Jade sat at the side of the road and slowly undid the laces of her worn out shoes. Painfully pulling them free from her feet she turned them over in her hands and she saw holes in the sole.
“That’s why it hurt so much,” she thought, “because my sole had gone.”
Jade had been running for years because she thought she had to. She was doing what she was taught was right. She didn’t know anything else. So for years she had been chasing a shadow that could never be caught. Exhausted, Jade dropped the badly worn running shoes to the dusty ground. A cloud of dirt and smoke rose to greet her. She coughed and turned around to avoid the swirls of dust.
It was then that she looked up and saw a beautiful jewel filled city. The gems were of different colours and sizes and they were fixed in that space. They glinted in the sunlight. Jade shaded her eyes as she peered towards them.
In her life she had become used to shifting mirages so doubt filled her mind as she looked towards the bright lights. Nevertheless, shifting her weight forwards Jade attempted to stand.
Her feet really hurt. And her sole was almost torn to shreds.
“How did I never notice the pain?” she mused to herself. “Will I even be able to walk now?”
One painful step at a time Jade moved towards the city of gems. To her surprise it didn’t disappear or get smaller as she approached. The ground appeared to be cushioned as she repeated her steps in the new direction. Walking barefoot was a newfound freedom.
The discarded shoes were soon blown away by the desert wind.
The story goes that the shoes came to rest in the crevice of a hill many moons away where they were found one day by the dream Jade had been chasing. It was many years later that they had even noticed that their constant shadow was gone, so they turned back but it was too late for them, the only thing they found on their search was a pair of shoes with a worn out sole.
In the meantime Jade had settled into her new city life and found a gem that suited her. It wasn’t long that she even forgot about the times when she was forever running and chasing something that was trying to shake her off.
Her soul is healing now.