She lived alone in an urban place. She lost her final hope job as the recession affected many employees. She lost her both parents to covid-19 who used to live in another city. The pandemic and lockdown did not just affect her externally, it hurt her emotionally forever. She was not happy with her parents ever but their loss was not easy for her either. Her grief changed her actual nature.
She had no one else to live for again. She did not plan to give up life. She was clueless on what she is supposed to do in her life. Living or dying could mean same to her. She avoided mingling among people. She avoided having conversations with friends. She wanted to be away from the emotion of love. Exceptionally, her one nature did not change. She was still there to help the needy ones. With the thought of helping others , she became a covid warrior.
She joined a Volunteering team. She became the partner of the team leader. She could work here all the time as and when needed. Working with a group of people did not change her behavior. Whenever there was any fun and laughter moments, she stayed away. She could sit alone from others. She did her job best for helping other poor people and delivering goods along with a partner. The whole team could wonder how such heartless person is also a great helper. Most of her time was spent with a team leader. Team leader aka Mr. Aman could observe her behaviour closely. He did not call her heartless. He knew she is mentally way too disturbed. She is alone fighter who just needs someone to calm her down. Whenever anyone in the team tried to approach her with friendliness , she could throw up heated words at them.
Aman had faced most of her angry words. He could see the grief she is holding up. He decided to drop her home daily. As each team member took care of each other, Aman took the responsibility of her. Every time while dropping home, he could have some casual conversations. With a period of time, he started liking her more. With the daily pick up and drop rides, she became little comfort in sharing her life story. Aman developed a huge respect for her struggling life. It was not just a covid 19 taking her parent’s life. She was not really happy even with her family. She lived a terrible life in many forms. Her survival was more inspiring to hear it out. With the days of working together, Aman had already started falling in love with her. But, was she in love with him?
All she had in her mind was a house-full of angry birds. She wanted to cry loudly but had no shoulder to lean on. She wanted to laugh again but had lost the charisma. She was a person who loved to mingle around people but now she draws a distance because she does not want to come across anyone’s random personal questions. She thought of meeting psychiatrist or a counsellor many times but all she could think was the payment. Paying to the doctors would be expensive and medicines could affect her already survived health. She is obsessed with everyone’s safety as she does not want to see any more loss happen to others.
One fine day, Aman stops his car on the side of street. The weather is dark and cloudy.
Both of them are tired with the volunteering life.
She: “You know what, wearing this mask for few hours is good but all the time is so suffocating. “
He: “I know, well you can remove your mask”
She(Taking off her mask): “Yes, ahh it’s time to remove it and feel bit free.”
Both laugh ironically.
She:”Do you feel that our life is not guaranteed.”
He:”Why are you asking me like this?” (While taking his mask off)
She: “We both had been working so closely with people. Maybe we are already affected with covid and we don’t have symptoms yet. And here we are sitting without masks in the closed car easily spreading covid to each other. In either way, we will be affected in coming days. ”
He:”We both will have beds next to each other. I will crack jokes expecting you expressionless girl to laugh. ”
She:”Well, we can’t be together . Who knows we will be taken where and whether we will get a chance to meet back again or not. I will surely not survive. You will recover.”
He: “Are you a fortune teller? ”
She:”Just the instincts you know. I get good intuitions.”
He:” I will say you are a bad fortune teller. ”
He tells her,
“Hey Tomorrow, the whole team is coming to my house for lunch.”
She says,”Oh great, are you guys gonna follow social distance?”
He: “Of course, we have planned all the rules to be followed up. I know it may not be a good idea but each one us have worked so hard so this will be a relief to our stress days”
She just gives fake smile.
She: “Have fun”
He: “I said the whole team. Hope you realise you are part of this team too? ”
She: “Yes, I am, but I am not coming”
She:”I am not interested to come”
He:”I understand your life and how you feel. This is just an opportunity for you to get along well with others. Trust me, it will be good for your mind. ”
She:”Thank you for understanding my life but I am still not interested to mix up with anyone and you already know this. ”
He:”I just want you to know I am there for you. We all are there for you. Moreover, I want to introduce you to my parents. Please give it a try”
She: “You know what, you should actually cancel this whole plan. I did not have good parents.Yet I took care of them all the time until I finally had to get a job in another city for financial support. I lost job in two months and I lost my parents too. But, you have them. So stop calling anyone of us for this nice gesture and take care of your parents health”
He: “Look I know we need to take care of elders during covid. I am not taking our whole team inside house. We will enjoy only on terrace. If you heard me clearly, I want to introduce only you to the parents. ”
She looks at him with her raised eyebrows. Shakes her head sarcastically and says,”You plan to flirt with me?”
