mother, a heritage she clung to since she passed. So she needed the man in her life to tow the 6 feet tall line.

Otherwise the thousands of dollars she had invested in shoes would go to waste on their custom built racks in her generous walk-in closet. Her mother had always said “A good pair of shoes will chase away the blues.” Something Catherine had desperately needed after she was gone. Her obsession was more than mere vanity.

She would burn her shoes before she allowed others to label her as vain.

Catherine was chic, savvy, fashionable, and determined. Not vain.

Her phone pinged.

She looked up as the tinkle of bells signaled the entrance of a tall, dark, 6’2 hunk of man. Sure his chin was a bit too prominent and his stomach had a small pouch, but all that was forgivable in relation to his glorious height. She ran her fingers through her hair, glossed her lips and headed over to greet him.

Catherine opened her mouth to speak and a woman bumped into her. The woman tossed a “Sorry!” over her shoulder before she entwined her arms around the tall man’s neck. He hugged her back so tightly that both her feet left the floor. They kissed.

She glared at the woman, a small brunette that couldn’t be more that 5”2. There should be a law against that type of pair up. Better yet, an app that also informed her of random males’ relationship status. Defeated, she slumped back to her chair.

Her phone pinged again. Twice.

Could she really be that lucky? She turned to look at the prospective males.

They looked young, dressed in suits with little company name tags on the lapels. It couldn’t hurt to talk to them at the very least. She swooped her hair up into an elegant bun and smoothed her skirt as she stood.

Trying to make their meeting look natural she strode purposely as if she were going to get something up at the counter. She did a double take, and greeted them with a smile. “It’s not every day you see two gentleman fancied up in a small café,”

The first young man shrugged and reached out his hand, waiting for Catherine to shake it.

She blinked, finding the friendliness odd and shook his hand.

“My name is Elder Franks and this here—˝ he tilted his head toward his friend—“is my companion Elder Parson.”

Catherine leaned forward sure she had heard wrong. “Excuse me, say again. I thought you said both of ya’alls first names were Elder?”

“You heard correct ma’am. We’re missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Why don’t you let us have a bite to eat with you and we’ll clear up the confusion?”

Catherine looked toward the quiet one, Parson, expecting him to laugh and tell her what a huge jokester his friend could be sometimes.

He smiled at her glance. “What would you recommend on the menu?” he asked.

“The coffee is top notch but for lunch I always get the fish and chips,” she answered.

Before she knew it two six foot tall bachelors were sitting at her table chatting her ear off but they were far from eligible. Apparently, the missionary life had some stringent restrictions, including no coffee or dating. They certainly knew how to be convincing and soon she was agreeing to come to church with them on Sunday. She found their sincere belief in forever families appealing, although unrealistic.

Perhaps, she would meet some nice—eligible— tall men there.

*

Armed for church with her tallest red pair of high heels, Catherine click-clacked her way up the sidewalk pavement. Taking in the simple but clean brick building in front of her she stumbled forward, just managing to prevent herself from face planting into the cement. Her high heel had slipped right off in the fall and she turned to retrieve it.

A couple walking by asked, “Are you alright?”

“Fine. Fine,” Catherine said and waved them off.

She stooped to pick up her high heel, but it was stuck. Her face burned red. The heel had wedged itself into the space between the sidewalk cracks and wouldn’t budge no matter how she tugged.

“Looks like you are in quite a predicament,” said an amused male voice.

“Um, uh, yes.” Catherine stuttered, looking up. He was average height.

“Want some help?” the man asked.

Catherine gestured helplessly to her trapped heel, annoyed. She’d paid a lot of money for this pair of red power heels.

The man stooped down and tugged on the shoe. “Wow, it’s really wedged in there.”

His hand was wedding band free. “Yes, I noticed,” she answered.

He pulled his keys out of his pocket and selected an attached leatherman. “Maybe we can lever it out with this.”

“Careful,” Catherine warned.

Unfolding the contraption he put the pointed edge under the heel. Catherine noticed that he had very nice shoes.

“I like your shoes. Frye’s classic oxford.”

He smiled. “Good shoes equal a good day.”

Catherine laughed. “My mother had a similar philosophy, which always made me want a program that will take a picture of a shoe and tell me where to find it.”

The shoe popped out of the crack.

“Oh, I’ve made an app for that.” he said.

Their eyes met as he handed her the shoe.

“Maybe after church you could tell me about that,” she said

“Oh, I’d love to,” he said. “Name’s Fredrick.”

They shook hands and walked inside together.

# # #

Emily Debenham graduated from BYU with a double BA in history and Latin teaching. She taught Latin for two years before she had her daughter. In her free time she reads, writes, blogs, and manages her husband (also a writer).

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