I was utterly shocked after reading the report that I had received then, and suddenly fear engulfed me; my hands started shaking, I began to shiver, and the World around me froze.Initially, my mind stopped me from opening it; I waited for my wife to open it for me instead. Yes, I was tested Covid Positive on August 20, 2020. I was not ready for the mental harassment and faced the ugly society. Many thoughts started to enter into my mind, and with little space to think precisely, I have already thought of misery, pain, suffering that was about to come. There were zero cases in our locality, and I was the first person to be reported as Covid positive at my branch as well. I used to work for a reputed bank. I rechecked our financials and discussed the same with my wife if I do not live to see another day. Also, the society we are part of didn't sympathize with a Covid Positive patient. I tried to consult a doctor who was not ready to see me or even talk to me over the phone. I requested him, but he asked me to call Municipal Corporation authorities and no further suggestions. While returning home after the humiliation from the doctor, I received a call from my office to join a con call; they were aware that I was unwell, and as I was on leave from August 17, 2020, they could have skipped my name, but I was asked to be in the call, adding more misery, my head was distressing, and I was feeling breathless. After reaching home, I called up the concerned authorities; they suggested self-quarantine and asked me to continue taking the medicines I was already taking and disconnected the call. I was surprised and shocked by the answer. Also, to our surprise, they showed after 9 days, and a wave of fear spread in the locality. People started to think that it was my 1st day of quarantine; however, it was the 9th day. The moment to remember was my son's monthly birthday that I celebrate every month, so I asked my parents and sister to celebrate this moment with him. Even while in pain, we all made him feel special on the day. He was happy, he asked me why we all were crying, and no one had the answer for his sweet little question. So we did it, and I got little motivation. I am happy to celebrate his 40th month birthday this month. Sometimes, a reason to smile is more significant in Life to live it with happiness. I wanted to live with the moment. I was stepping into the unknown, and it was not easy. Sometimes we need to be reminded of what we already have and trust that it is worth fighting for; I have amazing people around, and that's what is enough to fight to live another day. My wife served me the food, tasted delicious, and enjoyed every bite as if it were my last. The minister of Yama was already on his way to fetch me to the heavens. I said to my wife, "I don't want to die." Hearing this, she hugged me and said, "Don't worry we are in this together, and nothing will happen to you, I will not let anything happen to you, just stay calm." We both were crying and trying to be strong. We had a big reason to worry as there was a substantial single-day spike in the positive cases on that day. That night I couldn't sleep, it was 1.30 am, and I started to suffocate in my own thoughts. I imagined my death, and every time it was different. I started to search out for memories with my parents, siblings, friends, wife, and most of all, my son. I wanted him to hold my hand and take me along somewhere. I was crying for hours, and the ocean of tears in me was not empty. I am weeping now while mentioning it here as I remember every single bit of it. My wife was sleeping in the other room. I wanted to hug her for the last time, but I could not do so and kept staring at her from a distance with the hope that it is not the last time. I wanted to tell her that I loved her a lot, kiss her feel the warmth for the last time. She was looking breathtakingly startling while in sleep—the hair strands on her luminous face were something. I wished that if ever I had a time machine to go back one day—so many wishes to fulfill, so many people to meet up and celebrate life with. I lingered in the small World of four walls that were created by my mind and heart. I tried to write a simple letter on the roof to the mind, "Dear Mind, Please Stop Thinking, Stop Thinking of Death." I realized that day, "Life has its ways of turning things upside down, hit you hard when you least expect it. It will test your resolve to the last bit of spirit in you. It makes you question everything around you and take you for granted. But sometimes it's a good thing, it's the best way to move onwards and upwards." Today we live in a society that is always ready to play the blame game. Pandemic adds more spice to it, and people neglect the facts and accept the myths. Life is pleasant, and we should live it with the correct mindset. We all need to embrace Life's primary purpose: living, as Life is full of surprises and unpredictability.