He: “Flirting mam? I respect you. I admire you. I would never let anyone else flirt with you. Yes, I have feelings for you and I want to marry you. ”
She:”So, you will directly take me to your parents?”
He: “No, I just want to introduce so that you can feel you have a family here.”
She:”Stop talking rubbish. Just because we work together does not mean we need to be a couple. I come here to work as a volunteer not to make love with you. I don’t have anyone and I don’t need anyone. Just stay away from me”
He: “All I wanted was to have a family with you. To give you the family you deserve . I know you lived a worthless life and I just want to make it colourful again. ”
She: “A family? That’s the last thing I need. I don’t want to begin another family. I am done with this life. You have my responsibility in terms of work that does not mean you should take responsibility for the whole life. By the way, I don’t have same feelings for you. ”
The harsh words made him speechless. But, he knew she likes him too. She is in denial because she does not realize her own emotions. There was silence for many minutes.
Aman’s mobile rings. He picks up call. The mobile is still on the holder in the car. The voice is on speaker.
His friend(girl) Samantha: “Where are you? Can we go out today?”
He:” I am in the middle of work. We can’t go . It’s not good to hang out during such crisis anyway.”
Samantha: “Who is with you?”
He:”Look I am with the teammate right now. We can meet up some other day.”
Samantha(in anger tone) : “I know who is with you. From the time she has come in your life you are always with her. I know you love her. That bitch has become more important for you than me. ”
He: “Listen yes I love her and I know how you feel about me. But you and me are just good friends and I can’t think more than that. I hope you understand.”
Samantha cuts off call.
He:”I am sorry. It was my friend. I know you heard everything. I should have kept the speakers off.”
She realized her arrogance towards him.
The rain started heavily. The water droplets falling on the windows of car.
She said softly,”You know, I am scared of rain.”
He looked at her.
She: “I used to enjoy rain. Rain was my favourite season but not anymore. I feel scared.”
He noticed the tears in her eyes. He realized psychologically she is broken and it’s going to take time to fix her up.
He: “Maybe you can try to enjoy again.”
She:”I don’t want to”
He:”You will not know until you try. Let’s try dancing in rain one more time”
She: “Aman, I am sorry. I had been rude to you all the time. You always tried your best to make me smile . I like your sense of humor but I don’t know when I will be normal. ”
He:”I understand your condition. Hmm. Is your answer still no for tomorrow team meeting?”
She: “Ya, it’s no. I genuinely don’t want to get close to your parents considering we are not safe for their health. ”
He:”Can we go for lunch or some café together?”
She:”I don’t want to. Although I like café but no I don’t want to be in the crowd. I would rather be in the nature like a long ride maybe”
He:”Then let’s go for the long ride tomorrow evening.”
She:”No you enjoy with your team and friends.”
He:”Ok, then we will finish of our work now and will drop you home”
As they spend 2 more hours working around then ride towards her home, she says :
“Instead of tomorrow , you could have said now for the ride.”
He:”Why didn’t you tell me this before. I did not want to force you for anything. I just don’t want to hurt you and look desperate kind guy. ”
She says this with low tone: ”I did not mean it. I just said a thought. We don’t have to go now and anyways we won’t go tomorrow or any other day. I know you have other girlfriend waiting for you.”
He:”She is not my girlfriend. I am sorry for her behavior. I don’t want you to be hurt. ”
As they are closer to her house, he changes the lane and droves away.
She:”Hey, what are you doing? My house is on other side. Where are we going now?”
He:”For a long ride”
She:”I am sorry. I did not mean to taunt you. It’s ok . We don’t have to go. Just stop the car and let me go.”
He turns on the music and they go for a long ride.
On the highway, they get down. She stands slightly leaning back on car and facing towards green hills. Foggy atmosphere and calm air. He stands beside her.
She: “Thank you for bringing me around the beautiful nature.”
He:”I just want you to feel better.”
In the soothing refreshing air, she breathes with a sigh of relief.
Her soul feels calm after a long time.
She:”Aman, are you really serious about me?”
He holds her hand :”Damn serious!”
She smiles and then suddenly her mind alarms the thought of not touching hands amidst covid.
He looks at her cringe expression and realizes what thought might have ran in her mind.
He takes out a sanitizer bottle from his pocket from other hand and pours the sanitizer liquid in her palm. She starts laughing loudly actually they both laugh at the romantic serious moment turning into a humor one. For the first time, he sees her laughing with a free soul and right there the happiest moment is captured to cherish the memories in the future.
(This was a fictional story)