Ten year old Josh walks into his bedroom holding a school flyer and reads it out loud.
Shoe Thief Strikes Again
A phantom show thief has made off once again with a boys sneaker. The shoe thief strikes during gym class and removes only one sneaker from random lockers in the boy’s locker room. Anyone with any information should speak to a teacher or the principal. This cannot continue. The shoe thief must be stopped!
Josh sits on his bed and puts the flyer down. He reaches down and lifts up his bedspread revealing a collection of sneakers. Josh looks up and addresses the audience.
“So, I’m the phantom show thief. I didn’t mean to do anything bad. I just wanted someone to walk home with me. Only nobody would, nobody likes me. I get lonely being by myself all the time.”
Josh bends over and picks up a red sneaker.
“This old, beat up sneaker here belonged to Scott. Scott sits next to me in math class. Scott has allergies. Why, it seems like Scott is allergic to everything and everyone. Every time you see Scott he is blowing his nose (Honk, Honk, Honk), or sneezing. Some kids pick on Scott. They make fun of him and his nose, but, he just laughs it off. I wish I could do that, but I can’t. Since we sit next to each other in math class we’ll talk once in a while. He’ll ask me if he could cheat off my paper during a test and I’ll tell him “No.” There was one time Scott called me at home on the phone to ask a question about the math homework. Well, the two of us started talking and we stayed on the phone for over an hour! He told me his feelings get hurt when the kids at school pick on him, only he doesn’t let them know it. He pretends it doesn’t bother him when it really does. He told me it’s the reason he runs a lot (Scott’s the best runner I know). When he runs with the wind whipping around him and the sound of his own heartbeat in his ears he forgets about being picked on. Before we hung up he gave me some advice. He said, “When kids tease you, you can’t let it show that you’re upset.” That was the best conversation I ever had. The next day at school when I saw Scott in the locker room changing his sneakers (Scott is seen in the shadows changing his sneakers) for gym class I asked, “Hey, Scott, you want to walk home with me after school?” He rose, looked at me and said, “I wish I could Josh, but I can’t, sorry.” Then he went outside to run some laps around the track. I was upset, but I didn’t let it show. That was the day I took Scott’s sneaker. Carrying Scott’s sneaker home in my backpack that day I felt as though he was walking right beside me. The two of us would have had fun if we did walk home together, I’m sure of it.