Amelia stared out her bedroom window overlooking the neighbors' lawn - wondering whether other children her age had families like hers. Were they also sent to their bedrooms so the grown folk would yell at each other and fight? Did they ever have to hide under the bed just so they could feel safe? Were their lives full of horror and misery like hers? She adored her parents, like most kids her age but never spoke of them with the enthusiasm other kids did theirs. Whenever anyone asked about her parents, Amelia would hang her head low with sadness. And if they insisted, she would get furious. “I don't want to talk about it!” She was often quick to end the conversation. Most kids at school despised her. If your parents did not drop you off in the morning or pick you up after school, you didn't have any friends. Most of the other kids assumed she had no parents. Whenever her parents were summoned she would go all the way to Aunt Flora's place across town and ask the bulky noisy woman to fill in. Aunt Flora had no children of her own and had given up trying a long time ago. Now she simply stayed home tending her garden, looking after Molly, Jolly and Polly, her three cats, and yelling at whoever appeared on TV. For Aunt Flora, people on TV either dressed badly, spoke poorly or just looked bad. Having been kicked out of a convent a few years back, Aunt Flora had dedicated her life to being a noisy loner. Not long after she was kicked out of the Convent she had met Patrick with whom she tried to have children. The news of her bareness came as a heartbreak to Patrick who eventually died – possibly of disappointment. Now all Aunt Flora had was her garden to tend, her trio of nonchalant cats to keep her company, her TV to yell at, and the occasional visit from her little niece, Amelia. Amelia noticed the lights go out from the neighbors living room window. Around this time of the night, they would all be seated in the living room playing Scrabble, Monopoly, or charades and laughing the night away. But tonight, they were turning in early – either because of the storm or the noise from Amelia's house. “Please stop it, Nathan! You're hurting me!” she heard her mother plead from downstairs. “I will do as I please," her father retorted. "And you will do nothing." “You're hurting me, Nathan. Stop!" Her mother began to scream. Then for a whole ten seconds, everything went silent. But Amelia knew what was coming. This was not the silence she was hoping for. Something horrible was about to happen downstairs - it always did. Her mother was about to let out a loud painful scream. Without warning, the sky let out a thunderous roar drowning out every other sound, including the noise from downstairs. Amelia dove right under her bed. The loud thunderstorm outside seemed to offer her a bit of reprieve, albeit scary reprieve. Perhaps the universe had listened to her silent prayer for the noise in the house to be drowned out because, for a few seconds, she could not hear anything more than muffled sounds of fighting and screaming coming from downstairs. Her mother was pleading for her life but Amelia was momentarily glad she could not hear it. Just as quickly as the thunderstorm clapped and roared, it went silent and heavy rainfall replaced it. A steady pouring of tears from the sky replaced the noisy thunderstorm and the sky became one with her emotions. As Amelia became teary, the sky wailed and sobbed, letting out its own steady flow of tears with the occasional cough or sneeze marked by a bit of thunder here and lightning there. From under the bed, she could see shadows floating around the room. And she held tight onto Dory, her only friend. Dory was a plush little blue fish with large eyes and a little yellowtail. She wore a constant smile and always reminded Amelia that everything was going to be all right. She pulled herself from under the bed and quickly jumped into it, clutching Dory close to her. “Dory, I am scared,” she whispered to her inanimate blue friend, hoping for reassurance. Then she pressed Dory close to her chest and waited for the magical words. “When life gets you down, you know what you gotta do? Just keep swimming.” Dory responded. And that is what she always did - swim. Through the tides of noise and fear, through the waves of sadness and pain, she was going to keep swimming. Most fifteen-year-olds had big fluffy bears and large stuffed animals. She only had Dory, and that was all she needed. Most teenagers worried about how they looked, who their friends were, what dresses they wore and what toys they had. She worried about the constant arguments and fights between her parents. She held Dory close to her chest, folded herself into a tiny little bundle of fear and drifted off to her safe place - dreamland - a place where there was no noise and no one could hurt her.