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  • It had been a year since our last meeting. Sarah stood up and I looked at her feet. We all did. She had on a pair of dark caramel brogues with electric blue stitching. Hand carved leather, slim fitting, elegant, discreet and beautifully crafted.

    It was her turn to speak, so she slipped past Kassandra and Tiffany and Briony and took her place at the front. She looked directly at me. "It has been a difficult year" she began "I didn't know if I was coming or going for most of it, I didn't know what the outcomes would be or if I'd find what I needed." I looked at my own feet, dark green silk kitten heels with a little peep of toe and quirky little pom. "I learnt a lot, I learnt what humility really is. It's the ability to accept the kindness of strangers and the not so strange" we all grinned a little. "I wanted to say that I admire you, that I have wondered how you became you - I don't know if it was despite or because of all the things you faced in your life. But in a way it doesn't matter, because you are all those things. You are the horror you survived and people that you helped and the creatures that you love and lovers you have known"

    It's funny how feet can be so interesting at times. I couldn't stop looking at my own.

    "I want to say that you aren't perfect. You do spoil for a fight sometimes, you waste that energy on lesser opponents. You'd do better to take up boxing. Seriously. And I don't understand why you procrastinate, I think you are scared of success. Or wasting your time. I don't know what that means. If you love doing something you love - that's not a waste"
    "Mostly I want to give you this advice. You can trust it. Who you are, where you are going, where you have been. You know who you are. Never give in. Never give up. Go live it, your way"

    And then she reached down and undid those beautiful shoes, slipped them off and handed them back to me. The shoes she had spent a year in, day in, day out. They, the ones I loved the most, the ones that had summed me up in their elegant androgyny and quality that could outlast a hundred years. I took them from her and placed them under my chair.

    Stepping to the front I looked at Briony "It's been a difficult year" I began.
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