Marcy Mirabel only ever wanted one thing in her entire life, and that was a friend. Just one, true, friend. She’d gone through all fourteen of her painful years utterly alone, wishing she could form a bond with someone, anyone.
She was weird, or so people told her. She certainly dressed weirdly. When Marcy had been a kid, her mother had chosen all her clothes, and she’d always been forced to go to school in some sort of Laura Ingalls type outfit. Now, she could make her own sartorial choices, but she’d gotten so used to prairie dresses that she wasn’t really sure what else she should be wearing.
The answer came to Marcy on a poster that was taped to a bulletin board at school, advertising something called the ‘Converse Club’. There wasn’t really any other information indicated besides a date and time for the first meeting, but the picture of Converse shoes on the poster implied that it had something to do with this specific type of footwear.
Now that she’d realized Converse shoes where a thing, she seemed to see them everywhere. In every class she saw someone wearing Converse. All the popular kids seemed to be wearing them. Clearly, these shoes were the gateway to friendship.
As soon as she got home she did some internet research only to discover that Converse were a bit out of her price range. She knew her mother would never allow such an extravagant purchase so Marcy spent the entire weekend scouring thrift stores and second-hand shops. Finally, she found them! A pair of black Converse, only slightly worn, and only one size too big. At the same store she invested in a pair of jeans, a nondescript t-shirt, and a hoodie, since this seemed to be the uniform of the cool kids at school. New clothes in hand, she gleefully made her way home, happy to know she’d soon find someone, if not many someones, to be friends with.
She felt conspicuous in her new outfit on Monday, wondering if others would notice the change, but no one said anything. She walked into the first meeting of the Converse Club with hesitation, still unsure of exactly what was meant to occur at this gathering. To her surprise, there was no one else in the room. Five agonizing minutes went by, as she waited for someone else, anyone else, to join her. Had she gotten the date wrong? The place? Finally, another girl walked in. She had lanky hair, a face full of acne, and wore a sweater that was either ironically or genuinely hideous, Marcy couldn’t tell which. On her feet, was a brand new pair of grey Converse. The girl tentatively walked up to Marcy, and said hi. Marcy returned the greeting and they stared at each other, trying to figure out what to do.
“Oh my god, so fucking lame!” said a male voice. Both Marcy and the hideous sweater girl turned to see Andy Drew cackling from the doorway. “They’re actually wearing Converse and everything!”
Marcy and the girl looked at each other in fear. Was this all some sort of elaborate set up, meant to humiliate losers? It wouldn’t be the first time.
Without a word to Andy Drew and his friends, who jeered at them as they went, Marcy and the girl walked out of the room, and out of the hallway, and out of the school. Once outside, the girl looked down at her feet and said she didn’t even like Converse. “I mean it’s winter. I usually just wear boots.”
“Me too,” admitted Marcy.
“Did you buy those just for the club?” asked the girl.
Marcy nodded, and the girl admitted that she’d done the same. “Fuck this school!” said the girl, as she threw her school bag against the wall. She leaned down and tore the shoes off her feet, then threw them at the wall as well, giggling as she did so. “I’m Angie, by the way.”
“Marcy,” she replied, kicking off her own shoes and throwing them next to Angie’s, as she laughed. “Fuck all those assholes!”
Angie invited Marcy over for an after school snack, and Marcy agreed. They put their shoes back on, because it was, after all, winter, but they never wore those Converse again. The next day Marcy went back to her granny booties, and as she joined Angie in the cafeteria for lunch, she noticed that she was wearing fuzzy snow boots, and another ugly sweater.
“I like your sweater,” Marcy smiled.
“Thanks, I like your dress.”
Andy Drew and his jerkhole friends made fun of them as they passed by, calling Marcy and Angie the Converse Club, and they continued to do so for the rest of the year, but it didn’t matter. The Converse Club had served its purpose. Marcy finally had a friend.