The Story of a Sock
And a Warning to Any Boys Who May Want to Date Me in the Future
The story I am about to tell you is one of the single most embarrassing and certainly most emotionally draining tales of my life. Sadly for me, this story is not one that yet has an end, but rather, is still a very present part of my existence that still manages to bring fear to my heart and sweat to my brow. I would also like to testify that everything mentioned in this story is true; no matter how ridiculous it may seem (the names have also been changed to protect the innocent).
I would like to further preface this tale with the fact that I did not choose to become "involved" in this way, and that I am not a in fact, a creepy sock stalker (this will make sense later) but that through a series of awkward misunderstandings and miscommunications, I have ended up being haunted by a European teenager’s sock. Let me explain:
Our story begins with my first heartbreak, I was young, naive and in love with a boy who lived in Mainland Europe (while I live in London) who came to visit me for a week or so in the middle of our "relationship." It was a tear filled and highly dramatic visit, as I’m sure one would understand, but this is not the point of my story.
Naturally, he returned to his homeland of cheese and windmills, and I returned to my bed to cry out my feelings for a few days when my mother (who was cleaning out the room he had been staying in) unearthed a single, teenage boy-sized, black sock. At first I was not extremely affected by this discovery, I mean, people forget socks all the time, no biggie, but it soon dawned on me that I was actually facing a moral dilemma of gargantuan proportions.
What on Earth was I meant to do with this sock?
(Now before you judge me, you must remember that at this time I was a heartbroken young teenager. I didn’t want to appear weird, or strange to the boy I had feelings for, so, before you continue, remember to have pity for me, and not to judge too hard.)
I couldn't exactly send the sock back to him, that would be weird! It would be strange enough to mail a single sock across the Channel, but I felt it would unearth a great many questions if I did return to him the sock. Why did I have this sock? Had I stolen the sock? Was I some kind of creepy, teenage boy sock stealing goblin? No, I didn't want that! I wanted this boy to like me, not think I was kidnapping his socks!
But then, what options did this leave me? Did I have to keep the sock? This would most likely prevent any questions on his behalf being asked, but meant I would have to live with the shame of knowing that I had kept a sock of a boy that I had a crush on. But surely, this was the most harmless and safest option? The only person who would know I had the sock would be my mother, and there was no way that could cause any problems, so as long as I didn’t tell anyone, the secret would die with me. The sock would be safe.
However cringe-y it made me feel, I knew that there was no way he would be getting this sock back. Too much time had passed for me to send the sock without receiving questions on why the sock had not been sent immediately. I knew what I had to do.
So, I kept the sock. YES, I KEPT THE SOCK. I feel uncomfortable enough about it as it is, I don't need more judgement from my readers, but sadly enough, this is only the beginning of the story.
It. Gets. Worse.
As my mother had been the one to unearth the sock, she, obviously, was aware of my decision that it was best for the sock to be kept. In hindsight I could have sent it off to a charity shop or something but, it seemed that my mother, had other plans. A few weeks after the sock had been unearthed, I went into my room to go to sleep at the end of the day. I snuggled up under the covers and felt something unfamiliar beneath the sheets. I reached down and pulled out whatever it was, and, to my horror, discovered that it was the sock. My mother had decided that the hight of humour was to put this said sock IN MY BED and started to do so whenever she got the chance, to try and make out that I was sleeping with it next to me. This carried on for several weeks and caused me so much stress and panic that it almost gave me a physical reaction.
What if somehow, someway, someone found out that there was a teen boys sock in my bed? What if people actually thought I wanted it to be there!?
She began to up her game, putting it under my pillow, or tucking it in the sheets in such a way that one would not see it when they got into bed, but rather that it would unearth itself throughout the night, only to be revealed, much to the horror of whoever was in the bed, in the morning. So naturally, I started retaliating. I began to put the sock on her bed and in places around her room, but I could never quite make it to tucking it under her sheets; it felt weird for me to even be holding this sock. It was like a dead rat or something else nasty that I most definitely shouldn't have been touching.
In one particular intense, when male friends came to stay, he removed his socks while my mum was present. She straight away told him to “watch out!” because “she has a collection of teen boys socks!” This opened up to the world of questions that I had been so carefully avoiding, but I quickly dismissed them and changed the topic. Anyway, eventually she died down with the sock hiding, for a while there it even went missing, and we soon moved house, so I hadn't even thought of this sock in months.
But naturally, like a bad tattoo or a Vegas wedding, I cannot be allowed to forget my past mistakes. I came into my room to see the sock sitting nicely on my pillow. In all its long black glory. Taunting me. Reminding me of the horrific mistake I made all those months ago by not returning the sock as soon as I had found it. Naturally I picked up by the corner and flung it onto my parents bed, as quickly as I could physically, as there is something about holding this sock that feels wrong to me, like I am doing something I shouldn’t be. Anyway, I continued about my day, forgetting about the trauma the re-emergence of this sock caused me. Never have I feared a piece of cotton-elastane blend more. I hid that sock deep in the bowels of my mothers room in a desperate hope that she would forget about it, but this trend carried on for many more months. At one point, I even found my dog walking around my room WEARING THE SOCK. And although, at the beginning, I did my very best to keep this mistake a secret, naturally, good news travels fast, and everyone I have ever met now knows the tale of the sock. This has become such a present thing within my life, that the boy the sock once belonged to (yes we are still friends, and yes, the sock is now most certainly mine) is referred to as "sock boy" by everyone who knows about it. Even my English teacher makes jokes, and knows the story, asking after the wellbeing of "sock boy" often. The joke has gone so far that my American friend has taken the sock with her on holiday and started an instagram account entitled "travels_of_a_sock" (give us a follow) that consists purely of pictures of the sock in notable locations throughout America. I feel it must also be noted that I still haven’t told the guy who’s sock it is that I have it. I think we have gone long past the stage of this not being weird, and that it is probably just best that I keep the sock, and hope that he never finds out about it.
And so, nearly two years later, here we are. I held onto a sock that I shouldn’t have kept, and have been ridiculed by entire family and my friends, have co-founded a mildly successful travel account based on the sock, and am now posting my tale of woe on the internet for anyone, and everyone to read. I fear this mistake will continue to haunt me through the rest of my days, that this sock will be my undoing, that the last thing I will see before I exit this mortal coil will be a teen boys sock, laughing maniacally as it drags me down to hell. I really don’t know what convinced me that it would be the best option to keep the sock, and I have even less of an idea as to why I haven’t gotten rid of it somehow since. If anyone has any ideas on how I can recover from this, I’d really like to hear them, because at this stage, I think I should just accept that this is the rest of my life now.
I should have just sent it back, huh?