It was noisy and hot and crowded inside The Foot Palace. The line was long and moving slowly, and Cory realized pretty quickly that they should have gotten there a lot earlier. This was the first day the new Isaiah Jackson Retro 4s were on sale, and it looked like every kid on the planet was there.
“So this is what kids are doing these days,” Cory’s dad said. “Standing in line to buy overpriced sneakers?”
“Not just any sneakers, Dad,” Cory said. “These are new this season. Everyone wants them.” He peeked ahead, trying to count how many people were in front of him. The line moved two steps forward, and one more kid walked by in the opposite direction with a shoe box and a big smile on his face.
“You are all welcome to keep waiting,” a woman in a striped Foot Palace uniform announced as she walked up and down the line. She cupped her hands around her mouth like a megaphone. “But I have to let you know our supply of the Isaiah Jacksons is getting low.” She called out the sizes they still had left.
“Eight and a half. That’s me!” Cory said. He could actually feel his heart beating faster.
“But what if there aren’t any left when we get up there?”
“Eight and a half? Are you sure?” his dad asked.
“I’ll be right back.” His dad walked straight to the front of the line. Cory didn’t know what his dad was planning to do, but whatever it was, Cory hoped it would work. Leaning over the counter, his dad said something to the cashier that Cory couldn’t hear. The man pointed, and Cory’s dad headed off around a display of soccer balls and lacrosse sticks, and out of sight.
Five minutes later they were leaving, and Cory had a box tucked under his arm.
When they got to the exit, Cory heard the woman in the striped uniform announce, “Eight and a halfs are now sold out.”
One boy who had almost made it up to the counter pulled his hoodie over his head, slouched his shoulders, and stepped out of line. Cory figured he must have wanted the eight and a halfs too, and now he wasn’t going to get them.
“What are you looking at?” his father asked. “C’mon, let’s get home.”
As they were leaving, Cory glanced back one more time.
The boy in the hoodie looked really disappointed. But then again, so did a lot of other kids. There wasn’t anything Cory could do about that.
He followed his dad out of the store.