I'm a boot. A black leather boot to be exact; size eight, rubber soles, very much scuffed and covered in mud. My laces are fraying, my leather is cracked and no matter how much polish is rubbed into me I'll never shine like I used to. I can't count the number of times I've been used as a doorstop, a prop, a bookstand, even a wretched fly swat! My human doesn't seem to realize that shoes are not intended for the purpose of crushing mosquitos against windowpanes.
Then again, my human doesn't seem to understand a lot of things. She doesn't seem to realize that she needs to pull my tongue out further before she can get her foot in, or that she wears too many pairs of socks to be able to get in properly, or that her trousers are far too long and get stuck to me in wet weather.
She likes mud too. Every time she puts me on, I know I will come back coated in a thick layer of slimy, cold muck. It seems to be attracted to her, or she to it. Little does she know that, while she's running full pelt to avoid being murdered by a pack of ravenous Marine recruits, or jumping over rivers (always landing face-first on the other side, might I add), I'm trying to do my job and keep her from breaking her toes. Which is a lot easier said than done, when your human has all the co-ordination of a newborn fawn on a frozen lake.
So, in short, I'm tired, I'm worn out, I'm beaten, bruised, scratched, scrubbed and spend most of my time (when I'm not being dragged through ankle-deep bogs) dumped in a corner of the room like dirty laundry.
But, for some reason, I can never bring myself to leave.
Maybe it's the way my human shrieks with glee when she's skidding through the mud. Maybe it's the care she takes to scrub all the mud off my laces at the end of the day. Or maybe it's the fact that, despite everyone's claims that I'm the ugliest boot in the world and not fit to be seen in public, she continues to claim I'll always be her favorite pair of shoes.
They say love is tough. Well, so am I.